Australian Law Schools

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James Bond
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Australian Law Schools

Postby James Bond » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:09 am

I have noticed that multiple Australian Law Schools are now offering JD's. Melbourne Law even requires an LSAT and only offers a JD, the first school to do so in Aussie land. The first year courses seem almost identical. Skadden, Sullivan and Cromwell, and Jones Day all have Australian offices.

Does anyone have any interest in this, or any information as well? I know that lawyers typically make less in foreign lands, but does anyone have salary data on Australia? Does anyone know what LSAT scores it takes to get into schools there? At least some links?

I think the country is gorgeous and intriguing, but I'm more just interesting in finding out more about the seemingly Americanized form of studying law Australia.

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General Tso
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby General Tso » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:12 am

I think they do the solicitors and barristers thing like in England. So I am guessing salaries are comparable to the UK -- 40-60k US is my guess

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calicocat
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby calicocat » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:14 am

Spiders as big as your head...

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Scrutinizer
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby Scrutinizer » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:26 am

biv0ns wrote:I'm more just interesting in finding out more about the seemingly Americanized form of studying law Australia.


While I'm not 100% positive about the Australian experience, I suspect the switch from LLBs to JDs doesn't have much curriculum impact. Many Canadian schools have switched recently. The changes usually involve not much more than switching a few letters on some parchment. They can even be retroactively applied. The switches are not motivated by the requirements of a specific "form" of studying law, rather they are motivated by similar trends as motivated the American switch to JDs: perceived status.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:22 am

Scrutinizer wrote:
biv0ns wrote:I'm more just interesting in finding out more about the seemingly Americanized form of studying law Australia.


While I'm not 100% positive about the Australian experience, I suspect the switch from LLBs to JDs doesn't have much curriculum impact. Many Canadian schools have switched recently. The changes usually involve not much more than switching a few letters on some parchment. They can even be retroactively applied. The switches are not motivated by the requirements of a specific "form" of studying law, rather they are motivated by similar trends as motivated the American switch to JDs: perceived status.


True Statement. Yale conferred an LLB forever.. Didn't mean that Yale LLB was any different than a Harvard JD. Moreover, I know for a fact that most law schools that conferred an LLB on its older alumni are more than willing (for about $50 to $100), to swap that sucker out for a nice new JD. It makes no difference. I NEVER tell anyone I have a 'doctorate' (if you can even really call it that), anyway. When they ask what I do, "I'm a lawyer," works just fine.

Shadyb
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby Shadyb » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:24 am

There's a ton of info about Austrialian law schools at lawstudents.ca because a lot of Canadians go there for law school (not having any TTT schools up there, people who can't get in anywhere often go to Australia or TTTs in the US...) Canadian system is virtually identical to the US one, so the comparisons will be relevant.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:26 am

Shadyb wrote:There's a ton of info about Austrialian law schools at lawstudents.ca because a lot of Canadians go there for law school (not having any TTT schools up there, people who can't get in anywhere often go to Australia or TTTs in the US...) Canadian system is virtually identical to the US one, so the comparisons will be relevant.


Its also pretty easy to practice in Canada afterward. One year of Articling, followed by "writing the bar" (those silly Canadians, they don't take tests, the write them). ;)

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sirchristaylor
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby sirchristaylor » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:26 am

Oli wrote:Spiders as big as your head...

:shock:

Shadyb
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby Shadyb » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:18 am

reasonable_man wrote:
Shadyb wrote:There's a ton of info about Austrialian law schools at lawstudents.ca because a lot of Canadians go there for law school (not having any TTT schools up there, people who can't get in anywhere often go to Australia or TTTs in the US...) Canadian system is virtually identical to the US one, so the comparisons will be relevant.


Its also pretty easy to practice in Canada afterward. One year of Articling, followed by "writing the bar" (those silly Canadians, they don't take tests, the write them). ;)


It's harder than that because you also have to go through the NCA process, which involves taking up to 10 exams (like closed-book law school finals) and/or completing up to 2 years at a Canadian school. What you have to do depends on where you got you law degree. Australian grads definitely have to take the tests. THEN you have to article and write the bar. I have no idea what you would have to do to get licensed in the US, so I don't know if it is easier or harder...

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James Bond
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby James Bond » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:15 pm

If I were to go to an Australian law school (99% not happening at least lol) I'd probably end up living and working in Australia, not coming back to the United States and hoping my degree will transfer. But they do have the Solicitor/Barrister system there so...low salaries? No bar exam in Australia though :P

yabbadabbado
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby yabbadabbado » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:17 pm

Definitely research citizenship/work visa requirements there before doing anything. Also, do some research on whether or not anyone would hire an American assuming no citizenship/work visa issues. Not making any assumptions about Australia per se, but I know some people (Americans) who unsuccessfully tried to get jobs after moving abroad and had a very difficult time. They were basically discriminated against because they were Americans and employers would rather just hire someone from that country.

