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This unit provides students with the experience of working in a professional legal environment. Students can either apply for one of the advertised placement opportunities or organise their own placement in a legal work place. Students will perform legal work (similar to that of a graduate solicitor) for a minimum of 60 hours, supervised by a lawyer qualified to practice in that jurisdiction. Once enrolled in the unit, students must either apply for an advertised placement opportunity or submit details of their self-organised placement to be approved by the Unit Coordinator. Students will reflect upon and learn from their experience through keeping a reflective journal, sharing their experiences with other students and using the student ePortfolio. Integral to each student's experience will be reflection and the identification and consideration of the theory/practice nexus.
This unit is a work integrated learning (WIL) unit designed to provide you with the experience of using and developing your legal knowledge and skills in a real world context. Other units in this series include LLB463 Legal Clinic. These units will provide you with an authentic learning experience through a diverse range of real world legal environments. Through this experience you should be better placed for a smooth transition to the workplace.
The distinguishing features of this unit are as follows:
· You will complete an on-site legal placement in a legal office under the supervision of a lawyer qualified to practice law in the jurisdiction in which the placement takes place. The requirement for the supervisor to hold a practising certificate may be waived at the discretion of the unit coordinator (eg where the placement is in a government legal office). The placement must be for a minimum of 60 hours.
· You must either apply for an advertised placement opportunity or submit details of your self-organised placement through the QUT InPlace system.
· Your placement may be in any one of the diverse range of law graduate employment destinations, such as a firm of solicitors, barristers' chambers, the courts, corporate legal offices, government legal offices or a community legal centre.
The aim of this unit is to provide you with a real world, work integrated learning experience through your supervised placement in one of a diverse range of legal workplace environments. Through this experience you should develop an understanding of:
· the dynamic relationship between academic knowledge and skills and their practical application in a legal workplace
· the importance of being able to work independently, learn from experience and engage in reflective practice, and
· professional and ethical responsibilities in the context of completing your placement.
At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:
1. reflect on and learn from experience individually and in collaboration with students and work colleagues (Course Learning Outcome 5.4)
2. appraise social, professional and ethical issues that arise in a legal workplace (CLOs 1.2, 5.2)
3. solve real world problems by applying and extending existing legal knowledge and skills within a legal workplace (CLOs 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 4.1, 5.1)
4. create connections between diverse areas of legal knowledge and understand the practical application of knowledge and skills in a dynamic legal workplace (CLOs 1.5, 2.3, 2.4, 5.1, 5.2)
5. understand human behaviour and the importance of developing and maintaining good interpersonal relationships and effective communication within a legal workplace (CLO 4.2, 4.4, 5.3)
6. take responsibility for your own workplace skill development, professional learning and career management (CLO 3.4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4).
The substantive law content of the unit will depend on your placement and the tasks allocated by the supervising lawyer.
The unit consists of the following components:
· preparation for the placement
· attendance and working in the placement with at least 60 hours being spent working in the office of the assigned placement
· participation in two class interviews, and
· reflection upon your learning during and after the placement.
Placements must satisfy the following requirements to be eligible for the purposes of the unit:
· The placement must take place during the semester and be at least 60 hours in duration.
· The placement must be in a legal office (such as a firm of solicitors, barrister's chambers, courts, corporate legal office, government legal office or community legal centre).
· The student must be performing legal work.
· The student must be supervised by a lawyer qualified to practice law in the jurisdiction in which the placement takes place.
· Where the student wishes to do a placement with their current employer, the student must be extending their knowledge/skills - not merely performing their current job requirements in which they may be already quite competent.
· The supervising lawyer should not ordinarily be a member of the student's family.
In this unit you will further develop the following skills:
1. critical thinking and legal analysis
3. problem solving
4. oral and written communication
5. ethical orientation
6. social justice orientation
7. reflective practice, the ability to work independently and time management.
Your understanding of the unit content and the further development of these skills will assist you to acquire the following law graduate capabilities:
1. Discipline Knowledge Skills
2. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Research
3. Effective Communication
4. Life Long Learning
5. Work Independently and Collaboratively
6. Professional, Social and Ethical Responsibility
As this is a final year unit, the teaching approach is to assist you to work independently and assume responsibility for your own learning. In order to achieve the learning objectives of the unit, a range of teaching and learning approaches will be employed. These include:
· online academic learning support in preparation for the placement and the assessment of student learning
· liaison between the unit coordinator and the workplace supervising lawyer
· individual consultation between you and the unit coordinator
· experiential learning and reflective practice
· collaborative learning by students in small group interview discussions, and
· the supervising lawyer's feedback and evaluation.
QUT is committed to maintaining high academic standards to protect the value of its qualifications. To assist you in assuring the academic integrity of your assessment you are encouraged to make use of the support materials and services available to help you consider and check your assessment items. Important information about the university's approach to academic integrity of assessment is on your unit Blackboard site.
A breach of academic integrity is regarded as Student Misconduct and can lead to the imposition of penalties.
There is no set text for this unit.
Recommended reference materials
Reference material will be placed on QUT Readings. Various learning materials will be available as a resource though the unit Blackboard site.
Whilst on placement you will be covered by QUT Workers' Compensation public liability and professional indemnity insurance, provided your employer doesn't pay you. If your employer does pay you (which is not expected as part of your placement), you need to be covered under their policy.
You will have to familiarise yourself with the workplace health and safety rules of the particular placement.
You will be expected to observe your duty of confidence to your work placement office and you may be required by your work placement office to sign a confidentiality agreement and agree not to disclose any information divulged to you in the course of your placement to any person outside the work placement office.
You can apply to study this unit for personal or professional development
Apply now for single-unit study
You can apply to study this unit for credit towards a course at another university
Apply now for cross-institutional study