LAW 7188 - Law Clinic PG A

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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 2
    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)
    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
    3, 4
    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
    2, 3
    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
    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.

    Learning and Teaching Activities amounting to 72 hours of structured learning activities will be offered to students in this course.

    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 10 Various: see detail below 3000 words Individual No 2, 3, 6
    Reflective Journal 20 Various: see detail below 5000 words Individual No 2, 3, 6
    Performance on placement 70 Across the semester n/a Individual No 1, 3, 4, 5
    Assessment Detail
    Peer to peer blogging: students will submit 6 blog entries (maximum 400 words each) across the semester, and will also provide 6 responses to peer blog entries (maximum 300 words each) across the semester. Blogs will be due in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. Responses are due the following week. The blogs will be curated (i.e. topics will be proposed, and detailed constructive feedback will be provided to prompt deeper reflection). The best 5 grades awarded to students across the semester, for either blogs or responses, will count towards their final grade (and will each count for 2%, totalling 10%).

    Reflective Journal: 6 professional reflective journal entries (maximum 800 words each) on nominated topics, including critical evaluation of performance and observation. Response (maximum 300 words each) to tutor comments on each journal entry. Journals will be due in weeks 6-12, and 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 best 4 grades awarded to students across the year will count towards their final grade (each will count for 5%, totalling 20%).

    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 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
    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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy and the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    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 Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    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 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 Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (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 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.