Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions about the new Law School and degree. Click on the questions below:
1. What is an LLB?
The LLB is the undergraduate, or 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 as meeting the requirements for courses of study for the examinations in general knowledge and law that are required of candidates for admission as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
2. Will I need to do anything else in order to practise as a lawyer?
The New Zealand Law Society requires that in, order to pratise as a lawyer, besides holding a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) from a New Zealand university, you must also:
- complete a practical course administered by the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) or the College of Law New Zealand
- be admitted to the roll of barristers and solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand
- hold a current practising certificate from the New Zealand Law Society
3. Is AUT's law degree similar in structure to other law degrees?
Yes. The overall structure, content and duration of the law degree in New Zealand is 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.
LLB Programme Details
- How long is AUT University’s 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 most efficient use of their time at the University, the degree is not structured as a part-time programme - classes are currently scheduled between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday - and part-time students are required to attend the classes as timetabled.
- How long will it take if completed 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?
There are 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?
Compulsory law papers in the degree account for 255 points; law elective papers account for 165 points; and non-law first year papers account for 60 points. It is possible for you to substitute 30 points of non-law electives for law elective papers.
- What will I be studying in the first year of the law degree?
Half of your study (60 points) will be taken up with law papers. The other 60 points will be taken up with papers from outside law.
What are the law papers in the first year?
There are 3 compulsory law papers in the first year of the law degree:
- Legal Reasoning and Writing is a full year paper (30 points). This paper has two main objectives: first, to examine the judicial process and legal reasoning including statutory interpretation and case analysis; second, to introduce the essential lawyer skills of problem-solving, legal writing, and advocacy.
- The Legal Systems 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 in New Zealand; a consideration of selected legal institutions from New Zealand and other jurisdictions; an investigation into certain legal concepts including the social and economic role of law, the nature of legal obligations and the concept of property.
- The Law and the Constitution paper (15 points) is offered in the second semester, follows on from the Legal Systems 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 undergraduate degree course and the papers you choose will depend on your particular interests. If you are intending to do a double degree with the Bachelor of Business, for example, you would probably be advised to take papers from the BBus first year integrated programme.
- 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 3 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 the second year of the degree the compulsory papers are Law of Contract (30 points), Law of Torts (30 points), Property Law (30 points), Judicial Review, and Intellectual Property (30 points). In the third year the compulsory papers are Criminal Law (30 points) and Company Law (15 points). In the fourth year the compulsory papers are Civil Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (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 of non-law electives for law elective papers.
- What elective papers are there?
A large number of elective papers have been approved as part of the law degree. View the comprehensive listing of the elective papers.
Not all the electives will necessarily be offered. 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 year 2. Students will be eligible for the honours programme if they attain a grade average of around B+ in the 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 either 1 research paper (20 points) in year 3 and a dissertation (40 points) in year 4 or 2 research papers (10 points each) in year 3 and a dissertation (40 points) in year 4.
- Can students do the LLB as a double degree?
Yes. There is a double degree structure in place which makes it possible for students to complete the LLB with the Bachelor of Business in 5 years. It may also be possible to do other double degree combinations with the LLB.
- 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 summer clerkships programmes operated by law firms?
The large law firms offer a limited number of summer clerkships. These are available generally to students in the final year of their law degree and are normally offered on the basis of academic performance. It is expected that AUT law students who meet the criteria will be eligible to compete for the available clerkships and we currently have students who have been offered clerkships.
Can I do an international exchange as part of my law degree like I can for the Bachelor of Business?
There are no exchange arrangements set up at the moment although that may be a possible development for the future. 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. It is expected that there will be competition for places and, generally, students with the highest level of academic achievement will be selected.
What are the criteria to get into the first year law papers?
The standards for admission to the law degree at AUT will be commensurate with standards generally applied in other law schools in New Zealand. These are higher than the normal university entrance requirements and applicants will be expected to demonstrate a high level of literacy capability. Minimum entry requirements are as follows:
60 credits at Level 3 over 4 subjects, including at least 3 from the approved subject list. This should include a minimum of 18 credits at merit or above in any one of Classical Studies, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Te Reo Maori or Te Reo Rangatira.
A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 subjects, including a minimum grade of C at AS Level in one of the following: Classical Studies, English Language or Literature, Geography, History, History of Art.
Applicants with similar grade profiles in other combinations of subjects may be considered.
- International Baccalaureate
A predictive score of 28.
- If I am currently enrolled on another degree programme at AUT, will I be able to transfer on to the law degree?
It will be possible and 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 commensurate with those being required of students coming on to the degree with NCEA or Cambridge qualifications – as a guide, you would need to be demonstrating at least a B grade (70%) average in your current studies.
- If I miss out initially on selection to be admitted to the LLB is there any way I can be accepted by completing papers in another degree?
That is possible and such applications are treated on a case-by-case basis. Generally, to be considered you would be expected to show a level of academic achievement commensurate with those being required of students coming on to the degree with NCEA or Cambridge qualifications – as a guide, you would need to be demonstrating at least a B grade (70%) average in your current studies.
- 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 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 have completed commercial law papers in AUT’s BBus degree; will they be able to be cross-credited?
Generally, it is not possible to cross-credit law papers from a non-law degree against the law papers in the LLB.
- 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 such as English or history - 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 a minimum of a grade (70%) 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.
Progression to Second Year
- Will entry to the second year be limited?
It is not intended to limit the numbers progressing from the first to the second year of the degree. However, students will be required to have at least a B grade (70%) average across the 3 first year law papers (weighted in relation to their points value) to proceed to the second year.
I have been studying at another law school for first year, but want to start at AUT for my second year – can I?
We welcome applications for direct entry to the second year (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 obtained at least a B grade (70%) average in your law papers at your originating institution.
Facilities and Staff
- Where is the Law School situated?
At the present time, the Law School is located on level 9 of the AUT Business Building on the corner of Wakefield Street and Mayoral Drive in the Auckland CBD.
- Who is the Dean of the AUT Law School?
Professor Ian Eagles. Ian is one of New Zealand’s leading experts in competition and intellectual property law and he has researched and published widely in these and other areas.
- How large is the Law School?
In 2012 it is expected that the law degree will have around 300 student enrolled. There are currently around 22 full-time staff members teaching in the Law School.
- How will classes be taught?
The law degree has a learning pedagogy based on student engagement which is designed to develop student capabilities in academic learning, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills. There are flexible modes of delivery which includes a mix of small classes, workshops and tutorials as well as the more traditional larger lecture format. In the first year Legal Reasoning and Writing paper, for example, much of the teaching is done in small workshop groups of between 15 and 20 students.
Is there an up-to-date, relevant law library?
The AUT law library comprises all the major legal databases such as LEXISNEXIS, Westlaw, Brookers, CCH, JUSTIS and HeinOnline as well as having an extensive range of legal monographs and texts.
- Are there any postgraduate courses on offer?
At this stage there are no postgraduate qualifications in law offered at AUT however it is expected that a proposal to offer an LLM degree will be approved in 2012. Currently there are postgraduate law papers offered in the Master of Business, Master of Professional Business Studies and MBA degrees.
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
Further information is available from Mike French at email@example.com or Phone +64 9 921 9999 Ext. 5425
Law for the Changing World
“AUT’s law degree provides a dynamic and stimulating learning experience, one that will develop and enhance an understanding of the law, its role in society generally and its relevance to business and commercial practice in particular. It will also develop the essential skills of analysis, critical thinking, communication and problemsolving, which are so important both in our working lives and in many other areas of endeavour.”
Mike French, Director of Undergraduate Programmes in Law