Learning on the job: Committed to the cause

Jake Herd has always been intrigued by human interaction. As early as primary school Jake dreamed of becoming a psychologist.

In pursuit of that dream, in Year 12, he travelled to Parkville three times a week from Coolaroo to attend first-year psychology classes at the University of Melbourne.

Several years later, as part of his undergraduate degree at Melbourne (a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Italian), Jake took two introductory law subjects that ignited a new passion and completely altered Jake’s career trajectory.

“When I discovered law through two undergraduate electives, I realised that my fascination with human interaction actually lies with understanding how we operate at a social level, and how our interactions with each other are framed by our laws. I developed a thirst for postgraduate study in law and that became my new goal,” Jake explains.

Jake’s dedication and consistently outstanding academic achievement was recognised this year when he was awarded the Cheryl Saunders Scholarship to support his postgraduate study at Melbourne Law School.

“I feel like I am receiving the Cheryl Saunders Scholarship for a purpose and I owe it to my scholarship donors and the University to do well and use it wisely,” says Jake. “It is both a responsibility and a privilege because it gives me the space to volunteer my skills in areas where I can apply my knowledge and make society a better place, while learning at the same time.”

Alongside his studies Jake is currently volunteering his skills at the Moonee Valley Legal Service. He is also Assistant Editor of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, and competing in many moot court competitions at the Melbourne Law School and externally.

Jake at Melbourne Uni
My passions are Environmental Law and Animal Law and these are the areas I can see myself working in one day. My scholarship gives me the scope to commit my skills to causes that I really believe in. The University and donors have shown enormous faith in me and I owe it to them and to myself to maximise these life-changing opportunities I have been given.

“One day I would like support a prize or scholarship in Environmental or Animal Law to reward and support students just as I have been.”

More than 250 generous donors contributed to the establishment of the Cheryl Saunders Scholarship to celebrate the enormous contribution of Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO (BA 1966, LLB(Hons) 1966, PhD 1976, Janet Clarke Hall, International House) to legal education and constitutional law.

Back to donor impact stories