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Sophie Moller on campus

What it's like studying postgrad Law as a mature age student

18/05/2023 |

It’s been a while since Sophie has been back in the classroom, but that hasn't stopped her from kicking study and career goals at UWA. After completing a bachelor’s degree straight after high school and returning to complete a master’s degree a few years later, she decided to take her career further by completing the Juris Doctor.

Sophie’s dedication to her studies shows that learning is a lifelong commitment and that you can follow your passion for knowledge no matter how far along in your career.

Taking the time to find your passion

Sophie started an undergraduate degree in biological sciences straight out of high school, even though she says she “had a passion for biology but didn’t really know what to do with it”.

I think I just assumed that if I was good at something and interested in it, I should keep going but I didn’t have an end goal in mind.


Sophie Moller at her graduation in 1995

Turns out some life experience is exactly what Sophie needed to discover what she was most passionate about.

A career in government in Australia showed her how useful it is to have an understanding of the legal system, driving her to pursue her second postgraduate degree in Law.

“Law became a subject that I was interested in and always intended to come back to. Now, studying law is both a passion and something that is directly relevant to the work that I do within government.”

Life experience can help you

If you’re considering going back to study postgrad but you think it might be too late to change careers or help you get a little bit further in your current job, think again.

Going back to uni to study the Juris Doctor at UWA has given Sophie “a different perspective and focus”.

I can bring in a lot of outside knowledge and experiences to help me understand what I’m studying. I can also directly apply what I’m learning to my work and see the results immediately.

Sophie is also able to connect with her lecturers and the subject matter of her units, having some industry experience behind her.

“UWA’s Law School has an excellent reputation, and the units are diverse, challenging and interesting. Lecturers have given their time freely to answer questions and provide positive, constructive feedback.”

Campus life as a mature age student

Sophie is able to study part time juggling her work, assignments, family life and on campus social or study activities. She even jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Intervarsity Environmental Law Moot (her team came second in the competition!).

Despite the differences in our ages, I have found the students welcoming and I’ve made some great friendships with both younger students and with other mature age students.

Sophie has taken her learning experience into her own hands and actively organises study groups for each unit to bring students together.

Advice to others considering postgrad

Sophie’s advice is to “treat every opportunity as though it were your last”.

You might not get the chance to study again in life, so make the most of every tutorial, assignment and exam.

“The more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.”

Sophie’s experience in the workforce has taught her to be extremely organised which is helping her a lot through uni life. Her motto towards her studies is to “work harder to do less” and she hopes others will take up the opportunity to follow their passions in an academic environment.

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