Students undertaking the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at Curtin Law School can work with and assist real clients from their first day of the course, in the dedicated clinical legal education environment of the John Curtin Law Clinic and Curtin Link. You have the option of enrolling in the Clinical Legal Workplace Experience (CWE) Unit, or obtaining a volunteer role. Both options provide graduates with the workplace experience necessary to fulfil admission requirements.
Students have the opportunity to assist clients at the John Curtin Law Clinic in the following practice areas:
- Small business disputes
- Discrimination law
Students can also assist clients at Curtin Link – an advice service for start-up businesses and not-for-profit organisations with a social enterprise purpose in the development or early operation phase.
Supervised by experienced lawyers, you will gain legal knowledge and develop legal and professional skills. Client work will involve meeting with and preparing advice for clients who would not otherwise be able to afford legal assistance. In this way, you will improve access to justice for vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the local WA community who are not otherwise eligible to receive legal assistance.
There will be potential opportunities to develop your advocacy training and experience by representing clients at the mediation/conciliation of their matter, as well as working with barristers on pro-bono and public interest matters.
You will also contribute to access to justice and develop your knowledge of non-litigious strategies for change by completing a project designed to assist a community legal centre or charitable organisation.
The benefits of being a postgraduate clinic student include:
- Experience: you will have primary, supervised responsibility for meeting with clients and taking instructions; drafting legal advice and documents; and carrying out legal research.
- Developing expertise: you will start to develop expertise in one or more discrete areas of the law, focusing on the areas of most interest to you.
- Contact with the legal profession: – you will be based in the CBD, learning by working with experienced lawyers within the Curtin Law School and in the wider legal profession, thereby developing meaningful contacts in the profession.
Clinical Legal Workplace Experience Unit
- Apply elements of the student’s programmed training in the context of legal practice.
- Experience supervision by qualified lawyers in the execution of legal or law-related work.
- Acquire a basic understanding of what a legal practitioner does in the course of legal practice.
- Critically reflect upon significant experiences obtained by the student in the course of workplace experience and consider how those experiences will influence the student’s future actions.
To pass this unit you will need to spend 10 weeks full time (or the part-time equivalent) in the Clinic.
Assessment in this unit is pass/fail, weighted as follows:
- Work Portfolio
- Access to Justice Project
- Enrolment in the CWE unit (LAWS5014) is by application.
- To be eligible to apply, you must be enrolled in the Curtin PLT (Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice GD-LAWLP).
You cannot self-enrol in LAWS5014. Curtin Law School Student Services will manually enrol you in the unit if your application is successful.
Please submit your Expression of Interest as soon as possible.