• Class Number 9781
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Amy Kilpatrick
    • Amy Kilpatrick
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course aims include to: 

• Guide and support students in identifying, developing and applying practical legal skills in public interest law. 

• Develop students' critical understanding of legal practice approaches, the role of lawyers in relation to individual and group clients.

• Contextualise the study of law and student learning in the wide range of other law courses. 

• Encourage, promote and validate student aspirations to promote access to justice and equality before the law specifically in relation to disadvantaged people and communities. 

• Encourage students to critically consider the effect of the law and its ability: 

a) to deliver public interest outcomes and 

b) to provide adequate recourse for individuals and the community to be heard on public interest issues. 


The course provides clinical placement at various ACT community agencies in the ACT for between 10-12 students each semester. Attendance requirements include an orientation workshop, onsite participation at the agency one day a week, participation in weekly tutorials (reviewing relevant substantive areas of law and legal and social justice issues) and marked assessment pieces. 

Assessment requirements: onsite assessment, tutorial participation and preparation & presentation of a written project or seminar/forum. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. describe and critique how advanced knowledge and skills acquired through the study of law relate to a legal practice setting, assisting individual clients and working for social justice,
  2. reflect on their personal motivation for studying law, their goals and career aspirations,
  3. apply a reflective and ethical approach in combination with a broad theoretical and professional knowledge, in performing paralegal tasks,
  4. recognise and apply improved practical legal skills particularly relating to work routines, communication with a variety of audiences, interviewing, writing, and legal research principles and methods,
  5. summarise and apply an advanced and coherent body of substantive legal knowledge about public interest law, and knowledge of professional conduct rules and ethical practice,
  6. describe and distinguish a variety of justice issues with respect to public interest legal practice, and to critically analyse entrenched issues of injustice in the legal system,
  7. note, name and debate their enhanced interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and self-awareness of their own cognitive abilities and values,
  8. describe and critique a range of legal practice approaches having regard to the legal needs of individual and group clients,
  9. analyse the predicament of individual and group clients having regard to the operation of the law and the legal system, 10. describe and critically assess a range of strategies to improve justice / social justice outcomes, 1
  10. identify and evaluate concrete and achievable ways in which they can promote access to justice and equality before the law, 1
  11. plan and execute a written research project, with some independence.

Research-Led Teaching

Workshops will also focus on skills development to assist your delivery of the research projects i.e. Case studies, role plays, campaign tool kits, progress, problem solving and brainstorming. The research projects involve the aspects listed below, all of which may be relevant for reflection and discussion:

•             establishing a credible rationale for the project eg why is it needed?

•             identifying issues eg what is relevant to the client group or agency?

•             planning

•             time management and disciplined research

•             reasoning

•             writing targeted to the intended audience, and

•             effective oral presentation.

Required Resources

The following articles are mandatory pre-reading for Orientation:

·        Lani Guinier “Becoming Gentleman” (1994) 143 UPenn Law Review 2.

·        N Rees “How should law schools serve their communities?” (2001) 5 University of Western Sydney Law Review 111.

·        N Agarwal and J Simonson “Thinking Like a public interest lawyer: Theory practice and pedagogy” (2010) 34 NYU Review of Law and Social Change 455.

·        R Granfield “Making it by faking it: working class students in an elite academic environment” (1991) 20 Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 331.

The following are the recommended texts and materials for the course

·        Ross Hyams, Susan Campbell and Adrian Evans Practical Legal Skills, (4th Ed, Oxford University Press, 2014) (earlier editions are fine)

