The University of Otago is the leader in legal research.
Otago was ranked first in the country in the most recent (2012) PBRF assessment of the quality of research performance by all eligible academic and research staff in New Zealand universities, in the subject area of Law.
This is a credit to the depth and breadth of legal research that is carried out at Otago, which enhances our teaching and our ability to influence Law reform through our publications.
Otago was the first University to teach Law beginning in 1873.
Law is one of the University of Otago’s oldest disciplines. Lectures started 2 years after the University opened. Its founding lecturer, Sir Robert Stout, went on to become Prime Minister of New Zealand and Chief Justice. Many other prominent New Zealanders, including Ethel Benjamin, the first woman to be admitted to the Bar in New Zealand and the Commonwealth, and former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, have studied Law at Otago.
In recent years, the Faculty has produced 10 Rhodes Scholars – more than any other faculty or school, across all disciplines and New Zealand universities.
A large number of Otago law students also achieve success in national and international law competitions – a barometer of the Faculty’s ability to educate and prepare top quality graduates.
Otago is home to several dedicated law-based research centres and produces the internationally respected annual Otago Law Review.
The Faculty has about 30 teaching staff, including many drawn from top-performing international universities.