Newcastle City

Start dates
  • Trimester 1 - 5 Feb 2018
  • Winter - 2 Jul 2018
Mode of delivery

Face to Face


Please click here to view the indicative program fees for Year 1, in which full-time students undertake 80 units. In years 2 and 3 full-time students undertake 100 units and so the cost for those years is higher.


3 years full-time.


Newcastle City

Start dates
  • Trimester 1 - 5 Feb 2018
  • Winter - 2 Jul 2018

Please click here to view the indicative program fees for Year 1, in which full-time students undertake 80 units. In years 2 and 3 full-time students undertake 100 units and so the cost for those years is higher.


3 years full-time.

Mode of delivery

Face to Face

English language proficiency
  • IELTS overall minimum - 7.0
  • IELTS section minimum - 6.5

Find out more about IELTS.

UON program code: 12334
CRICOS code: 079631E

Study a Juris Doctor and Legal Practice

Newcastle Law School’s Juris Doctor (JD) and the embedded Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) will not only open doors to employment as a lawyer, it will provide you with professional skills and attributes that are in high demand in other industries and professions.

At most other law schools, once you finish your JD you must then undertake practical legal training and supervised legal workplace experience before you can apply to be a lawyer. Our JD/GDLP combines all three so that you can be ready to practise law after three years of full time study, without further supervision or training.

Why study with us?

  • Study at Australia’s premier clinical law school – You will not just learn how the law works in theory; you will get extensive supervised experience helping real people with real legal issues.
  • University of Newcastle Legal Centre – You will complete the first 105 hours of your required supervised legal workplace experience in our own legal centre, under the supervision of the law school’s solicitors.
  • Supervised workplace experience guarantee – For your remaining hours of required supervised workplace experience, our dedicated placement officer will actively source an external placement for you – none of our students miss out.
  • Study at NeW Space – Our contemporary learning space is located in Newcastle’s CBD and close to Newcastle’s Court precinct, making it easy to network with local practitioners and attend court.
  • Highly competitive tuition fees – Students at many other Australian law schools commonly pay tens of thousands of dollars more to complete a JD and a GDLP than you will pay at UON.

What you will study

The Juris Doctor (JD) / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice comprises 280 units (i.e 28 x 10 unit courses), which includes 210 units of core courses including the Legal Practice courses, plus 70 units of directed courses chosen from a list of 40 courses (subject to availability).

Students can choose directed courses that they are interested in from a range of areas including (subject to availability):

  • Advanced Criminal Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Competition Law and Policy
  • Corporate Power and Corporate Accountability: Pathways to Socially Responsible Business
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Equal Opportunity Law
  • Family Law
  • Indigenous Peoples, Issues and the Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Air and Space Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Internet Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Law and Religion
  • Law for Startups
  • Mediation Skills and Theory
  • Mining Law
  • Taxation Law

Program plans

Download a program plan for further details on your degree's structure and what courses you will study.

These program plans are applicable to new students. Current students should refer to the program handbook to access the plan relevant to the year they commenced.

View the full course list

Practical experience

Professional placement

Newcastle Law School is the only law school in Australia that both runs its own legal centre and provides students with the practical legal training and much of the supervised clinical legal experience required to practise law – either in the legal centre itself or as part of our ‘Law on the Beach’ program during the summer term.

The Law School also arranges external practical legal training placements for all students who seek assistance in organising their placement during the final year of the program.  Students are offered a variety of legal environments from small private firms to large government organisations. Some examples of placement locations include the Australian Taxation Office, Legal Aid, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, SWS Lawyers, Sessions Legal and Sparke Helmore Lawyers.

Gain experience through national competitions

University of Newcastle law students have a competitive reputation and frequently excel in national law skills competitions. Recent highlights include:


  • second in the Corporate Law Teachers Association’s National Essay Competition
  • best written memorandum for the respondent and highly commended written submission for the claimant – Kirby Moot
  • quarter finalists in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) mooting competition
  • best oralist in the Preliminary Rounds of the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) Championship Moot
  • quarter finalist in the ALSA Championship Moot
  • grand finalists University of Wollongong (UOW)/Australian National University (ANU) Criminal Law Mooting Intervarsity Competition
  • best Oralist in the Grand Final round of the UOW/ANU Criminal Law Mooting Intervarsity Competition


  • winner of the best online initiative at a national level - ALSA
  • second in the ALSA annual national paper presentation competition
  • quarter finalist in the ALSA national client interviewing competition

Professional recognition

Professional recognition

Our JD/GDLP is accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) of New South Wales. It provides you with all of the academic study, practical legal training and supervised workplace experience necessary to apply to practice as a lawyer, subject to the ‘fit and proper person’ test.

