LAW 6501 - Foundations of the GDLP

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2015

This course introduces the knowledge and skills needed to complete the GDLP and become a competent legal practitioner. Skills in this course will be further developed throughout the GDLP and on placement. This course is a prerequisite to completing other GDLP courses. Topics include: interviewing and advising, legal writing, legal drafting, practical legal research, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and advocacy. As part of the advocacy component you will make submission to, and obtain feedback from, senior members of the legal profession at the District Court. The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners, courts and agencies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6501
    Course Foundations of the GDLP
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Summer
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description This course introduces the knowledge and skills needed to complete the GDLP and become a competent legal practitioner. Skills in this course will be further developed throughout the GDLP and on placement. This course is a prerequisite to completing other GDLP courses. Topics include: interviewing and advising, legal writing, legal drafting, practical legal research, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and advocacy. As part of the advocacy component you will make submission to, and obtain feedback from, senior members of the legal profession at the District Court.

    The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners, courts and agencies.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Michelle Elliott

    As course staff work in the South Australian legal profession all communication should be directed to the GDLP Coordinator, Michelle Elliott in the first instance - michelle.elliott@lawsocietysa.asn.au

    The GDLP Coordinator will contact the appropriate course staff as necessary. 

    Course Supervisors
    Kate Crocker: Interviewing and Advising
    Cathy Mayfield: Legal Writing and Drafting
    Lorna Hartwell: Practical Legal Research
    Greg Rooney: Negotiation and ADR
    Julie Van der Velde: Taxation

    Advocacy Team: 
    Helena Jasinski: Civil Trial Preparation
    Carrie Demertzis: Open and Closing Addresses
    Kos Lesses: Examination in Chief and Cross Examination

    CourseCoordinator (UA Law School):  Adam Webster

    Course Timetable

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

    LECTURES
    There are 20 hours of lectures: the lectures are pre-recorded and available online.
    There are NO face to face lectures.

    SEMINARS
    There are 24 hours of Seminars divided into the following blocks:
    Note: All Seminars are compulsory.
    Students enrol in ONE seminar group ONLY.

    • Legal Writing and Drafting (Letter Writing)
    • Interviewing and Advising
    • Legal Writing and Drafting (Memorandums and Affidavits)
    • Negotiation
    • ADR
    • Practical Legal Research
    • Foundations of Taxation
    • Case Concept and Case Theory
    • Opening and Closing Addresses
    • Examination in Chief and Cross Examination

    OFF-SITE SEMINAR - Practical Coaching Clinic 
    The seminar is off site at the District Court.
    This seminar at the District Court is compulsory.
    Students will be in small groups.

    OTHER
    In addition to lectures and seminars there are additional readings, resources, and online activities to be completed.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this course you should be able to competently:

    1. Writing Letters
    • identified the need for, and purpose of, the letter.
    • written the letter in plain English that conveys its purpose clearly and could be understood by the person to whom it is sent, acting reasonably. 
     
    2. Legal Writing
    2.1 Communicating effectively
    • identified the purpose of a proposed communication, the most effective way of making it, and the content of the proposed communication.
    • presented thoughts, advice, and submissions in a logical, clear, succinct and persuasive manner, having regard to the circumstances and the person or forum to whom they are made. 

    2.2 Cross-cultural awareness
    • identified and appropriately dealt with verbal and non-verbal aspects of cross-cultural communication

    3. Interviewing and Advising
     • prepared for the interview properly, having regard to relevant information available before the interview and all known, relevant circumstances.
    • conducted, participated in conducting or observed, the interview, using communication techniques appropriate to both the client and the context.
    • ensured that the client and lawyer have both obtained all the information which they wanted from the interview in a timely, effective and efficient way, having regard to the circumstances.
    • ensured that the lawyer and client left the interview with a common understanding of the lawyer’s instructions (if any) and any future action that the lawyer or client is respectively to take.
    • made a record of the interview that satisfies the requirements of law and good practice.
    • taken, or participated in taking, any follow-up action in a timely manner. 

    4. Legal Drafting
    • identified the need for, and purpose, of the document.
    • devised an effective form and structure for the document having regard to the parties, the circumstances, good practice, plain English principles and the relevant law.
    • drafted the document effectively having regard to the parties, the circumstances, good practice, plain English principles, and the relevant law.
    • considered whether the document should be settled by counsel. 
     • taken every action required to make the document effective and enforceable in a timely manner and according to law (such as execution by the parties, stamping, delivery and registration). 

    5. Practical Legal Research
    • establish a strategy to undertake systematic legal research
    • use paper and electronic resources to efficiently research legal and factual problems involved in a matter
    • keep your research up to date
    • present the results of your research

    6. Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution 
    • prepared, or participated in the preparation of the client’s case properly having regard to the circumstances and good practice.
    • identified the strategy and tactics to be used in negotiations and discussed them with and obtained approval from the client, or been involved in or observed that process.
    • carried out, been involved in or observed, the negotiations effectively having regard to the strategy and tactics adopted, the circumstances of the case and good practice.
    • documented any resolution as required by law or good practice and explained it, or been involved in the process of explaining it, to the client in a way a reasonable client could understand. 

