Course Title: Practise in a legal environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

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

Joanne Mackay
Telephone 9925 5779

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 note this course is delivered with BSBSUS301A Sustainable Work Practices

The purpose of Practise in a Legal Environment is to provide you with knowledge and skills to run a client file. There are usually two x two hour classes per week. The first class involves a teacher-directed lecture material presentation to provide the necessary background legal information for completing the tasks on the client files. This class is described as the ‘how to’ class. The second class is the Practice Firm. In this class you assume the role of a law clerk in RMIT Legal Practice Firm and are required to complete 3 fictitious client files relating to a Conveyancing, Debt and a Drink Driving matter. You will take the knowledge and skills acquired from the first class and working independently apply this to completing the necessary tasks on the client files. As with any legal firm you will not be able to take the client files home and all work will need to be completed during class time. In the second class there will be a strong focus on document production and typing.

Classes of 4 hours per week for 16 weeks as per the teaching schedule. 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.
The week by week classes as per the teaching schedule below and assessments, including due dates, are subject to variation. Class teachers will to keep as close as practicable to that set out in this Part B Statement.

Course requirements: students consult timetable and are expected to attend all scheduled classes
Course support documents: see RMIT Blackboard
Student Induction: conducted prior to commencement of classes or during the first class and will cover the following: Blackboard, Overview of assessment requirements including Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers, Grading, Plagiarism, Appeals,Extensions,Feedback,Privacy, Submission requirements, Resubmission policy, Where to get support, Student responsibilities

Teaching Schedule

 Week            Date week begins         

Learning Outcome   


Practice Firm                                  

 Week 110 Feb1 and 5Course Overview – The Paralegal Profession
Practical Placement 
File Management
Cost disclosure quiz
 Week 2172 and 4Ethics, Regulation and Professional Responsibility

Commence Civil Litigation File

 Week 3241 and 3Communicating with the Client and Third Parties (Specialist letter and Disclosure Statements)Commence Drink Driving File 
 Week 403 March1 and 3Preparing a Civil File
-Preparing a Complaint
-Statement of Claim
-Costs on a Complaint 

File WorkFile Management to date.
 Week 5102 and 3

Overview of Conveyancing Process

Commence Conveyancing File
 Civil Litigation- Magistrates’ Court Complaint
 Week 6173 and 4Taking and preparing affidavits, statutory declarations

File Work

 Week 7243 and 4Statement of AdjustmentsFile workConveyancing File- Statement of Adjustments
 Week 8312Brief to CounselFile Work 
 Week 97 April Entering default judgment and calculating penalty interest File Work Drink Driving File- Brief to Counsel
 Week 10143 and 4 Attending SettlementsConveyancing SettlementsConveyanicng File-Settlement
   Mid Semester Break (student vacation)Mid Semester Break (student vacation) 
 Week 11283Preparing Bill of Costs File Work 
 Week 125 May3Practical Placement Practical Placement  
 Week 13123Practical Placement Practical Placement  
 Week 14191-5 Closing Files/RevisionFile workDrink Driving File -Letter to Client enclosing costs
 Week 15261-5Class Test- 2 hour openbookFile WorkFiles to be handed in
File Managment to be assessed
 Week 1602 June Feedback Interviews

Feedback Interviews

 File Managment to be assessed

* 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 60%
Students will need to satisfactorily complete all work on files to achieve a pass.

If satisfacory completeion of file work the mark for file work 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%
- Management of Files 15%

Assessment Task 2
Class Test 20%

Assessment Task 3
Practical Placement report 20%

To pass this course, students must 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 3 Class TestPlacement Report
Open client file, take instructions and provide required legislative informationXXXX 
Consult appropriate specialist(s).XXXX 
Obtain, prepare and manage legal documentationXXXX 
Maintain communication with the clientXXXX 
Identify and apply legal ethics and practiceX X XXX


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 the Practice Firm).

Course Overview: Access Course Overview