The Melbourne JD (Juris Doctor)

Information for American students

Ranked number one in Australia and eleventh worldwide, Melbourne Law School is a leader in legal education, and a vibrant place of learning that values ideas, excellence and intellectual exchange.*

*(Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject, 2021)

The Melbourne Juris Doctor (JD)

Taught at a graduate level, the JD equips graduates to take a leading role in legal practice, the private sector, government or community organizations. The curriculum allows you to build the core skills essential to a wide range of legal and professional careers. It also gives you the opportunity to pursue areas of interest through elective subjects including international and human rights law, corporate law, environmental law, cybersecurity and technology.

The JD is an internationally recognized degree and can be used as a basis for seeking admission to practice law in Australia and many international jurisdictions, including the United States.

Find out more

JD students in law school

Meet Jack

Jack, from Mentor, Ohio, commenced the JD after completing his undergraduate degree at Duke University in North Carolina, USA. In his final semester, Jack chose to undertake a Master of Laws at New York University through our international degree partnership.

When you come into the JD, even if you don't know anybody in Australia, you will make friends very quickly because of the nature of the course structure. I liked the idea of having a network of people you can rely on built into the program.

Meet Riley

Riley completed her undergraduate degree in English Creative Writing at Seattle University before coming to Melbourne Law School to study the JD.

Something that really surprised me about the JD is just how much camaraderie I feel with my cohort. Everyone has such...ambitious hopes for the future but they're also really kind and supportive, in a way that I don't think law school is portrayed in a lot of ways.

Frequently asked questions

  • Entry requirements

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne Law School will not be using the LSAT as part of the JD selection criteria for the 2022 intake. Your application will be based on all tertiary results (complete and incomplete degrees). We will review whether to use the LSAT as part of the selection criteria for the 2023 intake later this year.

    For further information please visit our admission FAQs.

    We encourage you to sign up for our Future Law newsletter to receive updates and reminders.

    Applicants to the JD must hold an undergraduate degree in any discipline other than law or a law degree from an overseas jurisdiction.

    Unlike other law schools, personal statements, interviews, references, work experience and extracurricular activities are not considered in the admission process.

    What score do I need?

    The selection committee looks at a wide range of factors in assessing your previous tertiary results; for example, whether your marks are on an upward or downward trajectory and whether you have undertaken graduate studies. We are unable to advise the score required as this is determined once the application deadline has passed and all applications are ranked by our selection committee. Your application will be assessed against those that are applying for the same intake as you.

    Melbourne JD entry requirements

  • Application process

    In Australia, first semester runs from February to the end of June and second semester runs from July to the end of November. The Melbourne JD commences in early February each year and there is no semester two intake.

    Applications are accepted between March and October for commencement in February of the following year. Applicants will be notified of an outcome within four to six weeks provided a complete application is submitted.

    International applications are made directly to the University of Melbourne or you can use the services of the Education Aboard Network (TEAN), the University's authorized education agent in the United States.

    There is an application fee of AUD$100 for the JD.

    Applying to the Melbourne JD

  • Financing your studies

    The annual tuition is approximately AU$42,500+ (approximately USD$29,000 per annum), making it affordable to access one of best law schools in the world.

    The University of Melbourne is an approved participant in the Federal Student Aid (FSA) program administered by the United States Department of Education. This program offers direct loans to students or their parents to assist with living and education costs. Veterans can use GI Bill funds at the University of Melbourne.

    For further information visit United States Financial Aid

    • Practicing law in the United States with the Melbourne JD

      To practice law in the US, all lawyers – foreign or domestic – must be admitted to the bar association of the state in which they wish to practice. Most states accept law degrees from foreign universities and each has its own requirements for bar admission. The US does not have a mutual recognition scheme providing recognition of legal qualifications in one jurisdiction on the basis of qualification in another.

      Lawyers who wish to be admitted as a lawyer in a US jurisdiction should contact the regulatory body of that jurisdiction or refer to the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements.

    • Practicing law in Australia

      In order to practice as a lawyer in Australia you will need to undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT) for 6-12 months with a PLT provider or supervised workplace training, usually in the form of a one-year traineeship with a law firm after completing the Melbourne JD.

      A candidate then has to be admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of an Australian state or territory, and then obtain a practicing certificate, generally issued by the local legal professional body.

      There are visas available for international students who graduate from an Australian institution to live, work and study in Australia for between two and four years.

      For further information visit immi.homeaffairs.gov.au

Studying in Australia

You must be accepted and enrolled into a program before you can apply for a student visa to study in Australia. There are visas available that allow students to travel in and out of Australia and work up to 40 hours every two weeks once your course starts. Visa applications can be done entirely online.

To comply with student visa requirements set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, international students must arrange visa-length Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which you must maintain while studying in Australia. You are usually required to arrange and purchase this at the same time as accepting your course offer. The University can arrange visa-length OSHC on your behalf with Bupa, the University’s preferred provider.

Explore visa options

Moving to Melbourne

The University is approximately a 15-minute walk from the center of Melbourne, a city renowned as an exciting and vibrant hub of cultural, social and sporting life. Melbourne is consistently voted as one of the world's most liveable cities. With friendly locals and a thriving multicultural community, you will feel instantly at home here.

Accommodation

There is a range of student accommodation options available to you. Choices range from dedicated University owned and partnered accommodation, to traditional residential colleges. Many JD students choose to live in off-campus housing including private rentals or sharehouses.

The University of Melbourne's student housing website has extensive information on finding accommodation, tenancy advice and support services. The general rule is the closer to the city you are, the more expensive it is to rent.

Residential colleges

A number of residential colleges offer dedicated graduate spaces and additional academic support, with an opportunity to connect with other grads from across the university. University of Melbourne colleges that specialize in graduate accommodation include

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