UQ scholarship gives deserving students an opportunity to study law

12 July 2018

The University of Queensland is offering scholarships for up to 17 students from diverse backgrounds to study at UQ’s internationally-renowned TC Beirne School of Law.

The Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship is aimed at students who live in rural or remote areas, come from low income or refugee families, identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or have faced illness or setbacks during their schooling.

Head of School Professor Patrick Parkinson said the scholarship was designed to make a UQ law degree more accessible to talented students who aspire to a career in the legal profession.

“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged and regional students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree,” Professor Parkinson said.

“The LEAD Scholarship provides successful applicants with $8000 each year for up to five years.

“Beyond the financial support, LEAD scholars also benefit from dedicated academic mentorship and valuable internship and professional networking opportunities.”

Launched in 2016, the scholarship has attracted outstanding applicants across the state, including from Redlynch in the far north to Biloela in Central Queensland.

Professor Parkinson said the School of Law had recently refocused its programs to create a more personalised and innovative experience for students by reducing the student intake and emphasising small group teaching“Our highly collaborative learning environment and extensive co-curricular programs are designed to ensure every student has an opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, being a member of the Law School community.”A $35 million refurbishment of the historic Forgan Smith building gives students access to state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.The LEAD Scholarships are funded by The University of Queensland Endowment Fund.Applications are open from 6-31 August 2018. Read more about the scholarship . Media: Gemma Ward, media@bel.uq.edu.au , +61 7 3346 0700, +61 439 651 107.

Exclusive: BPP cuts London staff headcount following LLB suspension

Move comes as legal education giant opts to focus on solicitor super-exam training BPP Law School’s Waterloo Campus BPP University Law School has cut the number of staff at its Waterloo campus, Legal Cheek can reveal. The redundancies come just weeks after the legal education giant confirmed it was suspending its LLB offering to focus on developing a host of new solicitor super-exam programmes.

Sources close to BPP have told Legal Cheek that around 20 members of staff left earlier this month through a combination of compulsory and voluntary redundancies. BPP confirmed “the loss of some roles” but declined to comment on specific numbers, a spokesperson telling us: “We have paused our LLB intake to focus on developing new programmes to prepare students for a post-SQE qualification route and, equally importantly, for legal practice in a rapidly changing sector. To reflect this, we have evaluated staffing numbers, which has unfortunately resulted in the loss of some roles.” News of the staff exits come as the profession gears up for huge changes to legal education , most notably the Solicitors Qualification Exam (SQE) or super-exam.

In May, we revealed that BPP was suspending the intake of its undergraduate law degree . At the time, BPP’s director of business development, Tricia Chatterton, told us that the law school has “clear plans for the future” and that “now is the time to turn those plans into a reality”.

Chatterton was unable to say how long the suspension would be for but did stress there are no plans to scrap the LLB at BPP outright. Students on the law school’s solicitor apprenticeship programme — which incorporates a purpose-built LLB — aren’t affected.

As the super-exam’s anticipated 2020 implementation date draws ever closer, at least three universities have gone public with their plans to integrate SQE content into their LLB courses.

London South Bank University told us that it’s planning to teach an “SQE-facing” law degree using super-exam-style multiple-choice questions to test students’ knowledge in a legal practice context. Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Legal Cheek , University of Law chief Peter Crisp confirmed that his institution was […]

Majority Of Undegraduate Students Will Never Apply To Law School

Just when law school administrators thought they were able to breathe a sigh of relief because they’d escaped the dearth of applicants comes a new study that squashes their hopes and dreams of overflowing classrooms and burgeoning budgets. Sorry, deans, but according to a detailed survey conducted by Research and Markets, the vast majority of undergraduate students have no desire to go to law school.

Research and Markets interviewed 1,566 undergraduate college students about how likely they are to apply to law school and how they view the future of the legal profession. Students were given five possible responses to the question of how likely they were to apply to law school in the future: 1) Highly Unlikely, 2) Unlikely, 3) Possibly Likely, 4) Highly Likely and 5) I Have Already Applied.

