Welcome to the Sydney Law School for 2011.
2011 will be an exciting year in the evolution of legal education at the University of Sydney, when we introduce the new Juris Doctor (JD) into the program. The JD is a professional entry law degree that qualifies graduates to practice as barristers and solicitors in New South Wales. Most of our students enter the five-year Combined LLB undergraduate program as school leavers. The JD offers graduates yet another opportunity to build upon their undergraduate degrees in disciplines such as arts, commerce, science, engineering and architecture, and to study law at the masters level over a three year period.
It is our aim to ensure that legal education at the Sydney Law School prepares students for the international and transnational legal environment in which they will work in the future. For example, the challenges posed by global warming require international solutions; Australian trade measures must comply with the rules of the World Trade Organisation; intellectual property rights need protection within Australia and globally; the jurisdictional reach of criminal laws extend to the acts of Australian armed forces abroad and also to the international activities of directors of Australian corporations. 21st century legal challenges such as these require lawyers to be able to respond to the increasingly global nature of todays problems. Both the LLB and JD, along with the specialist degrees and diplomas we offer, develop the skills to work in this transnational and international environment.
Our new light-filled law school on the Camperdown Campus allows us to offer world class lecture theatres, moot court facilities and a library, all fitted with the most advanced technology. Despite our move to a 'state of the art' building, we know that bricks and mortar do not make a law school. The special strengths of the Faculty of Law at Sydney University are its high calibre student community, its excellent academic staff and research and the special contribution made by the legal profession to the teaching program.
There has never been a greater demand for legal advice and innovative approaches to problem solving than today. But you might ask: what skills will a law degree provide for future practice? A law degree develops skills of analysis, research, writing and advocacy and prepares students for work in the increasingly globalised environment for legal services. At Sydney Law School you will learn about the fundamental principles of the law and jurisprudence. The most valuable skills you will acquire are the ability to think originally, creatively and logically about legal problems so as to advise your clients to resolve issues in ways that are both ethical and legally principled.
Legal studies open up many opportunities. While you might choose to practice as a barrister or solicitor, our graduates also become corporate counsel, government policy advisers, teachers, business executives, novelists, journalists and artists. Many graduates work with international organisations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank, or with pro-bono legal services. Indeed, we believe that well over 50 percent of our law graduates do not practice in the traditional legal profession within a few years of graduating.
We hope that you enjoy your whole of university experience on the Camperdown Campus and that your years at the Sydney Law School prove to be intellectually stimulating and good fun.
I have an 'open door' policy. Please do come by my office to discuss any aspect of your legal studies. We welcome your ideas and contributions.
Professor Gillian Triggs
Dean of the Faculty of Law
Challis Professor of International Law