• Class Number 7144
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Vivien Holmes
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
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.

Students must apply to undertake this course. Please go to Law Professional Experience for application information.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Integrate advanced legal knowledge and skills into a community legal practice environment by assisting individual clients,
  2. Reflect on their learning experiences to further develop their professional and ethical capabilities, 
  3. Develop and apply a reflective and ethical approach in performing their paralegal tasks,
  4. Critically analyse and critique the strategic and ethical implications of different legal practice approaches with regard to the predicament of individual clients, ,
  5. In a range of oral and written formats, propose and justify practical recommendations to promote access to justice and equality before the law, 
  6. Plan and execute a research project autonomously and/or collaboratively.

Research-Led Teaching

This course provides students 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. Research paper topics will be finalised after discussion with CCL lawyers and the Course Convenor.

Field Trips

Orientation on Tuesday 25 July will likely include visits to Women's Legal Service; Care Financial Counselling Service; ACT Human Rights Commission and the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. These are all within walking distance of Canberra Community Law.

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

ACT Legal Profession (Solicitors) Conduct Rules 2015

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

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

Distribution of Grades Policy: 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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 ANU Week 1 / Clinical Week 1Orientation - 9am - 4.30pm Monday and Tuesday (24 and 25 July )
2 ANU Week 2 / Clinical Week 2Onsite days commenceSeminar - Tuesday 1 August, 4.30 - 6 pm: Housing Law. All seminars are at Canberra Community Law.As the seminars may include discussion of confidential client information, the seminars will not be recorded.
3 ANU Week 3 / Clinical Week 3Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 8 August, 4.30 - 6 pm: Drafting legal documents.
4 ANU Week 4 / Clinical Week 4Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 15 August, 4.30 - 6pm: Community Legal Education.
5 ANU Week 5 / Clinical Week 5Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 22 August 4.30 - 6pm: Strategies for Law Reform
6 ANU Week 6 / Clinical Week 6Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 29 August, 4.30- 6pm: Reflection on on-site work. Feedback: Mid-semester interviews during onsite days with the ANU convenor and the onsite convenor
7 ANU Break / Clinical Week 7Onsite dayNo seminar
8 ANU Break / Clinical Week 8Onsite dayNo Seminar
9 ANU Week 7 / Clinical Week 9Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 19 September, 4.30 - 6pm: Reflection on on-site work.
10 ANU Week 8 / Clinical Week 10Onsite daySeminar - Tuesday 26 September, 4.30 - 6pm: Reflection on on-site work
11 ANU Week 9 / Clinical Week 11Onsite daySeminar- Tuesday 3 October, 4.30 - 6pm: Reflection on on-site work NB - Monday 2 October is a public holiday.
12 ANU Week 10 / Clinical Week 12Onsite dayTuesday 10 October, 4.30-6pm: Rebus Theatre: Just Hearing
13 ANU Week 11 / Clinical Week 13Onsite dayResearch paper presentations - Monday 16 October, 9.30am - No Tuesday seminar. Research paper presentations will run for most of Monday 16 October.
14 ANU Week 12 / Clinical Week 14No Tuesday seminarResearch papers are due at 5 pm Wednesday 25 October. Research papers due.

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Onsite Attendance and Participation 40 % * 30/11/2023 1,2,3
Seminar and Tutorial Participation and Attendance 10 % * 30/11/2023 2,5
Presentation of Research Paper 10 % 16/10/2023 30/11/2023 5,6
Research Paper 40 % 25/10/2023 30/11/2023 1,4,5,6

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills 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.


Attendance and participation are compulsory. Students must abide by the Student Expectations and Clinic Requirements.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Onsite Attendance and Participation

Details of Task: Students must complete 1 onsite session per week between Clinical Week 2 and Week 14 in accordance with the schedule published on Wattle. Each onsite session runs from 9am - 4pm on a weekday. 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 as against this assessment task.

Nature of Task: Attendance and participation is compulsory. Student must abide by the Student Expectations and Clinic Requirements.

Weighting: 40%

Release: Ongoing Assessment

Due Date: Ongoing Assessment

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: Onsite participation will be assessed using the Onsite Checklist. The mark will be based on the 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.

