Associate Professor Vivien Holmes

Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Education)
BA /LLB(Hons.); Grad.Dip.Public.Admin; M Soc.Sci (Int'l Developt.) Barrister & Solicitor Vic, NT & ACT; Snr Fellow, Higher Education Academy
+61 2 6125 8270
Room 6.2.10

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Research Themes

Biography

Vivien teaches and researches in the fields of legal ethics, legal education and the legal profession. She is currently Associate Dean, Education at the ANU College of Law.

Prior to joining ANU, Vivien worked as a litigation solicitor in private and government practice, a government legal policy officer, the Registrar of the NT Supreme Court, the NT Registrar of Probates, the NT Deputy Coroner and a Judicial Registrar of the NT Magistrates' Court. She has been a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Complaint Committee.

Appointments

  • Associate Dean (Education) ANU College of Law
  • Associate Professor, ANU College of Law
  • Senior Fellow, HIgher Education Academy
  • Member, ACT Law Society Complaints Committee

Awards

Year Title
2014 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Award for Program or Service that enhances learning

Significant research publications

  • ‘Ethical Climate, Job Satisfaction and Wellbeing: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian lawyers’ Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (forthcoming, 2020) with Stephen Tang & Tony Foley

  • ‘Ethical Misconduct by New Australian Lawyers: Prevalence and Prevention’ International Journal of the Legal Profession (22 May, 2020) with Stephen Tang &Tony Foley

  • 'Values: the flip side of the well-being coin' in Strevens & Field Educating for Well-being in Law. Positive Professional Identities and Practice. (Routledge, 2019)

  • ‘Australian Legal Practice: Ethical Climate and Ethical Climate Change’ in Levy et al, New Directions for Law in Australia: Essays in Contemporary Law Reform (ANU E Press, 2017) (with Stephen Tang, Tony Foley and Margie Rowe)

  • 'Giving Voice to Values: Enhancing Students' Capactiy to cope with Ethical Challenges in Legal Practice' (2015)18  Legal Ethics 2

  • 'Compounding the Abuse'   Lawyers for the Catholic Church in the Ellis Case’ 17 Legal Ethics 3, 433 (2014)

  • ‘'Practising Professionalism: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian Lawyers' Legal Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012

  • 'The Power of Rationalisation to Influence Lawyers' Decisions to Act Unethically' 11  Legal Ethics 2; 137

  • "Our Common Future: The Imperative for Contextual Ethics in a Connected World'; F. Bartlett, R. Mortensen. K Tranter (ed) Alternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics.  Reimagining the Profession; Routledge (Research in Legal Ethics series) (2011)

Recent news

05
Jun
2020
A climate activist holds a placard at a protest
GreenLaw aims to empower the next generation of lawyers and build a better planet.
04
Jan
2017
Yangon Downtown
Thirteen ANU College of Law students will have the chance to experience the teaching and operation of the law in a developing country, as they set off for the College’s inaugural Myanmar Clinical Program this week.
22
Sep
2015
Helping junior lawyers thrive
The transition from law student to newly-admitted lawyer is a critical time, not only for the mental health and wellbeing of these lawyers but for the future of the profession.
19
Dec
2012
ANU College of Law

Eight ANU College of Law staff members were awarded for their excellent contribution to teaching in 2012.

In the Media

1
Mar
2018
Vivien Holmes quoted in Lawyers Weekly
1
Mar
2018
Vivien Holmes quoted in Lawyers Weekly
29
Aug
2017
Vivien Holmes ANU Newsroom
19
Dec
2016
Vivien Holmes speaks to Lawyers Weekly

Past events

15
Oct
2019
LRSJ Lunch with Chief Judge Dr John Lowndes
1.00PM to 2.00PM Careers seminar
  • His Honour Dr John Lowndes, former Chief Judge

Join Associate Professor Vivien Holmes and His Honour Dr John Lowndes, former Chief Judge, for lunch as they discuss law reform in the NT.

08
Aug
2017
Event image
1.00PM to 2.00PM Teaching and Learning Forum

Ideas and discussion, and how a Teaching Enhancement Grant might help.

