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Unit of study_

LAWS5161: Public Interest Law Clinic

2023 unit information

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.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code LAWS5161
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS3112 or LAWS3461
Assumed knowledge:

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an ethical, social and professional understanding of public interest law
  • LO2. recognise, define and analyse legal issues that relate to the public interest
  • LO3. demonstrate communication and inter-personal skills required by the practice of public interest law
  • LO4. demonstrate writing, research, advocacy and client skills required by the practice of public interest law
  • LO5. work independently to prepare and present on a public interest law issue/organisation.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

There are no availabilities for this year.
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Professional practice Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Professional practice Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Professional practice Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2023
Professional practice Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Departmental permission requirements

If you see the ‘Departmental Permission’ tag below a session, it means you need faculty or school approval to enrol. This may be because it’s an advanced unit, clinical placement, offshore unit, internship or there are limited places available.

You will be prompted to apply for departmental permission when you select this unit in Sydney Student.

Read our information on departmental permission.

Additional advice

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