As I understand it, as of 2019.
Getting entrance into first year law can be extremely confusing, but when it comes down to it, is surprisingly simple.
First off, what does LLB stand for? LLB is the abbreviation that is used by the university of Auckland (and most universities) for the Bachelor of Laws. This is because the traditional name in Latin ‘Legum Baccalaureus, when broken down, means bachelors degree of law. Legum is the plural of ‘Lex’ meaning law, and ‘Baccalaureus’ is the root word for the term ‘bachelor’s degree’. While this isn’t super important to know, it does stop you getting confused between names etc. when applying and reading about studying law at Auckland uni😊
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what subjects do you need to study in high school in order to get accepted into LLB part I? Firstly, you should understand that technically speaking, you don’t need to study anything specifically for law part I. I mean, you need to study literary based subjects. But to get accepted into law part I, the only academic requirement is getting accepted into a second degree, because in the first year you must study law as part of a conjoint degree. There are recommended subjects such as:
- Classical Studies
- History of Art
Essentially any linguistic subjects, or essay writing subjects are good subjects to aim for in order to prepare you for law. However, they are not a hardline entry requirement.
Which leads us to the next part of LLB Part I entrance. What is a conjoint degree? To study part I Law you need to do it as a part of a conjoint degree. Meaning that you essentially do a law degree plus papers from another degree. The reason for this is that at least 80% (don’t quote me on that, it’s around this number) of Law students either fail, or decide they don’t like Law, and if you are studying Law as part of a conjoint degree it means that you have at least some other papers to fall back on if you decide to change your degree/major. Rather than having wasted an entire first year at Uni. You have the option to study law conjoined with Arts, Commerce, Engineering, Health Sciences, Music, Property and Science. The two most popular degrees to study alongside Law are Commerce (also known as comlaw), and a Bachelor of Arts. Basically, pick the degree that you know you are going to be able to breeze through, because 75 of these credits (or 5 papers) must contribute to an overall G.P.A (all 8 papers) of 6.5 (which is roughly equivalent to a B+/A-) to guarantee entry into second year Law.
I decided to do a conjoint degree of law and Bachelor of Arts. For the Bachelor of Arts degree, I have taken the following papers in the first semester: Philosophy (Ethics), Philosophy (Critical Thinking), Global History, Politics. In the second semester I’m enrolled to study: English (The Great Books) and Spanish (beginners). You can essentially choose a variety of papers and test them out to decide if you want to continue with a conjoint degree for the remainder of your law degree. Because you are only required to do a conjoint degree for Law in the first year, so you can drop all your secondary degree papers in Part II if you would like.
Out of all the papers I’ve tried so far, I think I’ll continue with politics as part of a conjoint degree.
Once you have decided what degree you want to study alongside Law, it’s important to understand the programme structure. To pass part I you need a total of 120 points. You sit 8 papers in a year, each paper is worth 15 points. You can sit 9 if you want to, but as someone who is doing 9 papers this year, I highly recommend just sticking to 8. You need to sit 3 law papers. Law 121, Law 131 and Law 141. You then need 4 non-law papers (I.e. papers from your conjoint degree) and one general education paper. 75 points from your non law papers plus your gen ed paper. This means you can’t just flake off on your other papers, the higher the grade the better. Just to repeat: if you have a GPA that sits between a B+ and an A- and have met all the requirements for Part II (there are benchmark grades you have to meet for certain courses) you are pretty much guaranteed a place in second year Law. You can still apply if you have a lower GPA, and you’re encouraged to.
- If you are trying to organize your timetable, or figure out how best to structure your degree, the following website is extremely helpful: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/study/study-options/find-a-study-option/bachelor-of-laws-llb.html
- It also helps to write down all the individual papers you must sit and then write out the corresponding paper you plan to sit in order to fulfill the requirements, like this:
What are the three law papers that you need to sit in first year?
Law 121 is the law and society paper. It basically sets the foundation for the development of law historically, completes an in-depth analysis of the place of Te Tiriti O Waitangi in our legal system and constitutional arrangement, explains different types of legal theories (such as positivism and natural law), and provides a brief introduction to international law.
Law 131 is the legal method paper. It is an introductory study of how law is applied and carried out in New Zealand.
Law 141 is the legal foundations paper. This paper was introduced in 2018 and aims to provide you with an understanding of core concepts, components, and principles that underlie New Zealand’s legal system. It basically provides the foundations for papers that you will sit at Part II, Part III and Part IV of the law degree.
So basically all first year students must apply for the law degree, plus another degree programme in order to fulfill the non-law requirements for second year. If you have achieved the University Entrance requirements (which can be found here: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/qualifications-standards/awards/university-entrance/ ) and are accepted into another degree programme at Auckland university, then you will be admitted into Part I of Law.
Good luck! Feel free to hmu with any questions if I’ve missed something:) xx – Beth