The Legal Profession (LAWS5009)


The Legal Profession critically examines notions of legal professionalism and the regulation of legal services markets, legal practice and practitioners. Part 1 of The Legal Profession examines the nature of legal professionalism, the structure of the legal profession and the contours that shape legal services markets. Part 2 explores the regulation of the profession including historical challenges and diverse theoretical views and models of regulation are examined. The current regulatory regime in New South Wales is analysed in detail focusing on recent changes and the impact of a National Legal Profession. Part 3 explores specific forms of legal practice, highlights the major cultural and economic forces that challenge the parameters of legal professionalism and regulation of the profession. Alternative ways of organising legal practice and the legal services market are canvassed focusing in particular, on the impacts of modern technology and globalisation. Part 4 evaluates the lawyer-client relationship and suggests strategies to facilitate equality and effective communication in the delivery of legal services. Furthermore, it examines lawyers' duties to clients, the Court and third parties, and the ways in which the rules and principles of confidentiality and conflicts of interest shape the advice and representation lawyers provide to clients. This unit of study demands active participation by students and ongoing critical reflection of the issues raised throughout the semester.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x2hr seminars/week for 10 weeks


2000wd interim assessment (40%) amd final take-home exam (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS1001 or LAWS2013 or LAWS3002 or LAWS3004

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.