Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Legal System and Method 1 introduces the Australian legal system. It analyses the nature and function of law, including the development of common law principles in case law. The course introduces ethical considerations for the legal profession and develops analytical and interpretative skills. Students develop skills in legal research, written and oral communication, all skills valued in the study and practice of law. Students are introduced to alternative models of resolving disputes and their professional role in contemporary legal practice. Students will be introduced to the Newcastle Law School Legal Clinic model and develop best practice in engagement with real clients.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Use legal language and terminology, including citations accurately;

2. Read and analyse case law effectively;

3. Identify legal principles and apply these to diverse scenarios;

4. Structure and present a coherent and persuasive argument with confidence using legal data (orally and in writing);

5. Write coherently using legal data for different audiences (academic and non-academic);

6. Reflect critically on one's own learning and the role of legal institutions and ‘actors’ in the legal system;

7. Identify ethical issues which arise in practice;

8. Recognise and employ a range of self-management and well-being techniques;

9. Orally present and defend arguments in interactive dialogue with the teacher and peers in a style consistent with professional client consultations, mediation, and negotiation. (ADR).


Legal System and Method I is designed to, and has the objective of, establishing a basis and foundation for all other law courses. The course has a number of substantive law components, which should not be viewed in isolation. Instruction in the methods and skills employed by lawyers are integrated with the substantive law components to provide an introduction to the Australian legal system. The topics in this course include:


A. Legal System components - Seminars

  1. Overview of the Australian Legal System
  2. Common law
  3. Legal Institutions and their Regulation

B. Legal Method components - Workshops

  1. Written communication
  2. Oral communication
  3. Self-management and ethics
  4. Alternative Dispute Resolution


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Communication - Reflective Practice on Positive Professional Identity and becoming a Law Student

Written Assignment: Professional Legal Communication - Client File

In Term Test: 2 x Quizzes

Participation: Attendance at seminars and workshops *

Formal Examination: Final Examination

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Participation: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course. - Attendance at all classes (seminars and workshops) will be monitored and records maintained by the Course Coordinator; In order to satisfy the “Attendance” requirement, students must be present at a minimum of 80% of scheduled classes as spelled out in the course outline, unless they are able to demonstrate that their absence falls within the Adverse Circumstances policy; Unless this requirement is met, despite marks awarded in other assessment items, the student will receive a zero mark and an FF grade for the course. All students will be required to attend a client observation at The Legal Centre in Semester 1 or Semester 2. The observation is compulsory.

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 6 hour(s) per Term Full Term starting in week 2

weeks 2, 4 & 7.


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.