So how many undegraduates are interested in going to law school? Not a whole lot. Slightly more than 84 percent of respondents said it would be highly unlikely or unlikely that they would ever apply to law school. If you find that a bit too depressing, here are some other findings from the study that are a bit happier for law schools: Women were much more likely than men to feel that they were highly likely to apply to law school though men were more optimistic about the economic outlook for the legal profession.

The population of students who were pretty sure or very sure of what they wanted to do post college were more likely than those who were not too sure of what they wanted to believe that the economic outlook for the legal profession was good.

The more population intense the area in which the survey participant grew up, the more likely that they were to say that they were highly likely to apply to law school.

Are you thinking of applying to law school in the future? Please make sure you do all of your research because before you know it, you’ll be graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars of student debt to repay. Best of luck!

2018 Survey of Undergraduates: Plans for Law […]

How I Did It: Secured a Training Contract with Clyde & Co

Noor Al Kooheji Christianah Babajide, one of Lawbore’s legal journalists, caught up with City LLB alumni and Future Trainee Solicitor at Clyde & Co (Dubai Office) , Noor Al Kooheji .

Whilst completing her Law degree at City, Noor completed work experience at Jumeriah Group/Jumeriah Hotels & Resorts, both as an In House Legal Counsel and as a Human Resources Intern, in Dubai. She is currently studying her Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School in Holborn, her training contract with global law firm Clyde & Co LLP commences in August 2018. In this exclusive interview, she shares her nuggets of wisdom when it comes to training contract applications and offers sound advice to aspiring solicitors at City.

Can you start off by telling us about your LLB experience at City?

I gravitated towards undertaking my LLB at City because the programme was well rounded in terms of offering support beyond the academic environment. The students at City are lucky enough to have access to career services that are strongly involved in facilitating opportunities for them outside of the classroom. Moreover, the LLB programme at City offered diverse areas of study such as Islamic law which, to me, stood out amongst other universities in London. The enthusiastic quality of teaching made lectures a pleasure to attend. I especially appreciated the readiness of faculty members to discuss and alleviate my concerns during office hours, it showed how supportive City was of their students.

During the third year of my bachelor’s degree, I chose to study Company Law, Commercial & Agency Law, Competition Law, International Commercial Arbitration, Islamic Law and Legal Skills. These electives gave me a solid foundation for a career in corporate law and made me look forward to my career as a solicitor. Personally, managing the heavy workload of a law degree meant strategizing my study methods.

Sounds organised! What are your tips on this front?

A good starting point would be to get a head start on the reading list once it has been made available. Reading a couple of articles that hold different opinions on the same […]

Other Professionals Don’t Understand The Student Loan Situations Of Most Lawyers

I receive a number of emails each week from readers of my column here and my website Student Debt Diaries . And feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments you might have ! Predictably, many of the people who communicate with me are lawyers or individuals who eventually want to become lawyers. This makes sense, since most of my articles are focused on issues facing the legal industry.

I also receive a number of emails from other professionals, including dentists, veterinarians, and doctors. Above the Law should be happy to know that their content is appealing to a wide variety of professionals! Most of the time, other professionals reach out to me to tell me their own student debt stories, and it has been interesting to learn the experiences of so many people.

I recently received an email from a dentist who conveyed his disdain for lawyers who complain about student debt. This dentist told me that he borrowed a large sum of money to attend dental school and worked hard to pay off his student loans all by himself. This dentist believes that attorneys who have issues with their student debt have no one to blame but themselves, since they knew what they were doing when they borrowed student loans and have the power to pay off this debt.

As someone who sacrificed much to pay off his student loans , I have much sympathy with this sentiment. And in a perfect world in which information is unbiased, and people have complete agency over their situations, individuals would have no one to blame but themselves for problems with student debt. However, the legal industry is unique, and it unfair to compare debt-burdened lawyers with other professionals who borrowed money to earn their degrees.

