The Sydney Juris Doctor (JD) - Video Testimonial

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The Sydney JD

Sydney Law School is Australia's First. Since its inception, it has been at the forefront of developments associated with both the teaching and research of law. Our aim is to provide you with a world-class legal education that prepares you for the global and international environment in which you will provide legal advice. The Sydney Juris Doctor (JD) is a comprehensive three-year degree which has an unrivalled international focus. You will receive a comprehensive overview of the practice and profession of the law in Australia and how it relates globally, transnationally and internationally.

The Sydney JD intends to equip you with the knowledge and skills to operate in a global legal environment and create a pathway for international legal practice. Lawyers need international and comparative legal training to respond to increasingly global problems. There has never been a greater demand for legal advice and innovative approaches to problem solving than today. The Sydney JD will develop your skills of analysis, research, writing and advocacy and prepare you to move with confidence across national boundaries.

However, the most valuable skills you will acquire are the ability to think originally, creatively and logically so as to advise your clients to resolve legal issues in ways that are both ethical and principled.

Unrivalled International Focus

Exclusive international features of the Sydney JD include:

  • The opportunity for you to study two core units in International Law – Public International Law and Private International Law
  • You have access to approximately 120 elective units of study across all areas of specialisation taught at the Sydney Law School, including comparative and international law
  • Exchange opportunities available for you in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific at institutions including NYU, Humboldt and the National University of Singapore
  • You can undertake off-shore study in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Nepal

Exchange Opportunities

The Sydney Law School offers you an extensive range of student exchange programs with universities throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. It provides you with an exciting and challenging way of broadening your academic horizons and enriching your experience in different environments and cultures. You can complete a semester of study overseas and receive credit for this study towards your Sydney JD.
The Law School can send you on a faculty-specific exchange, university-wide exchange or study abroad program. It is a rewarding opportunity that will add an international dimension to your law degree; challenge you academically; facilitate your development of new skills; and enhances your personal growth and self-confidence.

When you’re on exchange, you are an enrolled full-time student at the University of Sydney and pay all relevant fees (compulsory subscriptions, commonwealth supported contributions or tuition fees). You may be required to pay some minor administrative charges or health insurance; however you are not required to pay any other fees to the host institution.

You can choose from two different types of exchange programs - University-wide and Faculty-specific exchange programs. Faculty-specific exchange programs are available to you as a student of a particular faculty, in this case the Sydney Law School. You can undertake one of the Law School’s exclusive exchange agreements with sixteen Law Schools in Europe, North America and Asia. University-wide exchange programs offer an additional range of Law Schools to study with and the program is administered by the
University’s International Office.

The Faculty-Specific and University-Wide programs are very similar. You are only permitted to go on exchange in your final year and can only attend for one semester. Please note that exchange opportunities may vary from year to year depending on whether exchange places are available.

Faculty-Specific Exchange Partner Universities

  • Canada Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Canada University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
  • Denmark University of Copenhagen
  • USA Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • USA University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • USA Emory University, Georgia, Atlanta
  • USA University of Texas, Austin, Texas
  • USA New York University, New York City, New York
  • USA Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • USA Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, New York
  • Austria University of Vienna Vienna
  • Belgium Katholieke University, Leuven
  • Germany Humboldt University, Berlin
  • Germany Bucerius Law School, Hamburg
  • Netherlands Radboud University, Nijmegen
  • Netherlands Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
  • Netherlands Utrecht University
  • Japan Kobe University, Kobe
  • Singapore National University of Singapore
  • UK Queen's University Belfast
  • Ireland Trinity College Dublin

University-wide Exchange Partner Universities

  • Canada University of Ottawa
  • Canada University of Toronto
  • Denmark University of Aarhus
  • Germany University of Cologne
  • Finland University of Helsinki
  • Israel Tel Aviv University
  • New Zealand University of Auckland
  • Norway University of Bergen
  • Norway University of Oslo
  • Sweden Lund University
  • Sweden Uppsala University
  • Netherlands Leiden University
  • Netherlands University of Groningen
  • United Kingdom University of Glasgow
  • United Kingdom University of Leeds
  • United Kingdom University of Manchester
  • United Kingdom University of Stirling

Offshore Opportunities

If you choose one of our Combined Law degrees, you will also acquire a degree from one of our reputable partner faculties. The University of Sydney's Arts, Science, Economics and Business, and Engineering faculties are among Australia's finest with reputations the world over. Each offers students in-depth and innovative coverage of its respective disciplines.

