Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a clinical course?

Clinical courses give Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Flexible Double Degree and Juris Doctor students the opportunity to engage with real clients, real problems and real deadlines in specific legal environments. There are currently 10 clinical courses on offer. Not all clinics will run each year.

Who can I contact with questions about the clinical courses?

Please contact enquiries.law@anu.edu.au

I have been told I must do a clinical course as a part of my LLB(Hons)/JD degree, is this true?

No, Clinical Courses are not compulsory for LLB(Hons) or JD programs. Clinical Courses are elective courses that both LLB and JD students can apply to undertake.

Clinical courses are a capstone course option for JD students. 

Will this count towards my LPE if I do the GDLP?

If students undertake a clinical course in the LLB or JD degree it may count towards LPE. Please contact the ANU School of Legal Practice at lpe.law@anu.edu.au 

Can I apply for a clinical course if I have done a law internship and vice versa?

Yes. Students can apply to do both a clinical course and a law internship within their degree.

Can I do more than one clinical course?

Placements in clinics in Canberra are limited and much sought after. Students can only complete one clinical course which involves hands on Australian practical legal skills and working with clients. These include: Community Law Clinic, Youth Law Clinic, Environmental Law Clinic, Public Interest Law Clinic, Indigenous Community Law Clinic and Kimberley Aboriginal Justice Clinic.

A student may, however, complete one of the clinics listed above as well as a non-Australian legal skills-based clinic (Myanmar Law Clinic, International Law Clinic, Prison Law Clinic). When a student applies for a second clinical course, this can be taken into account as one of the matters to be considered by a convenor. It will not necessarily advantage or disadvantage a student.

Why do I need a Working with Vulnerable Peoples (WWVP) Registration to undertake a clinical course?

The WWVP Act requires those who work or volunteer with vulnerable people to have a background check and be registered.

The premise of background checking is that the past behaviour of an individual can provide an indication of the possible future behaviour of that individual. Examples or patterns of abusive or inappropriate behaviour can sometimes be evident in information available for assessment, which includes an individual’s criminal record.

The ACT Government considers that the creation of a checking system with appropriate safeguards for people who work with, or who want to work with vulnerable people is consistent with section 28 of the Human Rights Act 2004.

Students must have a current WWVP registration or have applied to obtain one before submitting an application for a clinical course.

How to apply

Am I eligible to apply for a clinical course?

As clinical courses are law electives you must be in an LLB(Hons) or JD and have completed or be completing five LAWS1000/6100 course to apply.

How do I apply for a clinical course?

Applications should be submitted using the online application form when open. A link to the form is available on the Law Clinics website.

You must include your current Statement of Results with your application. This may be sent to the host organisation with your application.

When will applications open?

Applications for all clinics (except Myanmar) open in the previous Ocotober. There is only one application round per year. You can preference Semester 1 or Semester 2 (or both).

The exception to this is the Myanmar Law Clinic which has a separate application process and opening/closing dates.

Can I apply for a Semester 2 clinical course in Semester 1?

No. There is only one application round per year which encompasses both Semester 1 and Semester 2 courses. You will need to wait until the next application round and apply for the following year.

I realised made a mistake on my application but have already submitted my online form, what should I do?

If there is an error on the application submitted, a new application must be submitted. Please contact enquiries.law@anu.edu.au

Applications are due to close before the semester timetable is published. What if my availability changes?

We ask that students provide at least two days of the week that they will be available to undertake a clinical course on the application form. However, we understand that these days may be effected by individual course timetables.

If you are successful, please contact the specific clinical course convenor to discuss any changes in availability.

What is the selection process for a clinical course?

The convenor of each clinical course is responsible for making selection decisions. In making these decisions, the convenor will consult with the lawyer in charge/clinical supervisor, where there is one. Each clinic’s selection process may differ. In general terms, the selection process for a clinical course involves a holistic assessment of a student’s capacity and aptitude to work within the particular clinic to which they have applied. It also involves consideration of the extent to which a student will benefit from the experience of participating in the clinic.

In considering selection of students for clinical courses, a student’s prior internship and clinical experience can be taken into account as one of the matters to be considered (such as by providing evidence of commitment to social or environmental justice and a capacity and aptitude for the work of the clinic).

In considering selection of students for clinical courses, a student’s prior volunteer work with the Law Reform and Social Justice Course (or elsewhere) can be taken into account as one of the matters to be considered (such as by providing evidence of commitment to social or environmental justice and a capacity and aptitude for the work of the clinic).

The absence of past volunteer or related clinical or legal experience does not preclude a student from being selected, particularly where the capacity and aptitude for a clinic can be demonstrated in another way, and/or where a student has not been able to volunteer their time due, for example, to the necessity to financially support themselves or family commitments.

Without limiting the matters that can be taken into account, the following may be relevant to student selection decisions:

  • demonstrated commitment to social justice;
  • demonstrated interest in and understanding of the goals of the clinic;
  • relevant past experience and skills;
  • relational skills or aptitudes such as empathy and compassion;
  • academic achievement;
  • diversity within the selected student cohort;
  • how close a student is to the completion of their degree;
  • The balance between LLB and JD students.

The selection process for some of the clinical course may involve an additional interview process, or may involve a ballot once a shortlist of suitable applicants has been developed.

Given the high demand for places in clinical courses, many students who would be suitable to undertake a clinic miss out on a place. The fact that a student has not been offered a place within a clinical course is not an indication that they are unsuitable or not capable of undertaking and performing well in a clinical course. Students are encouraged to apply again in the future. Unsuccessful students are encouraged to consider whether they can undertake volunteer work as part of the Law Reform and Social Justice Course or undertake the Law Internship Course. Where an internship is self-arranged and complies with ANU Law School requirements, it can be approved without the need for a student to be selected through a competitive process.

The high demand for places in clinical courses and holistic nature of the selection process means that it is not realistically possible to give feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Enrolment

What is the process for enroling in a clinical course? / How do I get a permission code?

Students who are offered and accept placement in a clincal course will be provided with a permission code to enrol on ISIS. 

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team