Law school should therefore not only provide students with a formal education, but prepare them to decide which path, in or outside of the law, is right for them.
-Chief Justice Thomas Bathurst, ‘Does it make good lawyers?’
On the 40th Anniversary of the Macquarie Law School the Honourable Chief Justice Bathurst addressed the progressive changes in legal education at Australian universities. The shape of legal education has changed since the creation of law schools, such as Macquarie, around Australia. Our law degrees are an essential step towards admission into the legal community. More and more, however, students begin a law degree without any intention of becoming a lawyer. Greater still, are the number of law graduates who regardless of intention settle in non-legal sectors of work.
The Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) is the national representative association for law students facing these divergent pathways. ALSA is a national not-for-profit association comprising all constituent Law Student Societies and Law Student Associations in Australia. ALSA currently comprises 40 universities and represents approximately 28,000 law students. As President, in 2016/2017 it is my role to facilitate the success of students studying law and to facilitate their future aspirations, whatever these may be.
The core functions of ALSA include:
- Advocating on behalf of Australian law students’ interests and concerns;
- Creating resources for law students’ graduate opportunities;
- Facilitating communication and exchanging of information between law student societies, within Australia and abroad; and
- Organising a national conference for legal skills competitions, social events and intellectual forums among law students at various universities.
The 2017 ALSA Conference (July 3-8) will be held in Canberra and will showcase the best of the nation's capital to law students from across the country. Students will compete in witness examination, negotiations, client interview, paper presentation and two separate mooting competitions. The High Court of Australia, Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial among others will play host to a range of competition, social and educational events throughout the week. Please look out for opportunities to get involved and participate! Check out our website for materials and resources!
Australian Law Students' Association (ALSA)