Faculty of Law

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2015


The Global Lawyer focuses on international and transnational practice. It takes students beyond the traditional Australian and common law concentration. Students will be introduced to legal systems from other countries, explore strategies for international research, and develop skills necessary to practice in different cultures and systems, and to interact with clients and lawyers from other jurisdictions.
This unit aims to introduce students to the increasingly important implications of practicing global law, and understanding the impact of digital technologies in legal practice, and in the lawyer's own professional identity, including the impact of social media. It seeks to make students aware of the opportunities in international practice as the role of traditional lawyering is broadened, as well as the responsibilities of being a global, digital lawyer.
Students will start by exploring the origin of transnational practice, highlighting the importance of today's lawyer engaging in global practice. Students will then be introduced to the ethical concerns and responsibilities involved in being an international lawyer, before moving onto an overview of the domestic legal systems of important players in the international legal arena. A discussion of the impact of global legal practice on minorities within the legal community will encourage students to think of the larger socio-economic implications of cross-border practice. International management and firm operation will be dealt with as students are challenged with the problem of how to maintain local identity while providing international service.
Students who have engaged in global lawyering experiences as a part of Monash's extensive global internship opportunities will be encouraged to give short presentations on their experiences.
Students will critically engage with Richard Susskind's technological vision of legal practice, and explore the role of digital tools in the practice of law. Issues such as the changing use of digital technology, modern understandings of privacy and control over information, copyright and ownership of data, and issues of data retention, data security, legal informatics and legal professional ethics will be considered.


Students who successfully complete this unit will:

  1. Be able to critically examine the domestic legal systems of key nations, and demonstrate an awareness of relevant cultural sensitivities and the role of contextual factors such as politics and management.
  2. Understand the way in which the legal profession has developed around the world resulting in its modern transnational nature, in particular the role of lawyers in international legal affairs as counsel, negotiator, regulator or representative of individuals, companies or countries.
  3. Be able to identify the multifaceted roles of lawyers in cross border negotiations, transactions and disputes, or as they practice domestic law in foreign jurisdictions.
  4. Have a deep knowledge and appreciation of the opportunities and obligations of global legal practice.
  5. Be able to identify and manage the ethical concerns and responsibilities associated with practicing transnational law, including issues facing minorities within the global legal profession.
  6. Have the skills to undertake international legal research, writing and communication, including through the use of digital technologies.
  7. Be able to identify relevant multilateral bodies and understand the importance of their role and the impacts of their decisions for the domestic legal profession in both monist and dualist countries.
  8. Be able to articulate knowledge of the processes involved in conducting international transactions and disputes.
  9. Be able to identify and critique the issues facing the global lawyer and the global law firm, reflecting on accountability mechanisms within international practice.
  10. Be able to critically discuss the changing uses of digital technology, modern understandings of privacy and control over information, copyright and ownership of data, and issues of data retention, data security, legal informatics and legal professional privilege.


Research Paper (1,500 words) - 30%
Final Exam (open book) (2 & a half hours plus 30 mins for reading & noting) - 70%

Workload requirements

(Class contact) 4 hours per week over 9 weeks

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)



For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:
LAW1101 Introduction to legal reasoning
LAW1104 Research and writing

For students enrolled in the LLB (Honours) course from 2015:
LAW1111 Foundations of law
LAW1112 Public law and statutory interpretation
LAW1113 Torts
LAW1114 Criminal law 1
LAW2101 Contract A
LAW2102 Contract B
LAW2111 Constitutional law
LAW2112 Property A

For other students:
Equivalent introductory units from another university


For LLB (Honours) students only:
LAW3111 Equity
LAW3112 Corporations law