The Future of Australian Legal Education: A Comparative View

John H Farrar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


[Extract] I have been admitted as a legal practitioner in England, New Zealand and Australia, taught in all three countries and Canada and been Dean of the University of Canterbury, Bond and Waikato Law Schools. I was a Society of Public Teachers of Law representative on the United Kingdom Committee chaired by Lord Cross set up after the Ormrod report on legal education in the 1970s, twice a member of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (CLE) and a member of the Queensland Attorney-General's Committee on Legal Education, and with the late Sir Ivor Richardson I was involved in setting up the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in New Zealand in the 1980s. This experience makes me approach the future of Australian legal education with a degree of pessimism which I have struggled to overcome as I am a reformer by nature and wish to conclude on a positive note.
In this paper I start with some general remarks and then focus on five aspects of contemporary legal education from a comparative perspective: the pro­viders, questions of access, gender and financing, core curricula, profes­sional training and skills and developing a suitable institutional framework for the future. It is probably in the fifth that I shall be the most radical in my remarks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Australian Legal Education
EditorsThe Hon Kevin Lindgreen, The Hon Justice Francois Kunc, Emeritus Professor Michael Coper
PublisherLawbook Co.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780455241357
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2018
EventThe Future of Australian Legal Education Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 201713 Aug 2017 (Brochure ) (AAL 2017 Conference) (Conference Program)


ConferenceThe Future of Australian Legal Education Conference
Abbreviated titleAAL
OtherTo mark the 10th anniversary of the Australian Academy of Law (AAL), the 90th anniversary of the Australian Law Journal (ALJ), and the 30th anniversary of the Pearce Report on Australian Law Schools, the AAL and ALJ presented a national conference on the future of Australian legal education from 11-13 August 2017.

The conference was sponsored by the AAL and ALJ publisher Thomson Reuters, and supported by the Law Council of Australia.

The conference provided a forum for an informed, national discussion on the future of legal study and practice in Australia, covering practitioners, academics, judges and, of course, students.

The conference keynote speaker was internationally acclaimed Professor Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed to the Law School and Philosophy Department, University of Chicago.
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