LAW4309 - Lawyers ethics in practice - 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.



Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)
  • Summer semester A 2017 (Day)


This unit provides a practical and critical introduction to ethical decision-making and the law and codes of professional responsibility in lawyering. It introduces different ethical approaches to legal practice, focusing on the justifications for, and criticisms of, the traditional adversarial advocate approach and alternatives to it in the context of different areas of practice. The unit also examines the way that lawyers' ethics and conduct are regulated and set out in legal principles and codes.

Students will be encouraged to develop awareness of their own ethical orientation and expected to apply varied ethical approaches to hypothetical scenarios. They will be expected to identify and resolve ethical issues that arise in legal practice using the law of lawyering. Students will also be expected to critically assess the way lawyers' ethics are regulated in the context of multiple approaches to legal ethics and disparate practice contexts.


Students successfully completing this unit should be able to:

  1. Explain the law, principles and values integral to ethical practice of the Law
  2. Demonstrate approaches to ethical decision-making that require recognition, reflection and response to ethical issues likely to arise in legal practice, with particular attention to exercising professional judgement in the areas of justice promotion and community service.
  3. Use critical analysis to make reasoned choices and demonstrate creativity in applying these to specific ethical issues
  4. Communicate how they would effectively, appropriately and persuasively apply professional responsibility principles across different practice contexts to resolve ethical issues
  5. Demonstrate autonomy, accountability and professionalism in relation to ethical judgement and make effective use of feedback.


Semesters 1, 2 and Summer:

Video presentation: 10%

Online quiz: 10%

Ethics media diary: 40%

Take home exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Semester 1: Mr Ross Hyams

Semester 2: Professor Graeme Hodge


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:

LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2100 or LAW2101 and LAW2102; LAW2200 or LAW2201 and LAW2202


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW4332; LAW3111; LAW4303