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September 20, 2019, 07:34:16 pm

Author Topic: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?  (Read 7408 times)  Share 

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Jigsaw

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Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« on: June 17, 2017, 12:05:13 am »
+2
Hi guys,

I was wondering what the main differences between the two courses are (apart from grad v undergrad), and if anyone seems to know why Melbourne has phased out its undergraduate law courses?

Cheers
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brenden

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 12:13:14 am »
+4
Doing an undergrad then the JD will cost a load more money haha, I don't know much more than that!
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patriciarose

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 01:45:27 pm »
+6
Hi guys,

I was wondering what the main differences between the two courses are (apart from grad v undergrad), and if anyone seems to know why Melbourne has phased out its undergraduate law courses?

Cheers

not a law student (just been doing research for a while because ugh vtac applications) so take this with a grain of salt but: pretty sure jd condenses the course quite a bit (you still learn what you need to obviously, but in three years instead). you need an lsat score to get into the jd too, plus your undergrad wam, whereas obviously for the llb it's atar score. also, if you want to practice overseas apparently the jd carries more weight than the llb (because grad degree vs undergraduate? idk.) and there are less csp places for the melbourne jd so bear that in mind because the fees are over $100k. tbh i don't see why you'd wait to do the jd if you get the atar for the llb unless you weren't sure about going straight into it/wanted to do it at melbourne (: but if anyone's doing that i'd also love to hear why? (:
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Glasses

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 02:34:00 pm »
+10
Admittedly my opinion will be quite biased, but some of the reasons I chose Monash Law over Melbourne are:

- Employability-wise, whether you went to Monash or Melbourne will have virtually no difference; both are viewed quite favourably by employers, both have great reputations and both have notable alumni (off the top of my head: Bill Shorten, Marilyn Warren [current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court], Julian Burnside and Peter Costello all completed Monash Law courses).

- The Monash Law Pathway allows you to complete two degrees at the same time (thus mixing things up and meaning you don't have to complete 4 law units per semester [which is very difficult and can be detrimental to marks]). In contrast, the Melbourne Law Pathway requires that students complete one degree, followed by another (with the latter being structured so that students complete four law units per semester, in order to complete the JD in 3 years).

- In addition to regular international exchange and study trip options, Monash Law students are given the opportunity to study at Monash's international campuses in Prato (Italy) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

- The Monash LLB incorporates a research component, including the opportunity to complete an honours thesis (without adding any extra time to your degree). Accordingly, students are given the opportunity to thoroughly research an area of law that interests them. To my knowledge, the Melbourne JD does not incorporate a similar research component.

- Students aren't guaranteed entry into the Melbourne JD (unless they receive a 99.90/99.95). Entry into the Melbourne JD is very competitive, and requires a good average, LSAT score and cover letter. Therefore, you risk studying for a few years, and obtaining a HECS-debt without actually gaining admission to study what you want to. In contrast, the Monash program allows you to start studying law from the get go.

- Since the Monash Pathway allows students to study law right away, they can start volunteering at Community Legal Centres and getting legal experience sooner; and given how competitive the legal job market is, those extra years of experience can be very important.

- Carrying on from the above, the Monash Law Faculty currently runs two Community Legal Centres (the Oakleigh Monash Legal Service and the Springvale Monash Legal Service) - both of which students can get involved in; either through volunteering or taking Professional Practice electives. I'll also note that the Monash Law Faculty have announced that from 2018, all students who wish to incorporate a practical component to their degree will be guaranteed a clinical education experience.

- The Monash Law Pathway (including double degrees) is much less expensive than the Melbourne pathway. Additionally, there are a limited number of Melbourne JD CSP places; meaning that even if you gain entry into the Melbourne JD, you may be required to pay full fees (which are outstandingly costly for the average person).

- The Monash Law Students' Society is heavily involved with students studying law at Monash; they run weekly tutorial sessions, peer mentor programs, law camp, first year dinner, parties, competitions, law ball, booze cruises, weekly BBQs, etc. Melbourne has a Law Students' Society too, however I feel like students who are straight out of high school/younger would benefit more from these kinds of things than older students studying the JD.

- Monash has (really, really good) student accomodation [as an on-res student I can personally vouch for this]; whilst Melbourne doesn't offer student accomodation.

- Monash in general, and Monash Law are simply incredible.

