News of Zealand

Victoria University Is Home To New Zealand’s Hardest Law Degree

Aspiring Wellington lawyers are failed more than those at any other university.
September 4, 2018, 9:59pm

It’s no secret that law degrees are a bloody difficult and stressful time for students. With truckloads of readings, dauntingly weighted exams and fierce competition, it’s always been ranked highly on the list of degrees that will kick your ass. Students work themselves to the bone in hopes they can earn the grades needed to secure their future. Turns out that where you study has a significant effect on just how hard you need to work.

Figures from the Auckland, Otago and Victoria University law schools, released under the Official Information Act, prove the common belief that Victoria University students have it the hardest, with more students failing in their first year of law than at any other university. Victoria University fails 30 percent of its students on their first law paper, while Auckland only fails 17 percent and Otago 13 percent. And the disparities don’t stop after first year.

The percentage of second-year students getting Bs or higher is 35 percent at Victoria, 49 percent at Otago while at Auckland it's 64 percent. Despite the findings, Victoria University maintains "their assessment practices are robust and fair". But its law students don’t agree and are “infuriated”.

"The impact of getting a low grade at university cannot be underestimated," Victoria University law student Oscar Battell-Wallace told Newshub .

"I have had many friends leave university, drop out of law and break down crying due to a low grade they got in first or second year. I've also had numerous friends and students from Vic apply for jobs at large firms and judges clerkships and have not even got an interview because their GPA was not high enough," he says.