Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2016 Contents the chance to choose some subjects, about half of them will be
the core units that are required for admission to legal practice.
Where to study
Now that you know what's involved, why wouldn't you do law?
For one, it's tough to get in, especially at the well-known law
schools. Another reason is because you are dazzled rather than
inspired by the thought of doing a law degree. It is all too easy to
be seduced by the glitz and glamour of the profession, or to
assume that because you are likely to receive a high ATAR or OP,
you have to go for a course with tough entry requirements. Be
honest with yourself: have you really looked closely at the course
and career options? Is law a considered choice, one that really
feels right for you?
If you are convinced that law is for you, this is our advice:
1. Shop with care because courses vary in style and quality.
Legal education today is better than it was, but a lot of it remains
detailed and difficult to fully understand. Some schools might be
better than others at bringing it to life with problem-based
methods. Across the board, courses seem to be improving, but
graduates rate their skills and overall course experience better
than the teaching quality (see 'The outcome'). In addition, your
school's reputation and your involvement in societies and
extracurricular work will be important for your career to flourish.
Make sure the connections and the infrastructure at your school
are right if this is your chosen pathway.
2. Consider all of your course options. You could do law as a
postgraduate course after you have gained some experience
studying or working in a different field. It is also possible to be
admitted to practice in New South Wales by completing the Legal
Profession Admission Board's examinations, which leads to the
award of the board's Diploma in Law. An accredited course of
study to help students prepare for these exams is available
through the University of Sydney's Law Extension Committee
(LEC). The diploma covers much the same curriculum as a
degree, but the program offered through the LEC is more flexible
The student body and graduate ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
Total students % International % Domestic
3. Keep your options open. Law has been a glamour field for a
number of years. Although growth has been more measured
lately, demand continues to outstrip supply and cut-offs continue
to soar. It's easy to miss out, so be prepared to put in applications
for courses interstate or in regional centres or to pursue law later
on through postgraduate study.
4. Don't assume that you will be able to get a job as a lawyer-
the field is getting crowded. But remember that many law courses
are now part of a double degree (law combined with arts,
business or languages, for example), so you can enhance your
competitiveness with a well-chosen combination.
5. Don't forget that to practise as a lawyer you have to undertake
practical training upon completing your degree, either through a
'traineeship' at a law firm or through an approved course, which
usually takes about six months.
For details about entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
'How tough is it to get in?' tables in Section 4.
State and territory law associations have plenty to offer aspiring
lawyers. In addition to signing up for associate membership while
studying, students can take advantage of opportunities such as
graduate employment programs, summer clerkships and mooting
competitions. Law graduates can access various mentoring
schemes, such as the NSW Young Lawyers Mentoring Program,
which provide newly admitted lawyers with the guidance and
support they need when starting out in their careers. Mentoring
programs are also built into some degrees, giving students insight
into the profession and providing valuable networking
A new degree structure, which has already been established at
selected institutions, has the potential to become more common
in legal education. The structure follows a US-style model where
undergraduates enter a general pre-professional degree
(perhaps in business, commerce or arts) and progress to a
graduate qualification in law (often called a juris doctor).
Estimated average Teaching quality Generic skills
tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and are approximate. Confirm with the institution concerned. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 424.
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