Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws 1999
Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice 2000
When Angela Taylor began her second attempt at a tertiary education the local newspaper, the Illawarra Mercury, published a story with the headline: HSC slacker to Uni attacker.
That was in 1994, and the Mercury reported that Angela, who having dropped out of a science degree in 1986, had re-sat her Higher School Certificate and done so well that she had been accepted to study Law at the University of Wollongong.
In a story that should inspire anyone who didn’t succeed at their first attempt at tertiary studies, Angela attacked her second chance at university with gusto. As a result she has had great success, first as a student and then as a lawyer.
Angela is now UOW’s Legal Counsel, heading up the Legal Services Unit that provides a variety of legal services to the University.
Angela describes the unit’s primary role as protecting the University, in fields as diverse as safeguarding intellectual property to the drawing up of contracts and helping to ensure that the University’s internal processes meet all legal requirements.
Angela’s life and career have really come full circle since her first attempt at University fresh out of Smith’s Hill High School in Wollongong. “I obviously wasn’t ready for uni the first time around,” Angela candidly admits. “I hadn’t been very focussed at high school and did so badly in my first year at uni that I gracefully withdrew and got a job as a secretary.”
But bored after a few years in the job, she explored a career change to private investigator. “I spent some time with a private investigator who had been a solicitor, and he put the idea of studying Law in my head,” she says. “But the Academic Registrar at UOW told me I had no chance of being accepted for Law with the TER (Tertiary Education Rank) I had achieved in the HSC.”
Not to be deterred, Angela quit her job and enrolled at TAFE to sit her HSC again. She doubled her TER, and easily qualified for the Law degree – prompting the Mercury story and headline.
“It’s amazing what can be achieved when you’re motivated, and I had given up the security of full-time employment to study so I was certainly motivated to do well.”
Angela graduated in 1999 with First Class Honours in Law and an Arts degree majoring in Sociology. In 2000 she worked with the Department of Public Prosecutions in Wollongong while completing her Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies at UOW.
To cap off an impressive comeback to University, Angela won the William Macquarie Law Prize in her postgraduate year.
Angela spent 2001 overseas working in the intellectual property division of one of London’s biggest law firms and travelling, before returning to Wollongong where she joined leading firm Kells The Lawyers.
However, a chance opportunity to teach a Law subject (Law of Business Organisations) at UOW in 2004 led to Angela renewing her association with UOW. That year she combined work at Kells with teaching and pregnancy (she gave birth to twins Lexie and Didier), and in 2005 successfully applied for the lawyer’s position at UOW’s Legal and Commercial Unit.
In August this year Angela’s position was re-titled Legal Counsel and her unit renamed Legal Services.