Fewer people could have access to vital knowledge of the Australian legal system as a result of increased university fees for law degrees, the ACT Law Society president says.
Chris Donohue said it was important law education was not restricted to wealthier students it in order to avoid exacerbating inequalities in society.
"If you reduce the knowledge of law by putting the price up, you move in the direction of the privileged few who can afford it having that knowledge and that's a dangerous thing."
Under the Job-ready Graduates Package, the student contribution for a law degree would increase from $11,355 per year to $14,500 from 2021.
The Commonwealth contribution per student would decrease from $2237 to $1100 per student per year.
The changes would be grandfathered so that existing students would not face increased costs and eligible students will still be able to defer their contributions through a HECS-HELP loan.
Education Minister Dan Tehan said the price signals were designed to produce job-ready graduates in areas of national priority, such as in maths and science.
Under the new scheme students in economics and law will pay 28 per cent more for their degrees while humanities students will fork out 113 per cent more.
Mr Donohue said law was as important as other disciplines such as maths.
"The 28 per cent is not as punitive as 113 per cent but it's going in that direction. It's going up and saying that other streams of education are more practical and more essential to society. Well that's not true."
Henri Vickers, who is in his third year of a double degree in arts and law at the Australian National University, said the cost of the degree was not a consideration when he was deciding what path to take in year 12.
He said there were other barriers to studying a law degree besides the tuition fees which in turn led to a mostly wealthy cohort of students.
Prospective students face high ATAR requirements along with steep travel and accommodation costs for those who come from interstate.
"If your parents can't pay $400 a week [for accommodation] then you're working late nights like a few of my mates who do bar work and cafe work until 2am a lot of nights. And they do that as well as four courses per semester," he said.
"I'm lucky because I live at home. But for other kids it's not the same."
Mr Vickers said the legal system was unrepresentative of certain groups, especially indigenous people. A 2011 study showed by 2009, all of the Australian university law courses combined had graduated about 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in total, with only eight going on to be barristers by 2008.
"It's supposed to be a democratic country that reflects what the community wants," Mr Vickers said.
"But how can you have that if everybody who drafts and writes your laws and gets engaged in law in that way is someone who has had a pretty good shot at life and doesn't come from sections of people who might even be those most affected if or when we get it wrong?"
Mr Donohue said there was a perception that lawyers were highly paid which did not match the reality for most in the profession.
He said even those who studied law but did not end up practicing were able to apply it to their lives and careers.
"The thing is understanding that rights and obligations are there for a reason and to look for that reason, to take a critical view of rules that are being imposed."