Dean's message

Welcome to Auckland Law School for 2021

Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law
Professor Penelope Mathew, Dean of Law

Congratulations on choosing to study at Auckland Law School! You have chosen to study at a school known globally for excellence, offering a legal education which recognises law as part of a wider social context, and not simply a set of rules and procedures created in isolation by legislators, administrators and judges. We aim to equip students with the capacity to think critically, to ask questions about legal rules and institutions and to prepare them for a wide range of stimulating careers. 

Many of you will elect to study law as part of a conjoint degree programme, in conjunction with arts, commerce, design, science, property, engineering, music or health science degrees. In your final two years of the law degree, you will have considerable freedom to choose from more than 50 law elective courses in many areas of specialisation. 

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 subject. You will study with world-class researchers and teachers, and benefit from New Zealand’s most extensive collection of legal research materials, held in the Davis Law Library. My academic colleagues have expertise that spans a range of legal subjects: including private law, tax and family law, 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, participate in advisory roles to government agencies, lawyers, community and business organisations, and are active in the wider community. 

Faculty members are happy to answer students’ questions and to provide academic and other support as needed. You will also be well supported by our dedicated administrative staff, including a dedicated career development and employment engagement manager. 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, the School enjoys excellent support from the legal profession and its distinguished alumni.

Entry into Part II of the law degree is competitive, so we have an exceptionally well-qualified student body. You will find supportive communities with extensive programmes in the many student associations here at Auckland Law School. They include the Auckland University Law Students’ Society (AULSS), Te Rākau Ture (TRT), the Pacific Islands Law Students’ Association (PILSA), Rainbow Law, Women in Law, the Korean Law Students’ Society, the South Asian Law Students’ Society, Not Your Average Law Student, the Mooting Society, and the Equal Justice Project. You will benefit from getting to know your fellow law students.

Our students epitomise Auckland Law School’s philosophy of academic rigour coupled with enthusiasm for the law. In 2019, Auckland students performed extremely well in mooting and mediation on both domestic and international stages, winning the regional and international ICC Mediation Competition titles. Auckland reached the quarter-finals in the 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, competing against 680 teams from around the world.

Your time at Auckland Law School will be an experience you will value throughout your life. Take full advantage of your opportunity to read widely, debate ideas and make new friends. I am confident that you will find the legal education that we offer at Auckland Law School to be personally, professionally and intellectually rewarding.