Apply for Law School: Step-by-step guide for Year 12 students

Applying for Law School

Moving from high-school to university can be both exciting and daunting. Especially when you don’t know where to start. 

If you want to apply for law school, this step-by-step guide will help you understand how the application process works and what pathways to university are available.

How to get into a law degree

As a starting point, you should work out where you would like to study and what your interests are. From there, you can start researching different universities and law schools.

You should consider:

  • Available courses,
  • ATAR and selection ranks,
  • Alternative entry pathways,
  • Support for First Nations students,
  • Fees and costs,
  • Available scholarships,
  • Important dates,
  • Accommodation options, and 
  • University and community support

The team at Ngalaya has put together a guide to the different law schools in Australia. This is a great starting point to help work out the above,

If you are interested in applying for a particular university or universities, we recommend that you spend time researching each university on their website. You can also contact their Indigenous Support Centre for more information.

Some universities offer Year 12 students the opportunity to receive an early offer for a place in specified degrees.

The following universities offer early entry pathways:

Other universities also offer alternative entry pathways for First Nations students, outside of the ATAR system. Including:

  • UNSW Law – Indigenous Pre-Law Program
  • UTS Law – Jumbunna Indigenous Pathways

If you are able to, we recommend that you attend the open day for any university you are interested in. Due to COVID-19, many universities now have virtual open days with online campus tours and information sessions.

Open days are an opportunity to explore the university campus and accommodation options, learn about what it’s like to study at the university, and meet key contacts in the faculty and Indigenous Support Centre.

You can find an up-to-date list of university open days and times on the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) website.

If you know you will need to move away from home to study law, look into the accommodation options (including colleges and on-campus accommodation) for your preferred law school(s).

Many colleges select their residents before ATARs and UAC offers. So it is important to apply as early as possible for your preferred accommodation.

Once you have done your research and have a short list of potential courses, you should apply for each course through UAC.

It is recommended that students keep their options open by applying for up to five courses. 

For specific information about applying for uni through UAC, see their helpful guide.

You can apply for the following scholarships directly through UAC before receiving your ATAR or a university offer: 

    There are additional scholarships available to high-school leavers. You can find a list of state-wide scholarships on our website here.

    For some scholarships, you will need to wait until you are admitted into an undergraduate course before you can apply.

    UAC recommends that students order their course preferences so that the courses they would like to do most are their first and second preferences. The reason is that entry entry schemes, such as the Schools Recommendation Scheme (SRS), make offers before the usual December and January offer rounds.

    If you are seeking entry through an alternative entry pathway, make sure you follow your university’s instructions about UAC preferences to get your offer.

    The UAC website releases ATARs in mid-December. Universities use the ATAR to help them select students for their courses. 

    To find out about the ATAR calculation and receiving your results on the UAC website here.

    Once you have received your results, you will have more of an idea of what courses you are eligible for. 

    If you did not meet the selection criteria for your preferred courses, consider any pathway courses or alternative entry options. You can find information about pathway courses and alternative entry options on your university website or by finding your university here.

    Most universities make offers to Year 12 students in two rounds. The first is in December and the second is in January. 

    You can only receive one offer in each offer round. This offer will be from your highest preference for which you are eligible. 

    To find out more about how offers work and what you need to do, visit the UAC website.

    Before accepting your offer, you should consider whether you need to relocate in order to study and where you might live.

    Our moving away from home page has information about finding and paying for accommodation.

    Once you accept and enrol in your course, you may also be eligible for ABSTUDY payments.

    Once you are happy with your offer and confident with your choice, the next step is to accept your offer and follow your university’s instructions to start the enrolment process!

    If you have any issues with your enrolment, reach out to your university’s Indigenous Support Centre for advice.

    Gap Year?

    If you're going to take a gap year before you start university, UAC recommends that you apply for university first, accept your offer, and then defer for one year.

    If you wait to apply for university as a post-school applicant (someone who finished high school more than one year ago) you will be competing against other mature-age applicants who may have a range of qualifications and experiences. You may also lose access to certain scholarships, early entry schemes or adjustment factors that increase your selection rank.


    We are here to help. Get in touch and we’ll do our best to respond soon.

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