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Hey Everyone!

I just got my acceptance letters from both University of Melbourne (JD) and University of Sydney in Australia. These are the only two applications I have submitted so far, as North American ones JUST opened. I am planning to apply to North American ones as well once they open, but I was just wondering what your thoughts are on some of the pros and cons when deciding between a JD in Australia and one in Canada.

I am originally from Europe, so the location is not an issue for me and furthermore I am not sure whether I'd want to come back to Canada to practice once I'm done (I'm somewhat of a go-everywhere and explore everything type of person) but I am wondering if any of you have heard of grad-employment rates and whether they are better in Canada v. Australia, or other things such as harshness of grading scales, etc. Just anything that would help me with my choice really... 

Thank you in advance everyone :)

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msk2012    345

I don't know much about Australian schools but I know enough to say that Melbourne is a good school.

Australian law schools are a bit more like European law schools in that most graduates don't actually end up becoming licensed. Melbourne may be different, but I'm not sure.

You should study where you want to work. You should also see if you'll be eligible for a work permit where you want to work.

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Trew    45

I think this conversation begins and ends with where do you want to practice. Unlike medicine, your legal degree is very contingent on where you acquired it, nation wise and even state wise if you're in the US. So yeah I think that's really the only relevant criteria in making this decision. Perhaps expenses and life experience, but really, what you're going to do with your degree will depend on where you got it from

Edited by Trew
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akulamasusu    90

I might assume international applicant with gpa somewhere close to  3.4 , 3.5 probably can get accepted in Melbourne Law school.Melbourne Law School ranked 11th best law school in the world (QS World Rankings 2017)


But this law school probably charge  admitted student the crazy amount of  tuition.., it really depend on personal or family financial status.


Law $40,960 per year.


University of Melbourne Juris Doctor (*1) Victoria         


 (three year probably, another old thread  )



Melbourne-NYU Dual JD/LLM Program

NYU School of Law welcomes applications for the Melbourne-NYU Dual JD/LLM Program from current JD students at Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne. Students in this program earn their JD degree from Melbourne and their LLM from NYU School of Law in a total of three-and-a-half years (seven academic semesters) of full-time study.


(That's school web site, I will take a grain of salt of school web site reporting data., and 98 percent is law employment or any type of employment., . but I think for international applicant, you probably have to find job much faster or else you probably have to leave Australia. You probably cannot stay there for too long because of student visa, that is congenitally restraint, you probably need to find job and try to immigrate there.)

Survey shows outstanding employment outcomes for MLS JD graduates

A comprehensive survey of 2014 Melbourne Law School JD graduates has revealed an employment rate of 98 per cent, 18 months after completing law school.

Nearly 75 per cent of graduates are employed in graduate law positions, with a further 10 per cent working in other graduate positions. In a difficult market, this is an outstanding outcome and sets up our graduates well for their careers.

Our survey shows graduates from the class of 2014 are employed by more than 120 different organisations, ranging from national and international law firms, courts, community law, 



( How much you are willing to invest for a degree, it vary from  person to person, where you want to live and practice)

Edited by akulamasusu

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conge    605

The decision of where to study law should made keeping in mind the fact that you learn the laws of the country/state/province where you study.

So two very important questions that will help make your choice: (1) where are you legally entitled to work? (2) where do you want to work?

If both of those answers are AUS, then AUS is the right choice (and IIRC Melborne is one of the best schools in AUS).

If Canada, then Canada is the right choice.

If there is a split, well that's tough, and it comes down to your values. Which do you value more: the certainty of knowing that you can legally work in the jurisdiction after you finish your degree even tho it's not your 1st choice in terms of places to live? Or the chance to live in the place you really want, even if it means your employment outcomes may not be as good?

The only bad decision here is answering "Canada" to (1) & (2) and going to an AUS school without even having applied to Canadian law schools.

Edited by conge
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I'm at Melbourne currently studying something else at the Masters level and know a few law students.

I'll put it very simply - don't come here. I came here looking at the rankings too an I was sorely disappointed (did undergrad in the US). I do hear from students in other faculties that MLS is a good school, but I would put very little credence in any of the rankings. I can't comment on Sydney Law other than to say it is generally accepted as more prestigious. Not sure how that will translate to job placement outcomes, but Sydney is a bigger city with a correspondingly bigger job market. At least in my field Monash (the other Go8 in town) is known to do a better job placing students into jobs than Melbourne. And let's be honest, employment outcomes are pretty much the only relevant factor when you're doing a professional degree.

I was actually surprised by the 75% figure for legal employment considering most of the top 20 US schools are 85+% and a school like Western claims 90% for getting articles by graduation. I realize articles do not equal legal employment but at least you're in there with a fighting chance. Other faculties have statistics so shameful they can't even be published. But given how much MLS charges, they should be ashamed of themselves. In short, probably not worth the AUD 40k (which is equal to 32k USD and 40k CAD by the way).

As far as cost - if you're willing to pay full fare to go to MLS, you could probably afford to go to a US or Canadian school. Do that, since as you say, you want to practice in Canada.

Work permit - if you are an international student, you will get a 2-year 485 visa (I think, the DIBP website says "for the length of your studies") that gives you full work authorization. It doesn't depend on employer sponsorship. You'll have to convert that into permanent residency in Australia if you want to work here long-term. But just because you have a 2-year work visa doesn't mean people will hire you - once you're past the halfway mark of those two years, you're as good as illegal to employers.

I do find that it's a huge handicap not having residency here (I met an American here whom a major firm in town wouldn't hire as a lawyer because she wasn't a resident). If you're going to come to Australia to study, come as a permanent resident - don't come on a student visa. I'm waiting for my green card myself and it couldn't come fast enough :(

Edited by motiontodismiss
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