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The focus of the subject is the development of the student's understanding of their personal and professional perspectives on their relationship to law and the practice of law. Students will use the lens of literature of and about law to investigate and critically reflect on the complex problems and professional challenges of law and the practice of law. Through the selection of a wide range of texts including non-fiction, fiction, film, art, plays and music students will examine such issues as the relationship between personal beliefs and professional responsibilities, cause lawyering and the role of creativity, passion and initiative in the development of law.
This subject is intended to be a capstone experience requiring the completion or near completion of all compulsory law subjects. The analysis of the texts will require students to reflect on and evaluate the interactions and fault lines between areas of law that the students have studied as discrete law subjects. For example we may examine the interplay and clashes between equity, criminal law, torts, contract and professional ethics in The Merchant of Venice.
We will also consider how literature enhances our understanding of the role of law in society by examining law's contributions and failings. We will examine the ways in which the legal system has excluded the consideration of stories and views that literature considers critical to a full understanding of events and actions.
Students will study the main theoretical approaches to and recent developments in the use of literature as a tool to analyse and critique the legal system and the roles of lawyers.
Students will be required to articulate and explain their views in class participation, peer to peer learning and online media.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of professional and personal challenges in the practice of law;
- Have an advanced knowledge of the main theoretical approaches to and recent developments in the use of literature as a tool to analyse and critique the legal system and the role of lawyers;
- Be able to use cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and propose linkages between complex legal and ethical problems relevant to the practice of law; and
- Be able to evaluate and articulate their personal approach to practical and theoretical legal issues that involve complex legal and ethical problems.
This subject will build on the research and writing skills developed within the JD program. In addition a student who has successfully completed the subject will be able to:
- Analyse, critically reflect on and communicate their professional and personal perspectives and approaches to problems and professional challenges of law and the practice of law;
- Evaluate and compare the perspectives of literature and the perspectives of law to issues such as morality, individual responsibility, crime and justice;
- Recognise and propose connections between areas of law previously studied and themes present in works studied;
- Apply theoretical approaches to the study and interpretation of legal themes in literature of and about law;
- Articulate, discuss, reflect and explain in a range of written and oral forms their own perspectives and understanding of ways in which law does and does not adequately deal with social, political, economic and cultural issues; and
- Be able to provide constructive, specific, balanced, thorough and respectful peer reviews of other students' work.
Last updated: 11 February 2021