Subject focus: Juris Doctor (JD) programmes in Australia

 Monash University

This month's spotlight looks at the Juris Doctor in Australia. The Juris Doctor is a graduate entry programme that enables graduates of degrees in other disciplines to train and qualify as a lawyer. It is intended for students looking for admission into legal practice in Australia. 

The ‘JD’ is a postgraduate, professional-entry law degree that requires three years of study. Successful completion of the JD enables someone to to apply for admission to practice law in the state of Australia in which they have studied.

Graduates who wish to undertake postgraduate non-professional studies in law (courses which will not make them eligible to practice law in Australia or New Zealand) can look to the many Masters programmes available, from Masters of Law (LLM) to specialist law masters in areas such as Environmental Law, Health Law or Construction Law. Contact Study Options to find out more about these programmes.

Australian and New Zealand universities are ranked highly for Law. Seven Australian and one New Zealand universities are currently ranked in the top 50 universities in the world for this subject according to the 2015/2016 World University Rankings By Subject from QS. This includes UNSW Australia (number 13), the University of Melbourne (number 8) and the University of Sydney (11). 

Law and Criminology

Juris Doctor at UNSW

Open up a world of opportunity and possibility with the UNSW JD (Juris Doctor). The UNSW JD is the professional law degree for graduates of disciplines other than law, or with a law degree from an overseas institution. The JD provides the basis for admission to legal practice, as well as a wide range of careers in government, business, legal and social policy, or international relations.

Why choose the UNSW JD? 

  • Set yourself apart with a degree from the Law School ranked 13th in the world in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.
  • Join a mature cohort of students with proven proficiency in tertiary study.
  • Study 17 compulsory courses and 7 elective law courses giving you the depth and breadth of study to set you apart in today’s competitive careers market.
  • Enrol in an exclusively postgraduate degree for graduates of disciplines other than law.
  • Have the opportunity to apply for Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and full-fee places.
  • The JD can lead to admission to legal practice internationally and is valued by employers around the world.
  • A comprehensive and established social justice programme of internships and clinical legal practice onsite at Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC) or at a range of other local and international organisations.
  • UNSW JD and Oxford University Faculty of Law have signed a memorandum of understanding to give UNSW JD students the opportunity to graduate with two internationally recognised qualifications in just three and a half years - the UNSW JD and the Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) or Masters in Law and Finance (MLF).
  • Those with a degree in law from a different legal system may also apply for the UNSW JD.
  • Study at Australia's leading Law School.

Programme structure

The UNSW JD programme has been designed to provide you with a sophisticated understanding of core legal concepts and fulfils the requirements for admission to legal practice.

The foundation compulsory course, Introducing Law and Justice, is studied on an intensive basis one week prior to the start of other first year law subjects. This enables you to acquire the basic conceptual tools needed to study the substantive law subjects, such as principles of statutory interpretation and how to read and interpret case law. This course continues into Semester 1, along with the rest of your foundational courses. 

A distinctive feature of the UNSW JD is the depth of study of the law we offer. You will undertake 7 electives subjects in areas of particular interest to you. This could include internships, clinical programmes and our two-week short courses overseas.

Entry Requirements

The UNSW JD is open to international applicants who have completed, or are about to complete, a Bachelor's degree in any discipline.  Those who have a degree in law from a different legal system may also apply for the UNSW JD. You may be eligible for advanced standing.

Programme Details

Start Date: February (Semester 1)

Duration: 3 years

Tuition Fees (2016) per year: AU$41,040

UNSW Australia