LAW 7188 - Law Clinic PG A

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The course gives students experience in a low-bono dispute resolution focussed legal clinic which enables them to experience and critique the operation of law in a practical legal environment. Student legal practitioners are placed in a legal clinic for three days per week of paid work, supervised by senior legal practitioners, and participate actively in all aspects of the work at the office, including client interviewing, community education, case work and the exploration and development of innovative means by which access to justice can be delivered This course is available only to students accepted into the Access to Justice specialisation within the LLM. They must hold or be immediately eligible to hold a South Australian practising certificate.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7188
    Course Law Clinic PG A
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 48 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Restrictions Available to LLM students only. Course participation will be by way of selection.
    Assessment Peer to peer blog, Reflective Journal(5000 words), Performance on Placement
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Margaret Castles

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Actively and effectively apply theoretical legal principles to client legal casework
    2. Evaluate and explain their experience of the role of the lawyer and the legal profession in the provision of a just and accessible legal system, and critique this experience from a theoretical perspective
    3. Demonstrate legal practice skills in dealing with clients in legal practice, including the preparation of legal documents and the capacity to analyse and apply at an advanced level different theoretical models of client-centred practice
    4. Exercise forensic judgment and make informed and considered decisions at the level of a skilled legal practitioner
    5. Work effectively and reliably in a professional legal practice, both individually and as a member of a team
    6. Demonstrate reflexive learning practices.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    3, 4

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2, 3

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • 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
    Students should make themselves familiar with the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules, which can be found linked here:
    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 blog activities may be introduced from time to time as advised to students during the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will be placed at the low-bono legal practice for 3 days per week across the year of their enrolment in the Access to Justice
    specialisation in the LLM.

    Part A of the course incorporates a 2-week intensive induction to prepare students for undertaking their clinical work.

    Students will also participate in masterclasses across the year. One of the primary methodologies adopted in this course is the sharing of
    experience and insight obtained by students in their clinical work. In these masterclasses, one objective is the discussion, evaluation and
    critique of students’ experiences. Students will also be expected to demonstrate the capacity to relate what they have experienced in the
    clinic to the theoretical issues that are dealt with in the materials. 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.

    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 2-week intensive induction, and masterclasses across the year, and also undertake three days per week of clinical work. Students will be able to complete their assessment (peer to peer blogging, dialogic journaling, and critical evaluative
    exercises) within placement hours.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics covered in the intensive induction in this course will include:

    • The concept of professionalism and models of lawyering
    • Client-centred legal practice (theory and practice)
    • Client Interviewing
    • 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 reflection on student experiences and insight obtained by students on placement. In their blogs, professional journals, and critical evaluation exercises, students are expected to demonstrate the capacity to relate what they are experiencing on placement to the theoretical issues that are dealt with in the induction materials.
  • 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 Dates Length Individual or Group Activity? Redeemable?
    Learning Outcomes
    Peer to peer blog and responses(x2) 15 Various: see detail below 2000 words Individual No 2, 3, 6,8
    Reflective Journal + reponse(x1) 15 Various: see detail below 2,000 words Individual No 2, 3, 6,8
    Performance on placement 70 Across the semester n/a Individual No 1, 3, 4, 5,7
    Assessment Detail
    Peer to peer blogging: students will submit 2 blog entries (maximum 500 words each) across the semester, and will also provide 2 responses to peer blog entries (maximum 500 words each) across the semester. Blogs will be due on Monday of weeks 5 and 7; responses are due on Monday of the following week. Blog topics will be at student discretion, and potential topics may be canvassed at Wednesday practice meetings. Each blog/response will count for 7.5%, for a combined 15% for blogs.

    Reflective Journal: 1 professional reflective journal entries (maximum 1200 words) on  topic selected by students, which my include including critical evaluation of experience and observation. Response (maximum 800 words )to tutor comments on each journal entry. Journals will be due in week 10; responses will be due within one week of the tutor's comments being posted. The final grade for each journal will be provided after the student response has been submitted. The journal/response will count  for  15% for with journal and response graded together.

    Placement Assessment:
    The supervisor(s) of the low-bono legal clinic will assign each student a grade for their performance on placement across the whole semester, assessing the following learning outcomes:
    1. Actively and effectively apply theoretical legal principles to client legal casework
    3. Demonstrate legal practice skills in dealing with clients in legal practice, including the preparation of legal documents and the capacity to analyse and apply different theoretical models of client-centred practice
    4. Exercise forensic judgment and make informed and considered decisions at the level of a first year legal practitioner
    5. Work effectively and reliably in a professional legal practice, both individually and as a member of a team.

    Interim feedback on student progress will be provided around the mid-point of the semester.
    Blogs and Reflective Journals will be submitted electronically on MyUni.

    Extension Applications: Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to Law School policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Late Submission Penalties: When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that the assignment is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length Penalties: 5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    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.

    Student feedback
    The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Integrity
    All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic Misconduct (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia. Academic Integrity 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.