Sydney Law School also offers you the opportunity to experience overseas study through one of our Offshore Programs:

Shanghai Winter School
The Shanghai Winter School is an intensive three-week introduction to Chinese Law and provides students with an opportunity to study, on an intensive and introductory basis, the laws and legal system of China whilst experiencing life in that country.

The Winter School is jointly organised by Sydney Law School and the East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) and is held on the campus of ECUPL in Shanghai, China. Lectures are given in English by Chinese professors and you are assessed by academic staff from Sydney Law School. A representative of the Law School will be in residence in Shanghai to oversee the course and assist you.

Sydney Law School in Europe
Since 1998, the Law School has offered coursework units in Germany. In 2006, the program conducted classes at the Australian Centre Europe in Berlin and at Robinson College, Cambridge UK. In 2010, the Program venues include Robinson College and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, plus the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, London.

The Sydney Law School in Europe program delivers high quality, strongly comparative and accessible units of study. The program offers a wide range of subjects taught by specialist academics from Sydney Law School and from our international faculty. It offers comprehensive teaching of Common Law, Commercial Law, Corporate, Securities & Finance Law, International Law, Intellectual Property, Jurisprudence, Taxation and a variety of other areas. Classes are capped at 20 students to allow not only interactive discussion and personal tuition but also to maximise the opportunity for you to get to know other students from various backgrounds, regions and countries.

Kyoto & Tokyo Seminars in Japanese Law
The Kyoto and Tokyo seminars offer a unique opportunity to study Japanese Law in a global and socio-economic context. The program aims to develop the general skills required in comparative law, to effectively and critically assess contemporary developments in the Japanese legal system. It is jointly organised by Sydney Law School and Ritsumeikan University School of Law in collaboration with the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL).

Classes are co-taught in English on an intensive basis by ANJeL co-directors and members, as well as Japanese professors or practitioners from Ritsumeikan or other universities and organisations. You will share classes with law students from leading Japanese universities. The Kyoto Seminar is held at Ritsumeikan University Law School in Kyoto and provides an introduction to how law operates in Japanese society. After an overview of comparative law techniques, Japanese legal history and its contemporary legal system, classes explore civil and criminal justice, consumer law, politics and constitutionalism, gender and law, and an introduction to business and law. The Tokyo Seminar is held at the Ritsumeikan University campus in Tokyo and examines business law topics in socio-economic context in more detail. After outlining developments in the Japanese economy, it focuses on corporate and securities law, investment and finance law, insolvency and labour law, ADR and lawyering.

Himalayan Field School in Nepal
The Himalayan Field School is conducted over two weeks inside Nepal, to explore the fascinating and difficult problems of development and human rights confronting developing countries. It is ideal if you are interested in the law and politics of development and human rights in developing countries. You will see first-hand how international law assists poor and vulnerable communities overseas, including refugees and minority tribal groups. You will also experience what it is like to work for a United Nations agency in the field.

The Field School will take place in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Melamchi in Nepal. It will be conducted in conjunction with Kathmandu School of Law, a leading university for legal education in Nepal. The Field School will provide opportunities to explore Nepal’s cultural and natural heritage through visits to major temples and palaces, world heritage cities and hill stations.

Pathways to Oxford and Cambridge

The Sydney Law School has entered into a pathways agreement with the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford.

In relation to the agreement with Cambridge, it will allow high achieving Sydney students to be offered early admission into the Master of Laws or the Masters degree in Corporate Law at Cambridge. Instead of completing the final semester of law at Sydney students will commence either the LLM or the MCL. At the successful completion students will be awarded the Sydney LLB. The time to complete the program will be three and half years instead of the normal four years.

In relation to the agreement with Oxford, it will allow high achieving students to be offered early admission into the Bachelor of Civil Law or the Master’s in Law and Finance. Instead of completing the final semester of law at Sydney you will commence either the BCL or the MLF. At the successful completion you will be awarded the Sydney LLB

State-of-the-art Facilities

The Law School is a flagship building, creating a gateway to the University from the city and represents the dawn of a new era for law teaching at The University of Sydney. It provides prestigious and well-equipped accommodation as benefits one of Australia’s leading law schools and offers the highest quality teaching and learning and research facilities for students and staff.