The reason Melbourne do not offer undergraduate law is because their courses run in accordance with the 'Melbourne Model' - basically a system similar to America, where only general undergraduate programs are offered (e.g. Arts, Science, Commerce, etc.); rather than both general and specialist undergraduate courses (e.g. Law, Medicine, Teaching, Psychology, Engineering, etc.) I personally am not a fan of the model, but that's just me.

Hope this helps! :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 12:11:09 am by Glasses »
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Jigsaw

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 04:06:52 pm »
+2
Thank you so much for taking the time to provide responses! Much appreciated :)
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brenden

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 05:11:43 pm »
+2
And to anyone wondering - it's probably easier to transfer from an undergraduate degree to an undergraduate Law degree than it is to gain entry to postgrad Law.
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kbanks

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 10:40:39 am »
+13
Hi guys, stepping up to bat on behalf of the Melbourne JD over the Monash undergrad...

Personally, the main reason I chose to study undergrad and then the Melbourne JD was firstly that it gave me a few years breathing space. To study something like law, you need to have the fire for knowledge in that area, and you need to be incredibly passionate about it, in order to be able to dedicate the necessary time to the study without burning out. A lot of people go into law because they don't know what else to do, and it's not the best reason to choose the degree.

Doing undergrad and then the JD meant a couple of things:
- I had the maturity and the previous experience of studying at a tertiary level when I started law, which was a godsend in helping me through my first semester.
- I had the concrete knowledge that it was exactly what I wanted to do, rather than thinking it was because of the pressure to make a choice in Year 12.

About the Melbourne JD:
- Everyone is so helpful and supportive, I think the fact that we are all a few years older means we have our feet on the ground and are comfortable with our knowledge and skills to the extent that there's no negative competition or nerves getting the better of us (not that Monash would have this in any way shape or form, I can't comment, it's just something I've come to like about the JD)
- The Melbourne Law Students Society are the most wonderful group of people I've ever come across, and the support services that are on campus are phenomenal. Yes, you're studying just law, and yes, 4 subjects of law a semester is a pain, but the support you receive is out of this world.
- That being said, most people don't actually complete the JD in three years. Most people (myself included) do 3 subjects per semester and end up completing the degree in 3.5 years, so there's absolutely no pressure to do it in 3 and burn yourself out.

Side note:
- I also would not have given up my 3 years doing an Arts degree at Melbourne for anything. I studied overseas, made some amazing friends, got involved with the students society, and did all of whilst still being able to relax a little bit on my study (obviously not so much that you don't do well, but still a little bit) which was an awesome feeling after VCE.

If I could go back, I wouldn't have made a different choice.

Conclusions: The Melbourne JD has its advantages in the fact that giving yourself a few more years to decide that law is what you want to do means that you're committed, you're passionate, and you're surrounded by people who are the same. You've also got the undergrad experience behind you to give you the skills and knowledge you need to tackle a postgrad course, and the Melbourne Law School has support coming out of its EARS, so even though a law degree is challenging, I've never felt more secure.

brenden

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2017, 10:43:49 am »
+2
Hi guys, stepping up to bat on behalf of the Melbourne JD over the Monash undergrad...

Personally, the main reason I chose to study undergrad and then the Melbourne JD was firstly that it gave me a few years breathing space. To study something like law, you need to have the fire for knowledge in that area, and you need to be incredibly passionate about it, in order to be able to dedicate the necessary time to the study without burning out. A lot of people go into law because they don't know what else to do, and it's not the best reason to choose the degree.

Doing undergrad and then the JD meant a couple of things:
- I had the maturity and the previous experience of studying at a tertiary level when I started law, which was a godsend in helping me through my first semester.
- I had the concrete knowledge that it was exactly what I wanted to do, rather than thinking it was because of the pressure to make a choice in Year 12.

About the Melbourne JD:
- Everyone is so helpful and supportive, I think the fact that we are all a few years older means we have our feet on the ground and are comfortable with our knowledge and skills to the extent that there's no negative competition or nerves getting the better of us (not that Monash would have this in any way shape or form, I can't comment, it's just something I've come to like about the JD)
- The Melbourne Law Students Society are the most wonderful group of people I've ever come across, and the support services that are on campus are phenomenal. Yes, you're studying just law, and yes, 4 subjects of law a semester is a pain, but the support you receive is out of this world.
- That being said, most people don't actually complete the JD in three years. Most people (myself included) do 3 subjects per semester and end up completing the degree in 3.5 years, so there's absolutely no pressure to do it in 3 and burn yourself out.

