Handbook

MC-JURISD Juris Doctor

Year and Campus: 2017 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 073303C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 300 credit points taken over 36 months full time.

Coordinator

Associate Professor Jeannie Paterson, Associate Dean (Juris Doctor)

Contact

Melbourne Law School

Currently enrolled students:
• General information: law.unimelb.edu.au/students/jd
Contact Stop 1

Future students:
• Further information: law.unimelb.edu.au/study/jd
Make an enquiry

Course Overview:

The Melbourne JD is a fully graduate law degree. Applicants must have either an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than law or a degree in law from a different legal system. The JD leads to admission to the legal profession in all Australian jurisdictions and can be used as a basis for seeking admission in many overseas jurisdictions as well.

Melbourne Law School aims to produce intellectually engaged graduates who are well equipped to use their legal training in a variety of professional settings, including legal practice, and to make a contribution to the community. Melbourne Law School will select students from a broad range of backgrounds who have a record of academic excellence, and are intellectually rigorous, motivated and engaged with the study of law. Melbourne Law School believes that a diverse student body enriches both the learning and practice of law, and for this reason we encourage applications from graduates with a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, as well as from a variety of academic disciplines, geographical locations, careers and life experiences.

Selection into the JD is based on academic results in all tertiary study undertaken and the score and essay received in a legal aptitude test (LSAT). In addition, Melbourne has a Graduate Access program for students who have been disadvantaged and guaranteed pathways to the degree for some high achieving school leavers. As a result of these selection criteria, the Melbourne JD student body will be diverse, motivated and highly talented. JD students will bring to the study of law a wide range of knowledge and experience gained from their undergraduate degrees, and the Melbourne JD is designed to respond to the exciting challenge of teaching law to such a group. The curriculum has been developed specifically for graduates and the course is structured and taught in a way that is suitable for graduates. Usually the maximum class size is 60 and in many subjects it is smaller, to enhance the opportunities for interaction between students and teachers and amongst students themselves.

The law degree is taught over six semesters under the standard three year course structure, with options for flexible study subject to Law School approval. The teaching year begins in February. Applications for admission are assessed in the latter part of the preceding year.

The School has offered the Melbourne JD since 2000. It has been an outstanding success. It set a benchmark for legal education in Australia and was welcomed by students, teachers and employers alike. The degree that has been offered from 2008 builds on that experience, adapting it to the needs of a larger and more diverse student body.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of the degree are to ensure, as far as possible, that every graduate with a Melbourne JD has the following attributes and skills:

  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship and legal practice;
  • Highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem-solving skills;
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • Intellectual curiosity and creativity including understanding of the philosophical and methodological bases of research activity;
  • Extensive knowledge of the discipline of law, including legal knowledge and skills, and informed respect for the principles, disciplines, values and ethics of the legal profession;
  • Ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts, to express them lucidly, whether orally or in writing, and to confront unfamiliar problems;
  • Awareness of advanced communications technologies and modalities, sound working skills in the application of computer systems and software, and receptiveness to the expanding opportunities of the 'information revolution';
  • International awareness and openness to the world, based on understanding and appreciation of social and cultural diversity and respect for human rights and dignity;
  • Leadership capacity, including a willingness to engage in constructive public discourse, to accept social and civic responsibilities and to speak out against prejudice, injustice and the abuse of power;
  • Ability and confidence to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team-member, while respecting individual differences; and
  • Ability to plan work and to use time effectively.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Melbourne JD comprises 24 subjects.

Compulsory Subjects
Seventeen are compulsory, enabling the School to provide its students with cumulative learning, by integrating both subject matter and skills across and between semesters. These subjects are organised so as to ensure a balanced range in each semester, between which linkages can be made. In addition, subjects in both private and public law build progressively over the semesters, contributing to the effectiveness of the learning experience.

In the first of the JD students are grouped into cohorts for compulsory subjects. This enhances the collegial experience of, and learning communities forged between, students during their time in the School and establishes bonds that will continue long after graduation.

Elective Subjects
The remaining 7 subjects are chosen by students from a wide range of optional subjects offered by the School. These vary from year to year, enabling the School to respond to changes in the law and legal thinking and giving students access to the latest developments in research by some of the leading scholars in the School.

Standard course structure - 3 years
In its standard form, the degree is taken over three years. This format enables students to take advantage of other educational, professional and social opportunities during the summer and winter breaks, including seasonal clerkships, international exchanges, internships, mooting and Law Review editorial work.

Flexible course structures - 2.5, 3.5, or 4 years
The Melbourne JD can also be accelerated by students with outstanding results with approval from the Law School, by utilizing the summer and winter break periods to complete additional JD subjects. The Melbourne JD can also be extended up to four years, subject to Law School approval. This flexibility enables students to take advantage of other educational, professional and social opportunities during the summer and winter breaks, including seasonal clerkships, international exchanges, internships, mooting and Law Review editorial work. These opportunities are necessarily more limited for accelerating students.

Subject Options:

Melbourne JD - Course Structure

The below subjects are structured based on the 3 year JD course structure. For students completing the JD in 2.5, 3.5, or 4 years, alternative course structures can be found on the Melbourne Law School website.

