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Functionalism, Legal Process and the Transformation (and Subordination) of Australian Law Schools

posted on 2023-05-22, 18:29 authored by Susan BartieSusan Bartie
The 1950s and 1960s were crucial transformative decades in the history of Australian legal education. For the first time, Australian law schools had both the means and mass to advance agendas that placed Australian legal thought and Australian law at the heart of the curriculum, and a new band of career legal academics to lay down the foundations for modern Australian legal education. Changes to law schools came about largely through government funding, which enabled more students to study law. The funding also accommodated the ambitions of some law school deans to expand the size of the full-time legal academy and reduce the number of legal practitioners teaching on a part-time basis. As a result, the number of full-time legal academics across Australia soon moved into double digits. While there were some notable exceptions, most of the new recruits were Australian citizens who had studied undergraduate law in Australia and had some foreign (usually English, but increasingly US) postgraduate qualifications, although a bachelor degree in law was in many cases sufficient for entry into the academy. This first Australian legal academic community (‘the first community’) produced textbooks and articles to assist both their students and the profession to reference Australian, rather than purely English, materials. Their literature had the potential to create models and traditions that would define Australia’s discipline of law.


Publication title

American Legal Education Abroad: Critical Histories


S Bartie and D Sandomierski






Faculty of Law


New York University Press

Place of publication

New York, USA



Rights statement

Copyright 2021 New York University

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding Australia’s past; Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies

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