UTS Law 40 logo - 40 years at the forefront

This year is our 40th anniversary as a law school.

 

“Our focus throughout has always been on quality, sustainability and a commitment to social justice”
says Professor Lesley Hitchens, Dean of UTS Law.

UTS Law 40 logo - 40 years at the forefront

This year is our 40th anniversary as a law school.

UTS Law has a history to be proud of.

This year is our 40th anniversary as a law school. Since 1977, we’ve been providing a practical and dynamic approach to legal education. Our graduates are work-ready and innovative, with a strong desire to use law as a tool for social change. Today – despite being less than 50 years old – we can say we’re ranked #43 law faculty in the world.

As a law school, we’ve pioneered a practical approach from the very beginning.

Starting by offering students part-time law classes and emphasising the importance of experience, UTS Law has led the way in the development of original legal degrees. Our community of 14,600 graduates can be found shaping the agenda in leadership and executive positions across the judiciary and legal profession, as well as business, government and community sector across the globe.

The Faculty has set several impressive benchmarks in 40 years.

We were the first Australian law school to offer a dispute resolution course, the first Sydney-based law school to offer a Juris Doctor, and the first Australian university to offer an intellectual property course that fulfils the complete educational requirements for qualification as a registered trade mark/patent attorney.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve gone from strength to strength to confirm our place as a leader in both legal research and education. Our aim is to continue to make change by empowering students and staff to consider real world solutions to real world situations.

This year is our 40th anniversary as a law school. Since 1977, we’ve been providing a practical and dynamic approach to legal education.
Our graduates are work-ready and innovative, with a strong desire to use law as a tool for social change. Today – despite being less than 50 years old – we can happily say we’re considered the sixth-best law faculty in Australia.

As a law school, we’ve pioneered a practical approach from the very beginning.

Starting by offering students part-time law classes emphasising the importance of experience over theory, UTS:Law has lead the way in the development of original legal degrees. We’ve also built an influential community of alumni – out of 14,600 UTS:Law graduates, ten have become judges (including the Deputy Vice President of the Supreme Court of China), eight are Australian state or federal politicians and more than 200 are partners in law firms nationally and internationally.

The Faculty has set several impressive benchmarks in 40 years.

We were the first Australian law school to offer a dispute resolution course, the first Sydney-based law school to offer a Juris Doctor, and the first Australian university to offer an intellectual property course that fulfilled the complete requirements for qualification as a registered trademark/patent attorney.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve gone from strength to strength to confirm our place as a leader in both legal research and education. At UTS:Law, our aim is to continue to make change by empowering students and staff to consider real world solutions to real world situations.

 

“Our focus throughout has always been on quality, sustainability and a commitment to social justice”
says Professor Lesley Hitchens, Dean of UTS:Law.

MY UTS Law STORY

Theodora Ahilas, Principal and Director in Sydney with Maurice Blackburn

A compassionate advocate for change, Theodora Ahilas heads Maurice Blackburn’s asbestos and dust diseases national practice. She’s fought for compensation for workers and their families for 25 years, and sees her role as a bridge between the law, industry and doctors.
I always wanted to be a social justice lawyer,” she says.

 

Read more >

Norman Laing, Partner with Waratah Partners: Lawyers + Consultants

As a child, Norman Laing’s family were frequently involved in drug, alcohol and other criminal-related cases. During childhood, he spent a lot of time in and around courtrooms. “From the age of eight, I wanted to be a lawyer because lawyers dressed differently and drove the nice cars,” he says.

 

Read more >

Final year Law/Business student Tiffany Lau

Human rights and international study are themes running through Tiffany Lau’s six-year law degree. While at UTS Law she’s studied in Beijing, London and Zurich. This year she’s heading off to Hong Kong under the New Colombo Plan Scholarship. The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, also mentored her.

 

Read more >

Fifth-year UTS Law and Communications student, Neeharika Maddula

Neeharika Maddula is adept at managing simultaneous projects. She’s a fifth-year UTS Law and Communications student, moots internationally, is the editor of Survive Law – Australia’s highest traffic law student website – and has just completed a summer clerkship at Gilbert + Tobin.

 

Read more >

Paolo Mezzatesta - Manager with a Commonwealth department

During four years at UTS:Law studying a Juris Doctor full-time, Paolo Mezzatesta didn’t have a moment to spare. By day, he worked in a junior management role for the Commonwealth government in a sensitive area of administrative law, and in the evening, all holidays and summers he attended classes.

 

Read more >

TRANSFORMING LIVES

Donate to the UTS Law Equity Scholarship Fund

In 2011 Alison, a Gomeroi woman from Gunnedah in NSW, didn’t know how she would afford to study Law. She was so grateful to be the inaugural recipient of the UTS Law Equity Scholarship.

Alison believes that she couldn’t have achieved everything she’s done without it, including graduating with first class honours and being awarded Indigenous Law Student of the Year in 2015.

