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Depression and reform on ALSA's 2011 agenda

Depression and reform on ALSA's 2011 agenda

The peak Australian law students body will seek to be involved in any proposed changes to university curriculum and the ongoing national professional reform process this year.Speaking to Lawyers…

The peak Australian law students body will seek to be involved in any proposed changes to university curriculum and the ongoing national professional reform process this year.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, the Australian Law Students' Association (ALSA) president Matthew Floro said that his body would be seeking a more active role with senior legal bodies such as the Law Council of Australia (LCA) and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

"We will be regularly speaking with the LCA in regard to issues such as the recruitment and retention of lawyers in rural and regional areas and the ongoing national profession reform process," Floro said. "We will be speaking to TEQSA in relation to any proposed changes to honours programs, and are particularly concerned at ensuring the juris doctor program is retained [at universities] in the future."

The previous Rudd Government announced the formation of TEQSA to establish a national regulatory body for Australia's higher education system.

Floro revealed that ALSA has created four "working parties" in 2011.

The four new bodies, which will meet at least monthly, include a rural, remote and regional working party, curriculum review, pro bono and community practice and depression and mental health.

ALSA has previously consulted with BeyondBlue to produce a depression handbook for law students.

Floro, a law student at the University of Queensland, will be flying to Singapore later this week to attend the Asian Law Students' Association (AsianLSA) Conference in Singapore.

The AsianLSA and ALSA have an existing memorandum of understanding, signed in 2008, and Floro is seeking to strengthen ties with the peak Asian law students' body in the future.

ALSA represents approximately 28,000 law students in Australia.

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