Sydney Law School Social Justice Program

The University of Sydney Law School Social Justice Program provides an important opportunity for students to gain practical legal experience and provide vital services to disadvantaged members of our community.

It offers eligible students in the LLB and JD courses the opportunity to undertake up to two units [12 credit points] gaining experience in social justice initiatives, within a clinical placement under the supervision of a specified provider.

Since 2016, this program has been expanded to include an even broader range of opportunities and experiences in lieu of the clinical placement, in order to meet students' interests.

From 2017, up to eight places will become available at the Redfern Legal Centre in each of the following teaching periods (24 in total): Semesters 1, 2 and the Summer Intensive of 2017-2018. Placements will also be available in the Glebe Social Justice Learning Lab, where students can choose to explore complex social problems through an interdisciplinary lens.

In 2016 Social Justice students had the opportunity to work in an Innocence Project with students from the School of Psychology, assessing cases of possible wrongful convictions, and it is expected that there will be a similar offering in 2017.

Students can also choose to undertake their placements at one of the many sites which have provided this important practical legal experience ever since the genesis of the Social Justice Program at the University of Sydney.

The Social Justice Program is directed by Professor Peter Cashman, appointed in 2009 to the inaugural Kim Santow Chair in Law and Social Justice, and Irene Baghoomians, who has an extensive background in coordinating external placement programs and experiential learning in general. Her unit, Social Justice Legal Clinic B, was until 2016 an External Placement Program unit, which has been offered at the University of Sydney since the 1990s.

Advantages of including a social justice component in your degree

The units associated with the Social Justice Program allow you to undertake a clinical placement at established community legal organisations and law firms involved in public interest law which have an excellent track record in providing much-needed professional legal services to the disadvantaged or vulnerable members of the community.

The units expose you to real-world cases, enable you to apply knowledge gained in the classroom, and develop practical skills such as researching, case-writing, and client interviewing.

In addition, the extended involvement with social justice issues can aid in enhancing the employability of graduates of the LLB and/or JD.

Our Social Justice Partners

The Sydney Law School’s clinical legal education program is made possible through partnerships between the Sydney Law School and a number of well-established community legal centres, law firms and other organisations offering legal advice and representation to special interest groups.

The Law School works with the following organisations who offer clinical placements to Sydney Law students, which enables them to gain from this exciting opportunity. This is only a small indication of some of the placement areas available.

Additional placement sites will be added to the list as they are confirmed.

The Law School is always keen to hear from new organisations who may be able to offer placements to Law Students as part of this initiative. If you would be interested in partnering with the Law school in this way please contact Ruth Machalias for further details.

Social Justice Legal Clinic units available

Social Justice Legal Clinic is available through the academic year:

Units Semester  
Social Justice Legal Clinic A (LAWS3461/5161)
  • Semester 1- Early intensive in February (with PIAC)
  • Semester 1 - Semester-length



Social Justice Legal Clinic B (LAWS3431/5131)
  • Semester 2 - Semester-length