Mauro is proof that anyone can make a mid-life career change, regardless of their education or personal background. A Melbourne native, Mauro was in his early forties when he decided to make the switch from working health administration and become a lawyer. He's taken time out of his busy career to tell us about his journey and the massive challenges he overcame along the way.
There's room to combine creativity and the law; it gives you an open mind for the many issues you face as a legal professional.
A drummer since he was 12 years old, Mauro has been bandmates with some of Melbourne’s leading legal minds. Jamming and playing gigs with his lawyer friends was a big influence in Mauro’s decision to change tack in his career.
“I felt there was room to combine creativity and the law; it gives you an open mind for the many issues you face as a legal professional,” Mauro said.
While Mauro hadn't finished year 12 before starting his law degree at CDU, he'd studied a couple of business law units at an open university. This sparked his interest in the law and so began his search for a flexible, online law degree that he could complete while working and upholding family commitments.
It wasn't long before he applied for a law degree at CDU, was accepted and studied his law degree online and part-time over six years.
The online tutorials and lectures gave me the opportunity to find study buddies.
While studying law online, Mauro made lots of friends across Australia.
“I was so thrilled when I was accepted,” Mauro said. “The online tutorials and lectures gave me the opportunity to meet people and find study buddies, many of who are still friends now.
“I really benefitted from being part of the CDU Law Facebook group, which is a lot like a kind of support group for new and current students. The lecturers I had were also wonderful.”
During his second year of studying law, Mauro suffered some health issues and a marriage breakdown, which, for many people, could spell the end of their uni dream. Determined, Mauro carried on.
“At times, it was a grind, but it was so fulfilling. I wanted to complete the studies no matter what, and I did. The support I got was outstanding.”
If you can't manage a full study load, then don't do it. Aim to have some balance in life.
For those considering starting a law degree later in life, Mauro has some great advice: "The first and second years of uni can be tough, but don't give up. There are alternatives to dropping out.
"If you can't manage a full study don't, then don't do it. Know your limitations and aim to have some balance in life. And remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question, so don't be afraid to ask for help."
While Mauro credits the support provided by CDU's lecturers and staff for his success, let's not forget his determination. It's what motivated him to finish his degree, qualify to practice law and be admitted to the legal practice.