New Law degree surpasses expectations

Wednesday 24 Feb 2016

Associate Professor Alison GerardThe new Bachelor of Laws degree offered for the first time this year at Charles Sturt University has made a splash with 65 new students accepting places in the course.

With nearly 230 applications for the first year it was offered, the Director of CSU's Centre for Law, Associate Professor Alison Gerard, was delighted that enrolments were well above expectations, and that "CSU's unique contribution to academic legal qualifications in Australia was being recognised" by prospective students.

"We are aiming to create legal professionals who know their communities and are equipped to be global citizens," Professor Gerard said.

In helping students better understand regional and rural areas, the CSU degree is the first law degree in Australia to incorporate compulsory studies in Indigenous Australian content and cultural competence.

"We have also shown our commitment to regional Australia by including compulsory subjects on Community Law, which considers issues relevant to local communities in rural and regional Australia, and Resources Law involving primary production, native title and the environment," Professor Gerard said.

The degree is offered over three years full-time or six years part-time through distance education, with three intakes per year. "As a leader in online education, CSU is well placed to deliver this course," she said.

Professor Gerard demonstrates this well rounded approach to law, bringing with her experience in law, scholarship and social justice in Australia and overseas. Course Director and Senior Lecturer Ms Kim Browne has research, curriculum and professional experience in law.

"I left Bathurst to study law in Sydney so am really passionate about making academic legal qualifications accessible for people in our region."

They are joined by six other legal academics including Dr Kath McFarlane, Sharyn Jenkins and Lisa Coates who bring experiences as varied as courtroom, criminal, health, inheritance, and community law in legal, teaching, government, community and private practices.

The CSU Bachelor of Laws degree received its accreditation from the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board at the end of 2015.

"We look forward to continuing our dialogue with local lawyers, Aboriginal Elders, industry and community organisations on how we can work together in serving the community, building the Centre for Law and creating opportunities for CSU Law students," Professor Gerard concluded.


Media contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Associate Professor Alison Gerard is Director of the new CSU Centre for Law, based in Bathurst. Contact CSU Media for interviews.