Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


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 including in the area of law and technology. 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.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify professional conduct issues and apply the relevant professional conduct rules, principles and case law and to take action which complies with those professional conduct rules and principles

2. Identify and avoid any potential or actual conflict of interest and take action to deal with a conflict which has arisen

3. Demonstrate thorough knowledge of the law and the regulatory framework governing lawyers in relation to ethical and professional conduct issues and their cost disclosure requirements

4. Critically examine the role of the legal profession and its service to the public

5. Critically evaluate and reflectively engage with legal ethics and professional conduct issues and critically evaluate the institutional framework for regulating the legal profession

6. Apply the legislation, rules and case law to professional conduct problems in a problem based learning context

7. Identify and critically analyse the wider issues in legal practice including the importance of pro bono contributions by the legal profession, acting as an advocate for the just rule of law, critically evaluating the barriers that some people face in accessing justice and the legal system and respond to demands for reform in an analytical and public-spirited fashion.

8. Conduct high-level research, explore primary and secondary materials, and provide critical analysis of problems and questions.


  1. Overview of Professional Regulation
  2. Access to justice, Legal Aid, Pro Bono work and Social Justice
  3. Regulation of Admission to the Legal Profession; Disclosure
  4. Lawyers' Duty to Client
  5. Conflict of Interest; Information Barriers
  6. Lawyers' Duty to the Court and to the Administration of Justice
  7. Witnesses
  8. Lawyers' Duty to Other Lawyers, the Public and to Others
  9. Prosecutors and Defence Lawyers' duties and obligations
  10. Discipline Professional Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct
  11. Retainer, Costs Disclosure and Agreement, Lien  
  12. Technology and the Law


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

Assumed knowledge

LAWS1010, LAWS1011, LAWS1020, LAWS1021, LAWS2030, LAWS3040, and LAWS3041.

Assessment items

Essay: Essay *

Written Assignment: Examination: Take Home Examination

Participation: Seminar Participation and Discussion Board posts

* 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:

  • Essay: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Irrespective of a student’s mark in the course, if a student has achieved overall marks greater than 50% in the course but has failed to satisfactorily complete the compulsory course component then a zero mark and fail grade (FF) will be recorded on their transcript.

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Online Activity

Online 0.5 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 2 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.