LLB (Practice) Program
"As a graduate of the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree you will be highly competitive in the marketplace. Our law graduates consistently earn starting salaries above the national average and are in demand with 94% of students from our Practice Program securing employment within four months of graduating."*
*2015 Australian Graduate Survey
"According to the Law Society Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs 2013, 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 high level skills in interviewing, legal analysis and synthesis, research, drafting, dispute resolution, decision making, negotiation and advocacy while at the same time displaying high standards of professionalism.
- Provide real problem based learning experiences to enhance the capacity to solve clients' legal problems.
- Undertake public interest advocacy, justice 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.
- Provide an intensive clinical placement at the University of Newcastle Legal Centre 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.
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. Practice program graduates are able to commence working as a lawyer around six months earlier than graduates from most other Australian universities.
270 hours of legal professional workplace experience is a key component of the Program. A minimum of 105 hours of placement is undertaken at the UNLC. Students have the opportunity to work on major public interest cases through the UNLC including cases where there has been a miscarriage of justice and human rights cases including assisting persons seeking asylum. 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 in Newcastle, Hunter region,Central Coast and Sydney as well as interstate and overseas. Plasements are also arranged for students in government departments and agencies, barristers, 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.