written by

rebekah bickerton


college of business, law and governance

publish date

18 september 2019

related study areas

finding your groove

taylor young has an impressive resume.

after completing a law degree at jcu in 2015, the 27-year-old worked in a variety of fields, was awarded multiple promotions and is now pursuing his dream career – in finance.

like many students finishing school, taylor had no clear idea of what he wanted to study.

“i had floated the idea of studying law at high school, but after talking to my parents and career advisors, i realised that i had no idea what lawyers do, so i went and pursued some other interests,” he says.

after a brief stint studying languages, taylor started to reconsider what he was truly passionate about, and where his strengths could take him.

“i looked at everything offered at jcu, and the one thing i kept coming back to was a law degree. it just looked so interesting, and it seemed like it would give me a really great base of skills that i could use, whether i practiced law or not. so, i gave that a go and i loved it.”

building a career on passion

taylor quickly found a passion for the financial side of law.

“some of my favourite subjects were things like trusts and taxation and constitutional law," he says. "a lot of people’s eyes just glaze over when you start talking about those things, but i found it fascinating.”

it was this interest in taxation law that led taylor to move to brisbane after graduation and work for the australian taxation office (ato).

“it was an excellent first job coming straight out of university, for someone who didn’t necessarily want to follow a path of legal practice,” taylor says.

in fact, a career in finance isn’t so far from legal practice as one might think, and for taylor, the skills and knowledge he gained from his law degree have been the key to his success.

“my job at the ato involved a whole lot more than just tax knowledge - there were elements of trust law, family law and property law woven throughout my role. it combined everything i’d been studying in a really fascinating and engaging way,” he says.

after multiple promotions within a short period of time, taylor moved to canberra for a permanent position working in superannuation policy. he credits his legal technical knowledge as the key to progressing in his career so quickly.

“in my current role, i’m managing relationships between government departments, lawyers and barristers, and it is hugely valuable having that legal background, because i can understand what’s going on and i can give coherent instructions.

“there’s a lot riding on the work that i do. we often see what we’re dealing with in the media, and it can be intimidating.”

taylor says the most valuable skills he has taken from his law degree are critical thinking and written communication.

“the ability to think critically, put those thoughts down pen to paper and communicate your ideas is hugely valuable. i’m constantly drawing on these skills – i might be given a policy proposal that’s only a sentence or two long, and i can turn it into a fully-fledged program of work that will influence millions of australians.”
jcu law graduate taylor young

taylor encourages future jcu students to keep an open mind when it comes to studying law.

“there are really amazing career opportunities that aren’t necessarily legal practice, that may not have occurred to you at first, which will be very rewarding.

“there are so many skills you learn through a jcu law degree; there’s the technical stuff, but also advocacy, critical thinking and effective written communication. these are skills that will help you to progress in any career, whether you’re a lawyer or not.”

if you are interested in making a difference like taylor, consider what you can do with jcu law.