• Offered by ANU School of Legal Practice
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Legal Practice
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Scott Chamberlain
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course delivers an overview of the technological and social trends that are disrupting legal practise, leading to new business models and new career paths. The course will equip students with the analytical tools and insights they need to survive and thrive as technology changes the way in which law is practised.
The course will build on the work of Richard Susskind, represented in his books The End of Lawyers? and Tomorrow’s Lawyer. Students will be asked to critique the likely impact of technology, the assumed emergence of NewLaw, the “death” of the traditional partnership model for legal services, and to develop their own views about the future of legal practice and the opportunities that may arise for them as practitioners.
The course begins with an overview of the way in which the legal profession is regulated, the way in which this form of regulation both assumes and reinforces the traditional partnership mode of legal practise, and a presentation of conceptual tools for analysing the different types of legal services that clients require.
Using this framework, the course then analyses each of the different types of legal work having regard to:
• the ways in which technology may impact on how that type of legal work is delivered;
• the different business models that have emerged, or may emerge, to perform this type of legal work in the future; and
• the impact, if any, these changes may have for the way in which lawyers are employed and trained and the way in which legal practise is regulated.
The course finishes by asking students to step back and take a broader view of what these changes may mean for clients, citizens, and governments in terms of better access to legal services.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the laws governing the regulation of the legal profession and the technological trends impacting on the practise of law and the regulation of the legal profession;
  2. Demonstrate mastery of the laws regulating the legal profession to critically reflect on the way in which lawmaking, the legal profession, and the practise of law will be impacted by technological change;
  3. Demonstrate the cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise the impact technology will have on the different types of legal practise, the regulation of lawyers, and the way people access legal services;
  4. Demonstrate communication and technical research skills to justify and interpret propositions and conclusions about the impact technology will have on the future of legal practise, the regulation of the legal profession, and the way people access legal services;
  5. Demonstrate the ability to autonomously design, theorise, plan, execute and evaluate a substantial research-based project analysing and critiquing the likely impact technology will have on the future of legal practise, the regulation of the legal profession, and the way people access legal services. Modules, teaching, learning activities and assessment are designed to develop the student’s / participant’s cognitive, technical and practical skills and knowledge to be able to draft and review doc

Indicative Assessment

  1. Individual Short Essay (10%) (10) [LO null]
  2. Students will submit a not-less-than 800 word opinion piece on the meaning of lawyer, legal practise, and the purpose the legal profession. This assessment is designed to uncover existing assumptions students may have about the likely shape of the legal profession and their career options, as a prelude to exploring and, perhaps, revising these assumptions as the course progresses. (null) [LO null]
  3. Group Research Paper (20%) (20) [LO null]
  4. Students will be divided into small groups of 2-3 students and required to produce a not-more-than 1600 word research paper on the technological trends and new business models affecting one of the four different types of legal work considered in the course. Once submitted, each group’s research paper will be made available to other students as a basis for further discussion and insight. (null) [LO null]
  5. Discussion Contribution (10%) (10) [LO null]
  6. Students will be assessed on their discussion contributions in Weeks 9 and 10 of the Course. These two weeks are designed as a reflective overview of the whole course. By this stage, students should be able to show they have understood the course concepts and be able to formulate and communicate their own insights. Students will be assessed on a not more than 400 word posting contributing their point of view, and a not more than 400 word posting constructively critiquing another student’s point of view. (null) [LO null]
  7. Individual Research Paper (60%) (60) [LO null]
  8. Students will be asked to provide a maximum 4,800 word paper on one of three research topics. Each topic will be taken from a leading academic or major player in the legal profession about the future of the legal profession. Students will be asked to analyse and critique the statement based upon the course materials and support their views with relevant authorities and independent research. (null) [LO null]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This is a wholly online course. It will require continuous online participation throughout the course, as students will be required to participate in discussion forums and other activities in order to satisfy course completion requirements.

Students will study online and, where provided, will be expected to participate online in Live Classrooms on Adobe Connect, participate in any group activities and in individual research and studying.

This is a 6-unit course, which is considered to have the equivalent full time student load (EFTSL) of 6/48 = 0.125.  The number of hours allocated to an EFTSL of 0.125 is 10 — 12 hours per week.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SEVNL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL); OR Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; OR Juris Doctor - online (MJDOL) and have completed LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B. Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for permission number.

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed textbook.

Preliminary Reading

This is an indicative list only: relevant resources (legislation, cases, articles and reports etc) will be provided for each topic at the time of teaching the course, should this proposal be approved.

There is no prescribed textbook.  However, students will find the following books very useful as background reading.
- Susskind, Richard, The End of Lawyers?, Oxford University Press, 2010
- Susskind, Richard, Tomorrow’s Lawyer, Oxford University Press, 2013
- Beaton, George, NewLaw New Rules, Beaton Capital, 2013

Legislation and related information (as relevant from time to time)
- Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (VIC) (and its equivalent in all States and Territories)

Extensive links to materials available online and reading materials will be provided on the course’s Wattle site.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9403 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 Online View

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