Social Justice/Public Interest Clinic

10 Units

The primary objective of this course is to enable a student to acquire, by way of experiential learning and otherwise, the specialised technical knowledge and professional legal skills in social justice lawyering and public interest lawyering. The course will enable students to develop and practice the specialised technical and legal skills needed for social justice and public interest legal cases including effective written and oral communication with clients, parties and organisations, public interest advocacy, detailed legal research and drafting law reform submissions and research projects.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 2 - 2016 (Callaghan)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the law through placement in a law practice or organisation focused on social justice and public interest lawyering.
  2. Demonstrate specialised knowledge and skills necessary to be effective public interest lawyers.
  3. Contribute to supporting social justice through advice and assistance to marginalised clients and not for profit organisations and charities.
  4. Integrate the theory and practice of social justice and public interest lawyering through the use of complex research, technical writing and advocacy skills.
  5. Critically reflect on the concepts of access to justice, public interest lawyering and professional responsibility including the complex ethical and professional conduct principles that apply.
  6. Identify and analyse barriers that disadvantaged persons face when accessing justice and the legal system.
  7. Identify and critically analyse the issues in legal practice.
  8. Demonstrate high level personal autonomy, expert judgment and accountability in dealing with specialised social justice and public interest issues, principles and concepts.

Topics in this course include:

  1. Introduction to clinical placement and clinical legal education; Social justice, human rights and public interest lawyering
  2. Advanced communication skills
  3. Public interest advocacy
  4. Advanced legal drafting and submissions
  5. Advanced legal research skills and legal reasoning
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice or Master of Laws programs.
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Assessment Items
  • Participation: Seminar and Placement participation
  • Written Assignment: Written social justice/public interest research project or law reform submission
  • Presentation: Seminar presentation
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Weeks
Timetable 2016 Course Timetables for LAWS6029
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