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Research biography

Vivien's research focuses on the legal profession, legal ethics and legal education She has written on the effectiveness of the Giving Voice to Values curriculum in law, a curriculum that focuses on building skills for ethical action. She worked with colleagues Tony Foley and Stephen Tang and Margie Rowe on an empirical study into the transition of law graduates into legal practice and then on an study of the ethical climate of Australian legal practice workplaces. Vivien has explored the links between professionalism, ethics and wellbeing, including the important connections between values/professionalism and wellbeing in individuals, law schools and legal practices. Vivien is a regular presenter at the International Legal Ethics Conferences.

Book chapters

  • 'Values: the flip side of the well-being coin' in Strevens & Field Educating for Well-being in Law. Positive Professional Identities and Practice. (Routledge, 2019)
  • ‘Australian Legal Practice: Ethical Climate and Ethical Climate Change’ in Levy et al, New Directions for Law in Australia: Essays in Contemporary Law Reform (ANU E Press, 2017) (with Stephen Tang, Tony Foley and Margie Rowe)
  • 'Values, Ethics and Wellbeing' in Being Well in the Law (2016) NSW Law Society: lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/professionalsupport/supportingyou/BeingWellintheLaw/index.htm
  • 'Applied Ethics for Lawyers' in P. Bowden (ed) Applied Ethics.Strengthening Ethical Practices (2012) with Tom Campbell
  • "Our Common Future: The Imperative for Contextual Ethics in a Connected World'; F. Bartlett, R. Mortensen. K Tranter (ed) Alternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics.  Reimagining the Profession; Routledge (Research in Legal Ethics series) (2011) with Simon Rice
  • 'What is the right thing to do? Reflections on the AWB scandal and legal ethics.' in Jeremy Farrall & Kim Rubenstein; Sanctions; Accountability and Governance in a Globalised World; Cambridge (2009)

Refereed journal articles

  • Ethical Climate, Job Satisfaction and Wellbeing: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian lawyers’ Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (forthcoming, 2020)(with Stephen Tang & Tony Foley)
  • 'Ethical Misconduct by New Australian Lawyers: Prevalence and Prevention’ International Journal of the Legal Profession (22 May, 2020) (with Stephen Tang & Tony Foley)
  • 'Regulating Lawyers’  Law Institute Journal ( May, 2017)24 (with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang, Margie Rowe)
  • 'Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Coronial Jurisdiction' (2016) 25 Journal of Judicial Administration 134 (with Isabel Roper)
  •  ‘Giving Voice To Values:’ Enhancing Students' Capacity to cope with Ethical Challenges in Legal Practice' (2015) 18 (2) Legal Ethics 115
  • ‘What makes for a happy, healthy, ethical lawyer? How do we help our junior lawyers thrive?’  Law institute Journal September 2015
  • ‘'Practising Professionalism: Observations from an Empirical Study of New Australian Lawyers'  (2012) 15 (1)  Legal Ethics  29
  • 'Teaching Professionalism in Legal Clinic – What New Practitioners Say is Important'  (2012) 17 International Journal of Clinical Legal Education
  • 'The Power of Rationalisation to Influence Lawyers' Decisions to Act Unethically' 11(2)  Legal Ethics 137

