LAW 6501 - Foundations of the GDLP

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2014

This course introduces the knowledge and skills needed to complete the GDLP and become a competent legal practitioner. Skills developed on this course will be developed further throughout the GDLP and on placement. Therefore 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 submissions 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 Winter
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Intensive
    Assessment Assessment in this course will include a combination of two or more of the following: letters of advice, drafting, interviewing and advising, practical legal research, demonstration of advocacy skills, online quizzes, multiple choice questions and discus
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Maree Cutler-Naroba

    In the first instance, students are to contact the GDLP Program Director, Maree Cutler-Naroba at  

    The GDLP Program Director will then contact the appropriate Course Supervisor if further clarification of the student query is needed.

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

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

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

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

    For Foundations there are 24 hours of Seminars divided into the following blocks of time
    All Seminars are compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE seminar group ONLY

    • Interviewing and Advising 2 hours
    • Legal Writing and Drafting (Letter Writing) 2 hours
    • Legal Writing and Drafting (Memorandums and Affidavits) 2 hours
    • Foundations of Taxation 4 hours
    • Negotiation 2 hours
    • ADR 2 hours
    • Practical Legal Research 4 hours (2 hours at Library, 2 hours at Computer Lab)
    • Case Concept and Case Theory 2 hours
    • Opening and Closing Addresses 2 hours
    • Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief 2 hours

    PRACTICAL 2 hours
    This Practical is compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE group only: Foundations Advocacy Practical
    Students will be in small groups for the purpose of practicing their assessment for the Advocacy Day at the District Court.

    Seminar is off site at the District Court 5 hours
    This Foundations Seminar at the District Court is compulsory
    The morning session will involve assessment and the afternoon session will involve a Mock Trial
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The specific learning objectives for each module within the Foundations course are:

    Interviewing and Advising

    1. understand how to prepare and structure an effective client interview
    2. be aware of issues regarding authority, capacity and cultural effectiveness
    3. develop your listening and questioning techniques
    4. establish a professional relationship with the client

    Legal Writing

    5. develop strategies for effective legal writing, such as varying your language to suit the audience and writing in plain English

    Legal Drafting

    6. develop the skills to draft common legal documents such as an affidavit

    Practical Legal Research

    7. establish a strategy to undertake systematic legal research
    8. use paper and electronic resources to efficiently research legal and factual problems involved in a matter
    9. keep your research up to date
    10. present the results of your research

    Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

    11. the alternatives for resolving legal disputes, specifically negotiation and mediation
    12. the skills of legal negotiation and mediation including styles and strategies’


    13. understand how to present a case for an appearance or for trial
    14. develop a case theory which incorporates the client’s instructions
    15. 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


    16. 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 16
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 to 16
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1 to 16
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 to 16
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 6, 8, 9, 10
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 to 16
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1 to 16
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 15, 16
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Seminar resources are available on MyUni ONLY.  Please NOTE there will be no hard copy of seminar resources printed.  Students must bring along an electronic device to seminars so that they can access seminar materials.  Reading resources are also available on MyUni, along with supplementary non-assessed online quizzes and activities to enhance your learning.
    Recommended Resources
    Note: all of the resources below are provided to students ONLINE.
    Due to the emphasis on the currency of legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.
    Details of supplementary readings and resources will be posted online under the Content section of Foundations.  

