JD/LLD - Monash, U of Melbourne, or La Trobe


murrdah
I realize this is a forum for LLM applicants. However, I have been struggling to find info on Australian Law Schools by any other means. Anyone with advice would be much appreciated....so heres the deal.

I am a student from Canada going to Australia next year to complete a JD or LLB starting Feb 2009. I am planning on attending school in Melbourne and I have applied to three schools: Monash, U of Melbourne, and La Trobe and I am desperately seeking advice.

My long-term plan is to complete the degree and gain some work experience in Australia. Thus, the issues that are important to me are post-graduate work opportunities, the Australian/international reputation of the university, and finances (meaning I would like to be conscious of the difference in prices and the return on them).

In its most basic form here's what I gathered so far.

University of Melbourne (JD)
- 3 years = 78 000 AUD
- good international reputation
- Go8 school
- highest academic requirements (LSAT required, 3.0 GPA)

Monash University (JD)
- 3 years = 89 000 AUD
- Go8 school
- largest and most prestigious law school in Australia
- JD program relatively new

La Trobe University (LLB)
- 3 years = 54 000 AUD
- large # international and Canadian students
- one of best IRUA schools

I am really interested to hear any feedback. Things that I might have overlooked when weighing these three schools against each other. I would really appreciate it if there were any current or past law students that could help me out.
I realize this is a forum for LLM applicants. However, I have been struggling to find info on Australian Law Schools by any other means. Anyone with advice would be much appreciated....so heres the deal.

I am a student from Canada going to Australia next year to complete a JD or LLB starting Feb 2009. I am planning on attending school in Melbourne and I have applied to three schools: Monash, U of Melbourne, and La Trobe and I am desperately seeking advice.

My long-term plan is to complete the degree and gain some work experience in Australia. Thus, the issues that are important to me are post-graduate work opportunities, the Australian/international reputation of the university, and finances (meaning I would like to be conscious of the difference in prices and the return on them).

In its most basic form here's what I gathered so far.

University of Melbourne (JD)
- 3 years = 78 000 AUD
- good international reputation
- Go8 school
- highest academic requirements (LSAT required, 3.0 GPA)

Monash University (JD)
- 3 years = 89 000 AUD
- Go8 school
- largest and most prestigious law school in Australia
- JD program relatively new

La Trobe University (LLB)
- 3 years = 54 000 AUD
- large # international and Canadian students
- one of best IRUA schools

I am really interested to hear any feedback. Things that I might have overlooked when weighing these three schools against each other. I would really appreciate it if there were any current or past law students that could help me out.

quote
Gregor2009
Hello,

I have heard relatively good feedback regarding the La Trobe LLM in terms of having international academics around the world teaching the courses but I am unsure if this applies to the LLB you are talking about.

In terms of getting employment in Melbourne or internationally, you can't go wrong attending University of Melbourne or Monash University. My personal opinion would be to gain admission into University of Melbourne - it is cheaper, more prestigious, and of higher academic calibre. Alternatively, if completing the LSAT is something you dread or if for some reason you can't meet the Melbourne University requirement, then go for Monash :)

Please let me know if there are other factors influencing your decision - e.g. you want to do practical training at the same university etc - then Melbourne University would not be a top choice because they do NOT offer a practical legal training program etc.

Cheers,
Gregory
Hello,

I have heard relatively good feedback regarding the La Trobe LLM in terms of having international academics around the world teaching the courses but I am unsure if this applies to the LLB you are talking about.

In terms of getting employment in Melbourne or internationally, you can't go wrong attending University of Melbourne or Monash University. My personal opinion would be to gain admission into University of Melbourne - it is cheaper, more prestigious, and of higher academic calibre. Alternatively, if completing the LSAT is something you dread or if for some reason you can't meet the Melbourne University requirement, then go for Monash :)

Please let me know if there are other factors influencing your decision - e.g. you want to do practical training at the same university etc - then Melbourne University would not be a top choice because they do NOT offer a practical legal training program etc.

