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Conquering a Slippery Slope

The road to graduation for Bond Law graduate Christopher Jasek wasn’t always an easy one.

After fracturing his spine in a skiing accident while on Exchange in France, Christopher faced the challenge of balancing his demanding study schedule with months of surgery and rehabilitation.

But the 21-year-old took it all in his stride, and with the support of the Faculty, this month graduated with his Bachelor of Laws.

A Geelong College graduate, Christopher moved from Melbourne to the Gold Coast in 2005 to study Law at Bond.

He says the ‘prestige factor’ played a big part in his decision to pack his bags and move north.

“Bond has a reputation for an amazing law program. I’d heard that everyone who comes out of Bond Law has so many possibilities and opportunities to choose from – and that has turned out to be true,” he said.

In May 2006, Christopher decided to take up the opportunity to study a semester of his law degree abroad in Strasbourg, France.

It was while he was holidaying in the ski town of Tarbes that he took a five metre fall off a ski jump and broke his back – and his well laid plans took an unexpected turn.

“I’d crushed my vertebra by 30% and burst one of my lumbars on the outside. If it was to burst on the inside, I would have been a paraplegic – that was the difference. In that regards, I’m really quite lucky.

“I had to have a complex operation on my back to inject fluid into my spine. It’s a world class operation that is only available in two hospitals in the world – one being Strasbourg hospital. If I’d been in Australia, the surgery wouldn’t have been possible.

“When I got back to Australia, there was lots of rehabilitation to do. I’d lost nearly 10kg, needed physio twice a week and had a demanding exercise schedule – it was so tedious.

“But I knuckled down. Although it was difficult, I had a lot of support from the Faculty, particularly [Dean of Law] Duncan Bentley and Tina Hunter.

“I also decided that I needed some work experience to gain extra perspective on my studies, so I approached Bond Alumnus Derek Cronin, of Cronin Litigation. He took me on and has given me a lot of help.

“It was really challenging balancing the work experience, my law studies & the rehabilitation, but I’m so proud to have done it,” Christopher said.

Christopher is now undertaking his Professional Legal Training course at (PLT) at Bond to be admitted as a legal practitioner.

“I really want to travel overseas to work, but need to get my grounding first, so I plan to work on the Gold Coast for a little bit before I head off.

“I never actually saw myself pursuing law, I had always thought I wanted to start my own business; but Bond’s really given me the passion for it. Now I really want to be a lawyer.”

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