Study Law in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury

Christchurch, New Zealand

School of Law History and Tradition

The University of Canterbury School of Law, founded in 1873 in Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand, is well established as one of the leading research and teaching Law Schools in New Zealand. With a long history of academic scholarship, the UC School of Law enjoys a well-deserved reputation for excellence in teaching, high quality writing and research as well as for producing outstanding graduates.

Many of the textbooks used in the study of Law in New Zealand were written by the academic staff at the University of Canterbury School of Law.

Law Study in New ZealandLaw Building

The study of law begins at undergraduate level in New Zealand. Students do not complete a Bachelor's Degree before entering Law School, as in some countries. Instead, students enter university from high school or as adult students and begin a programme of study in Law from the first year. The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, which has been offered at the University of Canterbury since 1877, can be completed in four years.

Today, the programme of study towards an LLB is prescribed and carefully monitored for quality by an independent body, the New Zealand Council for Legal Education.

To be eligible for admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court, a candidate must have graduated with an LLB degree, have passed a course in Legal Ethics and must have completed a Professional Studies course approximately 13 weeks long. Admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in New Zealand is recognised internationally.

UC School of Law Today

The UC School of Law has a strong reputation in the traditional areas of law. It has also been at the forefront in introducing innovative courses such as those in Antarctic Legal Studies, Media Law, Law and Sport and Computers and Law. The School also offers practical courses in legal skills such as Legal Internship, Negotiation and Mediation and Trial Advocacy. Students graduating from the University of Canterbury School of Law are well-prepared in all ways and highly valued by employers for careers in many countries in the legal profession, business or in governmental or non-governmental organisations.

About 1000 students at all levels study law at the University of Canterbury. Some are taking introductory law courses as part of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Others choose to take law as part of a Commerce, Arts, Science or Social Work degree.

Many University of Canterbury LLB students choose to complete double degrees. A double degree consists of two separate degrees and is not the same as a conjoint degree, which cannot be separated into two individual degrees. Because of the generous cross-credits between the LLB and other degrees, students are able to complete two degrees in five years of study. Common combinations are the LLB with Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), LLB with Bachelor of Arts (BA) and LLB with Bachelor of Science (BSc).

About 25% of UC Law students are adults. Some have already completed a Bachelor's Degree but others are entering university study for the first time. Many students have entered university after completing high school. Just over 80% of LLB students are studying full time.

Between 30 and 50 students are part of a UC School of Law postgraduate course. Postgraduate programmes offered include the Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Laws in International Law and Politics and the PhD. The LLM degrees are extremely flexible and can be taken by thesis or by following a course of study and research. Five to ten PhD students are working in the School of Law at any one time. Many postgraduate students come from overseas.

Students are Important

The UC School of Law is a friendly place where students are made welcome, supported, encouraged to take part and to succeed by the staff and the law student organisations. Academic staff have office hours where students are welcome to stop by and ask questions. Past students often return to the Law School to visit and update staff with their progress in careers and life. All staff take great pride in the success that UC School of Law graduates have once they leave the School.

Modern Facilities

The University of Canterbury Law School is housed in a modern, well-equipped building. The building is home to lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, seminar rooms and contains the Law Library, with its extensive collection of legal resources and helpful staff. The top two floors of the building house academic and administrative staff and postgraduate students. Law student computer facilities and wireless internet access are also available within the building. A cafe, which is a popular gathering place for students, is situated on the ground floor.

Central Campus Location

The School of Law is sited at the heart of the University of Canterbury campus within easy walking distance to all lecture theatres, student services, campus cafes and to the halls of residence. Good bus services and student parking are also nearby.

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