Unique partnership bridges gap between education and profession

21 September 2020
Collaboration leading to change in the legal profession
Sydney Law School and Corrs Chambers Westgarth form a unique partnership that aims to benefit law students and bridge the gap between academia and the legal profession.

The partnership between Sydney Law School and leading national law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Corrs), creates a pathway for our students to align and connect with leading practitioners in the profession. Another central component of the partnership is sharing knowledge and resources to aid in the future advancement of the legal profession.

A number of initiatives has been developed and includes programs that provide students with the opportunity to work more closely with leading practitioners, public seminars and student events, and the active involvement of Corrs lawyers in research projects, teaching and mentoring.

Our latest Strategic Plan, Reimagining Sydney Law School 2020-2025, has intensified our focus on external engagement, and the Corrs-SLS initiative provides an innovative platform for building closer links with the profession.
Dean and Head of Sydney Law School, Prof Simon Bronitt



Key partnership initiatives

This program provides an opportunity for a senior practitioner to volunteer within the law school over a semester. During that time, the practitioner will provide valued assistance with teaching by working closely with academics on assessment and curriculum development, marking assessment tasks, sitting in on select classes, and giving guest lectures. This will provide students with further practical insights and will allow the practitioner to share their experience with students and further enhance their understanding of the law in practice.

The practitioner will also provide an ongoing advisory role for students and staff (for both teaching and research projects) and will assist with student extra-curricular initiatives, such as judging student competitions and assisting with the Summer Innovation Program.

The practitioner will also lead a research and engagement project by reviewing Indigenous corporations’ legislation which will feature at a public research symposium held by the Law School in 2021.

“Young lawyers are vitally important to our firm and the future of the legal profession, and I am delighted to be working with Sydney Law School as its first practitioner-in-residence.” - James Whittaker, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

This panel discussion will bring together speakers who commenced their careers at Corrs but then took an alternative path with their law degree, including in writing, entertainment, the public service, and the judiciary. The webinar provides our students with insight into the broad career options available with a law degree, beyond traditional commercial law firms.

The law school and Corrs aim to host a range of events during the lifetime of the partnership.

Our academics will work with junior Corrs lawyers to assist them to develop research papers. This will involve offering guidance on research topics, guidelines on preparing outlines for papers, and suggested improvements for comprehensiveness and current relevance.

The partnership aims to encourage students to pursue research opportunities within their degree. And, this initiative is a natural extension of that by having young lawyers share and expand their expertise by engaging in scholarly research activities with support and guidance from our reputable academics.

The partnership between Sydney Law School and Corrs has ambitious goals that will directly impact students and their access to the profession during their studies, teaching by having direct teaching input from leading practitioners in the profession, and the future advancement of the legal profession with its focus on research.


Peter Finneran

Head, Strategic Partnerships and External Engagement
  • Room 337 The New Law Building F10

Related articles