Regional, Rural and Remote Law

Being a lawyer is challenging, and very, very rewarding

A lawyer is a professional who is skilled in assisting other people to resolve their legal problems in court and in other ways. Lawyers help individuals, groups, corporations and governments to negotiate the complex network of laws which regulate our communities and individual behaviour. Being a lawyer is a big responsibility. Lawyers must be competent, diligent and ethical in their dealings with their clients and the courts. They have to keep up with laws which are changing every day.

Did you know that the number of lawyers in regional and rural areas is declining?

A survey conducted among rural and remote lawyers in 2008 found that:

  • 42% of rural and remote lawyers intend to retire within 5 years
  • younger lawyers (20-29 years) in rural and remote areas indicated that they only intended to practice in these areas for less than two years
  • 71% of lawyers in rural and remote areas state the biggest concern facing their practice is who will take over from them, followed by attracting additional lawyers (58%) and attracting lawyers to replace those who leave (51%)
  • 43% of legal practices do not have enough lawyers to service the legal needs of their rural and remote communities. (Law Council 2010).

How can I become a lawyer of the future?

Becoming a lawyer requires study and practical training. You need to train your mind to think and analyse legally. You also need to gain skills in writing, speaking, arguing, legal transactions and courtroom technique. The best place to gain the education and skills you need is the Newcastle Law School. The Bachelor of Laws (combined) will provide all the knowledge, training and skills you need to become a legally-trained professional.

Fees, scholarships and financial assistance

When you apply for university you apply for a Commonwealth supported place. This means that the Federal Government pays for most of your program and you pay the rest in the form of a student contribution (HECS). Many Australian students are not required to pay up-front course fees, as the student contribution can be deferred with a government HECS-HELP loan. The loan is repaid through the tax system after graduation when students are in employment and their income reaches a specified level.

Scholarships are available for rural and remote students within the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle. In addition to Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy, Relocation scholarships of $4,000 in the 1st year and $1,000 in each subsequent year may be available from centrelink to assist students with the costs of living away from home (from 1 April, 2010).

Regional and Rural Preference Scheme

Students attending a school or TAFE in the following regions:

  • Hunter
  • Central Coast
  • Central West
  • Northern Rivers
  • Mid-North Coast
  • New England
  • Western Plains
  • Broken Hill

are awarded four bonus ATAR points through the University of Newcastle Regional and Rural Preference Scheme.