In conversation with Sophie Tversky
Sophie Tversky is a final year Arts/Law student at Monash University in Melbourne, an analyst at Janders Dean, a member of the Law Institute of Victoria Technology Law Committee, LWOW-X participant, and intern at Co Squared.
We first met Sophie in person on the night she won the Women in Law ‘Law Student of the Year 2018’ award, and she continues to amaze us with her brilliance, dedication, foresight, and commitment to so many causes. We think she must have a clone or a time travel machine to do all of these things! We are very privileged to have Sophie on our blog - as we know she is destined for great things!
TLC: What made you want to study law?
ST: It wasn’t until year 10 work experience that I discovered an interest in Law. I was deciding between Medicine and Law, with a drive to serve people being an underlying feature. My strength has always been in the Humanities – I love the power words have to communicate, create cohesion and persuade. This coupled with a desire to help people and problem-solve made Law a great fit. In my Arts degree, I am a Theatre major and despite the non-obvious connection between these disciplines, I believe there are strong links and learnings that can be taken from the Theatre world– some include the importance of story-telling, giving people a voice and imagining new possibilities.
TLC: Tell us about your journey to how you got to where you are.
ST: My journey thus far has been a culmination of being open to opportunities and learning, especially from different disciplines, and creating opportunities when I felt a pull to make a change and contribution. Community has always been a central part of my identity and I felt that was missing in my first year of university. I recognised that the Peer Mentor Program, the program which supports first year transition and aims to create a community between older years and new students, lacked structure and accountability. Realising how important this program was for students in creating a positive experience of Law School, I applied for the role of Deputy-Coordinator and then took over as Coordinator of the program. In this role, I relaunched the program with a new structure, initiatives and integrated it within broader university support systems, to improve the first-year experience. To see the shift in culture amongst the 600+ students and leading a team of 76 mentors - creating a culture of mentoring – was really fulfilling.
The leadership opportunities and projects I have been involved in have been fundamentally shaped by an experience I had in year 12. I attended a leadership program which talked about leadership as service, understanding your values, creating constructive relationships and enacting your vision. This organisation has now transformed into Burn Bright and when I have the opportunity, I jump at the chance to volunteer and pay-it-forward to Gen-Z – the next generation of leaders.
My interest in legal innovation sprung from some work I was doing with Law curriculum designers at Monash University. I attended a conference on future skills and wondered why these conversations weren’t being had in Law School. From this, I started contacting people in industry and asked lots of questions. This led to me being put in contact with The Legal Forecast. I had found my tribe– young people who brought creativity, change, Law and community altogether. I became the Inaugural President for TLF Victoria, building a network of legal professionals, human-centred design practitioners, technologists, project managers, Judges and more who see change as an opportunity. My approach to TLF Victoria was grounded in my belief that people and process need to be invested in and cultivated for any change to occur. I learnt a huge amount during this time. I was able to flex my creative muscles and challenged the hackathon model by creating an event called ‘Race To The Future’.
I joined Janders Dean in 2017 as an Analyst and this year I am exploring applied innovation through my involvement in LawWithOutWalls-X and Co Squared. Creating change and sustainable impact are themes that have re-emerged throughout the projects I have been involved in and I’m grateful to have found communities and mentors in this space.
Looking forward, I am interested in Technology, Privacy and IP areas of Law, as well as exploring the intersection of creativity and Law.
TLC: What is your funniest moment in your law degree?
ST: I have been singing jazz since 2010 and was involved in Monash Big Band from 2013-2018. It is my creative outlet. At the end of 2017, I was invited to perform in a jazz quartet for the Monash Law’s Staff Christmas party. Seeing my lecturers’ faces as they realised that I was performing was really special.
TLC: What is your one piece of advice to law students of today?
ST: Run your own race, find good mentors, be curious, find your tribe and champion each other, make time for self-reflection and dreaming.