- Alternative Names
- Australasian Law Students' Association
ASLA has its beginnings in the early 1970s, growing from informal meetings of Australian Law Student Society presidents. The presidents decided that a formal national structure would be an ideal opportunity to pit their best mooters against each other, and an Annual Conference was initiated in this very basic form. The first competition was held in Melbourne in the mid-1970s. Shortly afterwards, the New Zealand Law Student Societies were invited to participate within this framework. In 1978 an invitation to join the association was extended to Law Student Societies from the South East Asian region; and the name 'ALSA' was given to the structure that same year. ASLA underwent a number of administrative changes during the 1980s, resulting in it becoming an incorporated association registered in Victoria in 1986.
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw significant change to the Australian higher education system. As a consequence of these reforms many new law schools were established, leading to a rapid increase in the number of member universities affiliated to ALSA. In response to this increased demand for services, ALSA repositioned itself with a lead advocacy role on behalf of Australian Law Students, representing their interests in debates about higher education, admission and legal practice.