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Canberra: Why law students love studying here

Study in Canberra ANU
Source: ANU, College of Law

For your once-in-a-lifetime law school journey, you could enjoy a vibrant social life and travel to some of the most beautiful rural and urban environments. You could form lifelong relationships with people from a melting pot of cultures and kick-start your career with exciting internship opportunities.

If an unforgettable university experience is what you crave, the Australian National University’s (ANU) College of Law should top your list of places to study. Ranked among the world’s top 15 law schools, ANU is also Australia’s highest-ranked university. Here, you can receive a world-class education and live in Canberra, one of the world’s best student cities.

Ranked 23rd in the latest QS Best Student City rankings, the city ticks all the right boxes: a high concentration of well-ranked universities, high student satisfaction, a diverse student population, an active recruitment ground for companies, safe, liveable, affordable – the list goes on. The capital city of Australia even edged out the likes of Amsterdam and Los Angeles.

Collaborative community

As Juris Doctor student Epi Terbio from the Philippines explains: “Canberra is a place where one can enjoy the ultimate student life.”

Study in Canberra ANU

Source: ANU, College of Law

As a place to live, Canberra has it all. “The city can be quiet enough to support focus during intense study periods yet also buzzing with extra-curricular activities to complement life outside of academics,” he says.

For Epi, who plans to specialise in migration law, ANU College of Law is more than just a place to gain a legal qualification; it’s where lifelong friends and colleagues are found. His most memorable experience during his first year was the “cooperation and camaraderie” of his cohort.

“Everyone tries to help each other, especially in a pressure-packed environment like law school,” he explains.

Canberra isn’t a city that dazzles only those from abroad. Australian Samantha Khavin, a Juris Doctor student, decided to pursue her passion in law at ANU because of its “stellar domestic and international reputation” as well as its close proximity to government departments, policymakers and the High Court of Australia.

Integrity and inclusiveness

Associate Professor Ryan Goss, who teaches constitutional law and human rights law at the College, sums it up best, saying: “What better place than the national capital to think about the relationship between law, politics and governments?

Study in Canberra ANU

Source: ANU, College of Law

“In the grand sweep of human history, there have been very few times and very few places where ordinary citizens and ordinary people have had a say in how their country is run – and this is one of those places, and one of those times. So, we all have a responsibility to pay attention to how the government is run, think about how it ought to run, and keep an eye on those who exercise power on our behalf.

“Law at the ANU provides a crucial legal lens through which to examine the biggest questions facing Australian democracy in the 21st century.”

This significance is not lost on ANU graduates, who embrace this responsibility as legal professionals. Graduates now recite a pledge to collaboratively acknowledge the ethical and professional responsibilities that come with receiving legal education. Created by Marcus Dahl (BSc/LLB (Hons) ’18) and a team of volunteers from the ANU Law Students’ Society (LSS), it’s the first of its kind for Australian graduates.

“The idea behind the pledge was to create a sense of unity amongst ANU law graduates and as a way to affirm the sense of community after law school,” explains Suchara Fernando, 2018 LSS President.

The full pledge can be found here.

Study in Canberra ANU

Source: ANU, College of Law

Experiential learning

No university experience is complete without experiential learning – the chance to apply what you learn outside the classroom, guided and supported by qualified faculty.

ANU College of Law is a leader in this innovative approach. “Students can experience the law through a number of extra-curricular and curricular moots covering topics such as international law, international trade law, constitutional law, animal law and space law – and more. Our new Moot Court provides an exciting venue for students to engage with the practical application of law,” says Dr Imogen Saunders, a senior lecturer and international law researcher.

The college encourages mooting and negotiation teams in a variety of international and national competitions. Dr Saunders is also the Director of Mooting and Student Competitions, supporting students entering international competitions such as the Philip C Jessup Competition, NLU Delhi-Herbert Smith Freehills International Negotiation Competition, the Australia Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s National Mooting Competition and more. Participating in these prestigious competitions is an invaluable experience, instilling real-world legal skills.

Other meaningful opportunities offered by the College lie in its clinical courses. Current ANU Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor students can enrol in one of the six law clinics offered: Community Law, Environmental Law, International Law, Myanmar Law, Prison Legal Literacy and Youth Law.

Bachelor of Laws student Kathryn Lee, who aspires to work with vulnerable people in future, pinpoints her internship at the Canberra Community Law Centre as a transformative experience.

“It really shaped my empathy and career path, and I hope to be able to put my excellent education to good use,” she says.

What was as a jittery start for the Malaysian in a new country quickly turned to excitement. Her seniors and mentors answered all her questions with great patience, but the cherry on the top of this study abroad adventure was the chance to live in the Australian capital.

“Canberra is a beautiful city – perfect for those who enjoy peace and quiet without the hustle and bustle of the city. There is a multitude of activities and places to go if you know where to look,” she says.

No matter where your passion in law lies, ANU College of Law offers the perfect study abroad experience for anyone seeking a lively student city and world-class education.

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