Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions about the new Law School and degree. Click on the questions below:
LLB Programme Details
- What is an LLB?
The LLB is a bachelor degree in law offered in most common law countries as the primary law degree. All LLBs in New Zealand are approved by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education.
- Will I need to do anything else in order to practise as a lawyer?
Once you have completed your LLB and a professional legal studies course you will qualify for admission as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
The professional legal studies course may be completed with either the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) or the College of Law New Zealand
- Is AUT's law degree similar in structure to other law degrees?
Yes. The overall structure, content and duration of law degrees in New Zealand are largely determined by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education and so AUT's law degree is similar in structure to other law degrees in New Zealand.
- How long will it take me to complete the law degree?
4 years full-time (480 points).
- Can students study part-time?
It is possible to study the law degree on a part-time basis. However, while we will endeavour to schedule classes in such a way to enable part-time students to make the most efficient use of their time at the University, the degree is not structured as a part-time programme - classes are currently scheduled between 8.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday - and part-time students are required to attend classes as timetabled.
- How long will it take me to complete the degree part-time?
Assuming that you take 60 points a year it will take 8 years to complete the full law degree part-time.
- Are there any scholarships? A number of the larger law firms offer scholarships to law students. Please refer to the firms' websites for further information. There are also a number of AUT University scholarships available. Click here to view them.
LLB Programme Structure
- How is the 480 points of the law degree made up?
Download the structure of the LLB degree.
The non-law first year papers account for 60 points, the compulsory law papers in the degree account for 255 points and law elective papers account for 165 points. It is possible to substitute 30 points from any other approved AUT undergraduate degree course for law elective papers.
- What will I be studying in the first year of the law degree?
You will study three law papers (60 points) and 60 points from any other approved AUT undergraduate degree course.
What are the law papers in the first year?
There are three compulsory law papers in the first year of the law degree:
- Legal Reasoning and Writing is a full year paper (30 points). This paper examines the judicial process and legal reasoning including case analysis and statutory interpretation; and introduces the essential skills of critical reasoning, problem-solving, legal writing and advocacy.
- The Legal System paper (15 points) is offered in the first semester. This paper sets in context the interface between society and the law and includes an introduction to the New Zealand legal system; an examination of the function and nature of law; a consideration of selected legal institutions from New Zealand and other jurisdictions; and an introduction to certain legal concepts including property and legal personality.
- The Constitutional Law paper (15 points) is offered in the second semester. It follows on from the Legal System paper and examines the principles and workings of the constitution and the institutions of government.
- What are the papers from outside law that I need to do in the first year?
You can take papers from any other approved AUT undergraduate degree course and the papers you choose will depend on your particular interests. If you are intending to do a double degree you will be enrolling in papers from that degree.
- If I am studying part-time what subjects do you advise me to do in my first year?
You should start off by doing the non-law papers. Although it is possible to take any of the three law papers in the first year as a stand-alone paper, they have been designed to complement each other and, ideally, you should try to take all three in the same year of study if possible.
- What other compulsory papers are there?
In Part II of the degree the compulsory papers are Law of Contract (30 points), Law of Torts (30 points), Property Law (30 points), Judicial Review (15 points), and Intellectual Property (15 points). In Part III the compulsory papers are Criminal Law (30 points) and Company Law (15 points). In Part IV the compulsory papers are Resolution of Civil Disputes (15 points) and Legal Ethics (15 points).
- How many elective papers can I do?
You can choose up to 165 points of law electives – this would normally be made up of 11 (15 point) electives. It is possible for you to substitute 30 points from any other approved AUT undergraduate degree course for law elective papers.
- What elective papers are there?
A range of elective papers are offered as part of the law degree. View the elective papers.
Not all the electives will be offered in any one semester. The electives offered in any particular semester will depend on a number of factors including student demand and the availability of teaching resources.
- Is there an LLB (Honours) programme?
Yes. High achieving students enrolled on the LLB will be invited to join the LLB (Honours) programme at the end of Part II. Students will be eligible for the honours programme if they attain a grade average of around B+ in their first and second year law papers.
- What does the LLB (Honours) involve?
In addition to following the LLB course requirements, students enrolled on the honours programme will be required to complete a research paper (20 points) in their third year and a dissertation (40 points) in their final year. Honours students are also required to complete the Legal Research Methods paper as one of their elective choices.
- Can students do the LLB as a double degree?
Yes. There are double degree structures in place which make it possible for students to complete the LLB with the Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Communication Studies, Bachelor of Arts in just over 5 years.
Download the Bachelor of Laws double degree structures
- If I am doing a double degree can I do my Business co-op in a law firm?
Yes subject to the position meeting the requirements of the co-op placement.
- Is there a compulsory co-operative education work placement as part of the law degree?
No although students may be able to undertake a work placement with a law firm if possible.
- Will I be able to take part in the summer clerkship programmes operated by law firms?
The large law firms offer a limited number of summer clerkships. These are available generally to students in the third year of their law degree and are normally offered on the basis of academic performance. AUT law students who meet the criteria are eligible to compete for the available clerkships. A number of AUT law students have participated in Summer clerk and other internship programmes in a range of law firms and other organisations.
