Your interest in the law needn't be limited to practice stateside. Studying the law abroad may qualify you to practice in a limited number of U.S. jurisdictions, or you may be planning to practice overseas. Either way, you may find that study in Australia or New Zealand is an attractive option since these countries share a language and maintain strong diplomatic and trade relations with the United States. The following article provides an overview of law schools down under.
Law Schools in Australia
There are 43 universities in Australia, and most of them have law schools. There are a total of 37 law schools to choose from. With so many options you'll want to consider where the schools are located, their reputation, and cost before making a decision about where to study.
- The University of Melbourne consistently appears in lists of the top law schools in the world. Its location in Carlton, a short distance from Melbourne's downtown, provides access to the country's capital, the second-most populous city in the country. It is the country's oldest law school, with many prestigious alumni, and is the only Australian law school acknowledged by the Law School Admission Council. Of the three schools profiled here, the University of Melbourne is the cheapest option for an international student, costing around AU$39,000 a year, though to be fair the difference in cost between all three schools is only about AU$1,000.
- The University of Sydney closely follows the University of Melbourne in rankings and, like its competitor, has produced many high ranking politicians and practitioners. It is located in downtown Sydney, the most populous city in the country and a center of commercial and cultural activity.
- The University of New South Wales hosts another internationally recognized law program. Situated in Sydney, the school has had the highest admissions standards of any Australian law school in recent years. As with the University of Sydney, study within the city is likely to provide career and cultural opportunities that enhance your legal education.
Your consideration of Australian law schools shouldn't be limited to these three institutions. Although they have great international reputations, there are other schools that may be more appropriate if you are considering practice in another region in the country, looking for a more affordable legal education, or seeking experience in a particular area of practice.
Law Schools in New Zealand
Never confuse New Zealand with Australia. Apart from angering the locals, you'll also miss out on appreciating the island nation's distinct character and opportunities that are dramatically different than those found "across the ditch" in Australia. Kiwi law schools tend to have a lower profile than schools in neighboring OZ, but they also offer a unique educational environment.
- The University of Auckland has a law program that is comparable to the top Australian schools and its location in Auckland, the most populous city in the country, means access to the commercial and cultural heart of the country. The school is well known and respected throughout New Zealand and has a strong international character.
- The University of Waikato is a smaller school, but it also provides a unique focus on Maori law. If you want a unique educational experience that is steeped in New Zealand tradition and culture, this may be the school for you. Its location in Hamilton also offers a view of the country less frequently seen by outsiders.
Choosing a law school is just one of many important decisions you'll make in your journey through legal study and beyond. You'll want to access as many resources as you can so that your decisions help you build toward happiness and success. Return to our Law Students section frequently for articles and advice about preparing for exams, planning a career, and other important considerations.