Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Professional Conduct critically examines and analyses the role of the legal profession and the specialised legal, ethical and professional conduct duties and professional responsibilities of lawyers. Students will critically evaluate the history, structure and regulation of the legal profession before analysing and evaluating the admission requirements to the legal profession. The course identifies and critically analyses the specialised concepts, principles, duties and obligations of a lawyer to the courts, clients, other legal practitioners, the public and other parties. The course will critically examine complex ethical and professional conduct issues, concepts, problems and dilemmas that can arise for a lawyer in practice. The course also identifies and critically analyses the role of the legal profession and its commitment to pro bono and promoting justice in the community.

Availability2018 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify, analyse and synthesise professional conduct rules and case law and to take action which complies with those professional conduct rules and principles.

2. Demonstrate specialised technical knowledge of professional conduct law and the regulatory framework governing lawyers in relation to their ethics and professional conduct.

3. Engage reflectively with legal ethics and professional conduct issues and critically evaluate the institutional framework for regulating the legal profession.

4. Apply, interpret and critically examine the legislation, rules and case law to complex professional conduct problems in a problem based learning context; be able to effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, in complex professional conduct issues, principles and concepts.

5. Demonstrate high level personal autonomy, expert judgment and accountability in dealing with specialised and complex professional conduct issues, dilemmas principles and concepts.


The topics in this course include:

  1. 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 for admission
  5. Practising law; Solicitors and Barristers
  6. Lawyers" Duty to the 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 Civil and Administravtive 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


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice program.

Assumed knowledge

LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Essay: Essay

In Term Test: Online exam

Participation: Seminar Participation

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Online Activity

Online 1 hour(s) per Fortnight for 13 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks