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There is much discussion in the media about the number of existing law schools and law graduates and the difficulty of getting jobs. Here are a few things prospective law students should consider:

  1. The majority of law graduates in Australia never intend to use their law degree to practice law. Instead, they plan to use the valuable skill set gained in a law degree to engage in many other careers pathways, such as within business or government, for example.
  2. The law job market, like other markets, goes up and down. In the US, for example, which has more lawyers per capita than any other country, there was a major downturn in law applications, but this is now on the rise again. Some reports are even predicting a potential shortage of lawyers in the future.
  3. Look carefully at the statistics. In many cases, reports lump together all students studying law of any kind, e.g. justice studies, paralegal programs, as well as standard law degrees. The reality is that while some areas of law are in high demand, others are depreciating.  It's true; there are less jobs for conveyance work. However, commercial lawyers, tax lawyers, information technology lawyers and other areas are in demand. You also have to take into account geographical region. A report just a few years ago talked of the shortage of lawyers in rural areas, for example.
  4. Law, like all professions, is constantly changing. Indeed, new models are emerging where we are seeing substantial growth in the law job market. Read the following interesting article from the ABA: What the jobs are
  5. Consider the big picture. There is no argument that we are living in a world that is growing smaller and increasingly conflicted. There is no doubt that legal compliance is a fact of life for all organisations and people. In this environment a law degree will be an advantage not only for traditional law jobs, but also for many new jobs that have yet to be created. Legal research, reasoning, ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively, conflict resolution skills--these and other skills gained in a law degree will be a valuable skill set for almost any position one can think of.
  6. Need for New Legal Models. Another interesting aspect of the legal market is that the majority of lawyers spend their efforts providing services to only a minority of the population. Many people who need and could benefit from a lawyer do not have access to one. There is a desperate requirement for new models of legal service delivery that meets this untapped demand.
  7. Need for Legal Literacy = New opportunities. A basic understanding of the law, a basic legal literacy, is required of all citizens. There is a need for law graduates who have the creativity to find new and innovative ways to deliver legal services. The present job market, with a perceived surplus of lawyers, is likely to be disrupted by emerging new models that will meet this demand. The best way for this to happen is to let the market work its magic. The last thing required is some form of imposed regulation from high up that thinks it has the ability to predict market demands. History shows that trying to resolve such issues by fixing the market can only lead to monopolies, a lack of competition, the absence of consumer choice, less innovation and great inefficiencies.
  8. Need for Innovation. Our belief is that Australia does not need another 'generalist' law degree. We need new and innovative models of legal education that meet current and future needs. In the case of the Sydney City School of Law, our emphasis on innovation and teaching of legal, technology and business skills, coupled with our student centred approach will produce graduates who will be able to add value and in turn be highly valued by the market place in which they work.


Becoming a Legal Practitioner 

Become a Solicitor
 Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with Sydney City School of Law (SCSL) (minimum 3 years)

Practical legal training (PLT) in another Institute

Admission by LPAB to practice subject to application for a Certificate of Admission and attendance at Supreme Court of NSW Admission Ceremony and application for Practicing Certificate
↓ 
Solicitor with restricted license (work for 2 years under supervision)

Solicitor with unrestricted practicing certificate 

Become a Barrister
 Sit for the bar exams set by the Bar Council; pass all 3 subjects in the exam program with no less than 75% in each subject; and be issued with a Bar Practice Certificate

The reading program: undertake the Bar practice course and reading with a tutor (experienced barrister) for a minimum of 12 months

Practicing Certificate: Barrister 

Please check www.lpab.justice.nsw.gov.au for more information.