PASS in Law

The naturally competitive atmosphere of legal education can often make the student experience in the initial years of university quite daunting and challenging. The often dense and complicated nature of material also fosters an attitude that the best understanding of legal concepts can be achieved through endless hours spent alone reading cases and compiling detailed summary notes. However, the heavy focus on problem questions and the value of differing approaches lend themselves to greater peer collaboration in the learning process. PASS in Law aims to employ the strongly collaborative focus of the PASS program to encourage greater student engagement in practising problem questions and mastering the challenging study of law in the early years of the degree.

What is PASS?

  • PASS stands for Peer Assisted Study Sessions. It is a free, peer facilitated learning program which is run in units for students in their first, second and third years of law.
  • PASS involves weekly, hour-long sessions in which students work in groups to answer specially prepared activities and problem questions. It is aimed at students who wish to maximise their academic potential.
  • PASS does not deliver new content, and is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, lectures and tutorials. It is an opportunity for students to reinforce key points from lecture and tutorial materials, while applying their skills in solving problem questions.
  • The agenda of a PASS session is strongly student-driven. This gives students the opportunity to focus on the areas with which they are most concerned.
  • PASS sessions are run by experienced facilitators, each of whom have worked in the PASS model for over a year. These facilitators are high-achieving law students who have achieved success in the units in previous semesters, and give students the opportunity to benefit from the facilitators' hindsight and advice gained from their own experiences and their empathy with the student experience.
  • The atmosphere of PASS sessions is relaxed, friendly and low-pressured in which students are encouraged to ask questions and raise concerns with content.
  • PASS is fun! It's a great way to meet new people and make friends.

Here's what students liked best about PASS in 2013:

  • The level of personal interaction and help that you definitely don't get in lectures and may feel too intimidated to demand in tutorials
  • Discussing the content with other students - bouncing ideas off each other is incredibly valuable. Always surprised by how much you actually remember.
  • The atmosphere was relaxed and we were able to ask questions that received detailed answers. The lessons were also structured very well.
  • A lot more personal and practical than tutes and lectures. Felt like we could discuss, and then apply, what we had learned in a much more welcoming and friendly environment.

Who can attend PASS?

PASS is run in the following units:

  • LAWS1015 - Contracts (Semester 1)
  • LAWS1023 - Public International Law (Semester 1)
  • LAWS1012 - Torts (Semester 2)
  • LAWS1016 - Criminal Law (Semester 2)
  • LAWS5001 - Torts (semester 1)
  • LAWS5002 - Contracts (Semester 1)

PASS is open to all students enrolled in these courses.

Information collected for PASS is kept strictly confidential and is not shared with anyone outside of PASS management. It is used for the purposes of registration as well as for statistical analysis at the end of the semester, in which all participants are kept anonymous. This analysis is important in order to assess the program's effectiveness and to ensure its viability for years to come. If you are uncomfortable with the use of your information for any of the purposes stated, please email Jessica Morr and your information will not be included.