BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Laws at USYD

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Laws at USYD

USYD Law Fact Sheet

Thinking about studying a Bachelor of Laws at USYD? Ready to kickstart your law profession but unsure where to start?

Well, you’ve clicked on the right article!

Let’s dive into a summary of everything you need to know about this awesome degree, including its culture, entry ways, teaching format and course opportunities. 

What is a Bachelor of Laws at USYD?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Laws at USYD
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Laws at USYD?

A Bachelor of Laws at USYD is a degree focussed on the modern legal environment, equipping you with the skills and qualifications required for becoming a legal practitioner in NSW. You will learn to tackle problems in a variety of legal settings and topics, study the history of Australian law and discuss the law’s ethical connections in this internationally-recognised degree.

Taking on law at USYD also requires studying a second degree within Science, Arts, Engineering, Commerce or Economics. The structure of the degree as a double gives Sydney Uni Law graduates a competitive edge, with their knowledge and skills in another discipline.

USYD is also one of the top 5 law schools in Australia — learn more here!

Who should study a Bachelor of Laws?

Students who are skilled in analytical thinking, problem-solving and writing are most likely to excel in a Bachelor of Laws at USYD. The course heavily relies on and refines your critical writing skills so it is well-suited to students who enjoyed English, History and Legal Studies. 

Career Paths

This degree is the first step to becoming a:

    • Barrister
    • Judge
    • Magistrate
    • Policy Advisor
    • Consultant

You will also be qualified for a variety of other jobs within the legal field. To become a practising lawyer, you will then need to complete Practical Legal Training (PLT), a program designed to equip you with the everyday practical skills required of an entry-level lawyer, to officially be admitted into the law profession in Australia. 

A Bachelor of Laws is also a great way to supercharge your second degree, demonstrating discipline, intelligence and extensive legal knowledge to future employers, which are impressive (and possibly extremely helpful) even in fields excluding law. 

Check out careers you can pursue with a Bachelor of Laws here!

You can also learn about what it’s like being a Community Lawyer here or an Environmental Lawyer here.

Core Units for this Degree

There are no majors specifically available for a Bachelor of Laws at USYD, however, you may be allowed to choose majors in your second degree. 

The first four years of study will be made up of compulsory core units, with your final year being largely comprised of legal electives to offer some flexibility to your degree. 

What are the Core Units?

The Bachelor of Laws at USYD requires you to complete several core units, each on different parts of the law to ensure you are fully equipped to enter the legal profession.

These units cover the foundations of law, torts, contracts, public law, legal research, civil and criminal procedure, criminal law, administrative law, corporations law, property law, commercial law and private international law. Some topics may be revisited in later years, whilst others are taught for a semester.

What internship opportunities are there?

Internships are not a requirement to complete the law side of your degree. However, the Sydney University Law Society (SULS) will often advise students of clerkships (law internships) offered by law firms to penultimate and ultimate students to help guarantee a post-graduate job. 

 

How to Get into a Bachelor of Laws at USYD

The Bachelor of Laws at USYD has an ATAR cut off of 99.5, however it also offers admission pathways for domestic students on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors. 

The Bachelor of Laws at USYD also offers a transfer program, wherein applicants can transfer into the degree after one year of tertiary study. You will be either assessed on your tertiary or secondary grades, whichever is higher.

The program enables you to still complete your degree within five years (including the year already studied)! You can find out more about transfers here.

Are there any prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites to study a Bachelor of Laws at USYD, however, be sure to check out if your second degree has any. 

Scholarships

There are very few scholarships offered for a Bachelor of Laws at USYD, however, the Sydney Scholars Award and a small variety of scholarships to cater to financial hardships and equity are offered.

You can find more information here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

A Bachelor of Laws at USYD is taught by semesters, through lectures, tutorials and/or seminars, the format catering to each law subject. 

USYD Law - Class Structure

Whilst the format does not vary too much throughout your years of study, it will vary between law subjects. Some subjects will require you to attend a lecture to garner the knowledge that is later discussed in a tutorial. Others depend on seminars, wherein time is split between teaching and practical activities.

Note: In a Bachelor of Laws at USYD, the term ‘seminar’ is often applied loosely. While in some subjects, this means a small class wherein you are required to interact with students and your tutor, in others, it means a small scale lecture where questions are welcome. 

Within lectures, you may be surrounded by more than 100 other students, while a tutorial caters towards more personalised learning with up to 25 students in a class. The number of students that attend seminars can vary between 30 to 40.

How many hours do you have to go to university?

This really depends on the second degree you choose to study with your Bachelor of Laws at USYD. Law units also vary in contact hours, some requiring a two hour lecture and tutorial, others requiring two 2 hour seminars, etc. 

However, studying a Bachelor of Laws means doing a lot of set readings of cases and textbooks outside of contact hours to supplement the content taught in-person. You will also often be expected to read and consider problem questions (pre-written legal scenarios) before turning up to tutorials.

What are the assessments like?

A law unit required for the Bachelor of Laws at USYD is usually comprised of three assessments per semester: participation, a take-home problem and a final exam. 

Participation: You will be assessed on how well you contribute to class discussions and can be “on-call”, wherein you are assigned a lesson wherein you will be required to answer questions concerning the week’s topic. 

Take-Home Problem: You will be given a legal scenario, wherein you have to advise a client or clients by applying the law and legal concepts you have been taught. 

Final Exam: Similar to take-home problems but more extensive and under time constraints. 

You may also be required to create presentations and write essays, amongst other assessment tasks.

Skills You Develop

USYD Law - Skills

A lot of the skills you develop in studying a Bachelor of Laws are applicable to other jobs, as well as those within the legal field. In learning to apply the law, you will be pushed to be innovative and comprehensive, whilst retaining a critical voice

You will get opportunities to develop your communication skills, both written and oral, to convey points succinctly but professionally, making it exceptionally useful in the corporate and consulting industry. 

As a demanding degree to study, a Bachelor of Laws at USYD also teaches you to balance your priorities and stay on top of multiple tasks, making you a diligent and disciplined student. 

What’s the Faculty & Culture Like?

The Bachelor of Laws at USYD is often touted as a highly regarded and respected course to study; it’s the level of teaching and experience that the faculty offers that makes it easy to see why. Each lecturer and tutor often comes equipped with years of experience within the field to ground your studies in practice. 

USYD Law Student quote

Student-wise, there is a little truth to the image of elitist culture that USYD Law cultivates. You will find that the cohort will be largely comprised of private-school-educated students coming from upper to upper-middle class families, which can be alienating if you don’t fit into that category. 

However, as it is a relatively long degree, you will find yourself seeing familiar faces each semester and you will be one of the rare cohorts afforded the time to grow closer as a whole. Also, most students in USYD law are highly intelligent, informed and down for a good conversation. 

Societies

You will find students studying a Bachelor of Laws at USYD generally gravitate towards any societies that are politically based, such as the Sydney University United Nations Society (SUUNS) and are often involved in writing for Honi Soit (the university publication).

Law Revue is also popular for any law students interested in performing arts. Law students also often participate in Mooting Competitions which mimic court trials in order to practice applying the law in a practical setting.

Check out the pros and cons of a USYD Law degree here!


Jacinda Yang graduated in 2018 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney. She has been an avid writer and reader for as long as she can remember, dipping into public speaking competitions, short stories, slam poetry and even the dark, unmentionable days of Wattpad fiction. These days you can find her bingeing Netflix comedy specials or guiltily still indulging in young adult novels.

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