Law School obtains more space and better facilities

13 September 2013
Law School obtains more space and better facilities

Since moving to Eden Crescent, the Auckland Law School has occupied three buildings- the Davis Law Library and two buildings either side of it with lecture theatres, staff offices, and student facilities. In recent years the Law School has also occupied the seventh floor of the building on the corner of Short Street and Eden Crescent. This has included staff offices and postgraduate student administration. Dean Andrew Stockley commented shortly after arriving to head the Law School that the size and layout of its buildings meant that the Faculty had become fragmented and squeezed. The Law School needed more space to fulfil its strategic objectives: to accommodate new staff appointments and to be able to increase its research profile, postgraduate and international numbers and to host more visiting academics and research fellows.

Earlier this year the Faculty was allocated twenty per cent more space and will be better able to grow in the ways expected of a leading law school. The most visible manifestation of this has been by the establishment of a Law School Student Centre on the entry-floor level of the Short Street Building. A consolidated Student and Admissions Centre has been set up so as to provide a ‘one stop shop’ type service for students where they can receive advice and support and be directed to academic staff as appropriate. This has involved co-locating Law’s undergraduate and postgraduate student advice and student support staff, including the Maori and Pasifika advisers. It includes an Admissions Centre so that prospective and current students, whether undergraduates or postgraduates, can receive advice and assistance from the same location.

The increase in space has also meant that the law student clubs and societies (including the Maori and Pasifika law student associations and the Equal Justice Project) now have better rooms and are located beside the new Student and Admissions Centre. Other advantages for students include better seminar rooms now that the Law School has significantly more space in the Short Street Building, and the creation of communal PhD and LLM research work space. More space has consequently been freed up in the Eden Crescent Buildings. This has meant more space for students to gather and wait around lecture theatres, and a significantly expanded Student Common Room and Café. The Faculty now has more space for visiting academics and research and distinguished visitors.

Students have reacted positively to the various changes. A welcome addition to the “exclusive little ‘Law Corner’” of the University campus is how 4th-year student Sam Comber describes the new Law Student Centre which has been recently opened.

Fourth-year student Lucy Mitchell says the Student Centre is a much-needed addition to the Law School. “Assignment hand-in and collection is now a much easier - and less stressful - task as over-crowding issues have been sorted out. But, more importantly, the Centre provides students with an information hub…all the support services and assistance that I am sure was previously available now feels more accessible, simply because it is clearer where all of these services can be accessed.”

Fourth-year student Rachel Dunning (22) says the new Student Centre offers a central location that is easy to find and access. “It will benefit students by being a great place to meet, and a central location to hand in work, and ask questions,” she says. “It is fast becoming a hub of activity where you can find many people with answers to your questions.”