Pursuing a dream career in criminal law

International Law Student at Flinders University


Ian Jun Yan Tan always had a keen interest in the underlying issues of people and society. It is what drove him to pursue a career in criminal law, and to be the voice seeking out justice for those who have been wrongfully denied.

With a curriculum focused on innovation and equipping students to adapt and thrive in changing legal landscapes Ian – an international student from Singapore – was attracted to the Flinders Law program because of its commitment to social justice and sound legal training, while also preparing students with future ready skills.

“The thing that appealed most to me was Flinders foresaw the legal system undergoing changes to integrate with technology. They provide a hands-on experience on being part of that change, such as developing legal software application to improve efficiency and information gathering, as well as legal research in their own respective fields of practice,” says Ian.

Currently in his final year of his Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) degree, Ian is edging closer to his dream of being a criminal lawyer with the support of teaching staff.

“I have always intended to specialise in criminal law. The lecturers and supervisors from Flinders have been most helpful in this area by sharing their expertise, experiences, and pointing me to various opportunities that are good in developing my portfolio in applying for a job as a criminal lawyer.

Ready to practice with Practical Legal Training

For Ian, one of the best parts of his degree has been the opportunity to undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT) while he studies, setting himself apart from the competition.

“Currently, I am doing my PLT placement as required to be admitted as a Solicitor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). The work that I had the privilege of undertaking is unique in its area of practice, and it is no less than the actual work that lawyers deal with daily.”

“In comparing this to other countries where students are instead required to pass a bar exam, in my opinion this is a much more effective method of equipping future lawyers with the actual skillsets and mental perception that is required by the nature of the legal industry. This also effectively contributes to our competency in undertaking legal work upon being admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court.”

Flinders is the only South Australian university that offers an integrated and accredited Laws and Legal Practice programs allowing students to undertake PLT topics as part of their final year, meaning students can get started as soon as they graduate.

Flinders Bedford Park Campus Adelaide
Flinders Bedford Park Campus

Why study in Adelaide?

Choosing to study in Adelaide was a relatively easy choice for Ian who was drawn to the affordability of the state as well as the picturesque beaches and cultural festivals on offer.

“Adelaide is generally more affordable compared to Melbourne or Sydney. As an international student, the cost of the degree is quite steep already, and it definitely helps lighten my financial burden with a lower cost of living.”

“Adelaide is also known for picturesque ecospheres and beaches which serve as a nice getaway from the city from time to time. There are also multiple festivals that celebrate different varieties of activities, cultures, and communities alike throughout the year,” he says.

And what are his thoughts on the student life at Flinders?

“Flinders offers a lot of support services for students. I have personally benefitted from their CareerHub services that assisted me in creating a resume, and from other networking events with industry professionals. I also appreciate that Flinders has their own accommodation (Flinders Living) for students who may be new to Adelaide and prefer some form of stability and security over their transition into university life.”

“There are also international events that are held every month, including social and friendship groups that offer a cross-cultural experience in fostering relationships across different international communities at Flinders.”

Interested in pursuing a career in law? Click here to find out more about studying at Flinders.

30 years of Law at Flinders

In 2022, Flinders is celebrating it’s 30th year of Law. Find out more about our history, the success of our graduates and what’s next for Flinders Law. Click here to read more. 

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