Welcome from the Dean

Auckland Law School is consistently ranked the best law school in New Zealand and one of the best in the world in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Faculty.

Dean Penelope Mathew
Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law from 25 March 2019

The strength of any law school lies in the calibre of its staff and students, the resources of its library, and the support it gets from the profession and alumni. The Auckland Law School is very fortunate on every score. Our academic staff produces world-class research, we are supported by dedicated administrative staff, and the Davis Law Library has New Zealand’s most extensive collection of legal research materials. Entry into Part II of the law degree is competitive, so we have an exceptionally well-qualified student body. And we are situated in the heart of the legal precinct of New Zealand’s commercial capital, next to the High Court and the nation’s leading law firms.

My academic colleagues have expertise that spans the range of legal subjects: from business law, tax and family law through to public and private international law, constitutional law, the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous rights, environmental law and human rights. They have national and international reputations in their fields. The legal education we seek to offer recognises that law is part of a wider social context: it is not merely a set of rules and procedures created in isolation by legislators, administrators and judges.

Our vision of legal education includes equipping students with the capacity to think critically, and to ask questions about legal rules and institutions. Our academics participate in advisory roles to government agencies, lawyers, community and business organisations, and are active in the wider community.

Our students epitomise Auckland Law School’s philosophy of academic rigour coupled with enthusiasm for the law. In 2018, Auckland students performed extremely well in national and international contests, again winning the New Zealand Law Students’ Mooting Competition. This is the eighth time in the last ten years that our students have won the national mooting competition. Auckland reached the quarter-finals in the 2018 Vis International Commercial Arbitration Law Moot, competing against 360 teams from around the world.

I am confident that your time at the Auckland Law School will be an experience you will value throughout your life. Take full advantage of your opportunity to think, to learn, to explore new ideas and to question orthodoxy. You will find that the staff here are happy to answer questions and to provide academic and other support as needed. Make the most of the chance to join our law student societies. The Auckland University Law Students’ Society (AULSS), Te Rākau Ture (TRT), the Pacific Islands Law Students’ Association (PILSA), Rainbow Law, the Mooting Society, and the Equal Justice Project all have extensive programmes and provide supportive communities. From the Law Revue to student competitions, from social and sports events to seminars and workshops, there are countless opportunities to participate, to meet other law students, and to forge life-long friendships.

Some of you will elect to study law as part of a conjoint degree programme, in conjunction with arts, commerce, science, property, engineering, music or health science degrees. In your final two years of the law degree, all of you will have considerable freedom to choose from more than 50 law elective courses in many areas of specialisation. After that, the School’s extensive postgraduate programme entices many of our students back to gain an LLM or PhD.

I wish you well with your studies and trust that you will find the legal education that we offer at the Auckland Law School to be personally, professionally and intellectually rewarding.

Professor Penelope Mathew

Dean of Law

Faculty management team

Find the contact details and profiles of our faculty management team by following the links below.