reasons to study with us:
1A legal education that is relevant to today's world
Experience Waikato's modern approach to studying law, in its social, political, cultural and economic contexts - an approach that is critical to a successful law graduate in today's rapidly changing world. Our students are highly successful because our staff are committed to excellence in teaching (100% are rated excellent or very good by our students), to research and to supporting our students. Students can pursue qualifications in LLB, LLB (Honours), LLB jointly with another Bachelor’s degree, LLM, M.Phil, PhD, S.JD, Diploma of Law, Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution, Graduate Diploma in Law, Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Legal Studies, Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Law.
2Quality professional training
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law offers high quality professional training in all the core subjects required by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education, as do the other five law schools in New Zealand. What is unique, however, is our focus on learning practical skills, including oral advocacy, client interviewing, negotiations and mediation that are a key feature of the Waikato law programme, making our graduates in high demand for conventional legal positions, as well as policy and law reform roles. We are the only law school in New Zealand accredited by the Arbitrators’ and Meditators’ Institute of New Zealand as we require all students to complete the year long Dispute Resolution paper and offer an optional paper in Mediation.
3Commitment to research
We have strong research strengths in environmental law, criminal law and justice, human rights law, resource management, Treaty issues, corporate governance, law and information technology, international trade law, international business law, and public policy issues generally. Our lecturers regularly advise government on policy and legislative reform and are members of international advisory groups, United Nations bodies and international law associations.
4He mana to te reo – the power of language
Ko te reo Māori tetahi reo ō kawa o Āotearoa. Kei te tautoko a Te Piringa ki te reo Māori me ōna tikanga katoa. He āta matapaki tō Te Piringa ki te nohotahi o te Ture Pakeha me ngā Tikanga a te Maori i roto i tenei Ao Hurihuri hei painga mo te katoa. Ko te Tiriti o Waitangi te tuāpapa o aua tātaritanga.
Maori is an official language of New Zealand. Te Piringa – Faculty of Law supports the use of te reo and the teaching of Maori customary law. The Faculty also examines the co-existence of mainstream law and tikanga Maori law and how each can contribute to best meeting the needs of a modern society. The Treaty of Waitangi is the basis of this analysis. All of our students – Maori, Pacific Islander, Pakeha, and international students – will become knowledgeable in how the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 and its principles of partnership continue to be of significant legal importance in the 21st Century. This is essential knowledge to being an effective lawyer in Aotearoa New Zealand today.
5Individualised and on-going support
We want 100% of our students to succeed and reach their fullest potential, so we offer:
- An academic orientation programme for all new law students
- All law students are allocated an academic advisor/tutor
- Friendly and helpful administrative staff to provide personalised advice on your study options and assist with programme planning
- Peer support from student groups: Waikato University Law Students' Association, Te Whakahiapo (Waikato Maori Law Students' Association) and Pacific Law Students' Association
- Maori Liaison coordinator and Maori Mentors
- Pacific and International Mentors
Internships and International Exchanges
Law students can spend a semester overseas at one of our many partner law schools in Europe, North America or Asia taking optional papers for credit for our LLB. Our students can also pursue internships for credit or on a voluntary basis within New Zealand.
A broad range of optional papers
We offer a significant number of options in our LLB, such as international law, human rights, family law, Maori land law, competition law, The Treaty of Waitangi in contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand, insurance law, environmental law, intellectual property, transnational criminal law, law and information technology, transnational business law, employment law, just to name a few. The options include specialist practice orientated papers like advocacy, civil procedure, mediation and others. Check out our papers »
Theoretical knowledge and practical skills in mediation, negotiation and client interviewing
Dispute Resolution is a compulsory paper in all Waikato law degrees. In addition, a competitive competitions programme (including mooting starting in year one, advocacy, client interviewing, negotiation) means that our graduates have the necessary skills and collaborative experience to be the most ‘job ready’ of New Zealand law graduates. Waikato law students have achieved considerable success in national and international skills-based competition. We are the only law school in New Zealand that ensures every law student has initial exposure to mooting in first year as a required part of our Legal Method paper. Check out our student profiles to read about the success of our students and graduates.
Centre for Environmental, Resources & Energy Law (CEREL) and Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre (MIGC)
Te Piringa – Faculty of Law benefits from two very strong research centres. The Centre for Environmental, Resources & Energy Law (CEREL) was launched in late 2011 under the leadership of Professor Barry Barton. It has already completed a major project for the government designing the first legislative framework for a regime to handle Carbon Capture and Storage as well as reports on enhancing energy efficiency. CEREL attracts many leading visiting scholars from overseas, as well as LLM and PhD students. Te Mata Hautu Taketake - Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre (MIGC), led by Dr Robert Joseph, was launched in late 2012. It has completed a number of important literature reviews and formed partnerships with several Indigenous research centres overseas. It also attracts a number of visiting scholars and students who share an interest in legal issues related to effective governance, economic advancement and the accommodation of the aspirations of Maori as well as other Indigenous peoples around the world.
Real admission to the LLB; Colleagues not competitors
Te Piringa does NOT provide an offer of “open admission” to our University as many other law schools in New Zealand do in which you enter first year and take several law papers but only a minority of first year ‘law’ students will actually be invited to enter the law school in second year if their grades are high enough. Instead, we admit a much smaller number of law students but they really are admitted to our LLB. Our goal is that 100% of the students who start in Te Piringa in first year will successfully graduate with a law degree. We are committed to do all we can to achieve that goal, however, our students must do their part by working hard, attending class, building skills and utilising the support systems that we make available. Thus, each student’s prospect to obtain a law degree is entirely dependent upon her or his performance rather than on how well or poorly others do. As a result, our students learn from day one to work as colleagues, to share their knowledge and skills, to seek to succeed personally while helping others also to achieve success. This creates a very different law student and graduate than others in New Zealand. As a result, our graduates are in demand as they are ready to join law firms, government departments, corporations and non-government organisations as effective lawyers and team players.