LAW 6601OL - Lawyer's Skills

Online - Quadmester 4 - 2023

This course covers the general knowledge and skills needed to become a competent legal practitioner. Skills in this course will be further developed throughout the course and on placement. Topics include: 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 6601OL
    Course Lawyer's Skills
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Quadmester 4
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible LAW 6501
    Restrictions Available to GDLP students only. Not available for Study Abroad & Exchange.
    Assessment Assessment in this course will include a combination of the following: letters of advice, legal drafting, demonstration of advocacy skills.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Desiree Holland

    Course Coordinator: Diane Van Bochove
    As course staff work in the South Australian legal profession, all communication should be directed to the GDLP Coordinator, Diane Van Bochove in the first instance:

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

    Adelaide Law School Liaison Academic – Dr Mark Giancaspro
    Course Timetable

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

    This course is offered online and is self-paced. The course content and assessments are required to be completed within four weeks from the course commencement date. Assessment due dates will be published via MyUni. There will be three synchronous online workshops held via Zoom. The timing of these workshops will be communicated via MyUni. Students must also attend an in-person oral assessment at a time to be advised.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Identify the purpose, audience and structure and construct concise and cohesive arguments for a client/legal/professional/general mixed audience in the context of social and cultural diversity.
    2 Prepare and analyse appropriate strategy and tactics to be used in the effective negotiation of client matters as required by law or good practice in the circumstances of the case.
    3 Analyse a case study within a group.
    4 Develop oral and written arguments for an Opening or Closing Address.
    5 Demonstrate a broad repertoire of skills appropriate for the tasks.
    6 Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to legal issues.
    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.


    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.


    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
    Generally, no textbooks are assigned for GDLP courses. However, please refer to MyUni for specific required readings, including links to online resources. There are also additional supplementary resources and enhanced learning material to support your learning on MyUni.
    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 to keep up to date.
    Recommended Resources
    Relevant law can be accessed online via:
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used for all course materials, communication, links to resources, online tutorial support and assessments, including submissions, feedback and grades.
    Students should check daily their University of Adelaide email.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Engagement with course content is facilitated by online presentations, interactive online activities, readings and resources, and self-directed research and study supported by three interactive Zoom sessions (the timing of these sessions will be communicated on MyUni). Learning is scaffolded across the modules to ensure that students develop the legal knowledge as specified by the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC).

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

    The information below is a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the requirements of this intensive course.
    This is a three-unit course, and the university workload measurement for students on this course is 156 hours. Students should expect to spend 30-35 hours per week engaging with the online content, private study and completing the assessments for this course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The information below is a guide to assist students with planning their study workload:
    Week One
    Module 1: Negotiation and Mediation
    Topic 1 Mediation and ADR in a Complex Interactive World
    Topic 2 What is ADR, Mediation, and Hybrid ADR Schemes
    Topic 3 Negotiating within a Mediation Context
    Topic 4 The Art of Negotiation
    Topic 5 Terms of Settlement

    Week Two
    Module 2: Advocacy
    Topic 1 Know Your Forum
    Topic 2 Know Your Brief
    Topic 3 Know Your Law
    Topic 4 Opening Statements
    Topic 5 Closing Arguments
    Topic 6A Witness Examinations - Examination in Chief
    Topic 6B Witness Examinations - Cross-Examination
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2018, which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission.

    In this course, the following elements of the National Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers are embedded:
    Ethics and professional responsibility
    Lawyer's Skills
    Work management and business skills

    For further information, please contact the Law Society of SA Program Manager (GDLP).
  • 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 before the nominated deadline. Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing.

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weight Length Learning Outcome Redeemable
    Negotiation within a Mediation Context Individual Week n/a Approximately
    1 page
    2-3 No
    The Art of Negotiation Individual Week n/a Approximately
    1 page
    2-3 No
    Advocacy chronology Individual Week n/a Approximately
    1 page
    6 No
    Case concepts Individual Week n/a Approximately
    500 words
    1,5,6 No
    Oral Presentation 1
    Opening and Closing Address
    Individual Week n/a Approximately
    15 minutes
    4,5,6 No
    Oral Presentation 2
    Examination and Cross-Examination
    Individual Week n/a Approximately
    15 minutes
    4,5,6 No
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The purpose of the GDLP program 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.

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline. Assessment deadlines will be posted on MyUni prior to the course commencing. Assessments guidelines will be provided for each assessment task.
    Assessment Detail
    All assessments are competency based (non-graded pass). Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities. MyUni requires a numerical value to display that competency has been demonstrated. Please note:
    1=Competency demonstrated (Non-graded pass)
    0=Competency not demonstrated (Re submission required)

    Negotiation within a Mediation Context
    This assessment is based on a specific negotiation-mediation scenario. Students will need to answer five questions.

    The Art of Negotiation
    This assessment requires students to examine a series of facts and provide answers to six questions describing how they would prepare for the proposed mediation.

    Advocacy Chronology
    This assessment requires students to prepare a detailed chronology of a brief of evidence.

    Case concept
    This assessment is designed to allow students to demonstrate their ability to:
    Develop a case concept for both the prosecution and the defence.
    Construct a short precise factual narrative containing the key facts.
    Identify the elements of the offences.
    Provide a summary of the principal strengths and weaknesses of each case.

    Oral presentations 1 and 2
    This assessment is designed to allow students to demonstrate their ability to:
    Present either an Opening or Closing.
    Orally examine one witness and cross-examine another.
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin. Submissions to Turnitin are to be in Microsoft Word format (not in pdf).

    Students work will be marked in accordance with the marking rubric.


    Students must 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. If the assessment is deemed, non-competent, students may be offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment. A resubmission is only allowed if a bona fide attempt has been made in the initial submission. In most cases, only the parts of the assessment that do not attain competence will be required to be resubmitted. Students may access supplementary teaching. Usually, only one resubmission is allowed per assessment.

    Final assessments that do not attain competence on resubmission (fail), per University policy, are double-marked before the results are released back to the student.


    Requests for extensions must be made electronically via Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline. 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

    Assessments submitted late without an approved extension may not be marked.

    All assessments in this course must be completed. Failure to complete any of the assessments will result in course failure.
    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.

    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.

    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.