• Offered by ANU School of Legal Practice
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Legal Practice
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Judith Harrison
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Summer Session 2019
    See Future Offerings

Interested in social justice and ways law and lawyering are involved?  Come and explore ways of lawyering or working with lawyers to advance prospects for reform, justice and inclusion locally, nationally and internationally. 

The lens of law and organising, case studies and problem-based work will encourage you to differentiate, assess and conceptualise approaches to reform. 

Students will gain a deeper understanding of how conceptualisations of law and of problems relate to possibilities for progressive and sustainable change. Students will also develop  proficiency in respect to aspects such as: how ‘repertoires of contention’ are managed, governed and regulated; challenges and opportunities arising from diverse and conflicting interests; ethical and professional conduct issues; and, pitfalls such as reductionism, unaccountability and unintended consequences.

Practicing and non-practicing lawyers and many others are involved in law and organising for reform. Students will focus on obligations arising from legal professional regulations, identifying and analysing situations in which such obligations apply and responding in full compliance with legal professional regulations. Legal professional issues and a range of other ethical issues will be explored in a Topic during the course and also throughout the course. 

Other issues in the course include how ‘law and organising’ relates to concepts such as agency, citizenship, civics, community development, development, political participation, rights, social capital and sustainability. 

Also, the relationships between ‘law and organising’ and: cause lawyering; lawyering from within; legal empowerment; change-orientated lawyering; legal mobilisation; public interest lawyering; rebellious lawyering; strategic legal practice; strategic litigation; and, social movements. 

Students will assess whether and when ‘law and organising’ is a critical project and how techniques emerge, are practiced and change.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the conclusion of this course, it is intended that students who have successfully completed all of the course requirements will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, through critical analysis, in written and/or oral form, an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in the area of law and organising for reform;
  2. Research, critically analyse and reflect on complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the possibilities and effects of law and organising for reform in different contexts;
  3. Interpret, conceptualise and articulate for specialist and non-specialist audiences, stakeholder problems and positions relevant to law and organising for reform;
  4. Expertly and creatively develop effective options in law and organising for reform applied to particular problems which encompasses legalities, practicalities, risks and alternatives;
  5. Demonstrate and apply advanced knowledge and skills autonomously and ethically, displaying expert judgment, adaptability, responsibility and self-critique as a learner and practitioner in relation to problems in law and organising for reform;
  6. Plan and complete a substantial research project demonstrating expert critical and reflective engagement with concepts in law and organising for reform, problem analysis, legal research, legal principles and legal writing.

Other Information

This is a wholly online course. It will require continuous online participation as students will be required to participate in discussion forums and other activities in order to satisfy course requirements.
Where required, students will be expected to participate online in Live Classrooms on Adobe Connect.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will likely consist of:
  • 40% Forum posts 
  • 20% Class presentation (online)
  • 40% Research essay or an advice or submission

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.


10-12 hours per week for 12 weeks.

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

  • White, Lucie and Jeremy Perelman (eds), Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty (Stanford University Press, 2011) (e-book or hard copy)
  • Orwell, George, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (first Mariner edition) (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2009) (hard copy or e-book).

Preliminary Reading

Indicative list of other readings, materials and resources.
The course involves engagement with a broad mix of material. Course materials include articles, book excerpts, reports, videos, news sources, websites, legislation, cases and legal commentary. The following introduce many of the themes in law and organising:

  • Cummings, Scott L. and Ingrid V. Eagly, 'A Critical Reflection on Law and Organizing' (2000-2001) 48 UCLA Law Review 443
  • Price, Loretta and Melinda Davis, 'Seeds of Change: A Bibliographic Introduction to Law and Organizing ' (2002) 26(4) Review of Law and Social Change 615
  • Hung, Betty, 'Law and Organizing from the Perspective of Organizers: Finding a Shared Theory of Social Change ' (2009) 1(4-30) Los Angeles Public Interest Law Journal 4
  • Capulong, Eduardo R.C., 'Client Activism and Progressive Lawyering Theory' (2009) 16 Clinical Law Review 109

Assumed Knowledge

It will be assumed that students or participants have some knowledge of systems of government, law making and the diverse roles of lawyers. Material will also be available online from the start of the course for those who do not have a relevant background.


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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1641 14 Jan 2019 01 Feb 2019 01 Feb 2019 05 Apr 2019 Online N/A

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