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Auckland gains a new law school

Auckland gains a new law school: AUT University approved to offer law degree

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) this week announced approval for AUT University to offer a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from 2009.

The degree has been approved by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (CLE), as meeting its educational requirements for a degree which qualifies candidates for admission as barristers and solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand.

The degree has also been approved by the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) as meeting the necessary academic standards for a degree programme in a New Zealand university.

AUT University Vice Chancellor Derek McCormack says Auckland is currently underserved compared to other New Zealand major centres and Australian cities, and its large population will benefit from having another law school.

"Auckland is home to one third of New Zealand's population and there is huge demand on its only law school at the University of Auckland," he says.

"The AUT law degree will complement the existing provision and is a strong option for students in the region."

Both the TEC and AUT conducted separate consultations with the legal profession, industry and government departments. Results from both sets of research show strong support for a law degree, based in Auckland, with a commercial law focus.

AUT has appointed Professor Ian Eagles as Dean of Law. Professor Eagles was formerly a Law Professor at the University of Auckland and is one of New Zealand's leading experts in competition law and intellectual property. Professor Eagles has published widely in these and other areas.

AUT will commence the law degree in semester I, 2009 with a first year intake of 100 students. The university is taking enrolment applications now.

The AUT Law School is based at the university's city campus in Auckland's CBD.


Notes for Editors:

AUT University indicated its intention to introduce a law degree in the AUT University Profile 2006-2008 and 2007-2009 and in its Investment Plan for 2008-2010. It was developed over three and a half years by an experienced team of law staff along with extensive consultation with stakeholders.

AUT will have the key academic staff for the first year of teaching the law degree in 2009.

Australia vs. New Zealand:
Australia has one per 640,000 people; New Zealand has one law school per 900,000 people. Australia has 32 law schools; New Zealand has five law schools.

- Auckland (pop 1.3 million) currently has one law school
- Adelaide (pop 1.2 million) has three law schools
- Perth (pop 1.55m) has five law schools
- Brisbane (pop 1.8m) has three law schools
- Melbourne (pop 3.8m) has six law schools
- Sydney (pop 4.3m) has six law schools

Law graduates consistently have one of the highest employability rates of any groups of graduates with only 50 per cent going on to practise law.

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