Law Students Opposed To New Law Faculty At AUT
PRESS RELEASE: NEW ZEALAND LAW STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION INC
Law Students Opposed To New Law Faculty At Aut
14 February 2008
The New Zealand Law Students’ Association’s (NZLSA) has publicly voiced its opposition to a proposal by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to establish a new law school at its Auckland faculty. The proposal is backed by the AUT council and is currently being considered by regulatory bodies.
“The interests of Law students are well served by the five existing law schools and the NZLSA is firmly opposed to the creation of another law school in New Zealand at AUT” President of NZLSA, Dave Dewar, said.
“AUT has not done their homework, and their proposal as it stands does not reflect a serious investigation into New Zealand’s need for a sixth law school. The NZLSA is not convinced that there is either market demand, or an educational need, for a sixth law school in New Zealand,” Dewar said.
“The New Zealand LLB is a very highly regarded qualification both nationally and internationally. However, the job market for law students at the present time is limited and apparently nearing saturation - the AUT law school could not only jeopardise the current availability of employment for law students, but could directly prejudice the value of the LLB as a qualification.”
“AUT have proposed that its law school curriculum would be predicated on a commercial focus. In NZLSA’s view, this would result in students being wrongly forced into making a decision about their future too early, before having studied or practiced law,” Dewar said, “AUT also appears to confuse its experience in teaching limited commercial law subjects to Commerce Students with providing the widely balanced, well resourced, comprehensive curriculum that is necessary for offering a viable law degree.”
“AUT’s proposal also specifically aims to recruit students who have failed to achieve the required standard to enter law at other universities, such an approach could only result in a general devaluation of the LLB degree as a whole,” Dewar said.
The NZLSA represents the interests of all New Zealand law students. Education policy decisions are made by the NZLSA Council, comprising of student representatives from each law school in New Zealand.