• Class Number 4770
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Peta Spender
    • Peta Spender
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This is a clinical program based in a community legal practice environment.  During the course students work for one full day a week at Canberra community Law where they provide legal information and undertake casework under the supervision of solicitors.

The course objectives are to:
 - contextualise the study of law and student learning in a wide range of other law courses;
 - guide and support students in identifying, developing and applying ethical legal practice skills;
 - develop students' critical understanding of legal practice approaches, the roles of lawyers in relation to individual clients and social justice issues; and
 - encourage, promote and validate student aspirations to promote access to justice and equality before the law.

Course topics include:
 - introduction to public interest law;
 - professional responsibilities;
 - legal practice skills - legal writing, interviewing, casework skills, advising;
 - substantive law in relation to tenancy, Social Security and Disability Discrimination; and
 - law Reform.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful conclusion of this capstone course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify, plan, manage and execute a substantive and original written research project addressing a complex problem, and do so independently, and to a high professional standard appropriate to the professional setting.
  2. Demonstrate persuasive and inclusive written and oral communications skills appropriate to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and a given professional setting.
  3. Integrate and apply multiple areas of legal knowledge, skills and professional values gained throughout the JD program.
  4. Recognise and apply JD graduate attributes such as, but not limited to: an extended understanding of recent developments in law and its practice; high level research skills; high level conceptualisation; the ability to generate and evaluate complex ideas; legal technical and communication skills; a reflective and ethical approach, and high level personal autonomy and accountability.
  5. Reflect on and review key elements of a growing professional and ethical identity by, for example, naming and debating specific interests, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and career motivations and aspirations.
  6. 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.
  7. Recognise and apply improved practical legal skills particularly relating to work routines, professional conduct rules, ethical practice, communication with a variety of audiences, interviewing, writing, and legal research principles and methods.
  8. Describe and critique a range of legal practice approaches having regard to the legal needs of individual clients.
  9. Analyse the predicament of individual 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.
  11. Identify concrete and achievable ways in which they can promote access to justice and equality before the law.

Research-Led Teaching

This course provides student with a unique opportunity to undertake research on an issue that will be of practical use and application to Canberra Community Law. Students are encouraged to select a research topic that will provide them with a deeper understanding of a legal issue that has arisen during their on-site learning. The course convenor, Professor Peta Spender, has a long track record of research, publications and practice in many fields of law and social justice and looks forward to hearing from you about your discoveries.

Ross Hyams, Susan Campbell and Adrian Evans, Practical Legal Skills (4th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2014).

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 interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. 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 relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 ANU Week 1 / Clinical Week 1 Onsite Orientation
2 ANU Week 2 / Clinical Week 2 Onsite Seminar – Human rights and the Residential Tenancies Act
3 ANU Week 3 / Clinical Week 3 Onsite Seminar – Disability Discrimination
4 ANU Week 4 / Clinical Week 4 Onsite Tute – Reflection and Case Studies
5 ANU Week 5 / Clinical Week 5 Onsite Tute – Reflection and Case Studies
6 ANU Week 6 / Clinical Week 6 Onsite Seminar – Strategies for Reform Feedback: Mid-semester interviews during onsite days with the ANU convenor and the onsite convenor
7 ANU Break / Clinical Week 7 Onsite Tute – Reflection and Case Studies
8 ANU Break / Clinical Week 8 Onsite Tute – Reflection and Case Studies
9 ANU Week 7 / Clinical Week 9 Onsite No seminar or tute - Anzac Day public holiday
10 ANU Week 8 / Clinical Week 10 Onsite Tute – Reflection + Research Chat
11 ANU Week 9 / Clinical Week 11 Research paper presentations
12 ANU Week 10 / Clinical Week 12 Onsite

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Onsite Attendance and Participation 30 % 25/02/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Seminar Participation and Attendance 0 % 07/03/2019 03/06/2019 1,2,5,6,7,8
Presentation of Reflective Case Study 10 % 21/03/2019 03/06/2019 7,8,9
Presentation of Research Paper 10 % 10/05/2019 03/06/2019 7,8,9
Research Paper 50 % 20/05/2018 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

* 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 Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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.


Students must complete 1 onsite session per week between Clinical Week 2 and Clinical Week 12 in accordance with the schedule published on Wattle. Students rostered on a public holiday should arrange a substitute onsite session. Each onsite session runs from 9am-4pm on a weekday. At enrolment, students accepted a place to undertake onsite work on either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. Students are expected to undertake their onsite day accordingly.


Completion of less than 10 full days during the course in the absence of special circumstances will result in a NCN (not completed failed) grade for the course. Where special circumstances apply, make-up days may be required.


