Faculty of Business and LawFaculty of Business and Law

Dean's Welcome

Professor Tania Sourdin

I would like to warmly welcome you to Newcastle Law School. The Law School has some of the highest rates of graduate law employment in Australia, a teaching staff consistently rated as ‘excellent’ and a legal research program that has been independently rated by the Australian Research Council as ‘world class.’ It is Australia’s leading clinical Law School and has annually extended global outreach activities that enable students to consider opportunities to spend part of their time studying and working abroad in partnership with a range of Universities and other organisations in the Asian Pacific area, the US, the UK and elsewhere.

Part of our success is the result of our integrated clinical legal program. Unlike other law schools, all students in the Newcastle law program progress through a carefully structured clinical program that provides graduates with skills and deeper learning in the final years of their program. Newcastle has the leading clinical law school program in Australia which provides an innovative legal education incorporating experiential learning that is interdisciplinary and internationally focused. Through first class, research-led legal education, we integrate the study and practice of law in our distinctive Practice Program where students work with real clients guided by dedicated and experienced practitioners at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC).

The work of our UNLC practitioners extends into the community in various ways, including regular legal advice clinics, summer advice clinics at Newcastle Beach through our innovative 'Law on the Beach' program, and casework of local, regional, national and international significance. Students are able to 'experience the law' in action, which enhances their 'work-ready' skills and gives our graduates a distinct advantage in a competitive job market and engage in a real work placement program that means that they qualify as lawyers more quickly than in other Law Schools. In addition to this important practical experience, our graduates are ethically responsible global citizens, who have a strong sense of social justice, uphold the rule of law and are committed to the highest professional standards. With over twenty years of highly successful clinical legal education, the Newcastle Law School opens up a world of opportunity for graduates in a broad range of private and public sector careers. Currently, Newcastle Law School is in the top 3 Australian Law School for graduate employment outcomes.

The move to a new campus - New Space in 2017 (a new $95 million law and business campus - near the Harbour in vibrant downtown Newcastle) has enhanced our opportunities for collaboration with those in the justice sector. We are co located with the new Courts complex and the teaching and learning suites and campus environment are state of the art.  Our new campus is located close to the beach, cafes and the engaging environment of Newcastle city. The move has enhanced our reputation as Australia's leading clinical law school and enables us to continue to extend the opportunities presented for our future impact in legal research and clinical legal education.

Our academic staff are world-class professionals, who are researching across various fields of legal endeavour, including environmental law, family and child law, health law, criminal law and evidence, international law, commercial and corporate law, environmental law, torts, dispute resolution, workplace health and safety law and legal education. Our research aims to develop legal and regulatory solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our community, region and world. Our commitment to high quality teaching and learning is an important part of our overall educational philosophy in producing consummate legal professionals who have sound disciplinary knowledge, excellent analytical and research skills, and a clear understanding of ethical and professional standards.

We also provide flexible learning approaches as part of our program. Our summer and winter schools, our flipped classrooms and our focus on seminar engagement support both cohesive and interactive learning. Newcastle Law School is focussed on meeting the challenges of the lawyers of the future by considering changing roles for lawyers, employment opportunities and through our commitment to high impact relevant research, a focus on innovation (including technological change) internationalisation, high quality postgraduate and undergraduate education as well as strong engagement with our community.

This is an exciting journey. We trust that in joining us on this journey you will be provided with a solid and enviable educational foundation which will be the springboard to a successful career and engagement in lifelong learning.

Professor Tania Sourdin
Dean and Head, Newcastle Law School.