John Curtin Law Clinic and Curtin Link give students the opportunity to put their legal skills into practice and develop professional skills. Under the supervision of experienced legal practitioners, students will meet with and prepare advice and information for clients. You have the option of enrolling in the Clinic Unit, or obtaining a volunteer role. Both options provide students with excellent workplace experience in the dedicated clinical legal education environment of the Clinic.
Students have the opportunity to assist clients in one or more of the John Curtin Law Clinic’s 2 practice areas:
- Small Business Disputes Advice
- Discrimination Law Advice
Clinic students also have the opportunity to assist clients of Curtin Link – this is a Curtin initiative providing legal, tax and business assistance to not-for-profit organisations and business with a social enterprise focus in the development or early operation phase.
By enrolling in this unit, or volunteering in the Clinic or Curtin Link, students will contribute to access to justice by assisting clients who would not otherwise be able to afford legal assistance. Enrolled students will also critically reflect on their roles and responsibilities as future members of the legal profession.
Any law student can apply for a volunteer opportunity in the Clinic. Volunteer places are limited, and preference will be given to enrolled students.
Enrolment in the Legal Clinic elective unit (LAWS3005) is by application.
To be eligible to apply, you will ideally be studying in third year. There is flexibility in this, and we may be able to make an exception. Please submit an application with your preferred study period and we will get in touch with you to discuss your individual study plan.
Unit Learning Outcomes are:
- Undertake directed legal research on specific matters and analyse and evaluate the results of that research.
- Engage professionally & appropriately with client.
- Make and communicate recommendations clearly & effectively, both orally and in writing.
Students will be required to attend:
- An induction and training workshop (held over 2 days prior to the start of the study period), where you will learn about Law Clinic/Curtin Link procedures including how to use the practice management database
- 1 weekly rostered day (6 hours) at the Law Clinic and/or Curtin Link to meet with clients, undertake client work, manage files and carry out other responsibilities
- 1 weekly seminar (2 pm to 4 pm, Thursdays) to share, reflect on and consolidate experiences regarding legal professional practice
Grading for the unit is Pass/Fail and is determined on the basis of the following components:
- Legal drafting
- Reflective learning participation
- Professional practice skills
Throughout the unit, Clinic students will have the opportunity to demonstrate professional practice skills, including by participating in client interviews and managing client files. Clinic students are expected to engage professionally and appropriately with clients. Clinic students are responsible for managing client files to a high standard, consistent with their professional responsibilities. Students will learn how to manage Client files using the Law Clinic’s practice management database as they would in a law firm.
Enrolling in Legal Clinic
You cannot self-enrol in Legal Clinic (LAWS3005). Curtin Law School Student Services will manually enrol you in the unit if your application is successful.
Enrolment is offered on a first come, first served basis in the order of applications received, as far as possible. We therefor suggest applying as early as possible.
Waitlists are maintained if Legal Clinic becomes fully subscribed. If you are on the waitlist and a place becomes available you will be contacted and given a limited period of time to respond and accept or decline the place before it is offered to the next person on the list.