LAW 3510 - Clinical Legal Education

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

The course is designed to demonstrate the operation of theoretical and doctrinal law in a legal environment. Students are placed for one day per week* in a legal office, supervised by a legal practitioner, and participate actively in all aspects of the work at the office, including client interviewing, community education, and case work. The Law School also offers placements at legal advice clinics run by Adelaide Law School at the Adelaide Magistrates Court, and at the Adelaide Legal Outreach Service. The concurrent seminar program builds on students' experiences on placement, examining issues such as lawyer/client relationships, legal ethics, professionals and professions, justice access, and the role of our legal system in society. * When offered over summer course entails 2 days of placement each week for 6 weeks between January and end of February.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3510
    Course Clinical Legal Education
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites LAW 2504
    Incompatible LAW 3080
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 3501
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only. Course participation will be by way of selection.
    Course Description The course is designed to demonstrate the operation of theoretical and doctrinal law in a legal environment. Students are placed for one day per week* in a legal office, supervised by a legal practitioner, and participate actively in all aspects of the work at the office, including client interviewing, community education, and case work. The Law School also offers placements at legal advice clinics run by Adelaide Law School at the Adelaide Magistrates Court, and at the Adelaide Legal Outreach Service. The concurrent seminar program builds on students' experiences on placement, examining issues such as lawyer/client relationships, legal ethics, professionals and professions, justice access, and the role of our legal system in society. * When offered over summer course entails 2 days of placement each week for 6 weeks between January and end of February.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Margaret Castles

    Margaret Castles (Course Coordinator)
    Paula Meegan (Magistrates Court Legal Advice Service Supervisor)
    Ross Savvas (Adelaide Legal Outreach Service Supervisor)
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Students must attend a compulsory full day induction on Friday 27 February 2015. Any student who fails to attend the training day cannnot continue in the course.  Students may with prior notice attend the Summer semester training day on 9 January in lieu.

    Seminars will be on Mondays 10 - 12 in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course offers a limited number of students the opportunity to participate in legal practice whilst completing a three point elective subject. Students are placed at one of two legal advice services operated by the Law School, or at other community focussed legal service agencies, for one day a week for 12 weeks in Semester 1 and 2, or for two days per week over 6 weeks in Summer semester, as well as participating in an academically focussed seminar program. This course will equip later year law students with a critical appreciation the operation of law in a practical setting, the day to day and long term impact of law on the community, justice access, dimensions of community lawyering as a social and professional phenomenon, and the ethical and professional dimensions of legal practice. These outcomes will provide students with a number of the Program Graduate Attributes for the Bachelor of Laws, including:
    1. Advanced and applied understanding of the operation of theoretical legal principles in a practical legal setting
    2. Critical appreciation of the role of the lawyer and the legal profession in the provision of a just and accessible legal syste
    3. Advanced evidence based legal practice sk al in dealing with clients in legal practice, including the capacity to analyse and apply different theoretical models of client centered practice
    4. The capacity to exercise judgment and make informed and considered decisions in a legal practice environment
    5. The capacity to work effectively and reliably in a professional environment, both individually and as a member of a team
    6. The refinement and development of oral and written communication skills of a high order;

    Communication Skills: The continuing development of good inter-personal and communication skills is widely recognised as important for all graduates. This course specifically seeks to develop students’ abilities to engage in a wide range of written and oral communication activities, in the day to day clinical work on placement, and involvement in interactive seminar program. Assessment is also based in part upon communication skills in a range of different contexts.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All materials required for this course will be provided via MYUNI either in the form of allocated readings, seminar guides, training materials, and references to resources available online.
    Recommended Resources

    South Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012
    Online Learning
    Most course materials will be provided via MYUNI.

    If students are directed to participate in any online discussion forums as a result of absence from any class OR in substitute for seminars missed due to public holidays, participation in such forum will be compulsory.

    Additional information and links to sites of interest or current interest will be accessed via MyUni links.

    Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date with online activities.

    Online discussion forums and Facebook/blog activities may be introduced from time to time as advised to students during the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Teaching in this subject is by way of one 7 hour training day, 6x2 hour fortnightly seminars, and one day per week on placement.

    MYUNI, Facebook, or blogs may be used as a basis for online discussion and posting links.

