A global perspective and
international legal expertise is a key to building a successful legal
career, says the Dean of one of Australia’s leading Law Schools.
Professor David Dixon,
the Dean of Law at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), says a
gobalised economy and increasingly blurred national legal boundaries
mean law graduates need an international understanding – no matter where
they plan to practice law.
At UNSW, courses are
tailored to meet the needs of law graduates and postgraduates in a
rapidly evolving international legal environment.
graduates who have the broad cultural competence that you get from
having international perspectives,” he says.
“Law is increasingly an
international discipline, so we emphasise the global implications, not
just in one or two courses, but throughout our degrees.”
Law students at UNSW
are exposed to an international dimension in most of the 120 courses on
offer: they study the globalised areas of international trade,
environmental and human rights law, but they are also taught the
international implications in areas such as criminal justice, dispute
resolution and media law.
Unlike the traditional
law school model, classes are taught in small groups in an interactive
seminar style, which fosters the exchange of ideas across cultures and
UNSW Law – a top tier
Australian law school, with the best rating of any in the 2011 Good
Universities Guide – has long attracted international students, and
currently has students from 43 countries in undergraduate, graduate and
postgraduate degree programs.
Students are able to
tailor courses to their own requirements – they can study in weekly
classes, intensive seminars, and summer school programs – meaning that
practising lawyers and other professionals are among the student
environment enables students to make international connections and
broaden their experience, ultimately making them more employable in
Australia and overseas. “For many of our postgraduate students, the
opportunity to establish new professional networks and friendships is a
real highlight of their time at UNSW,” says Professor Dixon.
attractive option is the new Juris Doctor (JD) degree – a three-year
professional law degree for graduates of other disciplines and can be
used as a qualification for entering the legal profession.
Now in its second year,
the JD degree has proved even more successful than anticipated,
attracting high calibre students from around the world. One third
already have Masters degrees and several have PhDs.
“It means the quality
of the classes is very high – these students are very good at
communicating and bringing their own experiences to the degree,” says
This year UNSW Law is
offering more than 30 postgraduate programs, harnessing a wide selection
of courses from the Law School, the Australian School of Business, and
the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
A number of new Masters
programs include a Master of Criminal Justice and Criminology and a
Master in Business Law – both open to people whose first degree is not
in law – and there will soon be a new Master of Media Law and Journalism
and also a Master of International Law and Security. New streams in the
LLM include Dispute Resolution and Environmental Law.
The UNSW culture is
not just about producing graduates with high calibre skills, however: it
is also about providing an environment in which students can get the
most out of their time in Australia. With more than 11,000 international
students currently studying at UNSW, the University’s commitment to the
student experience is paramount.
UNSW Law employs a
dedicated member of staff to oversee the international students and make
sure their stay in Sydney is a happy one.
“The culture of the
Law School is that we are really committed to looking after our
students,” says Professor Dixon.