Volunteer Spotlight: Nguyen Dang

From corporate life in Ho Chi Minh to community work in Melbourne. Read Nguyen Dang's story here...

Nguyen Dang

Nguyen has been volunteering at Fitzroy Legal Service since June 2018. Originally from Vietnam, Nguyen completed a Bachelor in Business Marketing at RMIT’s campus in Ho Chi Minh City before locating to Melbourne to commence the Juris Doctors program at Monash University. She is now in the final year of her studies and is exploring her interest in International Commercial Law.

When asked to reflect on what sparked her interest in law, Nguyen recalls a conversation she had with her teacher who encouraged her to pursue the profession: “During my final two years in my undergraduate degree; I was working with a lot of businesses in marketing but realised that’s not what I wanted to do. During my studies, I did a subject in negotiation and won a scholarship to go overseas and compete in the ASEAN Eco Debate competition, an event that specialises in discussing environmental issues. That’s when I started to become more interested in law. I got into the semi-finals, and that course introduced me to the art of structuring arguments. At the same time, I was studying negotiations and contracts, and that’s when my teacher encouraged me to pursue law.”

Despite coming from a background specialising in Commercial Law, Nguyen has come to love the diversity and community-focused work she’s been involved in at Fitzroy Legal Service. Her first case at FLS involved a Vietnamese client and Nguyen was able to assist by stepping into a Paralegal role on the case. “The experience at FLS has really been eye-opening. I’ve gained so much more in legal work experience and also friendship. I feel very fortunate to be here; you get to work with a lot of people who are passionate about helping others and working with pro-bono lawyers. I can’t stress enough the importance of community legal centers, we speak a lot with clients who have never spoken to the police or been to court before and I think it’s crucial that people who don’t have a legal background have the ability to access professionals who can help them through the justice system.”