    7. Facilitating early resolution of disputes 
    • identified the advantages and disadvantages of available dispute resolution options and explained them to, or been involved in explaining them to, the client.
    • performed in the lawyer’s role, or been involved in or observed that performance, in the dispute resolution process effectively, having regard to the circumstances.
    • documented any resolution as required by law or good practice and explained it, or been involved in explaining it, to the client in a way a reasonable client could understand. 

    8. Advocacy
    • observed the etiquette and procedures of the forum.
    • organised and presented in an effective, strategic way: 
    - factual material; 
    - analysis of relevant legal issues; and 
    - relevant decided cases.
    • prepare and present a submission to a senior member of the legal profession taking into account the instructions given and advocacy skills to examine the use of a case concept and presentation styles
    • made submissions effectively and coherently in accordance with law and good practice.

    9. Taxation
    • develop an understanding of the taxation areas which underpin other GDLP courses: Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Stamp Duty (SD) and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1 to 9
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 to 9
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1 to 9
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 to 9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1 to 9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 to 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1 to 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1 to 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No textbooks are assigned for GDLP courses.

    Seminar resources and readings are available on MyUni ONLY.  Students must bring electronic devices to seminars to access seminar materials. 

    Due to an emphasis on current legal practice other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.  Students
    are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.

    Recommended Resources
    Most course resources are provided to students ONLINE via MyUni. Relevant law can be accessed online via:

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/

    http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/index.aspx

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/

    Due to the emphasis on current legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been
    posted.  Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.


    Online Learning
    The course is supported by the MyUni course website. The website contains the following resources:

    1.       Course information – including seminar schedule and assessment outline.

    2.       Course materials – such as lecture presentations, seminar materials, readings and resources.

    3.       Assessment – items of assessment and online submission.

    4.       Grade centre – where students’ results for assessments are entered.

    MyUni will also be used to post announcements. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.

    Students should also regularly check their University of Adelaide email.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through online lectures supported by face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises developing primary material.

    Students MUST come prepared for seminars, namely having undertaken prior readings and developed draft responses to the seminar questions. If students have not prepared and / or arrive more than 10 minutes late they may be asked to leave the seminar group. 

    A reminder that students MUST bring along electronic devices to the seminar so that they can access the seminar materials electronically. 

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of the interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes) and provides students with the ability to develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable to the professional environment). Students are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner as would be expected in the workplace environment (compliant with the professional conduct rules and standards). 

    Students, who due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstance, are unable to attend the required seminars, may complete alterative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar misses and will be negotiated with the GDLP Coordinator. Students MUST inform the GDLP Coordinator at the earliest opportunity of their absence and where they require this make-up work option.
    Workload

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

    In addition to the lectures and seminars, we recommend that you spend 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the material, preparing for lectures and seminars and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Legal Writing - Kate Crocker

    Lecture: 2 hours
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 1: 2 hours
    Draft letters to various audiences regarding a dispute.

    Interviewing and Advising - Kate Crocker

    Lecture: 2 hours
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 2: 2 hours
    Take notes from an initial client interview which will form the basis of the assessment

    Legal Drafting and Writing - Cathy Mayfield

    Lecture: 2 hours
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities
    Focus: Memorandums and Affidavits

    Seminar 3: 2 hours
    Drafting Memorandums and Affidavit

    Assessment: Interview, letter of advice and legal writing and drafting assessments

    Cultural Awareness Issues: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

    Online content
    No seminar but students are to view the online materials and associated activities.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution - Greg Rooney

    Lecture: 2 hours
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 4: 2 hours
    You will engage in a mediation exercise to explore the difference between facilitative and evaluative mediation styles.

    Negotiation - Greg Rooney

    Lecture: 2 hours
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities
    Negotiation

    Seminar 5: 2 hours
    You will engage in a negotiation exercise to experience first-hand positional and interest-based bargaining tactics.

    Assessment: Negotiation and ADR - reflective essay on your seminars

    Practical Legal Research - Lorna Hartwell

    No lecture

    Seminar 6: 2 hours
    Electronic research resources.
    You will complete this seminar in a computer lab.

    Seminar 7: 2 hours
    Hard copy research resources you will complete this seminar in the UA Law School library or the LSSA library (to be confirmed)

    For each seminar group when you attend the class you will be divided into 2 smaller groups: one will go to the computer lab and one will go to the Law School or UA Law Library

    Assessment: Online quiz and research

    Foundations of Taxation - John Harrison

    Lecture: 1.5 hours - Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
    Lecture: 1.5 hours - Stamp Duty
    Lecture: 1 hour - Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 8: 2 hours CGT
    Seminar 9: 2 hours GST and SD
    You will complete practical problems in the seminars which apply the knowledge gained in the lectures and online questions.

