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Professional opportunity rewards Ipswich law students and local community

An elective law subject offered by the University of Southern Queensland’s School of Law and Justice is garnering praise from students and helping the local community

Away from computer screens and textbooks, the LAW3478 Law Clinic course is offered at the university’s Ipswich campus and supervised by HUB Community Legal practice.

The elective gives third- and fourth-year Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor students the opportunity to have hands on legal experience while still studying.
School of Law and Justice Director (Clinical & Professional Experience) Dr Margaret Voight said the practical introduction to life as a practitioner of law is priceless for students nearing graduation.

“Students work with the HUB Community Legal team and assist some of the most disadvantaged clients in the community,” Dr Voight said.

“For some of those clients, the clinic may be the only avenue for assistance, where other options have been exhausted, so it’s an incredible way to introduce students to many types of legal practice experiences from minor debt, succession, neighbourhood disputes or minor civil matters,” she said.

“It’s proved to be such a great way for them to also gain fresh insights into society and community expectations and legal practice requirements, and it truly enhances the theoretical knowledge they’ve acquired in their studies, too.”

In his final year of a Juris Doctor, Tim Bartley said the Law Clinic experience has been the highlight of his studies to date.

“The one-on-one experience with the clients was amazing, and the encouragement we all received from both the Hub Community Legal practitioners as well as our own lecturer was incredible,’ Tim said.

“I have gained so much more confidence in advising and researching through being supported to have ownership over the experience,” he said.

“Receiving feedback at the end of each session meant I was able to immediately apply those learnings to my studies but obviously employ them in the real world once I graduate next year.

“Knowing that the experience has not just been a learning one for us as students but has also been something that’s offered true benefits to the local community is really rewarding too.”

University of Southern Queensland’s School of Law and Justice celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2022.

Find out more information about studying law at UniSQ.

Five adults in front of building in Ipswich.
University of Southern Queensland’s School of Law and Justice celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2022.