Conference papers & presentations

  • ‘Climate Strikers Go to Law School’ presented at the Legal Education Research Conference ‘Teaching as a Subversive Activity’, UNSW, 28-29 November 2019 
  • ‘Appreciating the human complexity in a Family Court judge’s work'  with Stephen Tang at Family Court Judges Conference, Sydney, August 2019.
  • The Implications of Artificial Intelligence for the Delivery of Legal Services – What Does the Future Hold for Lawyers, Law Firms and Legal Education?’ presented at the International Legal Ethics Conference, University of Melbourne, December 2018, (with Anthony Davis, Colombia University Law School)
  • Weather Ahead: the influence of ethical climate on newly admitted lawyers’, presented at the International Legal Ethics Conference, University of Melbourne, December 2018 (with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang)
  •  ‘Values, ethics and wellbeing’ presentation at ANU Legal Office training day, 28 November 2018.  Legal Office lawyers entitled to CPD points for ethics for this session
  • 'Ethical Misconduct by Australian Young Lawyers:  Prevalence and Prevention' at Workshop on Regulating Lawyers Through Disciplinary Systems, Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain, 26-27 April 2018 ( with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang).
  • 'Values: the flip side of the wellbeing coin' at the National Wellness for Law Forum, Bond University, Gold Coast, 15-16 February 2018
  • 'Weather Ahead: The Influence of Ethical Climate on Pscyhological Wellbeing and Professionalism in Newly Admitted Lawyers' at National Wellness for Law Forum, Bond University,Gold Coast, 15-16 February 2018 (with Stephen Tang).
  • 'Walking the talk. How do we use our knowledge of BE to improve our ethical decision making and action?' at the International Legal Ethics Conference VII, New York, 14-16 July 2016
  • 'Weather Ahead:  The Ethical Climate in which Australian Lawyers Work' at the International Legal Ethics Conference VII, New York, 14-16 July 2016
  • ' The behaviour of the lawyers acting for the church in the Ellis case / ‘Melbourne response’ matters’ as part of a panel on 'Lawyers and Moral Conversations' at the Australia New Zealand Legal Ethics Colloquium, Melbourne, 3-4 December 2015.
  • 'Pre Admission Training: Developing Students’ Capacity to Cope with Ethical Dilemmas in Legal Practice' at BABSEA CLE Pro Bono Conference and Legal Ethics Forum, Mandalay, Myanmar,  September 2015
  • ‘Ethical Issues for Government Lawyers’ (with Lauren Honcope, ANU) ACT Law Society Government Law CPD session, March 2015
  • ‘Enhancing wellbeing AND one’s capacity to deal effectively with ethical dilemmas in legal practice’ (with Liz Curran and Anneka Ferguson) at the National Wellness for Law Forum – ANU 5-6 February 2015
  • Wellbeing, Professional Identity and Satisfying the Human Need for Striving: Preliminary Evidence from Newly-Admitted Australian Lawyers’ (with Tony Foley, Stephen Tang and Margie Rowe) at the National Wellness for Law Forum – ANU 5-6 February 2015

Committees

External Organisations

  • ACT Law Society Complaints Committee

Case notes & book reviews

  • 'Pro bono and Ethics Build a Noble Profession: Asia Pro Bono Conference & Legal Ethics Forum, Mandalay, Myanmar, September 2015' Report  18 Legal Ethics

Currently supervising

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: The effect of law school's implicit curriculum on law students' perceptions of life after law school (https://implicitcurriculumresearch.wordpress.com/)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Topic: The effect of law school's implicit curriculum on law students' perceptions of life after law school (https://implicitcurriculumresearch.wordpress.com/)

LLM Masters thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Legal Ethics,
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the Legal Profession

Honours thesis supervision

I am willing to supervise in the areas:

  • Legal Ethics,
  • Professional Responsibility
  • the Legal Profession

I have previously supervised:

  • Coroners and Therapeutic Jurisprudence
  • Behavioural Legal Ethics

Previous courses

Year Course code Course name
2018 LAWS1202
Class #7497
Lawyers Justice and Ethics
2018 LAWS6102
Class #8711
Lawyers, Justice and Ethics
2016 LAWS1202
Class #7559
Lawyers Justice and Ethics
2016 LAWS6102
Class #9032
Lawyers, Justice and Ethics
2017 LAWS4301
Class #1831
Myanmar Law Clinical Program

Philosophy & approach

My philosophy of teaching is being heavily influenced by recent research in neuroscience and in particular the place of emotion in learning.    My own research into behavioural ethics (or moral psychology) has deepened my understanding of the many non-rational influences on human behavior.  In relation to learning, I am realizing just how important it is to engage students’ emotions, if they are to learn anything of consequence and then use what they have learned in wise decision making.  I believe teachers should provide a challenging, but safe place for students to try things out: as Damasio has noted that ‘not enough emotion is detrimental to learning and so is too much’. So my aim is that students will get emotionally involved  (engaged, interested, perhaps even a bit nervous at times) in their learning.

I am conscious of the importance of providing students with opportunities to learn not just technical legal skills, but generic life skills (communicating in plain English; how to act on your values; the importance of knowing yourself and looking after yourself; team work) that will stand them in good stead whatever their career path.

I am a strong believer in problem based learning - allowing students to work through a real world problem while grappling with the knowledge and skills they need to resolve it.

Teaching awards

Year Title
2014 ANU College of Law Education Awards: Award for Program or Service that enhances learning

Past courses

  • 2011 - 2015:  Professional Practice Core (GDLP) Legal Ethics

How my works connects with public policy

My work informs policy in the areas of legal ethics, legal education and regulation of the legal profession.

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