Law deans join heads to talk about diversity in the Australian law school


On Thursday, 12 July Affinity continued its Lunchtime Law Panel series with two law deans, Professor Tania Sourdin of the University of Newcastle and Professor Michael Quinlan of the University of Notre Dame.

The two deans shared a conversation on the Diversity in the Australian law school, which was facilitated by Professor Mary Crock from the University of Sydney.

Professor Quinlan spoke about how religion was first introduced into a university setting and shared his thoughts on the role of Catholicism in a university setting.

“The absence of a particular religious foundation in the beginnings of universities in Australia is due to catering to a population which was primarily atheist, not due to an antipathy to religions,” he said.

“A Catholic law school should be clearly Catholic. It should teach law in a principled and ethical way and should be animated by a profound respect for the dignity of each individual.

“Materialism and wealth should not be the primary reason for people to want to practice and work in the law.

“Catholic law schools have a critical role to play in maintaining the diversity of Australian society and ensuring that students continue to search for the truth with dignity and critical rigour.” he said.

Professor Sourdin stated many reasons for diversity within the law school, with the primary reason was to ensure that the profession reflected the cultures, values and diversity of the society that it serves.

She also outlined the ways that regional universities could play a role in increasing diversity within the law school, including attracting students from outside major cities, making law school more accessible to diverse populations and offering a different lifestyle and lower cost of living.

This event was the second in an ongoing series of Affinity Law Panels. Affinity will be bringing you more events with experts in the law industry. To ensure you don’t miss any updates, be sure to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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