Can I do an international exchange as part of my law degree in the same way that I can for the Bachelor of Business?
AUT Law School is investigating the potential for exchange arrangements with international academic institutions. If such an arrangement were possible it is likely that it would be available in the final year of the degree. Some students doing the LLB/BBus double degree can do study or a work placement overseas as part of their BBus degree.
- How many intakes will there be each year?
Because the law degree contains a number of full year (30 point) papers, there will only be the one intake in February/March each year.
- Will there be a limit on first year enrolments?
Yes. The number of students enrolled in the first year of the degree is limited to 150. Generally students with the highest level of academic achievement will be selected.
- What are the criteria to get into the first year law papers?
Applicants must have attained university entrance or its equivalent.
- If I am currently enrolled on another degree programme at AUT, can I transfer on to the law degree?
Yes. Applications will be treated on a case-by-case basis. Generally, to be considered you would be expected to show a level of academic achievement in your current studies – as a guide, you would need to be demonstrating at least a B grade (70%) average.
- I already have a degree, can I enrol in the LLB?
We welcome applications from students who are wanting to do law as a second degree. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Generally applicants would be expected to have achieved at least a B grade (70%) average across level 6 and level 7 papers on their earlier undergraduate degree.
- Will I be able to cross-credit any of the papers from my first degree into the LLB?
Normally, you should be able to get credit against the 60 points of non-law papers in the first year and 30 points of electives – ie a total of 90 points.
- I left school some time ago and haven’t completed any tertiary study, would I be able to get on to the law degree?
We welcome mature students however if you haven't completed any prior tertiary study we will normally require that you complete at least 60 points of non-law papers at level 5 or 6 - preferably from a language rich degree and then apply to transfer to the law degree on the basis of your results in those papers. Students would normally be expected to have attained at least a B grade (70%) average in those papers in order to be considered for a transfer to the law degree.
- I am an international student. Would I be able to get on to the law degree?
You need to remember that law is jurisdiction specific – so you need to think about what your objectives are in doing a New Zealand law degree - but if you meet the entry requirements (or equivalent) then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be considered for admission to the law degree.
- Can students cross-credit law papers from an overseas university?
This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis but students who have studied overseas will need to ensure that they complete the requirements of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education if they want to gain admission as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. Initially, you will need to have your papers from the overseas law degree assessed by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education to determine whether or not they may be credited towards a New Zealand law degree.
Direct entry to Part II of the law degree
- Will entry to Part II be limited?
It is not intended to limit the numbers progressing from Part I to Part II of the degree. However, students will be required to have at least a B grade (70%) average across the three Part I law papers (weighted in relation to their points value) to proceed to Part II.
- I am doing my first year at another law school but want to start at AUT for my second year – can I?
We welcome applications for direct entry to the second year (Part II) and subsequent years of the programme from students who have successfully completed their first or subsequent year law studies at other New Zealand law schools. The availability of places will be limited depending on a number of factors and all applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
As a guide, to be considered for direct entry, you will need:
- to have attained at least a B grade average in your first year law papers at another New Zealand law school and
- passed at least 120 points including the first year law papers.
If you are offered direct entry to Part II from another New Zealand law school, you will normally receive cross-credits for the following AUT papers:
- LAWS501 Legal System – 15 points
- LAWS509 Legal Reasoning and Writing – 30 points
- Plus 60 points of non-law papers in the first year of the AUT law degree
You may still need to complete LAWS503 Constitutional Law which is a 15-point Part I paper. In the AUT law degree this paper constitutes part of the public law requirement for the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (CLE). Direct entry students need to complete this paper if they have not satisfied that requirement through a similar paper at their previous law school and will normally take it in the second semester of Part II instead of the compulsory Intellectual Property (LAWS626) paper. You will then take the Intellectual Property paper in Part III instead of one of the
Facilities and Staff
- Where is the Law School situated?
AUT Law School is located on levels 5 and 6 of the AUT Law School Building (WY) at 120 Mayoral Drive in the heart of Auckland City.
- Who is the Dean of AUT Law School?
Professor Charles Rickett
- How large is the law school?
There are currently around 400 students enrolled across all years on the degree and we have 20 full-time staff members teaching in the law school.
- How will classes be taught?
Law School teaching methods are built around engaging students so that they develop oral and written communication skills, problem solving abilities and the development of interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
The modes of delivery include a mix of interactive workshops and tutorials as well as the more traditional larger lecture format. In the first year Legal Reasoning and Writing paper, for example, all of the teaching is done in workshop groups allowing for interaction.
- Is there an up-to-date, relevant law library?
The AUT law library comprises all the major legal databases such as LexisNexis, Lexis.com, Westlaw International, Westlaw NZ, CCH, Justis and HeinOnline as well as having an extensive range of legal texts available in hard copy or online.This material can be accessed both on and offsite.
Who do I contact and where do I go to get in-depth information about the course, paper outlines, etc?
General information can be found online or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: 15-Sep-2016 9.22am
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.