    Students in this course are required to attend and participate in the Training Day, and a minimum of 5 out of 6 face to face seminars as a prerequisite to passing the subject, and must participate in any online discussion forum set up as an alternative to classes missed due to absence of individual students or public holidays.

    Seminars are an important component of learning in this course. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    The modeling of cogent reporting, the open minded discussion of ideas and values, and the evaluative discussion of experience and practice by reference to principles set out in course materials are essential components in achieving the goals of the course (outlined above). 

    Participation in seminars requires demonstrated familiarity with reading materials, preparation of tasks or preparation allocated before seminars, engagement in discussion or activities in seminars. Students are not able to demonstrate the above will be considered not to have "participated" in seminars to a satisfactory level.

    Students who fail to attend the Training Day without approval and completion of agreed substituted learning activities will not be permitted to attend placement or continue with the course.
    [ Edit Active ]


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    The University expects full-time students to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.

    In this course students must attend a one day training/induction session preparatory to commencing their legal placement, 5 out of 6 x 2 hour seminars, and one day of placement (9 am - 5 pm) per week for 12 weeks.

    Students may be required to attend additional induction sessions (usually by negotiation in the week prior to the placement commencing).

    In addition students will be expected to complete assessment (journal, writing exercise, major project) outside placement/seminar hours.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Learning Activities Summary

    The topics covered will include:
    The concept of professionalism and models of lawyering
    Client centered legal practice (theory and practice)
    Client Interviewing
    Legal Writing
    Evaluation of Different Models for dealing with clients
    Reflective learning techniques and self reflective practices
    Legal ethics
    Justice access
    Law reform
    Self care and care of others in the legal profession
    One of the primary methodologies adopted in this course is the sharing of experience and insight obtained by students on placement in seminars. Students attend placement for one or two days per week, and then attend classes where one objective is the discussion, evaluation and critique of experiences they have had and observations they have made. The participation of students in a structured way in seminars is a critical aspect of the teaching methodology. In seminars students are also expected to demonstrate the capacity to relate what they are experiencing on placement to the theoretical issues that are dealt with in the materials. Small class size and a student led approach to discussion results in students having ample opportunity to participate in this way. Student articulation of observation and experience in turn provides the basis for evaluation by the class of issues, problems, and concepts experienced in practice with reference to legal theory. Class participation plays a central
    role in the presentation of seminars, and students have a responsible and significant role.

    In order to recognise gender, cultural, and learning preferences in the class context, the following strategies are used in seminars:
    small group collaborative work on specified short exercises for reporting to larger group (groups of 2 – 6),
    large group discussion,
    allocated questions,
    role plays,
    invitations to speak on issues arising on placement,
    small group discussion,
    quizzes, hypotheticals, and problem solving exercises

    Specific Course Requirements
    Specific Course Requirements

    Students must attend all days on placement and demonstrate capacity to engage in placement activities including interviewing clients, written work, and case management, with the support and direction of a placement supervisor. Students must receive at least 50% (Pass) for the placement component of the course to pass the course.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small Group Discovery Experience

    Clinical Legal Education is of its nature a small group discovery experience. Students work in small teams of 2 - 8 under the supervision of a solicitor. The primary learning methodology of CLE is student led exploration and investigation in acheiving case work outcomes, and completing self directed project work. Autonomy, personal responsiblity, evaluation and reflection are critical aspects of the pedagogy of CLE and are embedded in all aspects of the student experience.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item % of final mark Due Date Note
    Professional Journal 30% Due dates for online submission will be provided in O week Students submit 1 draft and 2 final journal entries during the semester.
    Class Participation P/F
    Project and explanatory methodology 30% Due dates will be provided in O week. Students have the option of working in groups for the Project. Grades may be differentially awarded if different levels of contribution and participation are evident.
    Methodology submittted as part of the project assignment is required and indicates the nature participation of each student in any group project work.
    Performance on placement (assessment by supervisor) 20%
    Communication practicum  20% Due date will be provided in O week

    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment related requirements will be provided prior to the semester on MYUNI.
    Assessment Detail
    Details of assessment activities including expectations for individual assessment items and marking criteria will be provided on MYUNI
    Submission of Journal (Parts 1 and 2) must be submitted electronically via Turnitin. This means that all papers will be electronically checked for plagiarism.

    Submission of Project and Methodolgy is in hard copy (with electronic back up copies to be provided if requested)

    Communication Practicum is in hard copy.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.