Responsive teaching and real-world experiences
First-rate classroom tuition combined with practical, hands-on experience prepares and qualifies you to enter legal practice immediately after completing your Bachelor of Laws (Combined).
The University of Newcastle's law school is the first in Australia to offer an integrated learning experience. Your degree integrates experiential learning and skills training with the conventional Bachelor of Laws curriculum.
The Professional Program - Diploma of Legal Practice
A Bachelor of Laws degree requires the completion of a practical legal training course before you can practice as a lawyer. Through enrolling in the Professional Program you will complete the Diploma of Legal Practice as part of the Bachelor of Laws (Combined), which means you can practice law as soon as you graduate.
The Professional Program has a strong focus on supervised professional legal experience, giving you a range of legal experiences before you enter the profession. You will gain essential legal skills, a critical understanding of the law and an ethical approach to the practice of law.
UoN Legal Centre and 'Law on the Beach'
As a laws (combined) student, you will complete part of your professional placement time helping to run the University's own Legal Centre. You will gain invaluable experience by participating in the day and evening advice sessions held at the centre.
In first year you will conduct observations of clients at the Legal Centre. In your final years, you will take charge of clients’ files, providing advice where necessary or appropriate.
You will also have the opportunity to contribute to the unique 'Law on the Beach' program. Each summer on Newcastle Beach, you will provide a 'walk up' legal advice service that targets young people. The program gives you the opportunity to interview clients, brief lawyers, sit in on legal advice and do follow-up case work.
If you elect to do the Professional Program (Diploma of Legal Practice) in your final two years of study you will complete at least 180 hours of legal professional placement, in addition to attending seminars and undertaking skills training.
You will enrol in eight semester-long courses and two semester-long 'clinical' courses amounting to a 100 unit load, 20 units more than the standard full-time load. Courses are taught from University House in the city and on the Newcastle campus at Callaghan.
The University of Newcastle's Law School encourages you to pursue professional placements at external law firms and other organisations that you may be interested in joining at the completion of your studies. To help you arrange placements, you can take advantage of the many external relationships held by the University.
Learn from leading academics
You will be taught by a team of leading academics and legal professionals. Your teachers combine their knowledge, research findings and professional experience to deliver contemporary lessons that are relevant to legal practice.
Our academics receive national commendations for their dedication to teaching and learning.
In 2008, Katherine Lindsay, Senior Lecturer and Director of Curriculum in the Law School, was awarded the ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for her efforts with first year students. In 2009 she was also commended with the Australian College of Educators Teachers' Recognition Award.
Dr John Anderson, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, is also a recipient of a number of teaching awards. Most recently, he received the NSW Quality Teaching Award from the Australian College of Educators and NSW Minister for Education, and a Carrick Institute Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.
Gain experience through national competitions
University of Newcastle law students have a competitive reputation and frequently excel in national law competitions. Recent highlights include:
- 2012 - Two students represented Australia in the International Client Counselling Competition in Dublin.
- 2011 - Grand finalists in the ALSA interviewing competition.
- 2008 - Won the prestigious Kirby Cup at the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) conference. The Kirby Cup, named in honour of cup sponsor Justice Michael Kirby, tests your ability to argue a case for law reform based on real issues of social concern.