For instance, many law students were fed bad information when they decided to borrow student loans . For years, law schools inflated employment statistics, such that this data suggested that law students would be able to easily land a job that would allow them to pay off their student loans. If you think […]

Another View: ECOT outrage fails to inspire changes in school law

Come Take a Look

One might think a year filled with outrage over the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s fleecing of taxpayers would inspire Ohio lawmakers toward real reform of online charter schools. House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 216, approved and sent to Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday, prove one would be wrong.

SB 216 sets up a committee to study better ways of funding online schools, which is needed. Otherwise, the bills sidestep many of the much-needed changes that were part of a different measure, House Bill 707, before it was folded into the other bills.

Democrats in the General Assembly protested that combining the bills was a way to bury the contents of the reform bill, and they appear to have been right.

Gone is a provision to allow online schools to dis-enroll students who aren’t doing any work.

To be clear, online schools are not clamoring for this authority; continuing to collect state funding for “ghost” students can be a major revenue source. Enabling the schools to remove nonparticipating students (without the truancy process required of traditional schools) would leave no excuse for bloated rolls.

But senators didn’t take even the easiest steps to hold charter schools accountable.

HB 707 would have required for-profit operators of charter schools to be more transparent in how they spend public money, including disclosing their relationships with subcontractors. A sizeable chunk of the millions paid to ECOT over the years went into the pocket of school founder William Lager, who also owned the companies that were paid to operate the school.

That should be a no-brainer, but SB 216 as passed Wednesday assigned the online-school-funding study group to study transparency requirements as well. That looks a lot like a delay tactic.HB 87 further defers accountability by giving the state’s remaining charter schools an extra two years before they have to include test scores of transferred former ECOT students in their academic-performance results.That sounds reasonable, but it’s unnecessary. Ohio law already holds that no school, charter or traditional, has to count the test performance of any student who hasn’t been at the school for at least a year. […]

New entrepreneurship program hopes to attract students to UNC law school

Buy Photos The Van Hecke-Wettach Hall hosts UNC’s School of Law. UNC School of Law recently received a $1.53 million gift from the Kenan Trust to create an entrepreneurship program. The North Carolina General Assembly has also allocated $465,000 in recurring funds to sustain the program.

The program will provide legal services and guidance for local entrepreneurs with emerging companies while also providing hand-on training for students in the law school. Due to the low budget most start-ups face, legal counsel can be hard to find. This program seeks to benefit both participating entrepreneurs and law students.

“This gift and challenge from the Kenan Charitable Trust will catapult UNC School of Law onto the cutting edge of legal education,” said Larry Robbins, a partner at an entrepreneurial law firm in Raleigh, in a statement. “From my own experience representing clients in mergers and acquisitions and startups, there is a great need for legal advice at the earliest stages.”

The Trust’s gift will fund a for-profit ventures clinic, an intellectual property clinic and the Community Development Law Clinic. Each of these three clinics will be able to train eight to 10 students per semester. In these clinics, the students will be able to work with and provide advice to working entrepreneurs and their startups.

“We recognize that student education doesn’t just happen in the classroom and we are excited to support the entrepreneurship program that will train law students while strengthening North Carolina communities and the state’s economy,” said Douglas Zinn, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, in a statement.

Saudi student makes Law School history

Already a judge in Riyadh, Saudi Arabian native Mohammed Al Mulhim came to the U of M Law School to study commercial law. But a conversation with a colleague from Tunisia soon changed his mind.

“He encouraged me to consider and take courses in human rights,” says Al Mulhim. “I read about it, and then I decided to major in it.”