Side note:
- I also would not have given up my 3 years doing an Arts degree at Melbourne for anything. I studied overseas, made some amazing friends, got involved with the students society, and did all of whilst still being able to relax a little bit on my study (obviously not so much that you don't do well, but still a little bit) which was an awesome feeling after VCE.

If I could go back, I wouldn't have made a different choice.

Conclusions: The Melbourne JD has its advantages in the fact that giving yourself a few more years to decide that law is what you want to do means that you're committed, you're passionate, and you're surrounded by people who are the same. You've also got the undergrad experience behind you to give you the skills and knowledge you need to tackle a postgrad course, and the Melbourne Law School has support coming out of its EARS, so even though a law degree is challenging, I've never felt more secure.
Steps up to bat, hits it for 6. Great insight!
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clarke54321

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2017, 12:00:54 pm »
+2
Hi guys, stepping up to bat on behalf of the Melbourne JD over the Monash undergrad...

Personally, the main reason I chose to study undergrad and then the Melbourne JD was firstly that it gave me a few years breathing space. To study something like law, you need to have the fire for knowledge in that area, and you need to be incredibly passionate about it, in order to be able to dedicate the necessary time to the study without burning out. A lot of people go into law because they don't know what else to do, and it's not the best reason to choose the degree.

Doing undergrad and then the JD meant a couple of things:
- I had the maturity and the previous experience of studying at a tertiary level when I started law, which was a godsend in helping me through my first semester.
- I had the concrete knowledge that it was exactly what I wanted to do, rather than thinking it was because of the pressure to make a choice in Year 12.

About the Melbourne JD:
- Everyone is so helpful and supportive, I think the fact that we are all a few years older means we have our feet on the ground and are comfortable with our knowledge and skills to the extent that there's no negative competition or nerves getting the better of us (not that Monash would have this in any way shape or form, I can't comment, it's just something I've come to like about the JD)
- The Melbourne Law Students Society are the most wonderful group of people I've ever come across, and the support services that are on campus are phenomenal. Yes, you're studying just law, and yes, 4 subjects of law a semester is a pain, but the support you receive is out of this world.
- That being said, most people don't actually complete the JD in three years. Most people (myself included) do 3 subjects per semester and end up completing the degree in 3.5 years, so there's absolutely no pressure to do it in 3 and burn yourself out.

Side note:
- I also would not have given up my 3 years doing an Arts degree at Melbourne for anything. I studied overseas, made some amazing friends, got involved with the students society, and did all of whilst still being able to relax a little bit on my study (obviously not so much that you don't do well, but still a little bit) which was an awesome feeling after VCE.

If I could go back, I wouldn't have made a different choice.

Conclusions: The Melbourne JD has its advantages in the fact that giving yourself a few more years to decide that law is what you want to do means that you're committed, you're passionate, and you're surrounded by people who are the same. You've also got the undergrad experience behind you to give you the skills and knowledge you need to tackle a postgrad course, and the Melbourne Law School has support coming out of its EARS, so even though a law degree is challenging, I've never felt more secure.

Thanks for providing this insight! This is the path that I want to take next year for exactly the reasons that you have outlined above. :)

I understand that the JD at Melbourne is extremely competitive. Were you accepted into the JD after your first attempt at the LSAT? Or did it take multiple attempts?
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kbanks

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 12:37:02 pm »
+4
Thanks for providing this insight! This is the path that I want to take next year for exactly the reasons that you have outlined above. :)

I understand that the JD at Melbourne is extremely competitive. Were you accepted into the JD after your first attempt at the LSAT? Or did it take multiple attempts?


Hi :)

The Melbourne JD is competitive, absolutely, but no more so than other postgrad courses. The CSP places are a bit harder to come by, so the level of competition then depends on whether you would be satisfied accepting a full fee place (which is still usually mostly, if not all, covered by government FEE-HELP).

I did get accepted into the JD after my first attempt at the LSAT, but I did accept what is referred to as a 'bursary spot' which is full fee-paying, with a scholarship to cover some of the fees.

So, long story short, it's not as competitive as people make out, as long as you're prepared to accept any place (giving you 300 chances) as opposed to a CSP (giving you 100 chances).

Karly

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2017, 02:46:56 pm »
+3
Hi :)

The Melbourne JD is competitive, absolutely, but no more so than other postgrad courses. The CSP places are a bit harder to come by, so the level of competition then depends on whether you would be satisfied accepting a full fee place (which is still usually mostly, if not all, covered by government FEE-HELP).