Cheers,
Gregory
quote
murrdah
Thanks a bunch for the advice GregoryXu.

1. Which schools would be better for someone wanting to pursue a career in international law?

2. Can't practical training (GDLP right?) be undertaken at any university without respect to which school you graduated from? So long as they have a program of course. Please enlighten me further on what you meant.

I have unfortunately written the LSAT. I wasn't pleased with my score but a friend told me that University of Melbourne looks at your app wholistically (GPA, letters of ref, PS, as well as the LSAT). Still I applied and I am hoping that my GPA and EC's will get me accepted. Can anyone verify?

Thanks again,
Thanks a bunch for the advice GregoryXu.

1. Which schools would be better for someone wanting to pursue a career in international law?

2. Can't practical training (GDLP right?) be undertaken at any university without respect to which school you graduated from? So long as they have a program of course. Please enlighten me further on what you meant.

I have unfortunately written the LSAT. I wasn't pleased with my score but a friend told me that University of Melbourne looks at your app wholistically (GPA, letters of ref, PS, as well as the LSAT). Still I applied and I am hoping that my GPA and EC's will get me accepted. Can anyone verify?

Thanks again,
quote
The_Nagle
Hi

I have a JD from Melbourne University. Your comments that Monash is the largest and most prestigious law school in Australia is clearly incorrect. Melbourne University is the most prestigious law school in Australia.

When I went through Melbourne Law School there were plenty of Canadian students around. They all loved a drink too which was great! Most are now working either in Australia at private law firms or overseas in London.
Hi

I have a JD from Melbourne University. Your comments that Monash is the largest and most prestigious law school in Australia is clearly incorrect. Melbourne University is the most prestigious law school in Australia.

When I went through Melbourne Law School there were plenty of Canadian students around. They all loved a drink too which was great! Most are now working either in Australia at private law firms or overseas in London.
quote
murrdah
I really dont want to bicker about which school has the best reputation.

Can you offer any advice on the three schools I have applied to. I already know that Monash and U of Melbourne are a step above La Trobe but I really want to know how all three are looked at in Australia.
I really dont want to bicker about which school has the best reputation.

Can you offer any advice on the three schools I have applied to. I already know that Monash and U of Melbourne are a step above La Trobe but I really want to know how all three are looked at in Australia.
quote
Gregor2009
Hello,

I agree with comments by The_Nagle but here is my opinion to your questions:

1. Which schools would be better for someone wanting to pursue a career in international law?

Monash and University of Melbourne - If you are a full-fee international student don't bother looking at the La Trobe LLB (even though it is slightly cheaper than the JD).

2. Can't practical training (GDLP right?) be undertaken at any university without respect to which school you graduated from? So long as they have a program of course. Please enlighten me further on what you meant.

You can undertake the GDLP/PLT with another provider - not an issue. Unless changing campus is an issue to you.

I have unfortunately written the LSAT. I wasn't pleased with my score but a friend told me that University of Melbourne looks at your app wholistically (GPA, letters of ref, PS, as well as the LSAT). Still I applied and I am hoping that my GPA and EC's will get me accepted. Can anyone verify?

Melbourne University will consider your application holistically I guess. Their old JD program had slightly stricter requirements because they restricted entry to 15 students per intake. However, given now that they are transitioning into a full-fledged graduate law school, they will most definitely have more student spaces. Also, most students who are too lazy to undertake the LSAT would apply to Monash directly.

Regardless, I am unaware of any quota for entry into the Monash JD so you can probably set this JD program as your back-up if you don't get into University of Melbourne.

In summary, my advice is - (a) University of Melbourne, (b) Monash University, (c) No (c).


Cheers,
Greg
Hello,

I agree with comments by The_Nagle but here is my opinion to your questions:

1. Which schools would be better for someone wanting to pursue a career in international law?

Monash and University of Melbourne - If you are a full-fee international student don't bother looking at the La Trobe LLB (even though it is slightly cheaper than the JD).

