Bond University
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Abstract

Over the last decade there has been an expansion in the number of Juris Doctor (JD) courses in the Australian legal education marketplace. Across the board it is graduate-entry, but it is currently offered in undergraduate, postgraduate and ‘hybrid’ forms. In this article we will discuss recent research conducted as part of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant. This project included an exploration of whether JD courses in Australia were applying different and higher level academic standards to those operating in Bachelor of Laws degrees. Our research findings reveal justification for concerns about the academic standards of some JD courses, particularly those where masters level students were being taught alongside their undergraduate counterparts. They also provide some insights into perceptions in the marketplace of JD graduates. Finally, we will discuss the future viability of such courses in light of recent revisions to the Australian Qualifications Framework.

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