The path to Law isn’t just about exams and getting the perfect ATAR; it’s a mix of ambition, confidence and extracurriculars as well. Keep reading to find out how to nail your Law School application!
I graduated in 2022 and am currently studying my first year of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. When I was in high school, I thought studying Law would be two things: lots of reading, and the iconic TV show ‘Suits.’ I was wrong. In fact, it is so much better than I could ever imagine. The application process however was very confusing. I didn’t know which Law school was best suited for me, and I didn’t know how to make my application stand out.
Lucky for you, I am here to guide you with everything you prospective law students need to know.
Top 5 Law Schools in Australia
When deciding which Law school is best for you, it’s important to keep your strengths and likes in mind. Each school can offer something different, and just because a school has a great reputation, it doesn’t mean it’s the one for you. Think about what you prefer: traditional textbook or hands-on learning; exchange, or staying in one city; human rights, or corporate. Below are Australia’s top 5 Law schools ranked in 2023 based on the likeliness that graduates will be hired and their international recognition.
5. Monash University
Ranked fifth in Australia, Monash University boasts a personalised Law degree, where undergraduates can add their interests to their course. Students can choose from a range of electives like Media Law, Animal Law, Human Rights Law, and so much more. Monash University is based in Melbourne and offers guaranteed entry for students who achieve an ATAR of 90 and above. Studying at Monash also gives you the opportunity to get clinical legal experience, where students are able to work on real-life cases.
4. University of Sydney
Coming in fourth place is the University of Sydney. To study a Bachelor of Laws, students will require an ATAR of 99.50. The degree is 4 years long, and has a community project unit, giving students the opportunity to solve real legal problems with industry partners.
3. UNSW Sydney
In third place is UNSW Sydney. The university estimates that students will require an ATAR of 90+, however, all prospective Law students will need to sit a Law Admissions test. This is exclusive to UNSW and helps the university select those with legal and analytical skills, not just a high ATAR. The degree is 4 years long, and there is an academic exchange program where the university has partnered with more than 80 Law schools across 40 countries!!
2. Australian National University
Second place goes to the Australian National University (ANU), located in Canberra. The university requires students to have an ATAR of 97.00, and the degree is 4 years long. There are many networking events that ANU hosts, and being located in the epicentre of Australia’s policymakers definitely gives Law students a boost.
- University of Melbourne
And, in first place is the University of Melbourne. You will need a 99.00+ to study to be a Juris Doctor, which is a 3-year-long degree. The university regularly hosts forward-thinking workshops, conferences and lectures, which give students the opportunity to engage with the local community
The Application Process
It’s no lie you need a high ATAR to get into Law school. Most schools ask for an ATAR of 95.00+, and there are a few that will accept the high 80s. In such a competitive landscape, there has to be something that helps you stand out right?
Well, that’s where a recommendation letter can come in handy. A recommendation letter written by your school principal, or a trusted teacher will most definitely help with the process. These letters show the board who you are as a person beyond just your school marks. Your principal/teacher will talk about your involvement with the school, your engagement with others, and how awesome you are as a person; definitely don’t miss out on the chance to submit a recommendation letter when applying for Law.
Also, extracurriculars will give you that vibrant edge over other students. Engaging in meaningful extracurriculars shows you have the ability to balance your responsibilities and show your involvement in the community. They don’t have to be law-related, such as debating or public speaking – these extra-curricular activities can be sports, volunteer work and leadership positions. Anything to show that you are an active and passionate individual.
If you don’t get your desired ATAR to get into Law school, it’s okay. There are so many other ways to study Law. Most universities offer a Bachelor of Criminology or a Bachelor of Justice, which are similar to Law. It’s possible to complete a year of this, and then transfer to a Law degree so long as your grades are satisfactory. Or, you may even find that you love these degrees, and stick with them, maybe even deciding to do both as a double degree, pairing Law with a Bachelor of Justice.
Studying Law requires a lot of analytical thinking. You are expected to do a lot of reading to build foundational knowledge, and you can expect lots of essays. Make sure you brush up on those essay skills in high school, as this will be a crucial skill you will need to harness. But, aside from the academics, Law school is an awesome opportunity to build your confidence in public speaking and networking and to professionally develop in ways that will apply to any discipline. It has been such a rewarding experience for me and I can't recommend it enough!
Want more personalized study guidance to help drastically improve your marks? A private tutor can make the biggest difference!
Written by KIS Academics tutor Tiana Rukavina. Tiana currently offers tutoring for QCE English and Literature. Tiana is completing a Bachelor of Laws & Business. You can view her profile and request her as a tutor by clicking here.