2. Can't practical training (GDLP right?) be undertaken at any university without respect to which school you graduated from? So long as they have a program of course. Please enlighten me further on what you meant.

You can undertake the GDLP/PLT with another provider - not an issue. Unless changing campus is an issue to you.

I have unfortunately written the LSAT. I wasn't pleased with my score but a friend told me that University of Melbourne looks at your app wholistically (GPA, letters of ref, PS, as well as the LSAT). Still I applied and I am hoping that my GPA and EC's will get me accepted. Can anyone verify?

Melbourne University will consider your application holistically I guess. Their old JD program had slightly stricter requirements because they restricted entry to 15 students per intake. However, given now that they are transitioning into a full-fledged graduate law school, they will most definitely have more student spaces. Also, most students who are too lazy to undertake the LSAT would apply to Monash directly.

Regardless, I am unaware of any quota for entry into the Monash JD so you can probably set this JD program as your back-up if you don't get into University of Melbourne.

In summary, my advice is - (a) University of Melbourne, (b) Monash University, (c) No (c).


Cheers,
Greg
quote
murrdah
Thanks again GregoryXu you have been very helpful. However, could you clarify what you mean when you say

"If you are a full-fee international student don't bother looking at the La Trobe LLB (even though it is slightly cheaper than the JD)."
Thanks again GregoryXu you have been very helpful. However, could you clarify what you mean when you say

"If you are a full-fee international student don't bother looking at the La Trobe LLB (even though it is slightly cheaper than the JD)."

quote
Gregor2009
What i meant was that the slight cost saving you enjoy for the LLB would not be worth it compared to the prestige, value, potential career opportunities you might get after completing a JD with Monash University of Melbourne University. If cost is really a big consideration to you then consider the Monash LLB rather than the La Trobe LLB. If not, go for the Monash JD or Melbourne JD :)
What i meant was that the slight cost saving you enjoy for the LLB would not be worth it compared to the prestige, value, potential career opportunities you might get after completing a JD with Monash University of Melbourne University. If cost is really a big consideration to you then consider the Monash LLB rather than the La Trobe LLB. If not, go for the Monash JD or Melbourne JD :)

quote
murrdah
How much is tuition for the the Monash LLB? Is there a 3 year graduate entry LLB?
How much is tuition for the the Monash LLB? Is there a 3 year graduate entry LLB?
quote
There are now six law schools in the state of Victoria - six based in Melbourne and one with a second campus in Geelong. By local reputation they would generally be ranked thus:
1. Melbourne
2. Monash
3. La Trobe*
4. Deakin (also at Geelong)
5. Victoria University
5. RMIT**

* You could debate whether La Trobe ranks more highly than Deakin. La Trobe specialises in human rights law, Deakin in commercial law so perhaps it depends on these distinctions.

** RMIT first offered a post-graduate three-year JD in 2008 so it is something of an unknown. RMIT did have a well-regarded non-LLB admission route to practice back in the 1960s and '70s, but my partner (who has a PhD and spent 10 years at university) advises people to tread cafeully when enrolling in a new course - things don't always run smoothly.

Admission routes vary - most are through VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre), some have other routes such as Deakin's DULSAT exam and written application process.

For off-campus (online) study, Monash and Deakin are well-organised.

For higher post-graduate studies, i.e. doctorates, Melbourne and Monash have the biggest number of students.

LLBs are generally four years fulltime, though with academic credit you may be able to trim this back to three years at several law schools.