Al Mulhim first earned an L.L.M (master’s) degree, graduating in 2014. A year later, still hungry for legal education, he jumped at the chance to enter the U of M’s new Doctor of Juridical Science program. In May 2018 he received the University’s first S.J.D. degree, the legal equivalent of a Ph.D. His dissertation concerned the independence of the Saudi judiciary.

“Lack of institutional independence of the judiciary in Saudi Arabia, whether factual or perceived, has a direct effect on the judges and even on Saudis’ views of justice of the courts,” he notes.

With his S.J.D. in hand, Al Mulhim plans to return to King Faisal University Law School, where he has previously taught, and establish a human rights center. He hopes the center will host lectures and conferences on labor, orphans’, and women’s rights.

“I want to raise awareness,” Al Mulhim says.

Court: Gov’t violated privacy law for defrauded students

In a break with Obama administration policy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in December that some students cheated by the now-defunct schools would only get a part of their federal student loan forgiven. In order to determine how much to forgive, the agency analyzes average earnings of graduates from similar programs.

But a California district court ruled late Friday that the department’s use of Social Security Administration data in order to calculate loan forgiveness violates the Privacy Act. The court ordered that the Education Department stop the practice and stop debt collection from these students.

The court also said that it needs to hear more from the agency and plaintiffs in the class-action suit in order to decide whether or not to compel the agency to return to full loan forgiveness. A hearing is scheduled for June 4.

The decision marks an important victory for students challenging the partial loan forgiveness rule.

Toby Merill, director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard University, which is representing the students, hailed the decision.

"The notion that students got anything other than negative value from Corinthian has been roundly disproved by student experience and the judgment of employers and the legitimate higher education sector," Merill said in a statement. "

An Education Department spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.

DeVos said the approach of the Obama administration left room for potential abuse and unfairly burdened taxpayers who ended up paying for those loans with their taxes. DeVos said her new procedure will take into account the value a student received from their education and compensate them for what they didn’t get.

But critics slammed the new rule as unfair since tens of thousands of Corinthian students have already received full loan discharge under the Obama administration. They said some students will not be able to get a full refund just by virtue of working a minimum-wage job in an unrelated field and making some income.One of the plaintiffs in the suit, Jennifer Craig, borrowed $9,000 to attend a Corinthian medical insurance and billing program in 2014, but she never received her diploma because the […]

The Top 20 Most Affordable Law Schools

Almost everyone knows that it costs an arm and a leg to go to law school, and that at this moment in time, the average law school graduate leaves law school up to six figures in debt. Student Loan Hero , a website that helps students and graduates organize, manage, and repay their student loans, was interested in seeing which law schools would have the greatest payoff, and in a survey of 116 schools, found that graduates owed an average of $111,752 in student loans at graduation.

At the “cheapest” law schools, however, graduates are looking at a completely different picture. Here are some interesting facts from Student Loan Hero about the 20 most affordable law schools in America:

• Annual law school tuition: $25,421
• Student loan balance at graduation: $83,195
• Post-law school starting salary: $78,569
• Employment rates: 90.7%
• Debt-to-income ratio: .94

Student Loan Hero has ranked the top 20 most affordable law schools, and we’ll provide our readers with a look at the top 10 here at Above the Law. If you’re interested, you can click here to see the full list.

Which law schools won’t leave students drowning in debt after graduation?

> Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School has an annual tuition of $12,310 for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. Nonmembers pay $24,620 each year. The average starting salary is $75,872. About 31 percent of BYU students are able to completely avoid law school debt.

Georgia State University College of Law has an annual tuition of $16,858 for in-state students, while out-of-state tuition is $36,456. The average starting salary for the graduates is $83,427, with an average student debt at graduation of $64,384. Rutgers Law School has an annual tuition of $27,269 for in-state students. The average starting salary for the graduates is $64,604, with an average student debt at graduation is $56,173. Their students have the lowest student loan balance of all the 20 schools on the list. University of Iowa College of Law students pay $24,930 for in-state tuition. The average starting salary for the graduates is […]

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