New Sydney law school opens for admissions

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TOP Education Institute’s Law School was given accreditation by the NSW Legal Practice Admissions Board back in April and will begin teaching students in the first semester of 2016.

The new Sydney City School of Law has positioned itself to provide access to a legal education to groups underrepresented in the legal profession.  Deputy principle Professor Sam Blay told Australasian Lawyer that for this reason, the school is paying particular attention to attracting students from schools in Western Sydney.

Marketed as a tech savvy school with a fully electronic library, the new school has a practical approach and will focus on producing lawyers ready to enter the workforce.

“Over the years, law schools haven’t been properly in tune with the industry,” said Blay.

“One of the things we focus on which traditionally law schools don’t is to be more oriented towards law practice whilst in law school.
“We are more focussed on skills building to make our students market ready.”

With an admission ATAR of 85, Blay said it’s not the most competitive among NSW law schools, but it’s certainly not the least.

Sydney City School of Law will combine small classrooms with the less theoretical approach in a completely different law school offering. 

“Our philosophy is to create the law school that we wish we had attended,” Blay said.

“What we offer more than any other law school would be our approach to small sized teaching.”

Based in Sydney Technology Park, the school believes its well positioned to create interning opportunities with surrounding businesses and will encourage students to select internships on an international scale.  
  • Maylis on 22/10/2015 9:06:56 AM

    Encouraging, promising university that as an international law student from Paris, I fully support!
    It should compete with important Australian universities and hence, as any kind of competition, improve innovation and the quality of education by stimulating actors already in the market. Obvious improvements are arising from this new institution!

  • Concerned on 25/09/2015 11:24:26 PM

    This is ridiculous. There is clearly an over supply of law students. I hope the school properly advises all students of this fact before they invest large amounts of time and money pursuing the course. Anything less would be ... i would say negligent.

  • Rob Lewis on 25/09/2015 4:53:04 PM

    “What we offer more than any other law school would be our approach to small sized teaching.”

    What is the approach? And what is small sized teaching?

  • Cristina Iordache on 25/09/2015 2:20:18 PM

    Hi Lou B!
    The view that there is "an exponential increase" in the number of lawyers or that there is an oversupply of lawyers is based on a misconception of legal education and the law degree in modern society. Such views only view lawyers as employable in law firms and the court room. Legal education goes beyond the courtroom and law firms. The Productivity Commission recently considered the question of "increasing numbers" of law graduates and made the following conclusions:
    While it is clear that graduate numbers are increasing, the Commission does not see that this justifies any constraint on student numbers for law degrees. The available evidence indicates that this increase in graduates may not equate to an excess supply in the legal market, that law students do not necessarily enter the legal profession and that incomes of starting graduates are relatively unaffected by growth. Indeed, increased entry fosters competition in the profession and therefore improves the responsiveness of firms. This can improve access to justice.
    Geoff Bowyer, the President of the Law Institute of Victoria also had this to say:
    "The law degree is changing from being a career specific to a broad degree … Law degrees are seen in corporate and government [fields] as a good base for making good administrative people. Arts used to be seen as that generalist field. In a society where regulation is increasing, being able to [understand the law] is a skill."

  • Cristina Iordache on 25/09/2015 1:56:24 PM

    Hi Jennifer!
    The Sydney City School of Law has an excellent multicultural team of academics and professionals coming from different corners of the world including Australia, USA, Africa, Asia and Europe.

  • lou b on 24/09/2015 9:36:04 PM

    would be interesting to know how many of the surrounding businesses and international businesses had unrestricted practising certificate lawyers because a legal internership is utterly useless unless there is an unrestricted australian qualified lawyer to 'sign off' the interns work as required by law society rules.

  • Jennifer Pierno on 24/09/2015 12:53:18 PM

    I believe that it is Chinese-owned and the staff is predominantly Chinese unlike UTS, Sydney Uni and Uni of NSW

  • lou b on 24/09/2015 10:38:47 AM

    Exponentially ncreasing the supply of unemployed solicitors is another definition of insanity

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