Law Study in Australia
You can study law in Australia at any of its 28 law schools, many with over 100 years of history whilst others are brand new, being perhaps only a few years old. All of them welcome students from outside Australia.
The emphasis placed on legal education you would receive in these law schools is varied:
Some, for example, place particular emphasis on developing practical skills as well as knowledge and understanding of the law. Others ensure that their students develop a critical perspective on the law, setting it in economic, political, historical or philosophical contexts. Others, still, have a more 'black letter law' approach.
Areas of Legal Knowledge
In order to seek admission to practice as a lawyer in Australia, graduates from Australian law schools have to show the admitting authorities in the various States and Territories that they have studied at least 11 areas of legal knowledge:
- criminal law
- company law
- administrative law
- federal and state constitutional law
- civil procedure
Each law school offers these 11 areas of legal study.
When choosing a law school, you might wish to explore the subjects that they offer; for example, if your interests are in the commercial area, you might want to choose a law school with a good range of subjects in commercial law. A description of the main undergraduate degrees in all of the law schools can be found in the Lawasia Directory of Law Courses in the Asia and Pacific Regions. To obtain a copy, contact AA- Education.
A special feature of legal education in Australia is that most school leavers go on to what we call a 'double degree': that is, in a five year period a student undertakes two degrees in parallel - one of them law and the other might be Arts, Commerce or Science.
All of Australia's universities provide assistance to foreign students, including help with accommodation, study skills and so on.
Studying Law in Australia
There is a booklet, called Studying Law in Australia, containing a great deal of information on all of Australia's law schools, living in Australia, and the Australian legal system.
Practical Training Course
In Australia, you cannot be admitted and practice as a lawyer unless you have a law degree and have undertaken legal training. This takes the form of a practical training course of up to about six months, during which time you undergo a form of work experience called articles of clerkship.
You will need to find out about this further phase of legal training if your plan is to be admitted as an Australian lawyer. If your interest is in undertaking postgraduate studies at an Australian law school, you can find out more about the wide-ranging programs of postgraduate studies in Studying Law in Australia. You can undertake a certificate, diploma, masters or doctorate, depending on the law school you choose and your area of interest.
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