LLB (Practice) Program
"Students who complete the LLB (Practice) Program at the Newcastle Law School enjoy a high employment rate. The 2009 Graduate Destination Survey results show that 95% of LLB (Practice) Program students were in full-time employment within 4 months of completing their degree."
"According to the Law Society Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs 2011, Newcastle Law School students have one of the highest success rates in securing highly competitive summer clerkships with major law firms in Australia."
The LLB (Practice) Program is undertaken during the final 2 years of the law degree. Students in the program deal with real clients and their legal problems at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre (UNLC) and in externships. The aims and objectives of the program are to:
- Learn substantive areas of law and the practice of law in an integrated and incremental model over the two year program. Develop skills in interviewing, legal analysis and synthesis, research, drafting, decision making, negotiation and advocacy while at the same time displaying high standards of professionalism.
- Provide problem based learning experiences to enhance the capacity to solve clients' legal problems.
- Provide an intensive clinical placement to undertake in-depth client casework.
- Develop a deep awareness of the barriers clients face in accessing justice and provide opportunities to be exposed to the legal and social issues which provide a context for the practice of law.
- Undertake public interest advocacy, innocence project and human rights cases seeing first hand where there has been a miscarriage of justice or other serious failure in the administration of justice or a serious wrong which is unlikely to be properly redressed by the legal system without public interest advocacy.
Graduates of the LLB (Practice) Program are eligible to be admitted to practice law without having to undertake any additional study or practical legal training or workplace experience.
360 hours of legal professional workplace experience is a key component of the Program. A minimum of 100 hours of placement is undertaken at the UNLC. Students have the opportunity to work on major public interest cases through the UNLC's Innocence Project. The Innocence Project is designed to assist and act for persons who have been wrongfully convicted and where there has been a miscarriage of justice. As part of the placement program at the UNLC, students prepare and deliver seminars and workshops to community groups including newly arrived international students in its 'Street Law' project. Students participate in externships and external placement at law firms, government departments and agencies, Aboriginal Legal Service, Legal Aid and the Hunter Community Legal Centre.
Real client experience is central to the Newcastle model of clinical legal education. A passion for social justice, respect for the rule of law and a dedication to the interests of clients is fostered. Students are challenged to critically analyse the connections between law in theory and law in practice and reflect upon and critique the practice of lawyering.