Carolyn Odgers

Carolyn discovered she was pregnant the same month she was accepted into Law school. Three children and a decade later she works as a solicitor helping people pursue their rights but she still has vivid memories of pushing her three in a stroller up the hill to uni childcare thinking “I must be crazy”.

“I work three days a week in a community legal centre. I find it a really interesting, challenging and fulfilling job to do. I think it’s a very good thing that I like going to work. I was first introduced to community based law at Uni. It wasn’t the area I intended to work but I really enjoyed the client contact and the feeling that I was helping people solve issues that concerned basic human rights”.

Tell us about the “study years” “It was really hard. I look back on it now and think I must’ve been mad. Luckily I had a huge amount of support from my partner and both of our families.  I have vivid memories though of pushing the three of them in a stroller up the hill to the Uni childcare thinking I must be crazy but at the time there were quite a few women doing the same thing as me”.

How much longer did it take?  “If I had done it full time it would have taken three years, so six years part time is the usual time to complete it but when I had my first child, Annie, I had 18 months off. Then I took nine months off after my second child, Patrick, but by the time Tom came along it was only a couple of months before I went back. I thought seriously about giving up after I had the second one but I couldn’t bear the thought that the last couple of years would be for nothing so I kept going”.

Any words for mothers thinking of study? “It isn’t easy to do, but it is a great thing to have another part of your life ticking away. I think if I did it again I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not being able to do it all perfectly.  The other valuable thing that someone said to me when I was complaining that I would be so old when I finished was that I was going to be 42 anyway so I may as well be 42 with a law degree, and they were right”.

Author: Sharon Quill

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