The UNSW Law & Justice Textbook Access Scheme has once again demonstrated its importance in supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds and supporting their educational journey.

Launched in 2016 with the simple goal of alleviating the financial burden associated with textbook expenses, the Textbook Access Scheme expanded in 2023 to provide eligible students the opportunity to apply for paid work placement opportunities with partner law firms. The scheme has not only garnered praise from its many student beneficiaries but also forged valuable partnerships with leading firms in the legal sector.

Naomi Habib, a third-year undergraduate law student registered with the scheme, completed an internship with leading law firm Allens last year and shared her perspective on its significance.

"Textbooks are expensive and the monetary sum has really helped me in gaining access to these required resources and helps dedicate the funds, otherwise spent on textbooks, towards other necessities." 
Naomi Habib

Habib further emphasised the transformative impact of the internship opportunity facilitated by the scheme, highlighting its role in providing valuable insights into the workings of a commercial firm, getting her foot in the door and facilitating professional networking.

Following her 10-week internship with Allens, Habib received an offer of a part-time in-house paralegal role at The GPT Group. She says the internship was a valuable opportunity to gain practical legal experience, which assisted her in securing the role.

This year saw a significant increase in eligibility for the Textbook Access Scheme, with 465 students eligible for participation. The scheme plays a critical role in supporting students from equity groups as UNSW strives, by 2025, to achieve its equity target of 25% of enrolling undergraduate students coming from low-SES backgrounds and/or socio-educationally disadvantaged schools.

"The Textbook Access Scheme is one of a range of support services that we offer to our students, as part of our mission to foster a more inclusive and diverse experience for all of our students,” said Dr Noam Peleg, Senior Lecturer and Director – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UNSW Law & Justice. “We are committed to expanding the reach and impact of this initiative. By enhancing access to educational materials, we aim to level the playing field and ensure that all students have the resources they need to succeed academically."

Central to the scheme's success is the esteemed firm partners whose unwavering support has been instrumental in its implementation. The partners for 2024 are:

These partnerships not only provide financial support but also open doors to invaluable opportunities for students to undertake professional work experience and be mentored by leading industry professionals.

Professor Andrew Lynch, Dean of UNSW Law & Justice, expressed gratitude to the firm partners, acknowledging their pivotal role in advancing the institution's educational mission.

"We extend our sincere thanks to all sponsoring firms for their steadfast commitment to empowering our students and enabling access to the profession."
Professor Andrew Lynch

"Their support not only ensures equitable access to educational resources but also enhances the overall learning experience, preparing our students for success in their future endeavours," Prof. Lynch said.

The UNSW Law & Justice Textbook Access Scheme exemplifies the dedication to supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds and fostering excellence and inclusivity for all. With the collective efforts of students, faculty, and partners, the scheme remains poised to continue to grow and give opportunity to students.

Learn more about the UNSW Law & Justice Textbook Access Scheme.

UNSW Law & Justice Media