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LAW 208 – Law, Lawyers and Society

2017 – S1 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Caitriona McCabe
Contact via caitriona.mccabe@mq.edu.au
W3A519
TBA
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
LAW115 and (admission prior to 2014 to LLB or BAppFinLLB or BALLB or BA-MediaLLB or BA-PsychLLB or BBALLB or BComLLB or BCom-ProfAccgLLB or BEnvLLB or BITLLB or BIntStudLLB or BScLLB or BSocScLLB)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
This unit is co-badged with LAWS108
Unit description Unit description
This unit focuses on the institutional arrangements of public and private law and the role of the legal profession(s) in their administration. The unit covers the history and profile of the legal profession, the development of ethical reasoning and application of ethical systems to legal practice. Importantly the unit focuses on discrete problems of legal ethics such as confidentiality, access to justice, truth in the adversarial system, conflicts of interest, and relationships between lawyers, clients and society. The unit introduces students to general skills of ethical problem solving and to the importance of sound communication skills for the practise of law.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  2. Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  3. Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.
  4. Explain and apply communication skills required for ethical practice, especially listening skills, interviewing skills, cross cultural communication skills and negotiation skills.
  5. Apply the principles of plain English to written communication for a variety of audiences and in different formats.
  6. Develop legal research skills, including the ability to search for relevant primary and secondary sources.

General Assessment Information

Students should be aware of and apply the University policy on academic honesty.

In the absence of a successful application for Disruption to Studies made online via Ask.mq.edu.au, late assessments will not be marked and will receive a grade of 0.  All assessments are submitted electronically. Turnitin plagiarism detection software is used to check all written assessments.

Students should carefully check that they submit the correct file for an assessment as no submissions will be accepted after the due date and time, including instances where students upload the question or an incorrect file in error.

Word limits are strictly applied. Work above the word limit will not be marked.  Footnotes are to be used only for referencing.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Tutorial Participation 10% weekly
Professional Relationships 60% 9pm Wednesday 17th May
Final Exam 30% 9pm Wednesday 7th June

Tutorial Participation

Due: weekly
Weighting: 10%

Internal and external students will be required to participate in tutorial role plays, problem solving discussions, debates, reflective exercises and other activities in face to face sessions.  These activities will contribute to the development of student's skills. The skills required for client interviewing will be explained, demonstrated and practised in tutorials in preparation for the video assessment.

External students will be assessed on their participation at the compulsory on-campus session to be held on the 26th and 27th April.

External students should also undertake the readings and look at the exercises for the tutorials, as this material will form the basis for the activities undertaken at the on campus session.  More information on the structure of the on campus session will be provided closer to the time on ILearn.  If an external student cannot attend the OCS then they should enrol in this unit at another time during their degree program.

From time to time, tutors will collect examples of student work completed in tutorials.  Tutors may set impromptu quizzes in class or at the on campus session to assess a student's knowledge of the tutorial preparation material.

If you cannot attend a tutorial you must send a message to your tutor on iLearn to inform them of your absence.  Your tutor may assign you work to complete in lieu of attendance.

Extended absences of more than two tutorials must meet the criteria for Disruption to Studies.  Applications for Disruptions to Studies are made online at ask.mq.edu.au in response to a serious and unavoidable event. 

Tutors will raise any concerns about poor participation with the student involved.  Students will be given an opportunity to submit remedial work where there are concerns about participation or unexplained absences.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.
  • Explain and apply communication skills required for ethical practice, especially listening skills, interviewing skills, cross cultural communication skills and negotiation skills.
  • Apply the principles of plain English to written communication for a variety of audiences and in different formats.
  • Develop legal research skills, including the ability to search for relevant primary and secondary sources.

Professional Relationships

Due: 9pm Wednesday 17th May
Weighting: 60%

This assessment is in two parts.

Part One is a personally recorded video of a client interview. The total video length is to be no more than 10 minutes. Details will be provided about specific skills to be demonstrated in the video.

Part Two is a written paper of 1,500 words reflecting on the student's client interview skills and responding to a question about the link between a lawyer's communication skills and applied legal ethics theory.

