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Sydney Law School, Sydney

The first law school established in Australia, Sydney Law School’s 150-year history is matched by its innovative approach to legal education. The Law School’s  J.D. program, launched in 2011, has an international focus unique among Australian law schools.  Sydney’s LL.B. and J.D. programs are specifically designed to prepare students for today’s transnational and international legal work.

Sydney Law School offers degrees at all levels, beginning with an undergraduate (LL.B.) program and continuing with postgraduate and research degrees (J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. and S.J.D.). The Law School maintains a strong international and comparative law profile, and HLS students may choose from a broad range of courses, including in subjects such as human rights, migration law, and private international law.  In addition, courses from the specialist graduate diploma and master’s programs offer the opportunity to acquire and develop legal knowledge and skills in:

Ten research centers and institutes — in areas including jurisprudence, constitutional reform,  and Asian and Pacific law, among others — play an important and influential role in Sydney Law School’s research and teaching.  The University also boasts one of the largest study abroad and exchange programs in the country, promoting a truly diverse academic environment.

“Studying abroad was an incredible learning experience and a great opportunity to meet a diverse set of people, many of whom I am still in contact with today. Studying abroad enhanced my Harvard experience by giving me a broader perspective of the law and by challenging my Americanized views in a way that forced me to think critically about what I believed.”

– Stephen Iya ‘15 (past participant in semester abroad program, Sydney Law School)

Course Offerings and Credits

HLS students may select courses (“units”) from Sydney’s extensive LL.B. curriculum. Courses in Sydney Law School’s new J.D. curriculum are also at a level appropriate for HLS students.

Sydney Law School also offers postgraduate-level courses in specialized areas. Some postgraduate courses are taught as semester-length courses; others are taught intensively in four or five sessions. If space is available and with special permission from the course convenor, HLS students may be able to include one or two postgraduate courses in their study plan, or enroll in one or two intensive postgraduate courses in addition to their semester-long coursework. A separate application form needs to be completed for each postgraduate unit, and Sydney Law School recommends that students initiate this approval process prior to their arrival in Sydney.

Grading at Sydney Law School is on a scale of 0-100, with 50-64 signifying Pass, 65-74 Credit, 75-84 Distinction, and 85-100 High Distinction.

Course loads will vary from student to student. HLS students may receive a total of 10 to 12 ungraded classroom credits in relation to work done through the semester abroad program. Please see Semester Abroad: Academic Requirements for more information about course requirements and how semester abroad credits are calculated.

The University of Sydney is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (“CRICOS”) with the number 00026A.

Academic Calendar

The academic year at Sydney Law School is divided into two semesters:  the first semester runs from March through June, and the second semester runs from late July through November. For specific dates, see Sydney’s calendar of key dates.

Application Process

Students interested in the Sydney Law School exchange program should follow the HLS Semester Abroad application process described on the Semester Abroad:  Planning and Application page.

Students approved by the HLS Study Abroad Committee must also complete Sydney’s online application process, which requires students to submit an application form, initial course preferences, and other supporting documents, such as transcripts.  HLS will provide more information about this process to students nominated to study at Sydney Law School.

The exchange agreement stipulates that Sydney Law reserve at least one spot for an HLS J.D. student each year. HLS may recommend more than one candidate but Sydney will make the ultimate selection of students.


Sydney Law School’s new state-of-the-art complex is located at the center of the University’s main Camperdown/Darlington campus. The flagship building houses a moot court facility, research centers and institutes, the law library, and teaching spaces.

Set against the world’s largest natural harbor, Sydney boasts an average of over 300 sunny days a year, and the city and its environs offer a rich variety of culture, entertainment, cuisine, and natural beauty. HLS students can explore the city with the discounted transit pass they receive as part of the exchange agreement. Sydney’s Chinatown and Royal Botanical Gardens, and Sydney Harbor, with its iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House, are a short trip away by train or bus. The Camperdown/Darlington campus is bordered, to the west,  by lively neighborhoods, such as Glebe and Newtown, where many students live and socialize; Pacific Ocean beaches such as Bondi and a network of parks are  a few miles to the east. Many of the city’s main sports venues. including the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium, are also close to the campus.


On-campus housing is available in residential colleges and other University-owned housing.  The University does not have a central housing service, so students must apply directly to their preferred on-campus residences. Students who wish to live off-campus are encouraged to arrive at least two to three weeks before the semester begins, both for orientation and to allow enough time to find housing. Once in Sydney, HLS students may meet with Accommodation Officers who will advise and assist with off-campus housing options and details.

Please see  Sydney’s Student Accommodations page for links to information about on-campus and off-campus housing.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Sara Zucker at (617) 495-9030 / or Andre Barbic at (617) 496-8732 /