I did get accepted into the JD after my first attempt at the LSAT, but I did accept what is referred to as a 'bursary spot' which is full fee-paying, with a scholarship to cover some of the fees.

So, long story short, it's not as competitive as people make out, as long as you're prepared to accept any place (giving you 300 chances) as opposed to a CSP (giving you 100 chances).

Karly

Thanks for the info! :)
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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2017, 04:02:49 pm »
+4
To study something like law, you need to have the fire for knowledge in that area, and you need to be incredibly passionate about it, in order to be able to dedicate the necessary time to the study without burning out. A lot of people go into law because they don't know what else to do, and it's not the best reason to choose the degree.

This is actually a really great point that I forgot to mention!! I wouldn't recommend law to anyone doing it for the sake of it, because they got a certain ATAR, because their parent(s) want them to study law or because they don't know what they want to do. Personally I am loving studying law and it's been what I've wanted to do for years; however I definitely can see why it wouldn't be for everyone. It can be quite stressful and intense at times, so without a passion and genuine interest in what you're studying (like any course) you're likely to find studying law very difficult and ultimately a waste of your time/life. If you think you might be interested in studying law, by all means do your research, talk to people and *maybe* give it a go - but do not force yourself through a law degree (or any course) if you don't feel passionate about it or enjoy it. On that note, I also wouldn't recommend law to anyone hoping to study it as a 'generalist' degree (which, in recent years, it is becoming perceived as).
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 06:08:14 pm by Glasses »
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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2017, 07:44:36 pm »
+5
Both law schools are good. It comes down to the inherent differences between an LLB and a JD.

With the Monash LLB, you know you're going to get a CSP law place. This is a very real consideration, imho. To illustrate, even if you get a full-fee JD place (which is by no means guaranteed in itself), you may end up being $70,000 more in debt.

The downside of doing the LLB is that you're essentially locking yourself into a six-year degree, the vast majority of it being law subjects. You have very little space to explore the non-law side. With some degrees, you may get very few electives in your non-law side, and certainly no 'general' electives.

By doing a different degree first, then the JD, you have the chance to properly explore another area before deciding on whether you want to go down the law pathway. Getting yourself into a six-year degree at 18 isn't something one should do lightly, imo. Those extra three years can change your perspective on a lot of things - the world after school can be quite different to what you've experienced so far.

But ... If you know you want to do law, I don't think you can escape the certainty that the LLB gives you.

brenden

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2017, 10:30:08 pm »
+3
Both law schools are good. It comes down to the inherent differences between an LLB and a JD.

With the Monash LLB, you know you're going to get a CSP law place. This is a very real consideration, imho. To illustrate, even if you get a full-fee JD place (which is by no means guaranteed in itself), you may end up being $70,000 more in debt.

The downside of doing the LLB is that you're essentially locking yourself into a six-year degree, the vast majority of it being law subjects. You have very little space to explore the non-law side. With some degrees, you may get very few electives in your non-law side, and certainly no 'general' electives.

By doing a different degree first, then the JD, you have the chance to properly explore another area before deciding on whether you want to go down the law pathway. Getting yourself into a six-year degree at 18 isn't something one should do lightly, imo. Those extra three years can change your perspective on a lot of things - the world after school can be quite different to what you've experienced so far.

But ... If you know you want to do law, I don't think you can escape the certainty that the LLB gives you.
This perfectly sums up my position.

It's certainly not an easy choice for the conscientious student because, really, conscientiousness could pull you either way.

I'll also add that, you can always exit early from an LLB double degree anyway. A little bit more expensive but, you can still bail on uni after 3 years if you decide that's what you want to do. An appropriate amount of flexibility without an inappropriate cost.
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Glasses

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Re: Difference between Melbourne JD and Monash Undergrad Law?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 12:09:43 pm »
+3
The downside of doing the LLB is that you're essentially locking yourself into a six-year degree, the vast majority of it being law subjects. You have very little space to explore the non-law side. With some degrees, you may get very few electives in your non-law side, and certainly no 'general' electives.

It obviously depends on the university and the specific course - but I just wanted to clarify that (at most, if not all Victorian universities), a standard LLB is 4 years; whilst most double degrees (e.g. Arts/Law, Commerce/Law, Science/Law) are 5 years.
Most students studying the LLB complete a double degree (over 90% starting at Monash law this year anyway) - meaning that most do get to experience and study non-law units; and even students doing the straight LLB at Monash have to complete 4 non-law units too.
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