Detailed marking rubrics for the assessment will be available on iLearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.
  • Explain and apply communication skills required for ethical practice, especially listening skills, interviewing skills, cross cultural communication skills and negotiation skills.
  • Apply the principles of plain English to written communication for a variety of audiences and in different formats.
  • Develop legal research skills, including the ability to search for relevant primary and secondary sources.

Final Exam

Due: 9pm Wednesday 7th June
Weighting: 30%

This is a time limited multiple choice exam of one hour to test students' understanding of the law of professional responsibility.  All material from week 1 to week 12 is examinable.

Students can open the quiz at any time after 7pm. The quiz will automatically shut down at 9pm. Students will have one hour to complete the quiz from the time that they open it.  When one hour has expired, all saved answers will be automatically submitted.

Some of the questions will relate to a problem scenario that will be released for reading prior to the quiz.

Full details will be released on iLearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.

Delivery and Resources

There are no "live" lectures for this unit. This unit is delivered via online learning content and a weekly two hour tutorial from weeks 2-12 for internals and a compulsory two day on campus session for external students.

The required text is: Lise Barry (ed) Lawyers: Roles, Skills and Responsibilities (Thomson Reuters, 3rd ed, 2016).  Available from the Macquarie University Co-op Bookshop

Additional reading will be available via iLearn and the unit reading list maintained by the library.

Students require access to a computer and a secure and reliable server.  All Unit requirements and a weekly teaching and reading schedule are outlined in iLearn.

All assessments are to be submitted electronically via Turnitin.

Unit Schedule

 

 

Week 1

What it means to be a professional

Tutorials start in week 1

 

 

Week 2

Introduction to Legal Ethics

Overview of regulation of the profession

Statutory Interpretation and delegated legislation

 

 

Week 3

Duty to the client

 

 

Week 4

Fiduciary duties and the duty of care

 

 

 

Week 5

Conflicts of interest

 

 

Week 6

Confidentiality and privilege

 

 

Week 7

Duty to the court

 

 

Week 8

Ethics in criminal law

Duties of prosecutors

Ethics in negotiations

 

 

Week 9

Duty to the community

Pro bono work

Access to justice

 

 

Week 10

Costs

Duty to Account

 

 

Week 11

Duty to the profession

Admission requirements

 

 

Week 12

Discipline and regulation

 

 

 

Week 13

Revision

 

 

 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Client interview role plays

Students will engage in mock client interviews and will be given the opportunity to practice core interview skills

Written communication activities

Students will prepare correspondence to apply plain English techniques

Small group discussion

Students will be presented with a variety of legal problems related to the application of the law and principles of professional responsibility and will be expected to engage in class discussions, debates and other activities to develop their ethical deliberation and problem solving skills

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Law School Assessment Policy

In the absence of a successful application for Disruption to Studies, late assessments will not be marked and will receive a grade of 0%.  Applications for Disruption to Studies are made online at ask.mq.edu.au

Word limits are strictly applied and anything beyond the word limit will not be marked.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Apply the principles of plain English to written communication for a variety of audiences and in different formats.

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Participation

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Develop legal research skills, including the ability to search for relevant primary and secondary sources.

Assessment task

  • Professional Relationships

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.
  • Explain and apply communication skills required for ethical practice, especially listening skills, interviewing skills, cross cultural communication skills and negotiation skills.
  • Apply the principles of plain English to written communication for a variety of audiences and in different formats.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Professional Relationships

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Professional Relationships

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment task

  • Professional Relationships

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Describe and explain the role of the lawyer in Australian society.
  • Identify different theoretical approaches to legal ethics and relate these approaches to a range of problems and settings.
  • Explain and apply the law of professional responsibility that regulates the practice of law in Australia including duties owed to the court, to the client, to practitioners, and to the community.
  • Explain and apply communication skills required for ethical practice, especially listening skills, interviewing skills, cross cultural communication skills and negotiation skills.
  • Develop legal research skills, including the ability to search for relevant primary and secondary sources.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Participation
  • Professional Relationships
  • Final Exam

Changes from Previous Offering

Unit convenor details changed as usual unit convenor is on OSP for one semester.

Textbook details updated due to new edition being published in December 2016.

Assessment schedule and design remains the same other than amendment of dates for 2017.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
06/02/2017 Amended 'no tutorials in week one' to 'Tutorials start in week one' to reflect new policy.