·        Public Interest Law Clinic Online Resources (Online Resources)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Orientation - Compulsory for all students. course overview and introductions Students unable to attend this session cannot complete the course. Orientation overview (including weekly reflective practice and research project planning); may include site visits. + Spotting a Legal Issue/Problem What is clinical legal education? Orientation session 23 July 5:30-7:30 All lectures are Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 at ACT Legal Aid Commission EXCEPT Thursday 22 August
2 ANU Week 2 / Clinical Week 2 Onsite roster ~commences Why Practice Public Interest Law? What is public interest law? Focus on: Consumer Law Interviewing techniques 30 July 5:30-7:30
3 ANU Week 3/ Clinical Week 3 Where is Public Interest Law Practiced? Interviewing techniques Also - @ Individual Placement Services 6 August 5:30-7:30
4 ANU Week 4 / Clinical Week 4 Focus on : Criminal and Employment law How is Public Interest Law Practiced? Ethical Lawyering Also - @ Individual Placement Services 13 August 5:30-7:30
5 ANU Week 5 / Clinical Week 5 Focus on : Family Law & child welfare How is Public Interest Law Practiced? + coordination & reflection Also - @ Individual Placement Services THURSDAY 22 August 5:30-7:30
6 ANU Week 6/ Clinical Week 6 Using Law in the Public Interest Public Interest Campaigns – Skills Tool Kit Develop and Plan a Campaign Coordination & reflection Also - @ Individual Placement Services 27 August
7 ANU Break @ Individual Placement Services 3 September Media Release Due Teaching Break
8 ANU Break All Students - appointments to be booked by students for individual consultations on finalising research projects Also - @ Individual Placement Services 17 September Teaching Break - individual bookings required for consultation. All students must book a time
9 ANU Week 7 / Clinical Week 9 What are the constraints on Public Interest Practice? + Coordination & reflection Focus: Administrative tribunals & Tenancy Also - @ Individual Placement Services 24 September
10 ANU Week 8 / Clinical Week 10 Placements Continue 1 October No Lecture this week
11 ANU Week 9 / Clinical Week 11 Group Presentations – Reflecting on a Public Interest Campaign Also - @ Individual Placement Services 8 October Presentations – Reflecting on a Public Interest Campaign
12 ANU Week 10 / Clinical Week 12 Guest Speaker TBA - A life of Public Interest Practice Ethical Lawyering + Coordination & reflection Also - @ Individual Placement Services 15 October Reflective journals due
13 ANU Week 11 / Clinical Week 13 Presentations of Research Projects ?Also - @ Individual Placement Services 22 October
14 ANU Week 12 / Clinical Week 14 Placements continue - no Lecture Research paper due Friday 1 November @ 12:00pm

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Onsite Placement 10 % 25/10/2019 25/10/2019 3,4,5,6,9,11
Seminar Participation 10 % 25/10/2019 25/10/2019 1, 2, 7, 8,9
Media Release 10 % 03/09/2019 10/09/2018 1,2,3,6,9,10,11
Case Study Presentation 10 % 15/10/2019 22/10/2019 1,2,3,6,9,10,11
Reflective Journal 10 % 22/10/2019 29/10/2019 1,2,3,6,8,9,10,11,12
Research Paper 50 % 08/11/2019 28/11/2019 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9,10, 11,12

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5,6,9,11

Onsite Placement

Details of Task: Students must complete 11 onsite sessions between Week 1 (roster Monday to Thursday) and Week 12 inclusive, of the course. Students rostered on a public holiday should arrange a substitute onsite session. Each onsite session runs from 9am-4pm on a week day. Note that onsite sessions continue during the teaching break.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities offered for further development and participation offered by the onsite supervisors. This may include for example attendance at a Tribunal hearing in Sydney outside or in addition to the normal rostered day. Subject to approval by the Course Convenor up to 2 of these sessions may involve participation in outreach.

The student onsite roster will be established by the Course Convenor in consultation with students. Rostering will aim to avoid overlaps with the other commitments of each student. Roster swaps can be negotiated between students but each swap must be notified to, and approved by, the agency Coordinator. Student attendance days are noted by the student on their onsite student file which is checked by the agency Coordinator. Late attendance or early departure may result in the student being recorded as absent.

All students must attend a mentoring / feedback interview with the agency Coordinator and Course Convenor. The student must make notes for discussion in relation to their progress in the ‘Self Assessment’ section of the Onsite Skills Checklist and submit this to the agency Coordinator by or on the day before each of these interviews. Formative feedback as to student progress is provided at this interview.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non redeemable. Failure to attend a minimum of 9 onsite days will result in an NCN for the course.

