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CJ French helps celebrate 15 years for clinic
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CJ French helps celebrate 15 years for clinic

A host of legal luminaries were on-hand to celebrate a milestone for a Queensland law clinic this week. Griffith Law School's Legal Clinic Program celebrated 15 years (22 June) with the Chief…

A host of legal luminaries were on-hand to celebrate a milestone for a Queensland law clinic this week.

Griffith Law School's Legal Clinic Program celebrated 15 years (22 June) with the Chief Justice of Australia Robert French.

The Chief Justice of Queensland Paul de Jersey and other judges from the Federal, Family, Supreme and District Courts attended the event with other members of the legal profession, students and staff.

The celebration was held at the Stamford Plaza where founder and director of the Legal Clinic Program Professor Jeff Giddings discussed the success of the program.

"We've developed over 15 years from one course where students worked under my direct supervision at Caxton Legal Centre to a situation where we now have a set of clinical courses run with various partner law firms, barristers and government departments," Professor Giddings said.

"It's about students learning by doing, but it's not all about practice. There's a thorough understanding of the scholarship in whatever area it might be," he said. "The students develop a stronger sense of social justice and know what, how and why things should be done or not done."

The Clinic Program involves students "learning by doing", whereby students are given the chance to work on real cases and policy issues under the supervision of experienced teachers who are also practicing lawyers. The Program works on a partnership basis with external agencies including community legal centres, Legal Aid Queensland, government agencies, courts, private firms and barristers.

Partner organisations include the Dispute Resolution Branch within the Department of Justice and Attorney General, the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service, Caxton Legal Centre and the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House.

The Clinic Program includes courses such as the Innocence Project, which is offered twice a year in conjunction with Nyst Lawyers; the new Street Law initiative, which sees students work with local secondary schools to develop and deliver interactive presentations; the Semester-in-Practice externship and simulation courses which all provide hands-on experiences.

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