The building consists of four levels and accommodates the academic and administrative staff, together with a range of research centres and institutes. It incorporates collaborative spaces, meeting and conference rooms. There are a total of 23 teaching spaces within the building ranging from 300 and 100 seat lecture theatres, through to 60, 56, and 24 seat seminar facilities to suit a wide range of teaching requirements. It also accommodates a Moot Court facility, the Law Library and a spacious Forecourt.

Dedicated transitional unit for first year students

Legal Reasoning is a transitional unit for first year JD students, which compliments the compulsory unit of study, Contracts. It is designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience for new JD students. Developed in response to feedback provided by Sydney JD students, the unit’s main aims are to provide you with guidance about how to read legal material, particularly cases, and to assist you with problem-solving skills. It also provides you with an opportunity to receive feedback about written work before you are required to complete any great amount of formal assessments. It ensures that you have someone in the Faculty with whom you can speak if you are experiencing any difficulties with your studies - or anything else - during the early stages of your degree.

Strong Level of Student Involvement

As a student of Sydney Law School, you are integral to the reputation of the Sydney Law School and the strength of the Sydney JD. In turn, student societies enhance your experience of studying the Sydney JD. Currently, two student societies operate in association with Sydney Law School.

Sydney University Law Society (SULS )
Formed in 1902, the aims of SULS are various, and include the creation of an enjoyable social climate and feeling of camaraderie among the students. SULS has been successful in developing a strong relationship with the legal profession particularly in Sydney. The society’s activities include Orientation activities for new students coupled with an information handbook, the organisation of social events such as the Law Ball, the Law Dinner, free lunches, cocktail parties and semester parties. SULS organises the highly popular Law Revue. The Revue is the most public arm of the Law Society and continues to be an enormous success for all those involved. SULS is also responsible for organising guest speakers to attend lunchtime seminars on interesting and controversial topics. The society runs the mooting programs for both senior and junior mooters. In addition to the internal competition, the HV Evatt Moot is held annually between the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. There is also an Australia-wide Family Law Mooting Competition and the worldwide Jessup International Law Mooting Competition.

SULS is a member of the Australasian Law Students’ Association (ALSA), which holds its annual conferences in the half-yearly break, with an intervarsity mooting competition, witness examination competition, student papers and legal seminars as its primary focus. The Society publishes its own annual journal, Blackacre, which contains a variety of articles, ranging from the humorous to the historical. SULS also publishes a fortnightly newsletter called Hearsay, which provides students with regular information about upcoming social events, lectures and interesting legal snippets. Polemic is a sociolegal journal also published by SU LS, which has a vast range of contributors from all facets of the legal profession. There are five student representatives of the Law School elected by students each October (the President of the Sydney University Law Society, three undergraduates and one postgraduate). Their role is to assist you in any way possible, whether that be the alteration of faculty policy on exams, assessment, etc or making enquiries for any one student on an individual matter. They are available for advice on University by-laws and resolutions and representing you before members of the Law School staff and administration. For further information, consult the SULS website

Chinese Law Students Society (CLSS)
Founded in 2004, the Chinese Law Students Society (CLSS) at the University of Sydney is dedicated to enhancing the quality of student life at the university and providing its members with opportunities on a global scale. The society’s aims are to:

  • assist the ambitions and aspirations of members in their pursuit of academic excellence
  • provide members with exciting career opportunities both within Australian and overseas
  • facilitate a range of enjoyable social events for members who share a common interest in law

CLSS comprises four main portfolios:

  • Careers
  • Education
  • Social
  • Publications

For more information, visit the CLSS website

Careers & Employment Services

As a Sydney JD student, you will be able to access the careers and employment services offered by the Sydney Law School and the University of Sydney. There are now more employment and career opportunities for you as a law student and law graduates than ever before. You may secure a summer clerkship at a prominent Sydney law firm; you may decide to wait and apply for a graduate position, within private legal practice or another legal field; you may succeed in receiving an overseas clerkship in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong or the United States; you may choose to pursue a career in a field where law graduates are increasingly in demand such as management consultancy or investment banking or you may decide to return to University and pursue an LLM by Coursework or a PhD and even consider a career in academia. As a Sydney JD student, you will be able to make an informed choice on your future career path during your studies.

