AUT Law School

Professor Charles Rickett

Professor Charles Rickett,

Dean of Law

Welcome to Law

It is an enormous privilege for you to be in a position to contemplate studying law. Law is a discipline that has been a central part of the business of the world's finest universities for many centuries. A leading legal scholar has aptly said: “The university exists as a locus for the study of law … because law is a component of the intellectual inheritance of civilization. The ‘principal mission’ of university study is to care for and develop this inheritance.” (See E Weinrib “Can Law Survive Legal Education?” (2007) 60 Vanderbilt Law Review 401 at 403). 

If you do choose to come to law school, your time here will require passion, commitment and hard work. Studying law is about examining and analysing the principles, rules and structures which have been established in society to promote justice, order and well-being. It is also about developing a watchfulness for those things that destroy justice, order and well-being, such as cruelty, violence and the abuse of power. These features require from all students of law the highest degree of intellectual commitment and ability, and energy to persevere.  You will find here plenty of scope to be stimulated intellectually and ethically, and much will also be demanded of you – lots of reading, deep thinking and much opportunity to learn and experience oral and written communication.  As Professor Weinrib also says in the article quoted above: “university study, requires that the student’s reflections about law be appropriate to an institution devoted to caring for the intellectual inheritance—the stock of ideas, images, beliefs, skills and modes of thinking—that compose the world’s civilization” (at 401-402).  That sums up why it is an enormous privilege for you to be thinking of joining in this great calling.

The legal education offered at AUT’s Law School aims therefore not merely to prepare you for a career in legal practice. More than this, the School is concerned to help develop in you qualities which will be of significance to you in whatever career path you choose to follow, whether as a lawyer or not. The School values analytical and logical reasoning, independent and original thought, and the ability to reflect upon the place and role of law in society. The School is seeking constantly to push forward its business of deepening the knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon in human society which we call law.

The School has a developing reputation. This is because we are now producing well qualified graduates from an outstanding student body. That fact reflects in a large measure our fine and conscientious staff, all of whom are dedicated to teaching at the highest and most demanding levels and many of whom are consumed by the rewarding challenge of research. Some of your teachers will be scholars of international standing. Others will be highly knowledgeable and experienced people, who participate in the wider life of Auckland and New Zealand by advising government agencies, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Others are involved in general community pursuits and some are actively involved as legal practitioners and consultants.

I hope I will have the opportunity to welcome you as a student of the AUT Law School, and I have every confidence that if you do join us you will find your committed involvement here intellectually, professionally and personally rewarding.  You will I am sure be taken up in the excitement of the law school experience.


Last updated: 08-Sep-2016 8.22am

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.