Is Legal Education Over-Regulated or Under-Regulated?

Plenary Panel, Nickolas James (Editor), Sandford Clark, Lesley Hitchens, Alex Steel, Kate Galloway, Caroline Strevens

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractProfessional

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This panel session will explore whether law schools and other legal education providers are unreasonably constrained by the obligation to comply with the ‘Priestley 11’, Admission Requirements, the LACC Standards, the Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers, the CALD Standards, the AQF, the Higher Education Standards, and so on, or whether legal education providers require
additional or alternative regulation to raise the standard of teaching and improve student learning outcomes. A key focus will be upon whether the current regulatory environment promotes or inhibits harmonisation of the stages in a lawyer’s lifelong learning journey.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020
Event2020 Professional Legal Education Conference: Harmonising Legal Education: Aligning the Stages in Lifelong Learning for Lawyers - Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 1 Oct 20203 Oct 2020


Conference2020 Professional Legal Education Conference
CityGold Coast
OtherBond University’s Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) was proud to host the 2020 Professional Legal Education conference on the theme of ‘Harmonising Legal Education: Aligning the Stages in Lifelong Learning for Lawyers’, in partnership with the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA), the Law Wellness Network and Voiceless.

The three main stages in the lifelong learning journey of the typical lawyer are the completion of the law degree (the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor); satisfaction of the practical training requirements for admission with either a traineeship or a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PLT); and post-admission education in the form of continuing professional development, specialist accreditation or postgraduate study such as a Master of Laws. All three stages have been subjected to criticism by various stakeholders. Employers complain that the content of the law degree does not reflect the reality of contemporary legal practice and that new law graduates must ‘unlearn’ what they have learned at law school. New lawyers complain that PLT fails to adequately prepare them for the legal workplace. Law schools allege that CPD is inadequately rigorous and law societies allege that formal postgraduate study is of little benefit to practitioners. Some criticisms are the result of ignorance of what occurs in the relevant stage of the learning journey. Other criticisms have merit and could be addressed by greater collaboration between those responsible for each stage of the journey

This conference will seek to facilitate greater alignment between the stages in the educational journey of lawyers by bringing together legal academics, legal practitioners, law students, PLT trainers, CPD providers, law societies, law librarians, regulators, administrators and others to share their insights and experiences, learn from each other, and collaborate on the harmonisation of professional legal education.
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