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Law School Facilitator Profiles - Where Are They Now?

Adam Hanssen

Adam Hanssen
Degree: Juris Doctor
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2015-2016)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS 1012 and LAWS 5001 (Torts), LAWS5006 (Torts & Contracts II)
Current position: Graduate Lawyer
Current Company: MinterEllison


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

PASS provided me with an unequalled opportunity to develop a wide range of skills. Working as a PASS facilitator greatly improved my communication skills. It improved my ability to empathize with students and identify the issues they faced. Moreover, I was able to further develop the analytical skills needed to break complicated legal matters into comprehensible and relevant concepts. I worked in a team of facilitators to devise sessions aimed at identifying and solving key difficulties in the study of law. From this I learned the value of working in a team and striving towards achieving consensus on difficult matters – as well as the ability to respond to and implement constructive feedback. Finally, preparing for sessions required significant organisational skills, allowing me to further develop my ability to manage time and competing tasks.




Ivan Li

Ivan Li
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 4 years (2013-2016)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS1015 (Contracts), LAWS1017 (Torts and Contracts II), FINC2011 (Corporate Finance I), FINC2012 (Corporate Finance II), FINC5001 (Capital Markets and Corporate Finance)
Current position: Graduate Lawyer
Current Company: MinterEllison


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

My experience working in the PASS team helped me grow throughout my university years, both personally and professionally, and played a significant role in preparing me for the workplace. It developed my ability to deal with tricky situations as I frequently found myself being 'put on the spot' and forced to 'think on my feet' midway through a PASS session. Being a PASS facilitator not only challenged me to gain a deeper understanding of course content, but also honed my ability to be able to deliver ideas and concepts succinctly and clearly without dominating a discussion, a skill that is becoming increasingly valued in the workforce. PASS also provided me with a variety of leadership opportunities, such as being team leader, statistical analyst and assistant coordinator. Over time, all these experiences and responsibilities really built my confidence in everything that I do and this has definitely made a lasting impact even in my current work.

When it came time to apply for clerkships and other jobs, I found my experience at PASS to be instrumental in showing to employers that I had all those vital soft skills that they all seem to look for, whether it be interpersonal skills, leadership, time management, professionalism, working effectively in a team or implementing feedback and giving feedback to others. From personal experience, joining the PASS team really is the perfect opportunity to not only develop all these skills but also to have a myriad of examples to readily draw from to answer all those pesky interview questions.

Another aspect of being a part of the PASS team that is often overlooked is the people you meet. Through PASS, I was able to meet other facilitators who are not only among the most genuine, friendly and fun people I've met at university, but also people who have gone on to become lawyers, judge's associates, investment bankers, consultants and many other amazing things. Before even starting full time work, I found myself already a part of such a far-reaching network.




Lan Wei

Lan Wei
Degree: Commerce/Law
Degree completion: 2013
Years active in PASS: 2009-2013
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS1016 (Criminal Law), LAWS1015 (Contracts), and INFS1000 (Business Information Systems)
Current position: Solicitor
Current Company: Herbert Smith Freehills


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

PASS has built my confidence in speaking to a room full of people who don't know me and in particular has taught me how to quickly create rapport with a group. This skill has proved valuable in interview situations, as well as more generally in meeting with new clients for the first time or working in a group situation. Further, PASS has taught me a lot about giving and receiving feedback, and the importance of having your work reviewed by someone else who understands what to look for. Finally, facilitating a PASS group session generally requires an in-depth understanding of the material - the ability to know the answer to a single question is often not enough to engage in a meaningful discussion that helps a participant get to the answer themselves. This taught me early on just how much preparation and understanding is required before I felt confident leading a discussion on any particular issue. In my working life this has translated to a tendency towards being prepared and knowing the kinds of materials I need to read and be well versed in before a meeting.




Mei (Mavis) Sun

Mei (Mavis) Sun
Degree: Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce
Degree completion: 2014
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2013–2015)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS1012 (Torts), LAWS1014 (Contracts), LAWS5001 (Torts), LAWS5002 (Contracts)
Current position: Trainee Solicitor
Current Company: Linklaters


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

My time in PASS both as a facilitator and team leader for Law helped me develop and cultivate several skills which have proven extremely valuable for full-time professional employment.