Onsite Checklist:


  • initiative with designated tasks - including appropriate balance between the need for initiative against other limitations e.g. role & personal limitations
  • adherence to onsite policy & procedures
  • problem-solving skills - analysis of options/actions required
  • identifies potential risks and adopts appropriate risk management strategies
  • reliability & integrity
  • observed boundaries between the roles of students and Canberra Community Law (CCL) staff in assisting clients
  • professional in dealings with a range of people, including CCL staff, fellow students, other practitioners, departmental officers
  • commitment including attendance & punctuality
  • teamwork and contribution to an effective working environment
  • cultural awareness/competency


  • approach to the matter – planning and strategy
  • analysis of client issues and identification of relevant law/next steps where appropriate
  • effective working relationship with clients – rapport, adherence to role and boundaries, sensitivity to client needs
  • work planning & time management - completing work in a timely way and meeting deadlines
  • research skills e.g. initiative, efficiency, thoroughness and problem solving
  • legible file notes kept, clear, accurate and succinct write up of interview notes
  • files maintained in compliance with the National Risk Management Guide e.g. all contacts recorded, accurate, detailed, legible file notes kept, file notes and correspondence secured in chronological order
  • written communications (letters, faxes) - appreciating purpose, clarity, layout, plain English, grammar and tone
  • verbal communications (clients/others) – appreciating purpose, appropriateness of language, clarity, negotiating skill
  • appropriate use of precedent material
  • legal submissions on substantive issues e.g. clarity, relevance, accuracy and persuasiveness

Analysis and Reflection

  • critical reflection on legal practices adopted by CCL
  • critical reflection on issues affecting CCL clients including power imbalances and structural inequalities
  • identification and analysis of professional and ethical issues
  • critical reflection on social justice issues identified from onsite work

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 2,5

Seminar and Tutorial Participation and Attendance

Details of Task: Seminar and Tutorial Participation and Attendance. Students will be expected to attend the two-day orientation seminar, and the weekly seminars (see the details under Class Structure and Content above). In addition, students will be expected to give a 10-minute reflective presentation at a seminar on a case study that they have worked on during their onsite experience, followed by 10 minutes of questions. A roster for the seminar presentations will be organised in Week 1.

Nature of Task: Attendance and participation is compulsory. Student must abide by the Student Expectations and Clinic Requirements.

Weighting: 10%

Release: Ongoing assessment

Due Date: Ongoing assessment

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

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:

General Participation

  • Questions asked, comments made during seminar presentations.
  • Quality of explanation of the legal issues involved in a client's matters
  • Report on any non-legal issues involved eg issues of mental health, family situation etc
  • Understanding of the client’s situation, evidence of empathy and understanding.
  • The connection between individual client experience and systemic problems or wider issues.
  • Listening to other students, and constructively contributing to the discussion.

Reflective Presentation

  • 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 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 16/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 5,6

Presentation of Research Paper

Details of Task: Presentation of Research Paper. Details of the Research Paper are set out below at Assessment Task 4. This presentation is an opportunity for students to present their research and receive feedback before finalising their papers.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete will result in a mark of zero for this task.

Weighting: 10%

Release: Students may begin work in Week 1

Duration: This will be a 10-minute presentation and facilitation of a 10-minute discussion.

Due Date: Monday 16 October. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

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, policy and concepts 
  • Effectiveness of verbal communication and delivery (volume, tone, precision, clarity) 
  • Questioning and critical approach to class content/material
  • Effectiveness of structure and clarity of oral presentation
  • Effectiveness of response/s to questions
  • Effective use of visual aids in presentation (or effective decision not to use visual aids)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 25/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5,6

Research Paper

Details of Task: The research paper (or equivalent piece of work) will require students to develop a research topic in consultation with the onsite coordinator and the ANU convenor and to conduct independent research. The topic and the research will investigate a theme, issue or policy that is related to the course.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete will result in a mark of zero for this task.

Weighting: 40%

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

Word limit: 2,800 words (or agreed equivalent). The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.

Submission Requirement: Your submission must be made in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files will not be accepted. Footnotes should be used for referencing of sources. Papers (or equivalent work) must include a bibliography that is excluded from the word count. All references should be in the style required by the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Due Date: 5pm, Wednesday 25 October 2023 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: This item is assessed using the following criteria:

  • Research of primary legal and scholarly secondary sources
  • Understanding and discussion of the relevant law
  • Analysis/ critical evaluation of material (including recognition of alternative perspectives)
  • Quality of practical recommendations or resources provided
  • Expression and written communication including use of legal terminology, spelling etc
  • Structure including logical development of content/material
  • Referencing (eg bibliography) and compliance with AGLC

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable.

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 tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been granted an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time will be provided in writing. Importantly, any revised due date is inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date will be penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the task per 24-hour period.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

All marks and feedback will be provided online by the return date listed in the class summary.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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).

Prof Vivien Holmes
+61 2 6125 8270

Research Interests

Legal Ethics; Legal Practice and the Legal Profession.

Prof Vivien Holmes

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions