The University of Western Australia will tomorrow launch an Advanced Diploma in Indigenous Legal Studies to offer an alternative pathway for Indigenous students seeking to become lawyers through UWA’s new Juris Doctor degree.
The Advanced Diploma in Indigenous Legal Studies was created by UWA’s Faculty of Law and School of Indigenous Studies (SIS) to provide Indigenous students with an intensive preparatory course designed to help them with further studies in law.
The program, starting in 2013, will include subjects taught by the Law School and SIS, as well as a practicum undertaken by students in a legal environment. About a dozen law firms and government agencies are participating by offering practicum places.
UWA’s Dean of Law, Winthrop Professor Stuart Kaye, said the new Advanced Diploma in Indigenous Legal Studies continues the University’s commitment to mentoring students to ensure they have an additional point of contact within the Law School throughout their studies.
“We wanted to be able to offer an alternative to the completion of another degree as an entry criterion for the Juris Doctor professional law degree. What we have developed is a way for graduate entry students to acquire organisational, study and basic research skills while also benefitting from practical experience in a legal environment,” Professor Kaye said.
The Advanced Diploma in Indigenous Legal Studies will be launched tomorrow at the National Indigenous Law Conference. Jointly hosted by UWA, The University of Notre Dame Australia and the WA Law Society, the conference is being held today at Notre Dame and tomorrow at UWA.
UWA’s new Juris Doctor degree is a three-year postgraduate coursework degree that will have an increase in face-to-face time and incorporate more legal skills such as drafting, legal research and advocacy. Successful students will be eligible for admission to practise law. Since applications for the JD opened last month, the Law School has received 70 applications, and more than 240 people have registered their interest.