The Standard 3 Year Course Structure

Year 1 - Foundation Subject

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Year 1 - Compulsory Subjects

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
12.50
Semester 1
12.50
Semester 2
12.50
Semester 2
12.50
November, Semester 2
12.50
Semester 2
12.50

Year 2 - Compulsory Subjects

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
12.50
Semester 1
12.50
Semester 1
12.50
Semester 2
12.50
November, Semester 2
12.5

Year 3 - Compulsory Subjects

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Winter Term
12.5
Semester 1, Winter Term
12.5
Semester 1, Semester 2
12.5

JD Electives Available in 2017

During the JD, students must complete 87.5 credit points of elective study.

Students following the Standard 3 Year Course Structure would generally complete:
- 2 electives in Year 2 (one in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2)
- 5 electives in Year 3 (two in one semester and three in the other, depending on the semester in which Legal Research is completed)

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
November, Summer Term, Winter Term
12.5
Summer Term, Semester 2
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
February, Semester 1
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
Semester 1
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
August, Summer Term
12.5
Semester 1
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
November, Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2, Winter Term
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
Semester 1
12.5
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
12.5
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
12.5
February
12.5
July, Summer Term
12.5
Semester 1, Semester 2
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
Semester 2
12.5
Semester 1, Semester 2
12.5
Semester 1
12.5

Optional: Melbourne Law Masters (MLM) Elective

Information on how to apply for this opportunity can be found on the Melbourne Law School website.

JD students can apply to take 1 of their electives from the below MLM subjects available in 2017:

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
September
12.5
February, October
12.5
October
12.5

JD Electives Not Offered in 2017

The following subjects have been offered in the JD previously; however will not be available for 2017 enrolments.

Subject
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Not offered in 2017
12.5
Entry Requirements:

In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • The Law Schools Admission Test (LSAT), including the essay component; and
  • A tertiary degree in a discipline other than law or a degree in law from a different legal system.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • The score in the LSAT test; and
  • Prior academic performance in all tertiary studies.

The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

Applicants are required to satisfy the University's English language requirements for graduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 7 is required. Details on ways of meeting the English language requirements.

Guaranteed Pathways into the Juris Doctor for school leavers:

  • For a Commonwealth Supported Place, the applicant must have an ATAR of 99.9 and successfully complete an undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne.
  • For a fee place, the applicant must have an ATAR of 99.0 and a weighted average mark of at least H2A (75%) in an undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne.

The University's Graduate Access Melbourne scheme offers an alternative avenue of application for applicants who are eligible under the scheme.

Detailed information about the application and selection process for the Melbourne JD is available on the Melbourne Law School website.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the School's programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the University for Student Equity and Disability Support.

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne JD offers an outstanding graduate-level legal education designed to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes central to an effective and rewarding legal career in the twenty-first century. The degree is characterised by a highly rigorous, integrated and comparative curriculum that enables students to develop rich and holistic understandings of laws within their broader national and international contexts. Students' growing mastery of complex legal skills takes place within, and is supported, by mature, diverse and collaborative learning cohorts. Emphasis throughout is on developing students' professionalism and expertise so as to prepare graduates who will enrich and renew the profession and public life through their commitment to excellence, innovation, service and engagement.

Melbourne JD graduates demonstrate an advanced and integrated knowledge of:

  • The Australian legal system and its foundational principles, sources, concepts and values;
  • Law in practice, including detailed understanding of legal institutions, methods of reasoning and dispute resolution processes;
  • Law in context, including comparative, international and multi-cultural perspectives on contemporary legal issues.

Melbourne JD graduates are able to work highly effectively both autonomously and collaboratively to:

  • Solve a wide range of complex problems and address new challenges by identifying relevant and accurate information and applying logical, critical and creative thinking;
  • Advance knowledge, practice and understanding by engaging in processes of research, analysis, interpretation, reflection and review;
  • Communicate effectively, constructively and persuasively in oral and written forms and in a range of public and interpersonal contexts.

In addition, Melbourne JD graduates:

  • Critically reflect upon and engage with legal traditions, institutions and values, and the roles and responsibilities of legal professionals;
  • Recognise and reflect upon the responsibility of legal professionals for the renewal of laws, legal institutions and legal processes and the promotion of justice to serve the changing needs of contemporary communities;
  • Demonstrate high standards of socially responsible and ethical conduct, and the ability to exercise sound professional judgement, in their personal, professional and public lives.
Professional Accreditation:

The Juris Doctor is accredited as fulfilling the academic requirements for admission to legal practice in Victoria by the Council of Legal Education. Mutual recognition legislation generally allows lawyers admitted in Victoria to gain admission to practice in other States and Territories of Australia.

Generic Skills:

At the completion of the JD course all students are able to demonstrate competence in a range of core skills essential to many career paths in law. The cumulative nature of the course curriculum allows for the development of skills throughout the course.

For more information about Skills Development for the Melbourne JD please visit the Melbourne Law School website.

Links to further information: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/study/jd

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