If you earn a foreign law degree, it's possible to be eligible to practice in some American states after doing a 1 year LLM degree from an American school and then taking the bar. Not every state allows it and some will require that you work in another state first (like NY as a hypothetical example) for a specific amount of time before being eligible to take that state's bar. I know a guy that did this (law degree from a UK school) but the whole process was a real PITA. A lot of US employers don't like it and you really lose out on having a US JD alum network and they ability to make connections for future employment while in law school.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:21 pm

If you want to come back to the US to practice law, don't do this. Bivons, as I recall, you recently broke up with your GF. I'm going way out on a limb here and assuming that this may have struck you a bit harder than you realize (and thats nothing really to be ashamed of). When stuff like that happens, especially guys, we tend to look at stuff and say, maybe I need/want a radical change. Maybe I can just jetset off to Ausi and become a lawyer there.. What's really holding me here? A lot of times, having hypothetical options like that sort of calms us down and creates a sense of security insofar as having broad options.

That said, the LS decision is so very important. Take the time you need to think about all this and realize that if you go to LS outside of the US, coming back here is going to be VERY hard.

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General Tso
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby General Tso » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:54 pm

reasonable_man wrote:If you want to come back to the US to practice law, don't do this. Bivons, as I recall, you recently broke up with your GF. I'm going way out on a limb here and assuming that this may have struck you a bit harder than you realize (and thats nothing really to be ashamed of). When stuff like that happens, especially guys, we tend to look at stuff and say, maybe I need/want a radical change. Maybe I can just jetset off to Ausi and become a lawyer there.. What's really holding me here? A lot of times, having hypothetical options like that sort of calms us down and creates a sense of security insofar as having broad options.

That said, the LS decision is so very important. Take the time you need to think about all this and realize that if you go to LS outside of the US, coming back here is going to be VERY hard.


Words of wisdom....I am thinking that if I ever want to work abroad I'll pay off loans first and save up some cash and transition to a different field like finance or something. But I think this is a remote possibility.

Law + jetsetting just doesn't happen. If you want to work overseas you'd be better off getting a T20 MBA. Employers in Australia and England have heard of places like USC. The pay would be better too. I think England actually has a fast track to permanent residency for graduates of US T25 MBA programs.

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James Bond
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby James Bond » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:34 am

Hah, I was more just looking to see if anyone was more informed than I am about the subject. I do not plan on living/working in Australia.

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actuallybasically
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby actuallybasically » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:37 pm

So here is the deal: If you wanna go to an Australian law school it's a bargain, and with determination to practice in America and passing a bar like Oregon's, a good option to initially get your foot in the door to the American Bar system, you can make it happen.

But look before you leap. Make sure you check out these guidelines. See Chart X of this PDF and it will tell you what you will need and where you need to go if you wish to practice in the USA with a foreign JD: --LinkRemoved--

My advice to American students looking to make a change- and I am one of them- is to stop listening to all the rhetoric about possibly being shunned by the American law system with an Australian or Canadian JD. Who CARES about those people? Go directly to the source for your information. And if you need a social network that a US law school provides to get your foot in the door or to even just get yourself a job, you won't be much of an attorney anyway-- no matter where you practice. Plus, with an Australian JD it IS possible to get qualified to practice in BOTH Oceania and North America. AND in Europe. I will concede that an Australian law degree is more geared towards international work, rather than domestic hometown work, where lawyers are dealing with divorces and car accidents and all that mess.

So buck up MATES, and prepare to buy your QANTAS ticket! I am applying to the Melbourne School of Law at the University of Melbourne for February 2011.

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darknightbegins
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby darknightbegins » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:06 am

I'd vacation in Aussie land. Women down there are pretty hot. Wouldn't go to school there though.

komet163
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby komet163 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:51 am

I'm an Australian Law student and i thought I might try to....clarify this as best as I can. Generally speaking a JD here isn't really different to an LLB. I'm doing an LLB, but my uni offers both. The difference is the backgrounds of the students. Typically at my uni JD students are those with qualifications from other legal systems. They have the same classes. If I had to take a stab at why Melbourne Uni is offering a JD only and requiring an LSAT, I'd say it was more or less Melbourne Uni trying to be just like an american uni...perhaps a little ego boosting there too (I could be wrong)

WRT the solicitor/barrister distinction, pay rates and bar exams, it differs from state to state. Some states combine the two, so you do your articled clerkship and get admitted as a solicitor and barrister. Other states, such as NSW, still have the distinction. So you do your practical legal training to be admitted to the court and then if you want to be a solicitor you apply to the law society and so on. If you want to be a barrister (still using NSW as an example) you have to sit 3 bar exams and undertake just over a year reading under a senior barrister. Pay wise, 40-60K seems a bit low, given that full time law clerks in some firms get 60K. I've heard of some barristers making in the ballpark of $800/hr, and I doubt they only work 75 hours a year.

WRT using law degrees in other countries, law degrees aren't overly international things. The content tends to be quite restricted to not only the country you're in but even the state you're in. Given, there are some international aspects. But not enough to make it worth it. Just because a JD here shares the same name as a US law degree doesn't mean it will be very helpful in an American jurisdiction. I can tell you all about the constitutional law here, but ask me about US constitutional law and I haven't the slightest. As a matter of fact, alot of US jurisdictions require people legally qualified overseas to either undertake further education, ie an LLM at a US law school or a full JD, to be admitted.

