Welcome from the Dean
An introduction from Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law, Professor Mark Hickford
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and Wellington itself are hubs of creativity, diversity and fresh ideas. If you are motivated to succeed and want to study in New Zealand’s cultural and intellectual capital, Victoria University of Wellington is the place for you.
The Faculty of Law plays an important role in the intellectual life of the capital city. Our Faculty resides in the Old Government Building, which was originally built to house government ministers and civil servants in the nineteenth century. The building’s architectural charm and heritage status remain key attractions for visitors to the city.
Located in the heart of Wellington’s legal and political district, we are in a privileged position to inform thinking and lead debate on legal, policy and governance issues that affect all New Zealanders and global citizens. Our unique location means we are privy to the latest legal happenings, providing our law graduates with a specialised and contextualised understanding of core legal principles, important legal concepts, and law reform processes. We sit proudly among many law-related agencies including Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and prestigious law firms. These powerful linkages provide a source of inspiration to our graduates and manifest a real commitment to justice.
Along with our unrivalled location, a reputation of excellence has drawn academics from all over the world to become a part of our diverse group of distinguished Faculty. The Faculty of Law is hailed as a hub of legal research that garners local and international recognition. Our Faculty are experts in their fields and initiate legal debate on current issues—to name but one example, the Faculty of Law’s academics and the New Zealand Centre for Public Law provided thorough discussion on the legal issues surrounding the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
A focus on innovative teaching helps us to empower our students to demonstrate, in the context of legal studies, intellectual autonomy, critical thinking, independence of thought, openness to new ideas, and a capacity to manage their own learning. Many graduates mention the interactive style of teaching we use, as great preparation for communicating effectively and accurately in the professional world.
As part of an active student community, like-minded individuals can take advantage of the numerous social events, educational development opportunities and career advice evenings facilitated by our student-run groups. Students are able to navigate through their degree with the support of groups such as Victoria University of Wellington Law Students’ Society (VUWLSS), Ngā Rangahuatira (the Māori Law Students’ Society), the Pasifika Law Students’ Society (PLSS), the Asian Law Students’ Society (ALSS), the Rainbow Law Students’ Society (RLSS) and the Feminist Law Society (FLS).
Our friendly Student and Academic Services team include designated Māori and Pasifika Engagement Advisors who provide holistic support and advance the academic interests of Māori and Pasifika students. We also have a dedicated Student Success Coordinator who promotes the retention and completion rates for undergraduate law students by providing efficient, accurate and timely support services, proactive intervention, information and advice.
Many of our graduates go on to prestigious international careers and continue to make important contributions to the law, to legal thinking, and to our society. We are proud of the accomplishments of our alumni community and relish the opportunity to share their successes. Our alumni play an important role in inspiring current students and recent graduates, and aid in broadening their career aspirations. Law is a constantly developing field that can affect almost all aspects of our lives. We want our students to value and enjoy the act of learning, and to see themselves as people who will continue to learn and develop throughout their careers. The career prospects for our students go beyond the legal sphere into business, government, the community, the creative arts, universities, and much more.
Our students are some of the brightest young people in the country. While completing law school is a major achievement in itself, it is only the beginning.
Professor Mark Hickford
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law
Victoria University of Wellington