Course Outline

LAW311 Law Professional Practice

Course Coordinator:David Wise (dwise@usc.edu.au) School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?

Description

In this course you will be guided by a practising solicitor in a simulated work environment for 3 hours a week. During this time you will have the opportunity to observe and participate in the provision of legal assistance to clients of the Suncoast Community Legal Service. In conjunction with a practising solicitor you will be involved in client interviews, conducting legal research, preparing legal advice and drafting correspondence. This course will develop your practical skills and your understanding of the daily life of a legal practitioner.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop - 3 hours in weeks 1-6 and 8-13. 3hrs Week 1 12 times

Course Topics

Legal professional practice skills such as interviewing, researching, drafting and collaboration.

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Analyse legal issues that arise in a real-life context and suggest appropriate solutions to problems. Empowered
Engaged
2 Use skills of fact finding and exercise judgement when making decisions about legal options open to a client. Ethical
Engaged
3 Demonstrate effective oral and written communication. Empowered
Engaged
4 Reflect on your personal response to issues you encounter in a professional setting. Empowered
5 Display ethical conduct and values to prepare for professional employment in the legal sector. Knowledgeable
Ethical
6 Collaborate effectively Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.

Pre-requisites

96 units of Law courses and permission required for enrolment - please contact the Course Coordinator.

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Limited Grading (PNP)

Pass (PU), Fail (UF). All assessment tasks are required to be passed for successful completion of the course.

Details of early feedback on progress

Students will receive constant feedback from their supervisor during each session. In Week 1 or 2 students will begin assessment Task 1a which is a formative assessment task requiring them to self-assess their skills against an array of criteria. They do this by completing a Learning Contract. The students will then re-assess themselves against the same criteria in Weeks 7 and 13. This task will assist students to determine their own learning needs within the overall goals of the course, to structure and direct that learning, and to map their progress throughout the semester.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1a Placement performance Individual
Prescribed questionnaire to be completed 3 times in designated weeks.
Refer to Format To Supervisor
All 1b Placement performance Individual
Demonstration of skills throughout the teaching period. Refer to format.
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) To Supervisor
All 2 Journal Individual
200 words each week
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Placement performance Individual
Placement period
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) To Supervisor
All - Assessment Task 1a:Learning Contract
Goal:
The goals of this formative assessment task are for you to reflect on your abilities in a professional setting, and to assist you in understanding the skills and qualities you will be assessed on for Task 1b.
Product: Placement performance
Format:
Your supervisor will provide you with a questionnaire under which you will score yourself from 1 (just starting out) to 5 (well developed) on the range of skills and qualities that reflect the items in the assessment rubric for Task 1b. You will complete the questionnaire in Weeks 2, 7 and 13. This task will assist you to determine your own learning needs within the overall goals of the course, to structure and direct that learning, and to map your progress throughout the semester. The learning contract questionnaire can be found on Canvas.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Assess your professional skills and abilities under the rubric to identify areas of strength and areas for further development
4
All - Assessment Task 1b:Professional Practice Work
Goal:
This is a summative assessment of the development of your legal professional skills.Your formative assessment in Task 1a will assist you to understand the criteria and guide your learning throughout the semester.
Product: Placement performance
Format:
Your legal professional skills will be continually evaluated by your supervisor against the criteria in the corresponding rubric (which are reflected in the formative assessment in Task 1a).
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Demonstrate your ability to solve legal issues that arise in a real-life context and suggest appropriate solutions to the problems.
1
2
Develop your critical thinking and research skills to assess legal arguments, outcome, and the formulation of legal advice
2 3
3
Display ethical conduct and values in your actions
5
4
Communicate clearly and respectfully to clients and other parties in an appropriate, timely manner
3
5
Collaborate effectively with peers, supervisors and administrative staff, including seeking guidance or taking initiative when appropriate
6
6
Reflect on your personal performance, implement feedback and accept responsibility for your actions
4
All - Assessment Task 2:Weekly Journal
Goal:
The goal of this assessment is for you to develop the skill of reflection by completing a record of the issues you face in the placement and receive feedback from your supervisor.
Product: Journal
Format:
The journal will be in the format of a weekly reflective e-journal, of not more than 200 words per weekly entry, that identifies the tasks completed at each session in the placement; issues that arose; a summary of your response and a self-assessment of your learning. This is an individual assessment that draws on your collaborative work.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Description and analysis of events
1
2
Resolution of inconsistencies
4 5
3
Identification of strengths and weaknesses
4
4
Consideration of alternate ways to manage the issues
1 2
5
Awareness and analysis of your own learning
4
All - Assessment Task 3:Continuous Compliance with Code of Conduct, attendance and engagement
Goal:
This task trains you to comply with a code of conduct that prepares you for the rigorous standards of the legal profession.
Product: Placement performance
Format:
During your WIL experience, you are required to complete 39 hours of work experience on an assigned day of the week from Weeks 1-13 of semester. To pass, you are required to complete the placement satisfactorily according to the criteria below. See Canvas for the Student Placement Code of Conduct.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Attended at the sessions for the required 39 hours
1 2 3
2
Conducted yourself in accordance with the Student Placement Code of Conduct
5
3
Applied yourself to the tasks set for you by your supervisor
3 5 6
4
Work collaboratively with staff and other students
6

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

You should be appropriately attired for physical attendance at weekly workshops as though it is a professional workplace.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

This course will be graded as Pass in a Limited Grade Course (PU) or Fail in a Limited Grade Course (UF) as per clause 4.1.3 and 4.1.4 of the Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA) - Institutional Operating Policy of the USC.

In a course eligible to use Limited Grades, all assessment items in that course are marked on a Pass/Fail basis and all assessment tasks are required to be passed for a student to successfully complete the course. Supplementary assessment is not available in courses using Limited Grades.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890
  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au