    Assessment: Taxation assessment

    Advocacy - Helena Jasinski, Carrie Demertzis, and Kos Lesses

    Lecture: 1 hour - Civil Trial Preparation
    Lecture: 2 hours - Opening and Closing Addresses
    Lecture: 2 hours - Examination in Chief and Cross Examination
    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 10: 2 hours - Prepare for a Civil Trial based on a client fact scenario
    Seminar 11: 2 hours - Prepare an opening or closing address based on a client fact scenario
    Seminar 12: 2 hours - Prepare examination in chief and cross examination based on a client fact scenario

    Practical Coaching Clinic:
    Students will be allocated tasks to examine in chief and cross examine witnesses.
    All students will practice an opening and/or closing address.
    Students may play the part of the witnesses for their colleagues.

    Assessments:
    Students will prepare as if acting for either side so that assessors can see that you have prepared the whole case.

    Advocacy 1: Preparation for a Civil Trial
    Advocacy 2: Presentation of Opening and/or Closing Address
    Advocacy 3: Presentation Examination in Chief and Cross Examination
    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 and Law Admissions Consultative Committee 2015 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are expected to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, the compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required in additional to assessment tasks.
  • 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

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline.

    Note: Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities.

    Assessment deadlines are as follows, unless otherwise advised: 


    Topics 1-4 - Legal Writing, Interviewing and Advising, Legal Drafting and Writing and Cultural Awareness Issues: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

    Assessment: Interview, letter and legal writing and drafting assessment
    Learning outcomes 1-4
    Deadline: 30/1/15, 5pm

    Topics 5 and 6 - Alternative Dispute Resolution and Negotiation

    Assessment: Negotiation and ADR assessment
    Learning outcomes 6-7
    Deadline: 3/2/15, 5pm

    Topic 7: Practical Legal Research

    Assessment: PLR Assessment – online quiz and drafting assessment
    Learning outcome 5
    Available: 24/1/15, 9am
    Deadline: 5/2/15, 5pm

    Topic 8: Foundations of Taxation

    Assessment: Taxation assessment
    Learning outcome 9
    Deadline: 16/2/15, 5pm

    Topic 9: Advocacy

    Assessment: Advocacy
    - Preparation for a Civil Trial
    - Preparation of Opening or Closing Address
    - Presentation of Examination in Chief or Cross Examination
    Learning outcomes 7-8

    Deadline: 12/2/15, 5pm


    Assessment Related Requirements
    Detailed information regarding the specific details of assessment which are required to be completed satisfactorily will be provided on MyUni. 

    In this course, students will also be assessed on the following:
    • Attendance (95% rule applies)
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines
    • Display active engagement in practical activities
    • Demonstrate respectful behaviour towards others
    • Maintaining a high level of confidentiality at all times
    • Satisfactory completion of prescribed exercises
    Assessment Detail
    Unless otherwise stated, there will be no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP programme is to facilitate your transition from undergraduate academic law studies to the legal professional employment environment through the demonstration and practice of professionally-based skills and competencies. In a legal practice it is highly unlikely you will be set a certain number of words or pages for the tasks you are asked to complete.

    However, in the majority of assessments guidelines will be provided.

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.
    Assessment competence will take into consideration: expression, structure, correct grammar, typography, etc.

    Presentation is to be single spaced and 2.5cm left margin.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Coordinator through a Course Announcement.
    Submission
    Students must retain a copy of all assessments submitted.

    Students are to submit assessments online within MyUni.

    Please note: where forms or documents have been outlined in assessment activities for completion these should be downloaded from original sources and completed in an electronic format, if not supplied.

    Students will be marked in accordance with the marking rubric.

    Resubmission

    Students are required to demonstrate competency in all elements of the national competency standards and failure to do so will result in the relevant assessment being marked as non-competent (fail).

    All non-competent (failed) assessments, per University policy, are double-marked before the results are released back to the student. The first and second markers discuss what the final result will be.

    If the assessment is deemed non-competent (fail) after the double-marking process, students may be offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment. Students granted a resubmission will have 7 days from the time they are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit the assessment. In most cases only the parts of the assessment that do not attain competence will be required to be resubmitted. Only ONE opportunity is provided for resubmission.

    Extensions

    Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline to the GDLP Coordinator.
    Extensions on medical and compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University policy.

    Late Submission

    NOTE: in this course, students are assessed against a professional workplace standard; namely
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines



    Course Grading

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

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    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.

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

    Grade Grade reflects following criteria for allocation of grade: Reported on Official Transcript
    Fail No Submission No work submitted for assessment FNS
    Fail Competency not demonstrated F
    Non-Graded Pass Competency demonstrated NGP
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN
    No Formal Examination No formal examination NFE

    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.

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

  • 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

    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 CEQ 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at least once every 2 years. 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
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • 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.