    Interviewing and Advising
    • Crocker, Kate, Interviewing and Advising – compiled readings, The Law Society of South Australia, 2012.
    Legal Writing
    • Staveley, Ben, Writing Correct English (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, 2010)
    • Chapter 40: Communication Fundamentals) in Gordon Lewis, Emilious Kyrou and Albert Dinelli, Handy Hints on Legal Practice (Lawbook Company, 2004), 321.
    • Chapter 41: Correspondence in Gordon Lewis, Emilious Kyrou and Albert Dinelli, Handy Hints on Legal Practice (Lawbook Company, 2004), 322, 330.
    • Chapter 45: Email in Gordon Lewis, Emilious Kyrou and Albert Dinelli, Handy Hints on Legal Practice (Lawbook Company, 2004), 349, 354.
    Legal Drafting
    Practical Legal Research
    • Bott, B, Cowley, J and Falconer, L, Nemes & Coss' Effective Legal Research (LexisNexis Butterworths, 4th ed, 2009)
    • Milne, S & Tucker, K, A practical guide to legal research (Lawbook Co, 2nd ed, 2010)
    • Watt, R & Johns, F, Concise legal research (Federation Press, 6th ed, 2009)
    • Citation (essential)
      • Melbourne University Law Review Association, Australian Guide to Legal Citation, (AGLC,) (MULRA, 3rd ed, Mar 2010)
    Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Slattery, M. J. QC. The Spedley Mediation from the Inside, New South Wales Bar News. 1993 Ed 27
    • Rooney, G.W. Mediation and the Rise of Relationship Contracting - A Decade of Change for lawyers- Law Society of South Australian Bulletin, Volume 24, Number 7, August 2002
    • Angyal, R. SC. The Ethical Limits of Advocacy in Mediation The New South Wales Bar Association – Bar Practice Course 1/2011 - FRIDAY 20 MAY 2011
    • O’Connor, Claire, Notes on Opening and Closing Addresses, The Law Society of South Australia, 2010.
    • Glissan, JL and Tilmouth, S, Opening in Advocacy in Practice, Cross Examination: Practice and Procedure (3rd ed, Butterworths, 1998), 15, 22.
    • Glissan, JL and Tilmouth, S, Closing in Advocacy in Practice, Cross Examination: Practice and Procedure (3rd ed, Butterworths, 1998), 178, 194.
    • O’Connor, Claire, Preparing Your Case for Trial, The Law Society of South Australia, 2005.
    • O’Connor, Claire, Expert Evidence in the Court – Examination and Cross Examination, The Law Society of South Australia, 2007.
    • Micallef, Tracee, Tips on Appearing in Court – Advocacy Etiquette, The Law Society of South Australia, 2012.
    Online Learning
    All course materials are provided on My Uni.  This includes readings, seminar materials, assessment information and instructions, and audio recordings of lectures. Students are expected to check MyUni frequently over the time of the course, to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources.
  • 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 with prior reading of material and draft responses to the seminar questions. Students must arrive on time for the seminars. If students have not prepared seminar responses and/or have arrived more than 10 minutes late they will be asked to leave the seminar group and enrol in another seminar group.

    A reminder that students MUST bring along an electronic device to the seminars so that they can access the seminar material electronically.

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

    There will be 20 hours of online lectures and 24 hours of face to face seminars during the course.

    Foundations is a 4 week intensive course.

    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
    Lecture and Content Course Supervisor Seminars Notes Assessment
    Lecture 1:
    Interviewing and Advising

    2 hours

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Kate Crocker Seminar 1: 2 hours

    Take notes from an initial client interview which will form the basis of the assessment
    N/A Interview and Letter of Advice Assessment

    15% Draft a letter to the clietn based on the interview seminar
    Lecture 2:
    Legal Writing 

    2 hours
    Focus: Letter Writing

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Kate Crocker Seminar 2: 2 hours

    Drafting client letter of advice
    N/A Legal Writing and Drafting assessment

    15% Draft a memorandum and an affidavit relating to a dispute.

    Taxation Workbook

    15% The assessment will comprise three parts: CGT, Stamp Duty and GST.

    Lecture 3:
    Legal Writing and Drafting 

    2 hours
    Focus: Memorandums and Affidavits

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Cathy Mayfield Seminar 3: 2 hours

    Drafting Memorandums and Affidavits

    Foundations of Taxation

    Lecture 4:
    Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
    1.5 hours

    Lecture 5:
    Stamp Duty
    1.5 hours

    Lecture 6:
    Goods and Services Tax (GST) 1 hour

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Seminar 4: 2 hours CGT

    Seminar 5: 2 hours GST and SD

    You will complete practical problems in the seminars which apply the knowledge gained in the lectures and online questions.
    Practical Legal Research

    No formal lecture
    Lorna Hartwell  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 Interim PLR assessment

    5% Complete the online multiple choice questions.

    Final PLR assessment
    15% Produce and present a piece of legal research in a manner that can be understood by its intended reader on first reading
    Lecture 7:
    2 hours

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Lecture 8:
    Alternative Dispute Resolution
    2 hours

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities
    Greg Rooney Seminar 8: 2 hours

    You will engage in a negotiation exercise to experience first-hand positional and interest-based bargaining tactics.

