Professional Conduct

Course code LAWS4007Units 10Level 4000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

LAW courses are only available to students enrolled in Bachelor of Laws (LAWS); Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.

Examines and critically reviews the role of the legal profession and the legal, ethical and professional conduct duties and responsibilities of lawyers . Students consider the history, structure and regulation of the legal profession, before focusing on the admission requirements to the legal profession. The course considers in detail the duties and obligations of a lawyer to the courts, clients, other legal practitioners, the public and other parties. The course will examine in detail the ethical and professional conduct issues and dilemmas that can arise for a lawyer in practice. The course also focuses on the legal profession and its commitment to pro bono and consider a lawyers role in assisting marginalised persons in accessing justice and the legal system.

Available in 2015

Newcastle City PrecinctSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesThe aim of this course is to provide students with knowledge and a critical understanding of the standards of character demanded of lawyers, their duties to clients, the courts, the profession and the community, and the rationale and institutional framework for regulating the legal profession. On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

1. apply their knowledge of professional responsibility in novel fact situations raising ethical dilemmas or demands like those they might encounter in practice,
2. make ethical decisions of choices in these situations including identifying any conflict of interest
3. critically evaluate the institutional framework for regulating the legal profession
4. respond to demands for reform in an analytical and public-spirited fashion.
Content1. Overview of Professional Regulation
2. The Changing Nature of Legal Practice
3. Access to justice, Legal Aid, Pro Bono work and Social Justice
4. Regulation of Admission to the Legal Profession; Disclosure
5. Practising law; Solicitors and Barristers
6. Lawyers Duty to Client
7. Client Capacity
8. Conflict of Interest; Information Barriers
9. Lawyers Duty to the Court and to the Administration of Justice
10. Witnesses
11. Lawyers Duty to Other Lawyers, the Public and to Others
12. Prosecutors and Defence Lawyers duties and obligations
13. Barristers and Advocates Immunity
14. Judicial Bias
15. Lawyers and the Media
16. Discipline Professional Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct, conduct in practice and conduct outside of practice, the role of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal and the Supreme Court of NSW, penalties and striking off
17. The role of the Ethics Section of the Law Society of New South Wales and the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner NSW
18. Retainer, Costs Disclosure and Agreement, Lien
Replacing Course(s)n/a
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS3005
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: On-lineCosts Disclosure and Agreement, Legal Costs
Essays / Written AssignmentsMid-semester essay
Examination: FormalFormal end of Semester Examination
TutorialTutorial Participation
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for 6 weeks
Compulsory Components
Requisite by EnrolmentThis course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for LAWS4007