LAW5050 - Professional practice (JD) - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

The unit is restricted to five students per intake.

Unit guides



  • Summer semester A 2017 (Evening)
  • Trimester 1 2017 (Day)
  • Trimester 2 2017 (Day)
  • Trimester 3 2017 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

Previously coded as LAW7423

For application & enrolment information please see


Students undertake a practical placement at a community legal centre which endeavours to meet the needs of its community. Under supervision by qualified solicitors, students provide legal advice to clients, undertake ongoing casework, brief Counsel, and in appropriate cases, represent clients in Court. Students acquire a diverse range of practical legal skills essential for legal practice including: the capacity to undertake legal research and apply legal research to factual scenarios; the ability to synthesise professional, technical and ethical knowledge acquired in the law degree and apply it in a practical legal context; skills in critical thinking and legal judgment; the capacity to independently devise legal solutions for complex legal problems and to provide non-adversarial options to clients for dispute resolution; and the capacity to identify and respond to ethical, moral and professional dilemmas in legal practice. Students also develop an appreciation of social justice and access to justice issues and have a heightened awareness of the operation of the justice system, law reform and policy issues. The skills learnt in this unit will be useful for students who wish to practice law, along with students interested in policy, government and social justice career pathways. Students will develop the capacity to be flexible, adaptable, independent legal practitioners.


Students completing this unit will be able to:

  1. Independently undertake complex legal research and, using such research:

    (a)Assess and articulate adversarial and non-adversarial options for clients, including the strengths and weaknesses of available legal options;

    (b)Pro-actively develop and transmit solutions to complex legal problems;

    (c)Demonstrate a capacity for recognising and appropriately responding to the strategic and ethical implications of different legal approaches; and

    (d)Critically analyse legal principles and the legal system, from a variety of perspectives including theoretical perspectives, identifying gaps and inadequacies in the provision of legal supports to communities.

  2. Effectively communicate (both orally and in writing) legal advice, information, options for litigious and non-litigious pathways, arguments, strategies and theories of justice (including non-adversarial justice) with a wide range of audiences involved in the justice system.
  3. Demonstrate practical legal skills of interviewing, advocacy and drafting; and appropriate use of non-adversarial methods and principles for the resolution of client disputes (mediation, negotiation collaboration, arbitration).
  4. Reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance as flexible, adaptable, independent future legal practitioners by having developed skills of self-reflection and self-management, and to independently synthesise this information to aid in the exercise of sound professional and ethical decisions to a sophisticated degree.


Performance of responsibilities at clinic: 80%

Reflective journal: 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is one half-day Legal Service client intake session per week for 14 weeks (including non-teaching period) plus one and a half days per week client follow-up and including a seminar of 90 minutes' duration, for 6 weeks. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, client interviewing and advice sessions, supervision and online engagement.

* This is an indication only, class times are subject to change.


The achievement of at least twelve units or 72 credit points towards the Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) to include:

LAW5000, LAW5001, LAW5002, LAW5003, LAW5004, LAW5005, LAW5006 and LAW5007 or equivalent