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Study areas

When you study at the Curtin Law School you’ll have the opportunity to study either Law, Business Law or taxation.

Law

The Department of Law offers the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). The LLB is the pathway to admission to legal practice, and the Curtin LLB meets all the academic requirements for that admission. It has been fully accredited by the Legal Practice Board of WA. The LLB is a 4 year course, but it is possible to fully complete it in 3 years, with the use of trimester study modes in the 2nd and 3rd years of study. This enables students to complete their law studies and to commence practice a full year earlier than would be possible by following a more conventional LLB pathway, and no less than three years earlier than would be possible by enrolling in a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, which requires applicants to have fully completed another undergraduate degree before commencing their law studies.

Students who have already completed another degree can follow Curtin’s graduate entry pathway. They will receive significant credit for that previous degree. This will enable them to complete the academic requirements for the LLB, and for admission into legal practice, in 2 years + one additional trimester.

Curtin Law students can also choose to study double degrees so that other disciplines such as accounting, journalism, or tax, can be combined with the law program. Students are encouraged to take double degree programs to widen their educational and professional horizons. Curtin LLB double degrees can be completed in 4 years + one additional trimester.

The Curtin LLB has a strong business and commercial focus and will include specialties relating to corporate governance and resource management. At the same time, it provides a thorough grounding for any area of legal practice.

Career Snapshot

Practising lawyers may work in large, medium or smaller law firms. The majority work for private law firms, but some also work as government lawyers. One major division is between barristers and solicitors. Barristers specialise in court work & making oral argument, as well as giving written ‘opinions’, while solicitors are engaged in all other areas of legal practice.

Major practice areas for private law firms include all areas of commercial and civil practice. Within those fields, lawyers may be involved in the giving of legal advice, the structuring, financing, negotiating and documentation of major business transactions, including major projects, property transactions, contracts and mergers and acquisitions, and in litigation or other dispute resolution processes. Most lawyers within large firms will specialise in one of these areas. Other relevant areas of practice include corporations law, licensing and regulatory approvals, intellectual property, labour and employment, media law and wills and estates.

There are various specialist areas of law, including criminal law and family law. A criminal lawyer represents people who are accused of committing a crime. They put together a case and then appear in court either to defend or prosecute the accused. Criminal lawyers can deal with cases ranging from parking disputes through to murder. A family lawyer helps families with problems such as divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, marital assets, domestic violence, restraining orders and other legal issues. They often work in private law firms or in government.

Government lawyers represent the government in a wide range of matters, ranging from administrative and constitutional matters, to criminal prosecutions to tort actions or contractual disputes involving government. They may also provide advice to government in all areas of policy development and legislation.

View undergraduate law courses

Business Law

The Department of Business Law offers a Business Law major within the Bachelor of Commerce degree, specifically tailored to the needs of industry professionals by focusing on regulatory compliance and legal risk management. This includes choosing appropriate business structures, raising capital, managing contracts, developing and commercialising intellectual property, securing and maintaining licenses and other accreditation and reducing exposure to tort liabilities. Students learn about compliance with competition and consumer law, corporate law, employment law, and other regulatory regimes that form the business environment. Graduates from the Business Law major are able to pursue a range of careers including corporate administration, finance and banking, industrial relations, law clerking, and paralegal work, sports administration and management, and workers’ advocacy.

Double majors are also available, combining business law with disciplines such as accounting, taxation and international relations. Many of the Department of Business Law’s offerings are also available through Open Universities Australia.

Career Snapshot

Law clerk
Law clerks work with solicitors, barristers or clerks of the court and perform a range of legal tasks, including probate (proving the validity of wills), conveyancing (dealings in land and property), criminal law, family law, company law and civil litigation.

Settlement agent
Settlement agents work for a lending institution or property agency and coordinate the closing process for purchasing a home or property.

Compliance officer
Compliance officers investigate and report on financial, operational and managerial processes, systems and outcomes to ensure that an organisation complies with legal requirements. They also assist in making risk assessments.

Contract manager
Contract managers oversee business contracts and forms and ensure that the wording is correct to protect their organisation from financial or legal risks. They manage tenders and negotiate contracts.

Legal administrator
Legal administrators manage the business side of a law firm. Their role includes planning and controlling the firm’s finances and personnel
administration.

Company secretary
Company secretaries make sure their company meets its compliance obligations under the relevant laws of government and regulatory authorities. This involves acting as an adviser to the company directors and liaising with

View undergraduate Business Law courses

Taxation

The Department of Taxation contains a core group of experts in all areas of taxation law, who are committed to promoting tax excellence in all of the tax programs which are delivered as part of the Curtin Law School. The tax team has vast industry experience and professional contacts which enhance the learning experience for their students.

At the undergraduate level, The Department of Taxation offers a double major in Accounting and Taxation as part of the Bachelor of Commerce degree program. The major in taxation can also be combined with an LLB degree as one of the double degree options.

At the postgraduate level the following nested degree programs are available: Graduate Certificate of Taxation; Graduate Diploma of Taxation; and the Master of Taxation. Additionally, Honours and Doctoral programs in taxation are available for students who want to pursue a research path in taxation law.

The Department of Taxations units are also available through the Open Universities Australia scheme.

Career Snapshot

Accountant
Accountants analyse, report and give advice on the strategic direction and financial dealings of organisations. They also advise on all manner of business processes and prepare financial statements, conduct audits and analyse income and expenditure.

Tax agent/consultant
Tax agents help clients meet their tax reporting and payment obligations. They prepare tax returns and reports, provide advice on tax issues, and handle disputes with the taxation authorities.

Auditor
Auditors investigate company financial information to ensure it’s true and accurate. They make sure a company is recording and reporting its financial information in compliance with government and industry regulations.

Business analyst
Business analysts audit areas of a company’s operations to look for inefficiencies and recommend improvements to business operations. They also analyse a company’s financial performance in profitability and cash flow.

Tax adviser
Tax advisers use their knowledge of changing tax legislation to provide advisory and consultancy services to clients. Areas of work include tax planning and compliance.

Treasurer
Treasurers play a crucial role in the overall financial operations of an organisation. They oversee financial areas and have a high level of experience in financial reporting and corporate governance laws.

View undergraduate Taxation courses

View postgraduate Taxation courses