Public Interest Lawyering

Subject 730-475 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 144 hours.
Prerequisites: Legal Method and Reasoning; Torts; Constitutional Law; Administrative Law; Dispute Resolution or in each case their equivalents.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr J Tobin
Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to how law is used and practiced in the public interest and seek to build the knowledge and competencies required of students who wish to work in this area. The seminars are based around three broad themes: (i) the relationship between the public interest and lawyering; (ii) the various models available for the delivery of public interest lawyering services and their underlying theories such as a rights based approach to service delivery; and (iii) public interest lawyering skills and strategies such as communicating with clients, interviewing skills, general advocacy skills, submission writing and litigation in both domestic and international forums. Students will have the opportunity to interact with and to learn from a variety of lawyers and advocates who practice in the public interest arena.

This subject will have an enrolment cap of 24 students

Assessment: A written assignment of 1000 words, 20% (due week 6) and a second written assignment of 4000 words, 80% (due end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be issued by the Faculty of Law.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing diversity, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • the capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information
  • the capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing
  • the capacity to plan and manage time
  • the capacity to participate as a member of a team
  • intercultural sensitivity and understanding

In addition, on completion of the subject, students should have developed the following additional specific skills:

  • interviewing
  • communicating clearly and persuasively orally and in writing, for specific audiences and to achieve specific public interest objectives

Download PDF version.