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The verdict is in: Law degree coming to Ipswich

From next year, USQ will offer law at its Ipswich campus where it is well positioned to provide quality legal education and research.

USQ will offer law at its Ipswich campus for the first time next year, giving aspiring lawyers more opportunities to learn and develop as professionals.

The Bachelor of Laws degree will move to Ipswich from Springfield where it has been taught since 2007, with students currently enrolled in the program to have the option to finish their degree at either campus.

Head of USQ’s School of Law and Justice Professor Reid Mortensen said the Ipswich campus was well positioned to provide quality legal education and research, as well as to expand student numbers in the law degree over the long-term.

“This is an exciting development for the School and will enable us to give our students the best possible outcomes,” Professor Mortensen said.

“It’s an ideal location for industry experience with the Ipswich courts, one of the largest Queensland court complexes outside Brisbane, not far from the campus.”

The decision to teach law at Ipswich followed a comprehensive feasibility study and extensive consultation with staff, students and the local legal community.

Academic staff will be located in Grace House, a 103-year-old heritage-listed building that will undergo renovations later this year.

Once finished, it will include a purpose-built moot court, a large meeting room, staff offices, a dedicated room for the USQ Law Society student group, and a collection of law reports and journals.

“Our students will have more diverse educational opportunities which will enhance their ability to gain the skills and knowledge needed for contemporary legal practice,” Professor Mortensen said.

“The spacious Grace House enables us to appoint more academic staff and accommodate visiting researchers and scholars.

“The moot court – where law students are trained in advocacy – will be fully networked with videoconferencing facilities for remote appearance and judging.”

Professor Mortensen said arrangements were already in place to ensure staff and students were kept informed and supported.

Law student Aleena MacDonald, who lives in Springfield, said having the law program available to study on campus at Ipswich made sense.

“We get told during the first week of university that your career as a lawyer starts that day, not when you graduate, and that the most important part about being a law student is engaging with the profession,” she said.

“Having law at Ipswich means students will have more opportunities to participate in networking events, see more guest presentations and get more chances to interact with the courts.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time at our beautiful Ipswich campus.”

Ms MacDonald added that the University has a free shuttle bus that runs between campuses and could be used by students like herself who live closer to Springfield, but want to study or attend classes at Ipswich.

Learn more about studying Law and Criminology at USQ by visiting Study 

Three people next to building
Law students Aleena MacDonald (front), David Bull and Michelle Fanning.