Welcome From The Dean

The Dean, Professor Joellen Riley

Welcome to the University of Sydney Law School and to this website on the Sydney Law School undergraduate, Juris Doctor (JD) and postgraduate studies in law programs. Let me tell you a little about the aims my colleagues and I share. We strive above all to provide a world-class legal education that prepares you for the global environment in which you will provide legal advice.

It is no longer enough to understand the legal system in your own country because the challenges posed by global warming require international solutions: national trade measures must comply with the rules of the World Trade Organization and international trade agreements; intellectual property rights need protection both nationally and globally; the jurisdictional reach of criminal law extends to acts of the armed forces overseas and to the international activities of directors of Australian corporations.

Lawyers need international and comparative legal training to respond to these problems. Our task at Sydney Law School is to provide you with the best possible legal skills with which to respond to these issues.

Established in 1855, Sydney Law School has made a significant contribution to Australia’s judiciary, politics and public life. Graduates have become leaders in their fields, including prime ministers of Australia, a president of the World Bank, and Chief Justices of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Sydney Law School attracts excellent students from Australia and overseas and has an internationally respected faculty of scholars. The school has strong links to the practising profession, with barristers, judges and solicitors giving lectures in core legal subjects.

Our building on the University of Sydney’s main campus is 10 minutes from the centre of the city. As one of the world’s premier law schools, we offer many exciting learning opportunities. Our light- filled building offers superior teaching facilities and a dedicated moot court, along with mediation and library facilities that are among the best in the world.

Despite our state-of-the-art building, we know that bricks and mortar do not make a law school. The special strengths of Sydney Law School are its high-calibre student community, its internationally recognised academic staff , its research, and the special contribution the legal profession makes to the teaching program.

There has never been a greater demand for legal advice and innovative approaches to problem solving than today. “But,” you may ask, “what skills will a law degree provide for future practice?” A law degree develops skills in analysis, research, writing and advocacy and prepares students to move with confidence across national boundaries.

At Sydney Law School you will learn about the doctrine or jurisprudence of the law and its fundamental structures. However, the most valuable skill you will acquire is the ability to think originally, creatively and logically so you will be able to advise your clients on resolving legal issues in ways that are ethical and principled.

Legal studies open up many opportunities. While you may choose to practise as a barrister or solicitor, our graduates also become corporate counsel, policy advisers to government, teachers, business executives, journalists, novelists and artists.

Many graduates work with international organisations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank, or with pro bono legal services. We believe that more than 50 percent of our law graduates do not practise in the traditional legal profession.

I hope you find this website helpful in deciding upon your education at Sydney Law School – an education that is both intellectually stimulating and rewarding.

Professor Joellen Riley

Dean, Sydney Law School