Social Justice Legal Clinic A (LAWS5161)


The Social Justice Program will arrange for students enrolled in the course to work with various organisations which have agreed to participate in the Program. To date, such bodies include the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), the Public Interest Law Clearinghouse (PILCH), the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Environmental Defender's Office (EDO). Through such organisations students will be exposed to real world cases and participate in a structured seminar program dealing with social justice issues and aspects of public interest law.
During semester hands-on experience with cases, clients and/or policy and research projects will be obtained one day per week in a 'social justice' placement site. Students will attend weekly seminars designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to participate in a working clinical legal organisation, and cover legal issues specific to the placement sites. The seminars will encourage discussion and reflection on the range of issues that may arise during the course of the placement.
At the end of the unit students should have: (i) enhanced their ethical, social and professional understanding of the practice of law; (ii) improved their ability to recognise, define and analyse legal problems flowing from real case files, and to identify and create processes to solve them; (iii) observed and practised communication and inter-personal skills involved in the practice of law; (iv) been introduced to aspects of legal practice such as legal writing, research, client interaction and time management; (v) had the opportunity to work both independently and collaboratively, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Semester 1: 1x2hr seminar/week and the equivalent of one day per week for the semester at a pre-selected placement site. February Intensive: seminars held over 4-5 days at PIAC followed by a two week clinical placement at PIAC during February.


1 x written assignment (100%), compulsory class presentation and participation (pass/fail), and Clinical Placement evaluation (pass/fail).

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS3112 or LAWS3461

Additional Information

Enrolment in this unit of study is by special application. Priority will be given to students in their final year of study.

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.