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Title: Preparing Students for Rural and Regional Legal Practice: Creating 'place conscious' law curricula
Contributor(s): Kennedy, Amanda L  (author)
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: This paper will present the outcomes of a curriculum development project which sought to examine what role the undergraduate law curriculum could play in better preparing students for legal practice in rural and regional areas. Aligned with the theme of this year's ALTA conference, this paper presents a curriculum redevelopment project which may be utilised to shape the ways in which students understand the law and what it means to be a lawyer. Whilst practice as a lawyer in rural and regional areas can be rewarding, and accompanied by a range of lifestyle benefits, it can also be professionally and personally demanding. Students however are insufficiently prepared for this unique career context, with the typical undergraduate law curriculum oriented towards substantive content rather than the 'places' in which the law plays out. Where acknowledgement is given to 'place', anecdotal evidence suggests that the focus is generally upon metropolitan practice, with rural and regional contexts often overlooked. With the recruitment and retention of lawyers in rural and regional Australia emerging as a significant issue, it is timely to investigate what role the undergraduate law curriculum might play. Research into the recruitment and retention of professionals in other disciplines indicate that the provision of a place-based discipline-specific curriculum at the tertiary education level may assist in better preparing students for rural and regional professional roles. The curriculum redevelopment project discussed in this paper highlights how place may be incorporated within the undergraduate law curriculum, sensitising students to the rural and regional context, and developing the necessary skills for overcoming challenges and taking advantage of opportunities which may arise. The paper will demonstrate how law teachers, through the adoption of a more rurally and regionally-inclusive curriculum, can present to students a broader concept of what it means to be a lawyer, interrogating the influence of location upon the professional and ethical landscape of the lawyer's role.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: ALTA 2013: Australasian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013: Law Teachers as Gatekeepers, Canberra, Australia, 29th September - 1st October, 2013
Source of Publication: 2013 Australasian Law Teachers Association (ALTA) Conference: Law Teachers as Gatekeepers, 29th September - 1st October 2013: Concurrent Session Abstracts, p. 19-20
Publisher: Australian National University
Place of Publication: online
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 180121 Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480505 Legal practice, lawyering and the legal profession
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 239999 Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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