Expectations and early experiences of New Zealand law students
The collaborative project undertaken by the Universities of Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato, to develop a New Zealand law student profile is commencing its second phase. The work is intended to support law graduates in being work-ready, with the skills and knowledge for the careers they wish to pursue.
Co-funded by our Southern Regional Hub, the five-year study surveys the expectations, views and experiences of 1740 students who enrolled for their first year of law in 2014 at the three universities. From this data collection and analysis, a comprehensive law student profile will be developed that will detail the experiences of law students during each year of their law studies and their first year in the workforce.
Completed in July this year, Phase 1 of this study explored Law students' expectations and experiences of study. The data collected, analysed across the entire survey cohort and by law school, gender and ethnicity, is presented under ten headings:
- Core demographic information
- Education and family background
- Reasons for enrolling in a law degree
- Future plans
- Skills (expected and gained)
- Relationships with teachers
- Study habits
- Social experiences
- Debt levels
- Feelings of confidence and well-being
Findings identified that while Māori students (7% of the cohort) had a largely positive experience in their first year of study, female (65% of the cohort), Pasifika (12% of the cohort) and Chinese (7% of the cohort) students had a relatively negative experience.
The second phase of this project is currently underway, with the next online survey to the cohort. The focus of this survey will be on the general experience of students in their second year of law studies, which includes the following aspects:
- future plans
- study habits
- experience of lectures and tutorials
- skills (expected and gained
- well-being and cultural competence.
We look forward to updating you on the findings from Phase 2 in the future.