    Seminar 9: 2 hours

    You will engage in a mediation exercise to explore the difference between facilitative and evaluative mediation styles.
    N/A Negotiation and Mediation Assessment

    10% The assessment will be a reflective essay on your seminars from Negotiation and ADR

    Lecture 9:
    1 hour
    Cultural Awareness Issues: Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islanders


    Lecture 10:
    Civil Trial Preparation
    1 hour

    Lecture 11:
    Opening and Closing Addresses
    2 hours

    Lecture 12:
    Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief
    2 hours

    Watch the lectures and complete the associated online activities

    Helena Jasinski

    Carrie Demertzis

    Kos Lesses
    No seminar but students are to view the online materials and associated 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 in chief based on a client fact scenario

    Practical: 2 hours

    Advocacy Practical for District Court Assessment

    Students will be allocated tasks to examine in chief and cross examine witnesses. All students will also practice a opening or closing address.

    Students will play the part of the witnesses for their colleagues.

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

    Special Seminar: 5 hours
    Advocacy Seminar District Court Day

    Session 1:
    Advocacy 2 and 3

    Session 2:
    Mock Trial
    Advocacy 1: Preparation for a Civil Trial 5%

    Advocacy 2: Presentation of Opening or Closing Address 10%

    Advocacy 3: Presentation Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief 10%

    Your Advocacy Assessments 2 and 3
    will be submitted at the District Court.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are required to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required.
  • 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 Availability and deadline Group or individual assessment Redeemable   Learning objectives
    Interview and Letter of Advice 15% Available:

    Individual Yes 1, 2, 3, 4
    Legal Writing and Drafting Workbook 15% Available:

    22/7/14, 5pm
    Individual Yes 5, 6
    Taxation Workbook Assessment 15% Available:



    Individual Yes 16
    Negotiation and ADR Assessment 10% Available:

    Wednesday 24/7/14, 8am


    Wednesday 31/7/14, 5pm
    Individual Yes but an alternative task will be set 11, 12
    PLR online multiple choice assessment 5% Available:

    Wednesday 22/7/14, 8am


    Wednesday 28/7/14, 5pm
    Individual 7, 8, 9, 10
    PLR Legal Research assessment 15% Available:

    23/7/14, 8am


    30/7/14, 5pm
    Individual Yes 7, 8, 9, 10
    Advocacy: Preparation for a Civil Trial 5% Available:



    District Court Saturday 26/7/14
    Individual Yes 13, 14, 15
    Advocacy: Preparation of Opening or Closing Address 10% Available:



    District Court Saturday 26/7/14
    Individual Yes 13, 14, 15
    Advocacy: Presentation of Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief 10% Available:



    District Court Saturday 26/7/14
    Individual Yes 13, 14, 15

    Students who are graded a Fail for any of the above assessments can redeem by up to 50% by revising and resubmitting the assessment piece.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance and satisfactory participation in seminars are compulsory.
    Assessment Detail
    Unless otherwise stated, there is no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP is to transition you from academic study into professional employment. In a workplace it is highly unlikely you are going to be told 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.

    Marks may be deducted from assessment because of poor expression, incorrect grammar, typographical errors 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 Director through a Course Announcement.

    The marked and scanned copy of assessments will be returned via email.
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All failed assignments, per University policy, are double-marked before the result is released back to the student. The first and second markers then discuss what the final result will be.

    If a student still fails after the double marking process, they have to revise and resubmit the assignment to a pass standard. The maximum mark a student can receive is 50%.

    Late submission penalty
    Any assignment submitted after the due date without an approved extension will receive a penalty of 5% for every 24 hours of lateness.

    Approved extensions are through the GDLP Program Director.

    Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy.

    Late assessments are to be submitted to

    If a student receives a mark between 50 to 55%, but subsequently fails due to late penalties then 50% is the maximum mark they will receive. BUT, in addition, the student will be asked to revise and resubmit a task from the assessment, at the discretion of the GDLP Program Director.

    If a student receives a mark of 56% or above, but subsequently fails due to late penalties, then 50% is the maximum mark they can receive. There is not an opportunity to resubmit this assignment.

    For example if a student gets 64% and has a late penalty of 20%, giving a result of 44%. This student would get 50% for the assessment and will not be able to resubmit this assignment.

    Seven out of eight assessments for this course are redeemable. This means, if you fail the assessment due to the quality of the work (not because of late penalties) then you are able to revise and resubmit the assessment. You have 7 days from the time you are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit your assessment.

    The parts of the assessment you are to resubmit are the parts that you received less than 50% on. You only have ONE opportunity to revise and resubmit your assessment. An alternative task will be set for the non-redeemable assessment.

    When your assessment is resubmitted it is marked according to the marking rubric. Your result, for example maybe 64% BUT the most you can receive for a revised and resubmitted assessment is 50%.
    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.

    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 ( 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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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