Course Title: Practise in a legal environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: LAW5189

Course Title: Practise in a legal environment

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Robyn Lang (Coordinator)
Telephone 9925 1565

Doug Cole
Telephone 9925 5424

Nominal Hours: 68

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:  VU20108 Law of Contract and  VU20110 Law of Evidence and VU20111 Legal Process and VU20107 Law of Torts and VU20109 Property Law and VU20112 Commercial Law

Course Description

 This course provides learners with knowledge and skills to initiate the client file, take instructions and provide required legislative information, consult with internal/external specialist(s), and prepare, develop and manage legal documents, to ensure that all necessary information is obtained and that documentation accurately reflects the client’s needs, according to organisational policies and procedures.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20113 Practise in a legal environment

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Open client file, take instructions and provide required legislative information.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Determine risk acceptance criteria and establish acceptable risk levels based on evaluation of exposure.
1.2 Open and prepare the client file based on relevant enterprise and legislative requirements.
1.3 Take client instructions and record accurately.
1.4 Establish and record essential details.
1.5 Provide the client with accurate legislative information as instructed by the enterprise and answer questions accurately, completely and in a language appropriate to the client.

Learning Outcome 2 - Consult appropriate specialist(s).
Assessment criteria
2.1 Identify appropriate specialist(s).
2.2 Consult specialist(s) in a timely manner and according to appropriate protocol.
2.3 Provide complete and accurate information to, and obtained from, specialist(s) as required.
2.4 Follow up and complete appropriate action(s) resulting from consultation with the specialist(s).

Learning Outcome 3 - Obtain, prepare and manage legal documentation on the instructions and under the supervision of a solicitor or barrister.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Obtain legal documentation from appropriate source within appropriate timeframes (if applicable)
3.2 Prepare legal documentation in accordance with legal and organisational specifications and format, ensuring the compliance of all statutory requirements.
3.3 Check documentation for legal implications and complications.
3.4 Manage legal documentation according to legal and organisational timeframes and guidelines.

Learning Outcome 4 - Maintain communication with the client.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Inform the client on the progress of the file at appropriate and regular intervals.
4.2 Liaise with the client when required on decision making matters and/or legislative requirements.
4.3 Check database to ensure that there is no conflict with the existing client.
4.4 Inform the client of the consequences and procedures if conflict arises.

Learning Outcome 5 - Identify and apply legal ethics and practice.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Identify the main duties of legal practitioners and others employed in the legal profession.
5.2 Identify legislative and other sources of information on legal ethics and practice.
5.3 Identify potential ethical conflicts, including conflicts of interest between clients, apply and complete appropriate responses according to legislative and organisational requirements, report and review as required.
5.4 Identify confidentiality requirements in the legal profession.

Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Practise in a Legal Environment skills and theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments. This course is being co-delivered with EASC 5040C Sustainable Work Practices.

Teaching Schedule

Week Lecture Tutorial
Week 0 - 25 JuneIntroduction- Aims of the Course No lab class

Week 1 - 3July

Managing your day in a Legal Office / File Management

 Cost Disclosure Statements
 Legal Ethics- Presentation Groups

Week 2 - 10 JulyCommunicating with the Client and Third Parties(Specialist letter and Disclosure Statements) Commence Civil Litigation File
Week 3 - 17 JulyPreparing a Civil File
-Preparing a Complaint
-Statement of Claim
-Costs on a Complaint
 Commence Drink Driving File
 File Management to be assessed.
Week 4 - 24 July

Preparing Conveyancing Documentation

 Commence Conveyancing File
Civil Litigation- Magistrate Complaint Due
Week 5 - 31 JUlyIndependent Student Learning-
Investigate current practises in relation to resource usage

 Independent Student Learning-
Investigate current practises in relation to resource Usage

Week 6 - 7 AugEntering default judgment and calculating penalty interest.
Guest speakers
 File work
Week 7- 14 AugTaking and Preparing Affidavits, Statutory Declarations File Work
Week 8 - 21 AugSustainable Work Practices-setting target for improvements, implementing and monitoring workplace strategies- Guest speaker Conveyancing File- Contract of Sale due
27 Aug -  31 AugMid Semester Break (student vacation) Mid Semester Break (student vacation)
Week 9 - 4 SeptPractical Placement Practical Placement
Week 10 - 11 Sept Brief to Counsel-Guest Speaker
Sustainable Work Practices- implementing and monitoring workplace strategies
 File work
Week 11 - 18 SeptPreparing Bill of Costs Drink Driving File- Brief to Counsel due
Week 12 - 25 SeptStatement of Adjustments Conveyancing File- Statement of  Adjustments due
Week 13- 2 OctAttending Settlements/Guest speaker File Work
Week 14 - 9 Oct Conveyanicng File- Settlement Conveyanicng File-Settlement
Week 15- 16 OctGuest Speakers Drink Driving File -Letter to Client enclosing costs due
Week 16 -23 OctFile Work

 File Work
Files to be handed in
File Managment to be assessed

Week 17 - 30 OCtFeedback Interviews Feedback Interviews

* This outline is subject to variation please check the learning hub regularly for changes.

The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts.


Other Resources

R. Curnow, A Practical Students’ Guide to Working in a Legal Environment, Law Crest.
Lewis and Kyrous Handy Hints on Legal Practice (3rd ed.) Lawbook Company.2004
Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic)
Professional Conduct and Practice Rules 2005
Legal Profession Regulations 2005

Online Resources:
Australian Legal Sites (
Australasian Legal Information Institute (
CCH Online (
ComLaw (
LexisNexis Butterworths Online (
Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (
High Court of Australia (
Federal Court of Australia (
Federal Magistrates Court (
Supreme Court of Victoria (
County Court of Victoria (
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (

Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks and may include:

• practical demonstration in a real or simulated work environment
• oral questioning
• role plays
• tests/exam
• case studies
• group discussion

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant module standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment that learning outcomes have been achieved will be by:

Assessment Task 1.
Submission of three simulated client files 70%
Students will need to satisfactorily complete all work on files to achieve a pass.

Marks will be determined by assessment of the following:
- Magistrates’ Court Complaint 10% 
- Brief to Counsel 10%
- Letter to client 10%
- Statement of Adjustments 5%
- Settlement Checklist and Attendance 10%
- Contract  of Sale 10%
- Management of Files 15%

Assessment Task 2
Ethics presentation and report 15%

Assessment Task 3
Practical Placement report 15%

To pass this course, students must satisfactorily complete all assessment and have a total mark of not less than 50%.
Assessment will be graded according to the following mark table:

0-49 Fail
50-59 Pass
60-69 Credit
70-79 Distinction
80-100 High Distinction

Submission Requirements
In accordance with RMIT policy all written assessment must be submitted on-line through Turnitin on blackboard. In order for timely feedback on your files a hardcopy needs to be submitted in addition..

You should:
• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
• Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, LAW5189 PILE, Page 1 of 10.

Assessment Matrix

Learning outcomeFile 1File 2File 3Presentation


Open client file, take instructions and provide required legislative informationXXX  
Consult appropriate specialist(s).XXX  
Obtain, prepare and manage legal documentationXXX  
Maintain communication with the clientXXX  
Identify and apply legal ethics and practice   XX

Other Information

Students will require the following stationary items.

• 3 Spring Release Folders
• Stapler
• Holepunch
• Printing (you will be required to print letters/documents therefore you will need an adequate amount of print credits when you attend Tuesday’s class).

Course Overview: Access Course Overview