A law degree at the University of Newcastle supports practical learning with the on-campus legal centre, industry work placements and national law competitions.

Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Practical Experience

First-rate classroom tuition combined with practical, hands-on experience prepares and qualifies you to enter legal practice immediately after completing your law degree.

The Newcastle Law School is practical in our approach to teaching and we were the first law school in Australia to offer an integrated learning experience. Your law degree combines experiential learning and skills training with the conventional Bachelor of Law curriculum.

University of Newcastle Legal Centre and 'Law on the Beach'

Law on the BeachWhen you study law at the Newcastle, 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 allowing you to build practical skills from first year onwards.

In the first year of your law degree you will conduct observations of clients at the Legal Centre. In your final years, you will take charge of client files, providing advice where necessary or appropriate.

You will also have the opportunity to contribute to the unique 'Law on the Beach' program held each summer on Newcastle Beach. You will provide a 'walk-up' legal advice service that targets young people allowing you the opportunity to interview clients, brief lawyers, sit in on legal advice and do follow-up case work.

LLB (Practice) Program/Diploma of Legal Practice

A Bachelor of Law (Honours) degree requires the completion of a practical legal training course before you can practice as a lawyer. Through enrolling in the LLB (Practice) Program you will complete the Diploma of Legal Practice as part of your law degree, which means you can practice law as soon as you graduate.

The LLB (Practice) Program has a strong focus on supervised professional legal placements, 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.

You will enroll 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 (Callaghan).

Professional placement

If you elect to do the LLB (Practice) Program as part of your degree you will complete at least 360 hours of legal professional placement, attend seminars and undertake skills training across your final two years of study.

The 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.

When studying Law at the University of Newcastle, there is an opportunity to undertake an international work-integrated placement, in block mode. This is achieved through integrating real world skills and experience with work-integrated, experiential learning supported by appropriate readings and academic guidance.

LUCY Mentoring Program

The Lucy Mentoring Program provides women students within the Faculty of Business and Law the opportunity to participate in a unique leadership program aiming to inspire, motivate and educate women about the opportunities for employment in the corporate and public sectors.

Lucy Mentoring Program participants are allocated a mentor working in the public or private sector. Students experience the work environment and establish professional networks – both of which are beneficial in gaining employment and career progression in any organisation.

Learn from leading academics

Throughout your law degree 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 and all of our teaching is research informed, meaning you will learn theory and practice that is cutting edge.

Gain experience through national competitions

University of Newcastle law students have a competitive reputation and frequently excel in national law competitions, including in:

  • Mooting
  • Client counselling
  • Interviewing
  • Witness examination
  • Negotiation

As my tertiary education comes to an end, it is a perfect time to reflect on my Practical Legal Training (PLT) in its entirety. My three placements ( UNLC, Legal Aid at Gosford in Family Law, and Legal Aid Newcastle) have provided me with a diverse range of legal experiences. Reflecting on who I was as an aspiring lawyer at the beginning of the Professional Program, and comparing it with how I feel as I complete the Diploma of Legal Practice represents a transformation, in both my abilities and my confidence.

My entire PLT experience was extremely complementary to my studies in the Bachelor of Laws, with the knowledge I learnt in law school being put to use in practical contexts, but also the practical experience enhancing my substantive understanding of the law. The Practice Program has prepared me for the professional world and has equipped me with such well-rounded legal experience, placing me in good stead for the challenge that I will face in my career. I would urge all students intending to go into legal practice to choose option B; it has been such an unique and rewarding element of my tertiary education and I am truly grateful for the opportunities that the Professional Program has afforded me.

Shelby Brinkley

What you will study Career opportunities