Employment Online
Sydney Law School runs a dedicated careers and employment portal through its website. You can access it directly and download information in relation to:

  • Part-time employment opportunities
  • Full-time employment opportunities
  • Casual employment opportunities
  • Internships
  • Industry Scholarships
  • Judicial Associateships
  • Work Experience
  • On-site presentations by employers, including law firms, government departments and private industry

Summer Clerkship Scheme & Graduate Employment Program
The Summer Clerkship Scheme and Graduate Employment Program is the largest paid internship and employment initiative for law students in Australia. It involves law schools from New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. If you apply for the Summer Clerkship Scheme, you will be competing for a paid internship at one of 30 organisations, including private legal practice firms, Federal and State government departments. The Graduate Employment Program gives you another option to apply for a graduate position in your final year.

University of Sydney Careers Centre
The University of Sydney Careers Centre assists helps you to build employability skills, plan careers and look for work. It offers workshops and support in writing resumes, interview and job search skills, plus a range of services to help employers connect with you, including careers fairs, information sessions and job advertisements.

Alumni Network

Sydney Law School has developed a strong link with its alumni. Sydney Law Graduates are represented in all professions, not just in law, both here and overseas. Through our graduates’ participation in unique opportunities such as judging law moots, delivering public seminars and attendance at functions and events, as a student of Sydney Law School, you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of our alumni. You automatically become members of the Sydney University Law Graduates Association (SULGA ) upon graduation.

Our alumni include current and former members in a wealth of professions:



Business, Media & Sport:

Outstanding Achievements of Students and Alumni

Sydney Law School is fortunate to have a proud history of outstanding student achievement from success in national and international mooting competitions to a strong number of Rhodes scholars.

Excellent Mooting Program:

  • Australian Champions, Jessup Moot, 1991, 1995-1998, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2015
  • World Champions, Jessup Moot, 1996, 2007, 2011, 2015
  • Australian Runners-Up, Jessup Moot, 2007
  • World Champions, University Debating Championships, 2010, 2001
  • World’s Best Speaker, University Debating Championships, 1996, 2001, 2004
  • Champions, European Law Students Association (ELSA) World Trade Organisation Moot (WTO), 2006
  • Champions, Japan Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Moot Competition, 2006, 2007
  • Champions, World Intervarsity Debating Championships, 2006
  • Winners, Sir Harry Gibbs Moot, 2007, 2008, 2012
  • Winners, Sir John Peden Moot, 2007, 2012
  • Winners, National Family Law Moot, 2012
  • Winners, The Nicholas Cowdery Criminal Law Moot, 2012
  • Winners, Castan Centre for Human Rights Moot Competition, 2012
  • Winners, Dusseldorf Invitational Vis "Pre-Moot" 2012
  • Winners, Shine Torts Moot 2011
  • Runners-up, Shine Torts Moot 2010
  • Winners, Murray Gleeson Moot 2009

Individual Achievements:

History of Rhodes Scholars:
The Sydney Law School holds a fine reputation for its history of Rhodes Scholars that include:

History of Fulbright Scholars:

World Class Academic Staff

Our level of academic staff expertise is well respected. Not only are many leaders in their fields, but we also draw on a number of leading international experts to deliver our programs. From the very beginning, the Sydney Law School has strived to match academic excellence with close professional links. As part of a bequest by John Henry Challis to the University in 1880, chairs in Law and Jurisprudence were founded, in addition to - reflecting the Faculty's ongoing commitment to placing law within a global perspective - a chair in International Law. Over the last century, these foundations have been extended. There are now 30 Chairs and over 80 full-time academic staff, as well as 70 adjunct members of the Faculty and 50 general staff. Starting with 14 students, it now has approximately 1,800 undergraduate and 1,700 postgraduate students.

Our staff are not only highly experienced and receptive to your needs and interests, but are also international leaders in their fields of study. A full list of the Law School’s academic staff, their profiles and research interests may be viewed on the Law School website.