With almost 40 different law schools in Australia, choosing which law schools to apply for can be a daunting task! We’ll go through some of the factors that you should take into account when deciding which ones to pick, as well as provide a brief introduction to some of the law schools.
Law School Reputation
For many, the reputation and prestige of the university is an important consideration. Employers do take into account the university you studied at to some degree, but remember that the individual’s work ethic, skills and personality are just as important. Below are a few of the rankings of Australian law schools:
|QS World Rankings – Law (2018)||Times Higher Education World
University Rankings – Law (2018)
|8 The University of Melbourne||10 The University of Melbourne|
|= 12 The Australian National University||23 The University of New South Wales|
|14 The University of Sydney||32 The University of Sydney|
|16 The University of New South Wales||40 The University of Queensland|
|26 Monash University||53 Australian National University|
|36 The University of Queensland||= 63 Queensland University of Technology|
|= 40 UTS Sydney||71 Griffith University|
Links to full rankings:
Just remember that these rankings are not a perfect indicator of a law school’s reputation or the quality of its law degree. These rankings may take into account factors like research, citations, teaching, employer reputation etc. The rankings are also constantly changing each year, with law schools moving up and down the ranks constantly.
Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor?
You can study law in Australia by completing either the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or the Juris Doctor (JD) which is a graduate degree. If you would like to study law as soon you complete high school, the LLB would be suitable. The JD is suitable for those who would like to complete another degree first before studying law.
The LLB is still the most common law degree in Australia, New Zealand and UK. In the USA, the JD is the law degree of choice.
Note: The JD is often not Commonwealth-supported, so you may have to pay full fees for your degree. Check if you are eligible for a HECS-HELP debt for your degree.
You will need to research the entry requirements for each university’s law degree and consider the likelihood of meeting those requirements.
For undergraduate law degrees: most law schools in Australia look only at the ATAR (or equivalent international qualifications). However, some schools require an additional entry exam – the LSAT for the University of Melbourne and the LAT for UNSW.
Entry to postgraduate law degrees have different requirements depending on university, but may include selection based on: ATAR, and undergraduate marks/WAM.
You’ll be travelling to and from university several days a week so the convenience of the university in terms of a location is another important factor to consider. Unless you will be living on campus, how far is the university from where you’ll be living?
Community and Societies
Does the university have a strong sense of community with many different societies that you may be interested in joining? Each university will have a Law Society that will host various events for law students throughout the year and can be a great way to make friends with others studying law.