find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
How much will your law degree cost?

How much will your law degree cost?

Education comes with a price tag but students with HECS-HELP often postpone worrying about their mounting debt until tax sneaks up and smacks them in the face in their first year out of uni.

For all those starry-eyed law students starting this week, Folklaw is here to give you the heads up on how much you will be out of pocket by the end of your degree.

A Bachelor of Laws costs around $34,827. This is based on the University of Sydney’s tuition fee estimate for Commonwealth-supported students, textbook cost estimates provided by the Sydney University Law Society, and the student services and amenities fee. Admission to this course is only available through a combined degree, which bumps the price up considerably. 

Law students who wish to practise law must undergo further professional training, which can also be quite pricey. The College of Law’s practical legal training program, for instance, costs about $8,560.

That might sound like a lot of money, but don’t fret – studying for a Bachelor of Laws isn’t as expensive as medicine.

A four-year Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sydney costs around $42,064 in tuition fees alone. This is a postgraduate-only course, which means students need to have covered the costs of a bachelor's degree already, which can add up to anything between $18,456 and $35,072, according to the University of Sydney's website.

So, is a university degree worth the financial investment? Absolutely – having a degree sets you up for a much higher income over your lifetime. In the first year out of uni alone, law graduates in full-time employment earn $53,000 on average.

Unfortunately, law graduate employment is at a record low and one quarter of law grads who wanted a full-time job in 2014 could not find one within four months of finishing their degree.

However, the long-term employment prospects are good for university graduates in general: only 3.2 per cent are unemployed compared with 8.2 per cent for those with no post-secondary qualifications, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Folklaw fears that the federal government’s move towards deregulating university fees and introducing real interest rates of up to 6 per cent on student loans in 2016 will significantly increase student debt.

While the impact of such policies is largely unknown, economists and the Labor Party have predicted that it will push law and medical degrees over the $100,000 mark.

Figure 1: The cost of a university degree compared with the average annual salary of a graduate under the age of 25 in full-time employment. (Source: The University of Sydney and Graduate Careers Australia's GradStats report 2014)


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

How much will your law degree cost?
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...