The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and the Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB(Hons)) degrees are both four-year professional programmes.
LAWS 101 The Legal System is the first-year paper for the law degree. It can also count toward another degree. In addition to LAWS 101, you will need to take four to six non-Law 100-level papers.
Entry into second-year Law is limited to approximately 250 places and selection is based predominantly on the mark you achieve in LAWS 101.
The second-year course consists of papers in Criminal Law, Law of Contract, Property Law and Public Law, and a programme of research and writing. These papers are fundamental to understanding law and provide a foundation for advanced papers in subsequent years.
During your third and fourth years of study, you will complete two compulsory papers – LAWS 301 Law of Torts and LAWS 302 Jurisprudence. These are generally taken during your third year. If you wish to practice as a barrister or solicitor, the LAWS 463 Legal Ethics paper is compulsory.
You may be invited into Honours as a result of exceptional performance in your second-year Law papers. The LLB(Hons) involves additional supervised research and the completion of a dissertation.
LAWS 101 The Legal System
LAWS 101 is an open-entry full-year course consisting of three lectures and one tutorial a week. You will learn how to read, interpret and apply Case Law and Statutory Law, how to reason and justify arguments, and how to write clearly, effectively and persuasively.
You'll also work in small tutorial groups and focus on developing the basic skills of analysing a legal problem.
Double degree options
Many Law students at Otago complete double degrees, using Otago's flexible cross-credit system, which can lead to even greater job opportunities. You can combine your LLB with study for a degree in Commerce, Arts, Science, Health Science and other degrees. If you intend to do a double-degree programme, you should include some papers from the second degree in your first year. By cross-crediting papers between the two courses, two degrees can usually be completed in five years of study.
Law at Otago is a professional degree. If you wish to practice law following your LLB degree, you must also complete a professional legal studies course. This ensures that lawyers entering all areas of practice have the skills required to represent clients competently and ethically.
The University of Otago has exchange agreements with more than 90 institutions worldwide. If your marks average B or better, you may qualify to attend one of these institutions for one semester or a year. You pay only your New Zealand fees and complete your qualification within the same time frame as if you'd never been away.
Law students are able to take Law papers at the Law Faculty of specifically approved overseas universities.
There are no specific subjects that you need to study at school for entry into first-year Law. In general, we advise you to take subjects that you do well in, and you enjoy.
Good language (English) and analysis (Maths) skills are useful. You could develop your language and analysis skills by taking part in activities such as drama and debating.