September 20, 2012
Curtin University will join Western Australia’s other four universities in offering a law course from 2013 onward.
Curtin’s Bachelor of Laws will be offered as an undergraduate degree in the same way as the University of Notre Dame, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University run their law courses.
Curtin’s new degree has been approved by the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia and will take in 120 students a year.
Foundation Dean Paul Fairall said the undergraduate pathway was “fair and appropriate” as students would be given the chance to study law as their first discipline, which minimised the cost of entry to the legal profession.
Curtin’s arch competitor in terms of student attraction, the University of Western Australia, recently announced it would convert its law course to a postgraduate one from next year. UWA declined to comment on its mooted postgraduate course.
The Curtin program will be offered over trimesters, which Professor Fairall said would allow the four-year course to be completed in three.
“When I was appointed as Foundation Dean of the University of South Australia law school we tried it for the first time taking a conventional four-year program and then developing a delivery mode which would enable us to deliver it over three years over trimesters,” he said.
“We did emphasise to students that the real advantage here was not [the speed] with which that they could track through the program, but the flexibility that they would have in relation to how much they studied in one year.”
Professor Fairall said immediate feedback on the course had been promising.
“We had the advertisement on the weekend and already the university is getting a lot of enquiries,” he said.
“First preference figures are very good already.
“In fact, they were already up even before we embarked on any marketing at all.”