Social Justice Clinical Course - unit of study applications for semester one 2014

Students wishing to participate in the Social Justice Clinical Course must apply via the process below. For more information about this unit of study please see the Pre-Enrolment Guide.


Modes of Study

Please note that there are two alternative modes of study offered in this unit:

  1. Semester Length mode– Placement one day per week plus 2-hour weekly seminar during Semester One 2014 (March – June 2014)
    Applications closing Friday 13 December 2013.


  2. Summer Intensive mode - Only available at Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC). 
    3-7 Feb 2014 (inclusive): intensive teaching days.
    10-25 Feb (inclusive, minus weekends): 12 days placement with PIAC.
    N.B. Teaching and placement components must be completed during dates indicated.
    Applications closing Friday 29 November 2013.

** Students should enrol in their full load for the relevant semester and can discontinue another subject once successful applications have been announced. **

To apply please complete the Social Justice Clinical Course application form. This unit of study will not be offered in Semester Two 2014.

Applications should be submitted via email to the Academic Support Team Leader, Caroline Dyson.

Applications for the David Burnett Memorial Scholarship in Social Justice and the Judicial Conference of Australia Scholarships are now open. See the Social Justice Scholarships information package

Selection Criteria

There are approximately 40 places available to students. The following criteria will be applied to allocate places to applicants:

  • students entering their penultimate or final year of either combined law or graduate law and final year Juris Doctor students;
  • students with an attraction to social justice lawyering, and/or students with a history of engagement with social justice;
  • reasonable academic performance in their current law degree;
  • availability for one-day per week placement vacancies, or intensive period (refer Placement options below).


Students should be aware that this unit may contain a heavier workload than traditional law elective subjects.


The Social Justice Clinical Course is a graded unit of study. The final grade will be based on

  1. Satisfactory performance on the clinical placement.
  2. 80% of the grading will be based on the written assignment.
  3. 20% will be based on:
    Class participation and class presentation (for semester length session)
    Assigned placement tasks and research activities (for Summer Intensive)

Placement options

  • Semester Length - One day per week during Semester One 2014 (3 March – 28 June 2014) – see details of placement sites below.
  • Summer Intensive – Only available at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
    3-7 Feb 2014 (inclusive): intensive teaching days.
    10-25 Feb (inclusive, minus weekends): 12 days placement with PIAC.

Placement sites

By applying to enrol in this unit of study, students acknowledge and accept that for the semester length session they may be placed at any of the available placement sites. The current available placement sites are:

Other law / social justice internships may be accepted in lieu of the above placements. Criteria for approval of these internships are being developed. Please contact Professor Cashman for further information.

Unit of Study description

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 (see placement sites above). 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.

Hands-on experience with cases, clients and/or policy and research projects will be obtained via on site social justice placements. Students will attend 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:

  1. enhanced their ethical, social and professional understanding of the practice of law;
  2. improved their ability to recognise, define and analyse legal problems flowing from real case files, and to identify and create processes to solve them;
  3. observed and practised communication and inter-personal skills involved in the practice of law;
  4. been introduced to aspects of legal practice such as legal writing, research, client interaction and time management;
  5. 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.


Two scholarships are currently available for students undertaking the Social Justice Clinical Course

  • David Burnett Memorial Scholarships in Social Justice: two $3000 scholarships available per year.
  • Judicial Conference of Australia Scholarship: five $1000 scholarships available per year.

For further details refer to the Social Justice Scholarships information package