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18 May 2011
Deakin University has announced that it will expand its law course in Warrnambool from two to three years.
Under the current arrangement Bachelor of Law students complete the first two years of their course at the Warrnambool Campus before transferring to Geelong or undertaking off-campus studies.
From 2012 they will be able to complete the first three years of their study in Warrnambool.
"We are finding that students who come to Warrnambool for the course enjoy it and want to stay longer," Professor Rees said.
"We also have had feedback from the local legal profession which believes the chances of graduates staying to work in the region will be improved if they were to study here for a third year," she said.
The course started in Warrnambool in 2007 and Professor Rees said about 35 students were enrolling each year.
The option of staying in Warrnambool to complete their third year of study will be available to students completing their second year in 2011.
"We expect that in the long-term most students will complete all three years in Warrnambool," Professor Rees said.
"We are getting very good results and students are enjoying Warrnambool and the course. In many cases they have probably exceeded expectations.
"The smaller class sizes and supportive teaching has been very beneficial to them."
Professor Rees said the faculty was currently recruiting new staff to allow for the expansion.
"We will be consulting with the local legal profession about the possibility of them supporting the program," she added.
Professor Rees said there was a looming shortage of legal practitioners in rural and regional areas.
"We hope this extension will make the course more attractive to students and ultimately lead them to take up practice in the region."
The straight Law degree is four years and five for those who take it as a combined degree.
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