LAW4330 - Family law assistance program: Professional practice - 2018

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Rachel Spencer (Trimester 3 2018)

Quota applies

The number of places available in this unit is 12

Unit guides



  • Summer semester A 2018 to First semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 2 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 3 2018 (On-campus)


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

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

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;

LAW3300 or LAW3301 and LAW3302


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111 and LAW3112


For application & enrolment information please see:


Students undertake a practical placement in a specialist family law program based at a community legal centre which endeavours to meet the legal 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 and attend Court to instruct Counsel in hearings. Students also attend the duty lawyer service at the Dandenong Family Court each Monday to assist and advise unrepresented litigants. Students acquire a diverse range of practical legal skills 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 the capacity to identify and respond to ethical, moral and professional dilemmas in legal practice. Students also develop an appreciation of social 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 (especially family law), along with students interested in policy, government and social justice career pathways.


Students who successfully complete this unit will:

  1. Independently undertake legal research into complex areas of family law and related legislation, including children's and property issues, child support and spousal maintenance 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 solutions to complex legal problems; and

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

  2. Effectively communicate (both orally and in writing) legal advice, information, options for litigious and non-litigious pathway, arguments and strategies 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. Assess their own capabilities and performance as future legal practitioners by having developed skills of self-management, and to independently synthesise this information to aid in the exercise of sound professional and ethical decisions.
  5. Independently identify a practical, law reform or policy problem of relevance to the clinic, isolate and critically analyse the legal principles relevant problem, and articulate these issues through an advanced theoretical and technical knowledge of the designated problem.


Performance of responsibilities at clinic: 70%

Research paper (1500 words) on a topic to be approved by clinical supervisor: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is as follows:

  • One full day orientation and family law seminar and regular one-to-one tutorials
  • One half-day client interview session per week at FLAP for 17 weeks (including during non-teaching period)
  • Participation in seminar program for 6-8 weeks involving 2 hour contact per week
  • 14 hours per week for client-group consultations, private research and casework

Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, client interviewing and advice sessions, supervision and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information