Key 11: The Law School 1861/Faculty of Law 1873


The first students to study Law enrolled for the Practising Certificate for Articled Clerks - a two year, part-time course offered to non-matriculated students in 1857 as a measure to boost enrolments. In 1860 this course was extended to four years. From 1861 students could enrol in a concurrent degree course leading to an LL.B. In effect an Arts/Law degree of four years duration, in 1866 it became the sole means of entry to the practice of barrister or solicitor when the Rules of the Supreme Court made matriculation mandatory. The first four students, including John Madden - subsequently Warden of the Senate and Chancellor - graduated in 1865. The Faculty of Law was created in 1873 with Professor Hearn as foundation Dean. Until well into the twentieth century most of the law subjects were taught by part-time lecturers who were themselves practising members of the profession. A final honours examination was available from 1867. Between 1883 and 1896 Law became a two year graduate course with all entrants required to have already completed an Arts degree, thereafter it reverted to the four year undergraduate course it remains to this day.

William E. Hearn
Professor William E. Hearn
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1221]

Edward Jenks became Professor in 1889, and was succeeded in 1892 by (Sir) William Harrison Moore, who held the chair until 1927, and had a large involvement in drafting University legislation and was an authority on the new Commonwealth constitution.

Edward Jenks, Professor of Law 1889-1892
[Source: Ruth Campbell, A history of the Melbourne Law School, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne, 1977, opposite p. 47]
Harrison Moore (right) with Ernest Scott
Harrison Moore (right) with Ernest Scott (who published the first history of the University)
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1115]