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The aim of this subject is to provide students with the opportunity to gain practical legal skills and undertake a public interest or community-focused legal workplace experience that complements and deepens their coursework learning in the Melbourne JD.
Internships can be hosted by any public interest organisation that will facilitate the student undertaking legally-oriented work, including government departments, regulatory and statutory bodies, courts and tribunals, legal assistance sector organisations such as legal aid or community legal centres, and non-government or not-for-profit organisations. Host organisations can be locally based, interstate or international. The proposed internship must be approved by the Subject Coordinators. The internship experience should build on a students’ studies to date in the Melbourne JD and be of an appropriately demanding standard to model professional legal work or practice.
Students must complete at least 15 days of unpaid practical legal experience at the host organisation.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who successfully completes this subject will have:
- An enhanced understanding of professional legal practice through engaging directly in legal work;
- An enhanced practice-based understanding of a particular legal area relevant to the internship;
- Critical insight into some of the challenges facing public interest lawyers and/or organisations and the social and legal framework within which they operate;
- A deeper understanding of, and increased capacity to engage with, law and policy in the area of the internship;
- An enhanced understanding and appreciation of the role and value of public interest lawyering; and
- Enhanced insight into their own learning and professional identity.
Upon successful completion of the subject, students will have developed and demonstrated the following skills:
- Thinking skills, including the ability to gather information, understand context, apply knowledge and convey law or law related concepts in a way that is useful and effective to a variety of audiences;
- The ability to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues in a practical context;
- Personal and professional skills, including learning autonomously, being accountable for work, self-reflection on performance;
- Skills required for effective workplace performance, such as communication, time management, co-worker collaboration and office organisation;
- An increased capacity to reflect on their own professional competencies, including an awareness of current aptitudes and identification of areas where skills need to be consolidated; and
- The ability to engage with colleagues and develop professional networks.
Last updated: 29 April 2020