Weighting: 10%

Release Date: Ongoing

Due Date: Ongoing. Students who are unable to attend their seminar or placement due to illness or special circumstances should advise the Course Convenor and placement supervisor. This should be in advance where possible or where that is not possible then as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Estimated return date: Mid-term discussions in Clinical Week 7 and at end of course; formative feedback is provided at end-course interview in clinical weeks 13 and 14.

Assessment Criteria: Onsite participation is assessed using the assessment criteria set out in the Onsite Skills Checklist. This contains approximately 35 indicators of good practice tailored to onsite work and course objectives. The pass/fail mark will be based on overall assessment by the agency supervisor in conjunction with the Course Convenor. The indicators of good practice are not weighted and will not be marked individually.

  1. Daily start up
  2. Phone answering & information
  3. Receiving clients in office
  4. Pre-interviews
  5. Interviews
  6. Conducting follow-on client work including file work
  7. Non-client work
  8. Legal practice standards & approach
  9. Work relationships
  10. Routines & work practices

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 7, 8,9

Seminar Participation

Details of Task: The course begins with an orientation workshop. There is then a further up to half day individual agency induction and then one seminar workshop a week in Clinical Weeks 2 -12 of the course and final presentation seminar in Clinical Week 12. Students must attend the orientation, the final presentation seminar and 9 seminars (this is in addition to 11 clinical placement days described in Task 1).

For these activities, an attendance roll will be kept. Students are responsible for ensuring that their attendance is recorded. Late attendance or early departure may result in the student being recorded as absent.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to attend the prescribed number of seminars, without an exemption based on special circumstances or failure to participate may result in NCN for the course.

Weighting: 10%

Release Date: Ongoing

Due Date: Ongoing. Students who are unable to attend their seminar due to illness or special circumstances should advise the Course Convenor. This should be in advance where possible or where that is not possible then as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Estimated return date: At course completion by email

Assessment Criteria: Workshop participation will be rated on the extent to which the student demonstrates genuine and critical reflection and engagement with workshop content including contributing examples / insights from the student’s onsite experience and skills development. Workshop participation is assessed using the criteria/ indicators.

  • Workshop participation is assessed using the following criteria:
  • quality and frequency questions asked, comments made during tutorial presentations
  • look for accuracy and thoroughness in reporting on clients seen on their roster days
  • how well they explain what the legal issues were in a client’s matter & what advice etc the solicitor gave
  • did they report on any non-legal issues involved eg issues of mental health, family situation, practical difficulties clients were experiencing
  • did they understand the client’s situation, was there any evidence of empathy or understanding
  • do they express their reactions to events that occur on their roster – ie their feelings or thoughts?
  • Can they say what was good and what was bad about how we handled the client’s matter?
  • Do they make any links from the reading, other tutorials, other experiences in the course or other life experiences that relate to the discussion or their reporting?
  • Can they see one client’s experience with the law/legal system as being indicative of systemic problems or wider issues? 
  • Do they listen to other students, and build on or carry the discussion further?

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 03/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/09/2018
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,6,9,10,11

Media Release

Details of Task: Students will work in pairs to draft to a media release based upon a problem and case study from the workshops. The media release should be no more than 250 words in length. Students will be expected to collaborate to generate a unique and compelling case for action.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a score of ‘0’ for this assessment item.

Weighting: 10%

Release: Clinical Week 4.

Due Date: Media releases are presented orally during class on 3 September 2019 and then a copy of the media release should be submitted immediately after the presentation via Turnitin and Wattle. Late submissions (without an extension) will be accepted, although late penalties will apply.

Word Limit: 250 words

Estimated return date: Clinical Week 8 via Turnitin.

Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): Media releases will be assessed as a pair with both students receiving the same mark except in exceptional circumstances.