Hope that helps and that I haven't made too many broad sweeping and incorrect statements.

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actuallybasically
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby actuallybasically » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:47 am

Komet if you know any Americans who are studying law where you are it would be cool to see if you could get them to post a reply here...

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mps
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby mps » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:04 pm

People enter law school straight from high school in Australia. I studied abroad there, and people have to decide on their "faculty" upon entering school. Australians enter the law faculty at the age of 17, and in three years (or four, i forget) they have their degree.

i would loooove to go back there, but i dont exactly want my classmates to be 17-20. (they seem to start college a little bit younger). i also can't imagine it would be the same quality you get over here, because here it is a graduate school.

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MF248
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby MF248 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:23 pm

I worked in Australia for awhile, so here are some of my comments (Most of them are backing up earlier comments.)

1) Almost all law programs are meant for students straight out of high school (and I believe it's only 2 years, although I could be wrong about that). The University of Melbourne has switched and started offering a JD, which I believe they require you to earn an undergraduate degree for first.

2) Work visas in Australia are very difficult to earn. Make sure you thoroughly research this before going to school there. I don't know about the discrimination against foreigners another poster described.

3) When I was over there I remember reading an article in the Sydney Harold about salaries for first year lawyers at each of the top firms. I remember them being around $100k/yr with the top one being 120k, a couple being under 100k. This is in Australian Dollars. Also, remember Australia's population is alot smaller than the US, so there's probably alot less positions open each year. I remember the gist of the article making it sound like these jobs are pretty tough to get. This was in 2007.

4) This is my opinion, but I think an elite American JD will carry over to Australia alot better than an Australian degree will carry over to the US.

Also, on the note of the Australian opinion of american schools, I kept telling people that I am from Chicago and went to the University of Illinois, but they continuously got this messed up and I was always introduced as the guy who went to the University of Chicago, followed by lots of "ooohs & ahhs'. Maybe this is why they put the poli sci guy on the economics project.

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actuallybasically
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby actuallybasically » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Not true in my case. For the Melbourne JD that is a graduate-only program- the first to do so in Australia- and it became that way in 2008.

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mps
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby mps » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:59 pm

I agree with MF248:

1) it is really hard to get a work visa in Australia, and why would a firm hire you and sponsor your visa when they could hire a native Australian with identical credentials? Generally to be able to work in Aus, you need to have some unique skill. otherwise why would the government let you take a job that could belong to a citizen?

2) there is a lot of resentment towards foreigners with high paying jobs in Australia. People were very racist towards Asians because they perceived Asians were stealing their jobs. I've never been in a society were racism was so apparent, or accepted. (and i am not one of those people that thinks racism is dead in the US). I don't know how this translates into firm recruiting... but i'd be very weary to say the least.

3) for better or for worse, networking is really important and that can't easily be done when your over there. and i think if you were to go to a foreign school that follows a slightly different educational model (ie law faculty/vet school etc straight out from high school), networking would be even more key...

4) you'd be getting a JD from a school recruiters/US lawyers are not familiar with, and they can't look to past hires from your school and see that they were competent and capable. People in the US might be skeptical of your degree because they have no knowledge of the quality of your program.

I loved my time in Melbourne and would love to go to law school there, but I think it would be really rough going looking for employment in both Aus and the US. I absolutely do not think it is a good idea... and i remember my COL in Melbourne as being quite high, actually.

EdwardS
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby EdwardS » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:02 pm

I'm an Australian student who has applied for the Melbourne JD 2011 intake. Anyone else still waiting for a response? Apparently first round offers will be out by August 31.

I've chosen Melbourne because it does have an excellent reputation (and it's a great city). They also have the opportunity to study abroad. Top students have the chance to study at Oxford, NYU or the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Studying at Oxford extends the degree to 3.5 years and allows graduation in the Melbourne Juris Doctor (JD) + Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) or Oxford Masters in Law and Finance (MLF). Studying at NYU is also 3.5 years and provides the opportunity for Melbourne Juris Doctor (JD) + NYU Master of Laws (LLM) or Melbourne Juris Doctor (JD) + NYU Juris Doctor (JD). Studying at the Honk Kong uni doesn't change the duration of the degree and results in a Melbourne Juris Doctor (JD) + CUHK Master of Laws in Chinese Business Law (CBL LLM). I think these are excellent opportunities and if I get an offer to study at Melbourne I'll definitely be studying hard to be accepted for one of these exchanges (http://jd.law.unimelb.edu.au/).

I'm waiting nervously to hear from them..August 31 is so far away..

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balzern
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby balzern » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:20 pm

I heard something about Contingency Fees in Australia once....hahahaha :P

zainlundell
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Re: Australian Law Schools

Postby zainlundell » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:21 pm

just got my acceptance to Uni Melbourne

Great School and amazing employment prospects in asia, esp china, japan, hong kong and singapore..

if you can get into one of the dual programs you are set... think Melb JD and Oxford/NYU LLM

thats just insane AND you can do it in a quicker space of time... 3.5 years (due to Aus academic yr starting in Jan and US academic yr in Aug/Sept




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