PASS trained me to work collaboratively with a wide range of personalities and working habits both within the PASS team and with peers during sessions. Such invaluable practical experience supported the transition into my current position which involves constantly managing and responding to different expectations and styles of working, and being able to communicate effectively and tactfully at all times with different project team members.

More significantly, my experience in facilitating several law subjects and as team leader allowed me to improve my communication skills. I learnt during my time in PASS how to express myself more eloquently and to convey complex concepts in a concise manner. The ability to articulate views and ideas with confidence and clarity is an essential skill in my everyday work, where I am discussing legal concepts and research findings on a daily basis.

In addition, the system of peer and facilitator reviews within the PASS program helped enormously in teaching me how to take on feedback constructively. This is crucial for any workplace as being receptive and open to feedback during performance reviews impacts directly on your learning, performance and future career development.




Melissa Chen

Melissa Chen
Degree: Bachelor of Arts/Laws
Degree completion: Bachelor of Arts 2012; Bachelor of Laws 2015
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2013–2014)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS1006 (Criminal Law); LAWS1023 (Public International Law)
Previous employment: Trainee Lawyer at Fitzroy Legal Service
Current position: Criminal Lawyer
Current Company: Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

Essential to being a PASS Facilitator in Law is the ability to distil complex legal concepts into ideas that can be more easily understood and explored by students. Such a skill is directly transferrable to the legal workplace, where clients often have low legal literacy and require advice and assistance delivered in an appropriate manner. Being a PASS Facilitator also increased my confidence to speak (about the law) in front of small and large groups of people, a skill which is essential in any legal career. Moreover, I often found that in the job interview process, I could draw on my experiences as a Pass Facilitator to give concrete examples of situations where I was forced to think on my feet and show a flexible response to difficult or unexpected situations.




Sarah Ienna

Sarah Ienna
Degree: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2014–2015)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS5002 (Contracts) and LAWS1012 (Torts)
Previous employment: Vacation Clerk/Paralegal at Herbert Smith Freehills and Research Assistant at Forbes Chambers
Current position: Tipstaff at the Supreme Court of NSW (Court of Appeal)


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

My time as a PASS facilitator helped in developing my critical thinking and problem solving skills. When preparing for sessions I needed to ensure that I had a thorough understanding of how the law applies to different factual scenarios. These skills are essential when working in the legal sector. For example, as a tipstaff it is important that I am able to appreciate what the correct interpretation of the law is, and its application to the facts. PASS was also a great opportunity to develop my teamwork skills through our weekly team meetings and ongoing collaboration between facilitators. This was particularly valuable as most law assessments are required to be completed individually, yet both private and public sector employers in the legal field expect graduates to work effectively in teams. Finally PASS facilitators are strongly encouraged to continually improve the PASS program to better meet student's needs. This is important as innovation is highly valued by employers.




Shirley-Anne Hu

Shirley-Anne Hu
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws
Degree completion: 2014
Years active in PASS: 4 years (2011–2014)
Subject/s facilitated: LAWS1016 (Criminal Law), LAWS1012 and LAWS5001 (Torts)
Current position: Lawyer
Current Company: Clayton Utz


What employability/ transferable skills has PASS helped you develop that are relevant in the workplace?

The transferable skills PASS helped me to develop:

  1. Working with others - PASS relies heavily on group-based learning. My experience in the workplace has taught me that collaboration and being able to work well with others is essential to achieving the best outcome.
  2. Problem solving with confidence - being able to tackle problem questions in a PASS session is analogous to receiving instructions from a client and providing them with legal advice that is concise, relevant and well-structured. The more practice you have doing this in PASS, the more proficient and confident you'll be in the workplace.
  3. Deeper thinking and critical analytical skills - in PASS sessions, you are encouraged to think more deeply about legal principles and approach problems from more than one perspective. In the workplace, clients don't want you to regurgitate the law; instead, they want you to identify the most important legal issues for them and analyse the impact on their business. Also, clients will often want advice that covers more than one solution. This requires deeper understanding of the law and being critical in your analysis.