COVID revolutionised the way many law schools taught or thought about teaching, as online delivery became the norm. However, it wasn’t coronavirus that caused Tashana Pederson to seek the College’s online practical legal training course, but the call of work and family in Dubai. Insights spoke to Tashana about her experience of studying PLT online, what she does in Dubai, and what’s next now she’s finished PLT.
“I studied my LLB with QUT externally as I live in Dubai,” said Tashana. “Returning to Australia for an extended period was not going to be possible due to my work and family commitments at home.”
Online PLT better than even international options
As such, Tashana sought practical legal training that would be delivered online, but could still offer a rigorous course of study.
“I wanted a course that would fit around my work and life,” said Tashana. “The College of Law PLT was the best option for me, even when I compared it to international options.”
For Tashana, the flexibility of practical legal training was refreshing, especially in contrast to her undergraduate experience.
“It was good to know what I had to do at the start of the course, so I could plan around due dates,” said Tashana. “There were times I couldn’t meet some due dates, and my lecturer was accommodating. This was such a difference to the rigidity of undergraduate study!”
Juggling timezones and group work
Like many, COVID threw Tashana’s work schedule into a temporary disarray.
“COVID meant work schedules were less predictable, so the time I was able to dedicate to PLT varied more than expected,” said Tashana. “Fortunately, the lecturers were great and provided helpful feedback throughout, so I was still able to learn a great deal during the course.”
Study typically took place during evenings, with overflow work completed on weekends.
For students like her, completing PLT while living or working overseas, Tashana says the experience is quite similar to working or catching up with family or friends across timezones.
“If you’re familiar with working or maintaining relationships long distance, there shouldn’t be any unique challenges to studying outside Australia,” explained Tashana.
“Group work was probably the biggest challenge,” conceded Tashana. “It was just a case of fitting in with the availability of other students with the added complexity of timezones and finding technology that works for everyone.”
For her, the most unexpected challenge was finding suitable work experience as COVID restricted travel; she had planned to travel back to Australia to complete this component. “I am grateful to the College of Law for identifying options for students so we wouldn’t be prevented from completing the course,” said Tashana. “Their proactive approach in such an uncertain time definitely helped stress levels!”
From employment law to global legal advisor
While Tashana has always worked within employment law, her roles had been fairly confined to HR, and she couldn’t operate without advice from the legal department.
Having completed PLT, she became eligible to expand her horizons.
“I have recently moved into an Employment Law advisory position which I would not have been eligible for without completing PLT,” said Tashana. “It is similar to the work I was doing before but the key difference is that PLT is internationally recognised. This meant I was able to move to a global legal advisor role in an area of work that I enjoy, and I was also able to negotiate a higher salary - which is an added bonus!”