Designing Skills Exercises to Advance Law Student Understanding of Better Client Outcomes and Better Government

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The Australian Government’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal
(the AAT) developed the Negotiating Outcomes on Time
(NOOT) Competition to complement the AAT’s established
Moot competition, and to provide students-at-law with a
more complete experience of the processes through which
80 per cent of matters are finalised prior to hearing. In teams
of two, students prepare for, and participate in, conciliation
conferences, where they seek to resolve hypothetical disputes
set in a public law context. In this way, law students are
afforded an opportunity to cultivate dispute resolution skills
and to use those skills in an authentic learning environment.
The AAT held the NOOT Competition for the second time in
2015 and is looking to expand the competition in coming years.

Integrity was, and is, a particular focus in the design of
the AAT’s NOOT Competition. As students rotate through the
roles of applicant and government representatives, they are
expected to identify and respond to the parties’ interests and
needs. They are also encouraged to recognise ethical issues
and to negotiate in good faith. Students are expected to
know and implement various codes of conduct. This includes
the statutory obligation on Australian government bodies
to adhere to the Model Litigant Policy as well as various
specific instruments, such as the Taxpayers’ Charter and the
Centrelink Service Charter.

Legal skills educators may draw inspiration and insight
from the AAT’s NOOT Competition. This paper identifies and
examines various aspects of the competition that can be
used as a model for adaptation and use in legal skills exercise
and assessment design. The paper focuses, in particular,
on the design of legal skills exercises and assessments with
an integrity focus to advance law student understanding
of, and contribution to, better client outcomes and better
Original languageEnglish
Pagesp. 56 of the ALTA Booklet
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
EventAustralasian Law Teachers' Association (ALTA): Advancing Better Government, Sustainable Economies, Vibrant Communities: Law’s Role? - Victoria University Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 7 Jul 20169 Jul 2016


ConferenceAustralasian Law Teachers' Association (ALTA)
Abbreviated titleALTA
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


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