LAW4250 - The global lawyer - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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




Professor Paula Gerber

Unit guides



  • Summer semester A 2017 (Day)


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. Analyse the role of the lawyer within diverse legal systems in a global context
  2. Critique transnational legal practice from the perspective of ethics and accountability
  3. Evaluate the role of digital technologies in transnational and domestic legal practice
  4. Integrate diverse elements of transnational legal practice to build a personal profile indicative of a skilled global lawyer


Class participation: 10%

Reflective writing: 30%

Critical analysis assignment (individual and collaborative options available): 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also summer semester 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