Faculty of Law

Essential Info for Studying Law

On behalf of the Law Faculty, a warm welcome to your Law studies for 2017, especially for new students who are joining the Faculty.

These documents have been developed in order to assist you in your Law studies. It is important that you read them carefully and take account of the information they contain. A Law degree is a very well-respected qualification; part of the reason for that is that it is a relatively demanding field of study, so Faculty of Law staff want to ensure that you have a good understanding of our expectations and hopefully can avoid some of the common pitfalls that students face. We have a strong interest in being able to retain our students and promoting their success so we hope to work collaboratively with you to achieve good outcomes. Part of your responsibility in this endeavour is to engage with these materials and take seriously the advice they contain.

The document Communication Expectations in Law Courses seeks to convey the importance of good communications skills for legal education and ultimately for professional life. In particular, it highlights the importance of reading instructions carefully, complying with them and developing your writing skills. (This document is drawn from the Constitutional Law unit which involves letter writing within ‘firms’ – the key messages are however, of more general importance and are relevant also for day-to-day communications such as emails.)

The Academic Misconduct document provides important information about what academic misconduct is and how it can be avoided. This is especially important for Law students who wish to gain admission to practice Law because having a finding of academic misconduct on your record is something that you have to disclose when preparing your formal papers for admission as it is seen as reflecting on the issue of whether you are a ‘fit and proper person’ to be admitted to legal practice.

The Recording and Attendance document has been developed in response to staff concerns about poor lecture attendance and the implications for student learning. This document seeks to summarize available evidence that shows that students optimise their learning by attending lectures in person. Subsequent listening to recordings can enhance learning but on its own, particularly if not undertaken in close time proximity to the lecture delivery, has been shown to result in poorer learning outcomes. The Law staff feel strongly that it is important to convey this message so that you can optimise your learning.

Finally, the Workload Expectations for Law Units contains important advice, based on longstanding experience of what is required for successful Law studies. Law has fewer contact hours than for some other degrees (e.g. Medicine) and this can create a deceptive sense of having lots of time. Many students make the mistake of taking on too much employment which interferes with their study. This document seeks to give an objective account of the hours required per week for successful Law studies and the expectations that we have of you (reading cases, preparing for classes etc.)

In addition to these core documents, we encourage you to also read the documents on Law Faculty Procedures which are all relevant to your studies. In particular, preparing for written assessment, including in-class tests and written exams. It is important to ensure that you are familiar with these procedures before undertaking your assessment tasks in Law. There are Law Faculty Procedures for: