From 1848, before Australian Universities offered law degrees, the Supreme Court has set examinations for admission to the profession. This tradition has been continued by the Legal Profession Admission Board, allowing people to study law, in the country as well as the city, and to become lawyers in circumstances where it might not have been possible otherwise.
The Board is not a degree-granting body, and unlike a University, does not offer personal supervision or facilities for research. Emphasis in the Diploma course is on its practical, professional orientation. Successful completion of the Board's examinations leads to the award of the Board's Diploma in Law. For the purpose of admission as a lawyer the Diploma is a qualification equivalent to a degree from an accredited law school.
The fundamental aim of the Diploma in Law is to provide a readily accessible legal education and a flexible means of entry to the legal profession. The program is academically rigorous, but emphasis is placed on performance in the course rather than on high entry requirements. Further details are contained in our brochure, A Pathway to Legal Practice.
The Diploma course is recognised for its practical, professional orientation. Students need to possess initiative and a strong motivation to study for the Diploma in Law,
as the amount of individualised attention and the on-campus support provided in undergraduate university courses are not available. The course is designed to be especially suitable for part-time students, including country residents. Many find previous study to be advantageous;
and also work experience, particularly in a law-related area.
The other major component of accessibility is the cost of obtaining the Diploma in Law, which is much less than comparable qualifications.
The Board's Diploma-in Law course is not registered as a Course for Overseas Students and does not therefore confer any visa entitlement. Applicants must reside in Australia and
must intend to continue residing in Australia during their whole candidature as a Student-at-Law. Consequently, applicants must provide an Australian mailing address for all correspondence relating to the course.
The Law Extension Committee (LEC) of the University of Sydney was established in 1964 to assist students in their preparation for the Board's examinations. The Committee offers a teaching program in evening lecture and external modes, with web-based and other learning support services. Lectures are given by practitioners and university teachers. The program is not able to offer all the services and individual attention of a comprehensive campus, and is suited to students with motivation and initiative.
To help you decide if this is an appropriate course for you, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information.