In Victoria, people with a foreign LLB generally need to pass five to seven subjects (property law, constitutional law, admin law, etc) which allows them to seek a traineeship (new term for articled clerkship - see www.liv.asn.au and www.cvmail.com.au) or pursue an alternative admission to practice course (offered through Monash, Leo Cussens Institute, College of Law, online through ANU, etc). Anecdotally, experienced lawyers from South Africa, New Zealand and other countries with similar legal systems do well at university and get employed quite quickly. There is steady competition for lawyers with three years' experience or more.
There are now six law schools in the state of Victoria - six based in Melbourne and one with a second campus in Geelong. By local reputation they would generally be ranked thus:
1. Melbourne
2. Monash
3. La Trobe*
4. Deakin (also at Geelong)
5. Victoria University
5. RMIT**

* You could debate whether La Trobe ranks more highly than Deakin. La Trobe specialises in human rights law, Deakin in commercial law so perhaps it depends on these distinctions.

** RMIT first offered a post-graduate three-year JD in 2008 so it is something of an unknown. RMIT did have a well-regarded non-LLB admission route to practice back in the 1960s and '70s, but my partner (who has a PhD and spent 10 years at university) advises people to tread cafeully when enrolling in a new course - things don't always run smoothly.

Admission routes vary - most are through VTAC (Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre), some have other routes such as Deakin's DULSAT exam and written application process.

For off-campus (online) study, Monash and Deakin are well-organised.

For higher post-graduate studies, i.e. doctorates, Melbourne and Monash have the biggest number of students.

LLBs are generally four years fulltime, though with academic credit you may be able to trim this back to three years at several law schools.

In Victoria, people with a foreign LLB generally need to pass five to seven subjects (property law, constitutional law, admin law, etc) which allows them to seek a traineeship (new term for articled clerkship - see www.liv.asn.au and www.cvmail.com.au) or pursue an alternative admission to practice course (offered through Monash, Leo Cussens Institute, College of Law, online through ANU, etc). Anecdotally, experienced lawyers from South Africa, New Zealand and other countries with similar legal systems do well at university and get employed quite quickly. There is steady competition for lawyers with three years' experience or more.


quote
I don't know why you need to restrict your aplication to these three Universities. The Australian National University is the most reputed Australian University and it offers a GDLP with the option to convert to an LLM and then subject to a distiction average convert to a SJD.

Foreign students might consider enrolling in country unoiversities where they might get credits towards immigration on the basis of having lived in a country area for a period of two years or longer
I don't know why you need to restrict your aplication to these three Universities. The Australian National University is the most reputed Australian University and it offers a GDLP with the option to convert to an LLM and then subject to a distiction average convert to a SJD.

Foreign students might consider enrolling in country unoiversities where they might get credits towards immigration on the basis of having lived in a country area for a period of two years or longer
quote
AlexIL
If you are intent on being in Melbourne, I would be looking at Monash and Melbourne. I would prefer Monash, especially if you're interested in International Law or Human Rights law - and I go to Deakin, so this isn't a personal thing. (By the way, feel free to message if you want more info on Deakin; I'm not talking about it because it wasn't on your list).

If you're willing to be in Sydney or Canberra, then LaTrobe shouldn't make your top 3. ANU really has the best reputation internationally (being in Canberra might be slightly dull, but it can't be that bad) and there's plenty of information out there about the NSW law schools.

Oh, and if you want to save yourself the huge bill of studying as a full-fee paying student in Australia - have a look at Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. There are free English-taught programs for Canadians.

Alex
If you are intent on being in Melbourne, I would be looking at Monash and Melbourne. I would prefer Monash, especially if you're interested in International Law or Human Rights law - and I go to Deakin, so this isn't a personal thing. (By the way, feel free to message if you want more info on Deakin; I'm not talking about it because it wasn't on your list).

If you're willing to be in Sydney or Canberra, then LaTrobe shouldn't make your top 3. ANU really has the best reputation internationally (being in Canberra might be slightly dull, but it can't be that bad) and there's plenty of information out there about the NSW law schools.

Oh, and if you want to save yourself the huge bill of studying as a full-fee paying student in Australia - have a look at Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. There are free English-taught programs for Canadians.

Alex

quote

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