For more details on that test, see the Legal Profession Admission Board’s ‘Guide for Applicants’, or for specific inquiries please contact the LPAB.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

Graduating with the Juris Doctor (JD) / Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice gives you the skills and knowledge to practice as a lawyer, and is also the springboard to a range of exciting professional careers.

As a graduate you will have the flexibility to tailor a career path that matches your professional, financial and lifestyle aspirations.

You will also receive an excellent general education, giving you an understanding of how society functions, and equipping you with analytical and logical reasoning skills. From the boardroom or political campaign trail, to the journalist’s desk or United Nations headquarters, a law degree from the University of Newcastle can lead you almost anywhere.

Practice as a solicitor

Solicitors are responsible for providing clients with legal advice and expertise. This includes helping clients with legal problems, advising them of their legal rights and obligations, and drafting documents such as contracts, affidavits and other court forms.

Solicitors also appear in Court and as advocates to represent their clients and run hearings. Most matters are settled out of court, so solicitors also assist their clients to negotiate solutions to their legal issues, for example by assisting them to participate in alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation. Many solicitors also work as mediators themselves.

Depending on your employment situation, you may practise across a variety of different areas or choose to specialise in one or two areas. Traditional practice areas include:

  • civil litigation
  • commercial law
  • criminal law
  • family law
  • personal injury
  • property law
  • tax law
  • wills and estates

Our society is governed by laws and regulations. Therefore, it is not surprising that political, social and technological developments often give rise to new legal practice areas. As a lawyer, you can also practise in developing areas such as:

  • computer and internet law
  • climate change law
  • energy and resource law
  • human rights law
  • international law
  • sports law

Become a barrister

Instead of becoming a solicitor, you can practice law as a barrister. Barristers provide clients with expert legal advice and often specialise in only one or two areas of the law.

Your primary role as a barrister is to be an advocate for your client, whether that involves taking responsibility for arguing a case before the court or negotiating directly with legal representatives of the other party. The best barristers have a reputation as being eloquent public speakers, and usually have an excellent understanding of procedure, tactics and the rules of evidence. They also play an important role in helping to resolve matters out of court and hence require high level negotiation skills.

Many barristers first practise as solicitors to gain the necessary experience and professional connections before joining the Bar. On completing your JD/GDLP, before you can become a Barrister in NSW you will also need to complete the New South Wales Bar Association’s Bar Practice Course and Bar Examination.

Private practice

Working in private practice ranges from being an employee, owner or partner in various forms of business from sole practitioners to large, top-tier global firms with offices in many countries, dozens of partners and hundreds of employees.

Government law

Government lawyers perform a variety of duties depending on the role of the department in which they are employed. For example, lawyers employed by the Department of Defence may have to advise on international and military law. Government lawyers are also involved in research, policy development, law reform and drafting legislation.

Corporate 'in-house' law

Large corporations employ lawyers to provide legal services tailored exclusively to their business needs. These services may include representation in litigation matters, company law advice, advice on complying with occupational health and safety laws, and drafting contracts and other company documents.

Legal aid/ community legal centre practice

These organisations provide legal services to members of the community who are disadvantaged or who cannot afford to pay for legal advice.

Non-legal careers

As a Juris Doctor (JD) graduate, you will be highly competitive in the business and corporate sector because of your task management skills, knowledge of corporate law and negotiation skills. Your analytical problem solving skills and critical thinking abilities will also be highly valued. Many industries are highly regulated and your ability to interpret the laws and regulations governing the industry you choose to work in, and to assist your employer to comply with those laws and regulations, will serve you well.

A law degree also demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and the rule of law - qualities which are valued by national and international non-governmental organisations, and by government departments and political bodies.

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