Global Lawyer

Subject LAWS50071 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

January, Parkville - 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


  • Five lunchtime (1 hour) seminars in Melbourne in semester 2 (mid-October); followed by
  • One week of intensive seminars in Washington DC (early-mid January); followed by
  • One week of intensive seminars in New York City (early-mid January).

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 35 hours (5 hours in Melbourne, 30 hours in USA).
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.
Prerequisites: Permission from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: A student may not undertake both this subject and Institutions in International Law during their degree.
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the School’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Assoc Prof Tania Voon


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview:

This subject examines the various roles played by lawyers within the international legal order, including as advisers, advocates, negotiators, settlers of disputes, and drafters of legislation, contracts and treaties. Within the frameworks of legal ethics, professional regulation, comparative law, and public and private international law, students will explore the functions and responsibilities of ‘international lawyers’, meaning those operating in the following international contexts:

  • Private lawyers acting in cross-border contractual negotiations, cross-border transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, or cross-border disputes involving individuals or firms;
  • Private lawyers practising domestic law in foreign jurisdictions;
  • Lawyers in internationally focused non-governmental organisations and think tanks;
  • Government lawyers addressing international issues;
  • Lawyers within the Secretariat of an international organisation.

The class will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with expert guest lecturers on-site at the following kinds of organisations: Citibank, JP Morgan, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Sidley Austin, the Australian Embassy in the United States, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Human Rights Watch, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, the United States Department of Defence, the United States Trade Representative, and the World Bank.

NOTE: The research essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes for LLB students.


A candidate who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Have a clear understanding of their future opportunities and obligations as a lawyer in a globalised world;
  • Understand the relationship between domestic and international laws, and the interaction between the laws of different countries, in the context of acting as a lawyer in an international environment;
  • Be able to explain and critique the various accountability mechanisms that govern the practice of law in an international context;
  • Be familiar with key factors influencing international lawyers from the perspectives of law, policy, politics, diplomacy, and management.

1. 100% class attendance (hurdle requirement);

2. Class participation (15%), including:

  • Professional comportment throughout the course;
  • Active participation in seminars in Melbourne;
  • Leading discussions and questions on particular topics;
  • Researching, introducing and thanking individual guest speakers;
  • Writing short reports on the course;
  • Assisting with logistical and administrative matters.

3. Research paper of maximum 5,000 words (LLB students) or 6,000 words (JD students) due mid-April (85%). [Code 2 applies to word limit].

Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.
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:

  • Written communication skills: essay-writing, writing short reports and announcements, writing professional emails to institutions and guest speakers;
  • Oral communication skills: discussions, debates, question and answer sessions, introducing and thanking guest speakers;
  • Thinking skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical skills;
  • Professionalism: engaging in a thoughtful and professional manner with individuals and organisations in a range of international contexts;
  • Capacities in information seeking and evaluation;
  • Planning and time management;
  • Writing and working in small groups;
  • Working with and in different institutional and national cultures;
  • Legal research.

This subject has a quota of 25.

Students will be selected through a competitive application process. Further details regarding the subject and how to apply for a place in the subject and a scholarship will be available mid-year.

Students will be expected to cover their flights to the United States and travel costs and meals within the United States, as well as their accommodation costs. Up to five needs-based scholarships will be awarded to cover accommodation costs.

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