These guidelines recognise the educational and social value of student participation in Clinical and Internships courses, as well as in Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ) programs. Such participation enables students to experience law in action, make valued real world justice contributions, and consolidate legal learning through reflective practice.
The aim of these guidelines is to provide transparency with respect to eligibility and selection, with a view to maximising the number of students who can participate in at least one clinical or internship course. The Law School also needs to ensure that the clinics, or clinical partnership organisations, are able to select students who are best suited to work effectively to achieve the goals of that particular clinic or organisation.
These guidelines also recognise that student demand for clinical and internship course placements outstrips the capacity of the Law School to provide such placements.
Selection for Clinical Courses
- A student can only complete one of the following clinical courses during their degree, except in exceptional circumstances:
- Completion of one of the above clinics does not preclude a student applying for one of the following three clinics, because these clinics do not provide students with hands-on Australian practical legal skills:
- A student may complete both a Law Internship (LAWS4230/6230) and a clinical law 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, the selection process for a clinical course involves a holistic assessment of a student’s capacity and aptitude to work within the particular clinic. It also involves consideration of the extent to which the Convenor considers that 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/or 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 Program (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 specific clinic;
- relevant past experience and skills;
- if you have no prior legal experience, the barriers you faced that prevented you getting that experience;
- 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 courses 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. Not receiving a place a clinical course is not an indication that the student is 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 also encouraged to consider whether they can undertake volunteer work as part of the Law Reform and Social Justice Program or undertake a law internship.
- The high demand for places in clinical courses and holistic nature of the selection process means that it is not possible to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Selection for Law Internship (LAWS4230/6230)
- A student may only complete LAWS4230/6230 Law Internship once.
- A student may only complete one law internship in their program as follows:-
- Where a student has completed an internship within the Australian National Law Internship Program (ANIP) and has had this credited to their law degree, that student cannot complete LAWS4230/6230 Law Internship.
- Where a student has completed the LAWS4230/6230 Law Internship course, they will not be able to have an ANIP Internship credited to their law degree (LAWS4311/6311/4310/6310 or ANIP3003/3005).
- Completion of an ANIP internship that is credited towards a non-law degree does not prevent a student completing LAWS4230/6230 Law internship or LAWS4311/6311/4310/6310 Australian National Law Internships Program A/B.
Self-arranged Law Internships
- Students are encouraged to self-arrange a law internship.
- Where a student has arranged their own internship that meets the requirements of LAWS4230/6230 Law Internship (as set out in the Law Internship Briefing Notes), a student should apply completing the Self-arranged Internship Application Form. The College Student Administration Services team under the guidance of the Convenor administers the application process. Applications for a self-arranged internship may be submitted at any time throughout the year.
- By their nature, self-arranged internships do not involve a competitive application process.
- As an alternative to self-arranging an internship, students may apply for a partnered internship.
Partnered Law Internships
- Students can apply for a partnered internship via the Partnered Law Internship Application Form on the ANU College of Law website.
- Partnered internship applications will be shortlisted by the Law School and forwarded to the partner organisation for consideration.
- Where a student applies for a partnered internship, that student should conduct preliminary research to ensure that they are aware of that organisation’s functions and goals. Feedback from placement organisations indicates that this is very much a minimum requirement for those seeking selection.
- Once an application has been forwarded to a partner organisation, the selection decision rests entirely with that organisation. Many of these organisations receive a large number of applications and only take a limited number of interns. Some organisations may choose not to take any interns from time to time. The Law School does not and cannot prescribe the way in which a placement organisation goes about selecting interns. As an example, a placement organisation may choose not to consider any applicants below a certain grade point average.
- Students who are unsuccessful in gaining a partnered internship placement are encouraged to apply again in future rounds, and to consider self-arranging an internship.
- Given the nature of the selection process for partnered internship placements, it is not possible to give individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.