Assessment Criteria: Only the written media release will be assessed. The criteria for the written piece will be;

  • Breadth and depth of research
  • Collegiate approach to task
  • Clarity of expression

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 15/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,6,9,10,11

Case Study Presentation

Details of task: Students will collegiately present a case study outlining the significant tools used to run a campaign by an advocate(s). Students will work in pairs to research the tactics used by a group, individual or organisation to run a public interest campaign. Students will deliver the presentation orally in pairs to the class. Papers are presented orally and the presentation is worth half of the total marks for this task. A copy of the presentation should be submitted immediately after the presentation (ie on the same day), and the written component will be worth the other 50% of the marks for this task.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit complete these projects and/ or deliver a presentation will result in a 0 for this assessment item.

Weighting: 10%

Release: Students will select the campaign based upon a list generated in class during weeks 1 and 2.

Due date: 5:00pm 15th October 2019, Presentation during the workshop in Clinical Week 11. Due to the nature of the assessment task, late presentations (without an extension) will not be permitted. A copy of the presentation (should be submitted immediately after the presentation (ie on the same day) by 9pm via Turnitin and wattle. Late submissions (without an extension) of the copy of the presentation will be accepted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 5 minute presentation, 250 words or 10 slide powerpoint for campaign.

Estimated return date: 15 October 2019 via Wattle.

Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): Presentations will be assessed individually.

Assessment Criteria: Presentations and the case study will be assessed using the following criteria

  •  Breadth and depth of research
  • Collegiate approach to task
  • Clarity of expression
  • Effectiveness of oral presentation
  • Effective use of visual aids in presentation (or effective decision not to use visual aids)

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,6,8,9,10,11,12

Reflective Journal

Details of Task: The Reflective Journal is based on seminar discussions and will intensify the learnings from all aspects of the course, by requiring students to consider their on-site experiences, the perspectives and views of clients, other students and legal staff, their personal and professional development and their views on the legal system and social justice.This task will enable you to draw on your on-site and seminar learning to consider issues of social justice, the role of lawyers (including yourself) and the law in social justice, and to critique the law and legal system based on your experiences so far.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete this assessment (including appending all weekly reflections completed at the date of submission) will result in a grade of zero for this assessment task.

This final reflective report is based on weekly reflections and seminar discussions, and will append all reflections completed until that date.

Weighting: 10%

Word Limit: 1500 words

Release: At course commencement

Due Date: 5:00pm 22nd October 2019, via Wattle dropbox

Estimated Return Date: 22 October 2019 via Wattle dropbox

Assessment Criteria:? Students are asked to demonstrate:

  • Capacity to consistently reflect on and demonstrate learnings from on- site practice
  • Capacity to develop ongoing reflective habits
  • Capacity to reflect on personal strengths and weaknesses that effect delivering legal service
  • Capacity to observe and reflect on social justice issues
  • Ability to consider different perspectives, possibilities and/or values
  • Clear expression
  • Analysis

Assessment Task 6

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 08/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9,10, 11,12

Research Paper

Details of task: This item is assessed on the extent to which the research project makes an effective and relevant contribution to:

  • Assisting the agency or other service providers to better meet legal needs of disadvantaged people in the ACT
  • Appreciation / understanding of a justice issue affecting disadvantaged people in the ACT

The research project and the student’s intended work plan must be negotiated with and approved by the Course Convenor. The Friday of Week 7 is the deadline for approval but students are encouraged to achieve approval as early as possible in the course so the project can be undertaken in a staged way.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 50%

Release: At the beginning of the course.

Due date: Friday 8 November 2019 at 5:00pm (AEDT) via Turnitin. Students should also supply a hard copy to the onsite supervisor. If hardcopy is an inappropriate medium for your project, please discuss with your Course Convenor. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 2,500 words

Estimated return date: Results and feedback will be made available after final results are released on Wattle and orally upon request.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Breadth and depth of research
  • Quality of legal analysis (including recognition of alternate perspectives)
  • Quality of practical recommendations or resources produced
  • Effectiveness of structure of paper
  • Clarity of expression in paper
  • Typographical accuracy
  • Correct use of citations and bibliography

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Amy Kilpatrick

Research Interests

Amy Kilpatrick

Tuesday 17:00 19:00
Thursday 17:00 19:00
Amy Kilpatrick
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Amy Kilpatrick

Tuesday 17:00 19:00
Thursday 17:00 19:00

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