Critical thinking and power of questioning is vital for law students: Prof. Appleby

Critical thinking and power of questioning is vital for law students: Prof. Appleby
Amita Jain | Mar 27, 2019 - 12:37 p.m. IST
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Prof Gabrielle Appleby, a  Constitutional law specialist and Associate Dean at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney talks to Careers360 about the law degrees offered at UNSW for Indian students. Here is a column by Prof. Appleby.

Teaching the next generation of students, a favourite part of my job, is an enormous amount of fun. Teaching the brightest students from around the world, including Australia and India, I must admit is equally challenging for students and teachers alike.

At UNSW Law School we focus on helping create a just society by encouraging students and faculty to have “a questioning mind and the power of questioning”.

Through the art of analyzing and challenging assumptions, like the role of judges and judicial appointments, we encourage students into critical thinking, which is aimed towards the creation of a just society.

To give our students to practice what we teach, the Law School has started a legal clinic where the students have to help in providing legal services to the underprivileged.

In another move towards creating a just society, The Australian Feminist Judgments Project, through which women activists are asked to re-write judgments with a feminist outcome.

We are able to achieve this due to our commitment to small classes, in which all students are expected to contribute. I’ve really noticed how this helps students to develop their oral advocacy skills so crucial to a future career.One of our Indian LLB students, Nayonika Bhattacharya, says that this was a key reason why she chose to study at UNSW in preference over universities in the United Kingdom.

Internships and Employment

Studying law at UNSW sets our graduates up to be highly employable in law and in many other sectors, from business to international diplomacy and everything in between. All of our graduates will have more than just a straight law degree. This is because we require all of our LLB students to take a double degree – with more than 25 partner degrees for students to choose from.

This allows our classrooms, to have a vibrant mix of students with perspectives they bring from their commerce, science, criminology, psychology or international studies degrees. It also makes our graduates more employable - with employers looking for students with an understanding of society and business as well as specialised knowledge in law.

We are equally focused on going beyond simply teaching our students the current state of the law and its application, but encouraging them to look at the status quo and ask, how can this be done better?


  • UNSW is ranked 6th in the world for Employer Reputation in the QS Global Rankings

  • Agreement with the Bar Council of India allows UNSW professional law degree (our LLB and JD degrees) holders to enrol as an advocate in India

  • LLM degree allows UNSW students to pursue specialisations in a dozen key areas

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