A student who attends less than 10 onsite sessions, without exemption based on special circumstances, will receive an NCN for the course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Onsite Attendance and Participation

Details of Task: Students must complete 1 onsite session per week between Clinical Week 2 and Week 12 in accordance with the schedule published on Wattle. Interviews will be held between each student, the ANU convenor, and the onsite convenor, just prior to the mid semester break during onsite days. These mid semester interviews will provide students with an opportunity to receive interim feedback on their performance.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to attend and participate in sufficient on- site days will result in an NCN for the course. For further details, see the information below under the heading "Participation".

Weighting: 30%

Release Date: Ongoing Assessment

Due Date: Ongoing Assessment

Estimated return date: At course completion

Assessment Criteria: Onsite participation will be assessed using the Onsite Checklist. The mark will be based on overall assessment by the onsite Coordinator in consultation with the Course Convenor. The indicators of good practice are not weighted and will not be marked individually. Where a student has not had an opportunity to demonstrate a skill, that skill will not be part of the evaluation.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 07/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5,6,7,8

Seminar Participation and Attendance

Details of Task: Seminar Participation and Attendance.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to attend and participate in the two-day orientation seminar, a minimum of 3 reflective seminars and 3 subject seminars and the research paper presentation seminar will result in an NCN for the course unless special circumstances exist.

Weighting: 0%

Release Date: Ongoing assessment

Due Date: Ongoing assessment. If students are unable to attend due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, they should advise the convener (preferably in advance) and provide supporting documentation.

Estimated Return Date: 3 June

Assessment Criteria: No assessment rubric will be used in relation to seminar participation. This component of the assessment will be a holistic assessment of student engagement and contribution, including the extent to which the student demonstrates genuine and critical reflection and engagement with seminar content and readings together with the extent to which the student contributes examples/insights from onsite experience and skills development. Useful indicators are:

  • Questions asked, comments made during seminar presentations.
  • Accuracy and thoroughness in reporting on clients seen on their roster days.
  • Quality of explanation of the legal issues involved in a client’s matter & what advice etc the solicitor gave.
  • Report on any non-legal issues involved eg issues of mental health, family situation etc
  •  Understanding of client’s situation, evidence of empathy and understanding.
  • Evaluation of how effectively the client’s matter was handled.
  • Links with the reading, other seminars, other experiences in the course or other life experiences that relate to the discussion or their reporting.
  • Connection between individual client experience and systemic problems or wider issues.
  • Listening to other students, and constructively contributing to discussion.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 21/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 7,8,9

Presentation of Reflective Case Study

Details of Task: Students will be allocated a 20 minute time slot in the 'Tute' sessions to present a reflective case study.

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

Weighting: 10%

Release: Students may begin work in Week 1

Due Date: Throughout the semester on Thursday afternoons. Presentations after the due date are not permitted (ie no extensions).

Time Limit : This will be a 10 minute presentation and facilitation of a 10 minute discussion. The 20 minute session will be recorded.

Estimated return date: 3 June 2019

Assessment Criteria: Feedback on the presentations will use the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of preparation for class 
  • Demonstration of reflection upon content/material
  • Understanding and application of relevant law and concepts 
  • Effectiveness of verbal communication and delivery (volume, tone, precision, clarity) 
  • Effectiveness of structure and clarity of oral presentation
  • Effective use of visual aids in presentation (or effective decision not to use visual aids)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 10/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 7,8,9

Presentation of Research Paper

Details of Task: Presentation of Research paper.

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

Weighting: 10%

Release: Students may begin work in Week 1

Due Date: Between 10.30am and 1pm on Friday 10 May. Late presentations (without an extension) will not be permitted.

Time Limit : This will be a 10 minute presentation and facilitation of a 10 minute discussion. The 20 minute session will be recorded.

Estimated return date: 3 June 3019

Assessment Criteria: Feedback on the presentations will use the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of preparation for class 
  • Understanding and application of relevant law and concepts 
  • Effectiveness of verbal communication and delivery (volume, tone, precision, clarity) 
  • Questioning and critical approach to class content/material
  • Contribution to shared student learning environment
  • Effectiveness of structure of oral presentation
  • Clarity of oral presentation
  • Effective use of visual aids in presentation (or effective decision not to use visual aids)

Assessment Task 5

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 20/05/2018
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Research Paper

Details of Task: Research Paper

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

Weighting: 50%

Release: Students may begin working on their project from the first week.

Due Date: 10.00am Monday, 20 May via Turnitin and the Wattle dropboxes. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word Limit: 2500

Estimated return date: 4 July 2019 via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: This item is assessed on the quality of the paper’s analysis and evaluation in the light of the themes developed during the program, using the using the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the work and objectives of Canberra Community Law
  • 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 our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community 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 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 University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

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

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).
Peta Spender
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Social Justice, Litigation, Corporate Law, Financial Markets Law

Peta Spender

Peta Spender
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Peta Spender


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