The School of Law at the University of Canterbury was founded in 1873 and has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence.
Law students are taught how to think critically, how to analyse complex facts and issues, and how to persuade by logical argument. UC Law students gain a comprehensive grounding in working with statutes, cases and other legal materials. You will learn about law in its wider social, political and historical contexts. UC Law graduates emerge well-rounded, highly competent and with a thorough understanding of the law and all it involves.
UC Law's strengths are recognised globally. You will learn from experts at UC. The School's lecturers are respected internationally, write important textbooks and act as public commentators on the law. Many Law teachers maintain close contact with the legal profession and local professionals contribute to the Law School's curriculum. International visitors to the Law School provide specialist courses on a regular basis.
The UC Law degree offers students a range of options in areas as diverse as Environmental Law, Commercial Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Law and Sport, Immigration and Refugee Law, and Media Law.
Law students enjoy the collegial atmosphere at the School of Law, where they get to know each other and the staff in the Law School. LAWSOC, the Law Students' Society, has over 800 members and is very active, organising academic support, social activities, a range of competitions and other events throughout the year. Some of these include the Law Revue, the Law Ball and the Leavers' Dinner. The Māori Law Students' Association, Te Pūtairiki, provides a supportive environment, fostering academic excellence among Māori Law students and organising cultural and social events. The School of Law has a direct link to Community Law Canterbury giving students the opportunity to assist real people with real problems.
The Law School is housed in a modern stand-alone building with purpose-built tutorial and lecture rooms, and a specially designed Moot Courtroom, which is regularly used for client interviewing, witness examination, mooting and negotiation competitions.
There are numerous scholarships and prizes, and overseas exchange opportunities including the only New Zealand internship to the United States Congress. Law firms and other employers come to the School each year to recruit summer clerks and graduates.
Many Law students choose to give service to Community Law Canterbury or become active in groups like Women's Refuge or Amnesty International.
You will need to have good reading, writing and analytical skills. Subjects such as English, drama, economics, te reo Māori, foreign languages, history and classical studies are useful preparation.
Students with science, mathematics, music or art backgrounds also succeed in Law. They must also have good language skills and express themselves well in writing.
In addition to LAWS 101 and LAWS 110, students must successfully complete 75 points of courses from other UC degrees. LAWS 150 may be included in these. Refer to the Bachelor of Laws page for more information.
This freedom of choice in first-year Law allows students to try various subjects before making a final decision about the degree or degrees they intend to complete. Students intending to complete a double degree will choose non-Law courses needed for progression in their other degree.
Good grades (normally at least a B) in LAWS 101 and LAWS 110 are necessary to advance into second-year Law. Refer to the Bachelor of Laws page for details of second-year study.
Diversity and flexibility characterise third and fourth-year Law. There is an array of optional courses, which cover a broad range of areas including:
- commercial law
- community law
- criminal justice
- information, media and technology law
- international law
- Māori land and resource law
- immigration and refugee law
- property and environmental law.
Students may also take other highly specialised courses, such as Law and Sport, Trial Advocacy and Antarctic Legal Studies.
See the Bachelor of Laws page for details of the Bachelor of Laws Honours.
Law graduates wishing to seek admission as Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand are required to undertake a Professional Legal Studies course following completion of their LLB. This is administered by institutions which are independent of the universities.
Law degrees are popular because of the wide-ranging career opportunities available to Law graduates. There are UC Law graduates among the judiciary and at all levels of the New Zealand legal profession, in towns and cities across New Zealand and the world.
The core legal skills of research, writing, analysis and reasoning are highly prized in many professions. UC Law graduates have become politicians and army officers, policy analysts and public servants, diplomats and company directors.
Every industry needs people who know the law as it applies to them, so people with a background in Law have the ability to be involved in any area of life in which they are interested.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers