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Welcome from the Dean

A message from our Head of School and Dean

Professor Joellen Riley, Head of School and Dean, higlights the key strengths of our Law School.

Joellen Riley

Professor Joellen Riley, Head of School and Dean

Welcome to Sydney Law School. As one of the world’s premier law schools, we offer exemplary learning opportunities and preparation for your future career. 

As a student here, you will acquire a strong legal education, and be well prepared for practice in the profession, should you choose that career path. Even more importantly, you will develop critical thinking skills, the capacity for deep, evidence-based analysis and problem solving, and a thorough grounding in professional ethics. 

A Sydney Law School education will prepare you to work in a global environment. It is no longer enough to understand just the legal system in your own country. Current challenges require international solutions: national trade measures must comply with the rules of the World Trade Organization and international trade agreements; intellectual property rights are protected 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. 

Today’s lawyers need an understanding of international law, and an appreciation of comparative law methods to respond to contemporary legal problems. Our task at Sydney Law School is to provide you with the best opportunity to acquire a deep understanding of the law, and to develop those vital legal skills. 

Legal studies also open many opportunities outside of the practising profession. While you may choose to practise as a barrister or solicitor, our graduates also become corporate counsel, business strategists, policy advisers to government, entrepreneurs, activists, journalists – even novelists and artists. 

Established in 1855, Sydney Law School has made a significant contribution to Australia’s judiciary, politics and public life. Our alumni reflect our reputation for innovation and a pioneering spirit. We were the first Australian law school to admit women; three of the nation’s six female High Court judges graduated from Sydney Law School. 

The special strengths of Sydney Law School are its high-calibre student community, and its internationally recognised academic staff, expert in legal education, and engaged in a rich and diverse program of research.

The work of our experts span across the broad spectrum of contemporary global legal scholarship, from human rights and counter terrorism law to corporate law and governance to energy and resources law. Our scholars also excel in cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary work on projects examining global health law, international consumer product regulation and social justice.

Our dedicated research centres and institutes provide a channel for our academics to broadcast their specialist knowledge to a wider audience, not just the academic and professional communities, but the broader public.

Professor Joellen Riley, Head of School and Dean, Sydney Law School