“The UTS Law Equity Scholarship made my study possible. It bought essentials for study and living in the first four years of my undergraduate coursework.” – Alison Whittaker

Alison Whittaker

UTS Law Alumna
Faculty of Law Equity Scholarship Recipient

Fulbright Indigenous Postgraduate Scholar

 

“It was wonderful to end my career surrounded by peers who recognise that both of those things were important… academic excellence… and also feeding back into your community.”

The Hon Dr Tricia Kavanagh

UTS:Law Alumna  

 

“UTS Law gave me a second life professionally, but it began to mean a lot more to me. By chance, I came through the system and came out with an honours degree, and by accident the first graduate.”

 

 

Rebekah Giles

UTS:Law Alumna

 

“I had the most wonderful time at UTS. I was quite an involved student. I was part of the Law Student Society. I was also the editor of the university newspaper.”

 

 

Fatima Shafaie

UTS:Law Student, Ezekiel Solomon Scholarship Recipient

 

“The most rewarding experience for me at UTS Law has been learning different skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving and negotiating, and I believe these skills are things that are universally applicable to any situation.”

 

 

 

40th Anniversary Events

First in the Family Reception

12 July 2017

A celebration of the UTS Law community’s commitment to diversity and opportunity, highlighting alumni and students who were first generation in their family to attend university.

Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice Grand Final

1 August 2017

Join us for the Grand Final, where each team will present their law apps using artificial intelligence technology to promote access to justice and the winner will be announced.

A Lawyer's Guide to Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution

27 July 2017

In this Future of the Legal Profession keynote address, Tom Daemen, Director of Corporate, External & Legal Affairs for Microsoft Australia – New Zealand, highlights the opportunities the disruption era presents to lawyers.

UTS Law 40th Anniversary Celebration

5 October 2017

Celebrate our 40th anniversary with fellow alumni, current and former staff, providing a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect with the UTS Law community. Featuring UTS Chancellor Catherine Livingstone AO as keynote speaker.

RESEARCH WITH A SOCIAL JUSTICE IMPACT

UTS Law Research draws on law’s ability to enforce social change. Our accomplished researchers, working in many different areas of law, are committed to shaping the society we live in – whether by advocating for legislative and policy change, or responsibly informing public debate.

Read more >

INNOVATIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING

Innovation matters. As a young university, we’ve looked for ways to stand out from the beginning.
As students are at the centre of what we do, it was always crucial for us to establish an engaging, student-centred approach to teaching and learning.

Read more >

LOOKING FORWARD

UTS:Law has adopted initiatives to place the law school at the forefront of practice-based education and research. “We are not relying on our past successes but committing ourselves to a strong performance in the future,” says Professor Lesley Hitchens, Dean of UTS:Law.

Read more >

Share Your Story

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Fiona Martin’s story

“I went from school straight into the Law degree at UTS. I was in the very first intake and everyone, but 2 other students were much older than me. They talked about law and legal practice with such knowledge and experience it was pretty intimidating. But I soon came to love studying law and really enjoyed some of my experiences during the degree. We had classes in the evenings in the old Anthony Horden Building. It was a rabbit warren and we often had to evacuate class half way through because of a fire alarm. Sometimes we would just move the class to the Century Hotel and keep going up there over beer and wine.

The Dean, Geoffrey Bartholomew was very keen on the Century Hotel option. He was still a brilliant teacher, even after a few.

There was a huge drop out after the first year and then classes were quite small. I liked the fact that there were skills segments to the courses and that I was forced to be a barrister in two moots.”

Richard Godfrey-Smith’s story

“We had a very interesting and mixed bag of students. Some who had just completed the HSC with high marks, others with university degrees in other disciplines, some who had left school at school certificate stage but for various reasons had to enter the work force but were very bright, and some not so bright. But they were all very motivated.

Some students were anxious to accelerate through the course so we had in place prerequisites for most subjects including options and provided they were met limited acceleration was allowed. We worked on the principal that if a student had a reasonable request we would agree to it unless there was good reason to say no.

Another innovation was the introduction of the Summer Term. With the possible exception at that time of Bond University I think we were the only law school to schedule subjects over the long break. The subjects were limited to options and only the better students could enroll. It involved more intensive teaching and usually classes were scheduled for 3 nights a week.

All up it was not uncommon for good motivated students to complete the course in 5 years.”

Cara Hegarty’s story

“I must admit that, as a student, I did not always enjoy the course’s emphasis on giving presentations to the class, moots and court applications. Looking back now I’m incredibly grateful that UTS Law incorporated these elements into the course. Doing these exercises improved my public speaking skills and gave me improved confidence which I was able to capitalise on when I started working.

I have very fond memories of my time at UTS Law. Outside of the classroom, I still smile whenever I think back to the great friendships I made. Whether it was planning the next event or publication in the LSS, or agonising over the next group assignment over a bowl of fresh noodles in Chinatown, the friendships I made with many people in my year, and with others older and younger than me, still remain strong. It is inspiring to see my peers now working in a huge range of jobs and industries all over the world – and it is always nice to reflect on the fact we all started as nervous law students trying to work out how to find journal articles in the law library so many years ago.”