Intense, lots of hard work, competitive atmosphere, good resources, you feel like you get a bit lost in the system though
The format of this course is great. Intensive classes every six weeks, Friday and Saturdays make it really easy to study.
Cover a really wide range of topics relating to what makes life worth living. Assessments are mostly essays, ranging from 1500 to 6500 words.
It can be pretty tough going but the course is well run, people and faculty staff are exceptional. Often get access to some of the worlds best researchers in the field.
Commerce at Melbourne is genuinely a great course to be enrolled in, with plenty of support and resources available to you. The vast majority of the teaching staff are interesting and helpful (though there are always a few exceptions), and there are plenty of opportunities to network with industry, especially if you attend student club + society events (e.g. FMAA, CSS)
I completed the JD at Melbourne in 2013. I was in the first year students had to do the JD as the LLM was no longer available; this meant that there were some issues to be sorted out with the course, for example, we were initially not allowed to lower the coursework and do three subject a semester instead of four. I understand this has now been changed and students are able to select a course load that suits them. We were also told that the JD, being a post-grad degree, would be marked on a “harder” scaled than the LLM; some students believed this affected their job prospects as when it came to applying for clerkships, most students’ average grade was lower than students at other universities.
I found this course to be extremely difficult, but rewarding. The course load is heavy and can be challenging to understand. However, the teaches are first rate. The course uses the socratic method of teaching, so you should have done your reading and be prepared to answer questions during classes (which are more like tutorials; there are no big lectures). The first two years of the course are filled with compulsory subjects. If you fail one of these subjects it is hard to continue with the course as it is designed as subjects in semester two can be follow on subjects from those in semester 1 (which you have to have passed before being able to complete second semester). The first semester of second year is particularly challenging as not only do you have four subjects to do, but you are probably applying for clerkships (which is almost a subject in itself). However, once you have done clerkships and had a job offer, third year is much more enjoyable as you are doing elective subjects, and there are some interesting ones (medical and media law, for example).
The course prepares you well for the workplace and teaches you how to read and understand legislation and case law. It seems much more commercial and practical than some other law degrees which can be very theoretical and academic (not to say this isn’t academic too). In terms of assessment, most subjects will have a mini essay due mid term (worth 20%) and exam at the end of the semester, or an exam worth 100% at the end of semester. A number of subjects do take home exams over the span of 24 or 48 hours. There is also a requirement to do a significant piece of legal writing, which is an 8,000 word essay.
I found it hard to have a part-time job while studying for this course and for the first two years didn’t work. Combined with the cost of the degree, it can be hard to justify the expense on the course, especially if you don’t get a job at the end. I was fortunate enough to receive a job offer, however a large number of my cohort did not. I’m not sure what the market is like at this stage though.
I have now moved overseas to work as a lawyer and employers (in the UK at least) were not interested in where I studied law in Australia (they don’t appear to know the difference between the universities), and were only interested in what firm and type of work I had been doing.
I believe this is a degree you need to be sure about wanting to do before commencing. While it provides you with a fantastic skill set and teaches you a new way of thinking and writing, it is all encompassing and will mostly be the only thing you are able to do for three years. Note however that you can commence the course and withdraw before a certain period in the semester to avoid incurring fees.
|University of Melbourne|
|La Trobe University|
|University of Technology Sydney|
|University of Sydney|
|Western Sydney University|
|University of Queensland|
|Australian Catholic University|
|Australian National University|
|Central Queensland University|
|Edith Cowan University|