LW6001 - Student Law Office

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What will I learn on this module?

This module is based on experiential learning, or ‘learning through doing’. In this module, through real and simulated experiences with clients, you will develop a range of key lawyering skills, as well as effective workplace skills and enhancing your own interpersonal skills.
You will also work with your supervisor to develop the ability to reflect on your learning. This reflection is at the heart of the clinical experience, enabling you to understand your own learning process, and to fit your individual experiences into a wider context of personal and professional ethics and practice, and the social and economic contexts of law.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will draw on the knowledge and understanding of legal subjects and legal methods you have encountered in previous levels. You will learn through working on your client cases, approaching this as lawyers would in practice but carrying out all work under close supervision of a legally qualified member of staff. You will have been prepared for this method of learning through problem based and enquiry based learning modules in years 1 and 2. You will work collaboratively and independently to identify and research your client’s legal problems and take any necessary steps to progress the case. You will conduct your work in the Student Law Office under supervision of qualified members of staff and will maintain files and comply with the administrative, ethical and professional conduct requirements for legal practice. You will be required to manage your time effectively so that you can conduct the work your case files promptly. You will benefit from a high staff to students ratio, working in a small groups (known as firms) of 6-8 students , with one main supervisor throughout the year, generally specialising in a particular area of work.
There will be an initial training programme, to develop appropriate levels of skills to engage in live client work. This will utilise a range of experiential teaching methods.

Independent learning will centre on you identifying clients needs and goals, investigating the facts and legal issues, and providing practical legal advice.

Throughout the module you will receive feedback from your supervisor on your performance, through oral and written feedback on the work you prepare on client cases and for firm meetings. That feedback process is formalised both through the weekly firm meetings (group work) discussion and reflection, and through the keeping of a portfolio with all drafts of work and of feedback.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

This module provides a high level of personal support from your supervisor, who will meet with you and your ‘firm’ regularly , and will provide formative feedback throughout the module, through initial induction, orientation and skills training using experiential methods such as role play using ‘standardised clients’ , and then through the client- based legal work you will carry out under their supervision. You will also be able to access peer support through close working with other students within the module.
As well as ongoing formative feedback from your supervisor throughout the module on your work and performance, and your ability to develop reflective skills, you will have a one to one review meeting with your supervisor specifically to provide feedback and to encourage you to reflect on your own performance to date.
The module has an eLP site which gives guidance on legal skills, reflection and assessment in the module. There are regular meetings between supervisors and firm representatives to deal with any issues and the module tutor can be contacted in addition to your supervisor in respect of any problems.
The Student Law Office Administration team is responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They and the Module tutor will contact you throughout the duration of your module with assignment hand-in dates and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:

• Developed knowledge and understanding of how the substantive law operates in the context of practice and recognise ambiguity and deal with uncertainty of the law in a practical context.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
In a clinical context, you will develop the skills to:
• Be able to conduct enquiries both in a practice and substantive law context and understand the importance of evidence in the construction of arguments.

• Communicate orally or in writing ideas, information problems and solutions to specialist and non – specialist audiences.

• To consolidate and apply knowledge and understanding to complex actual or hypothetical legal problems and to further extend understanding so as to find solutions and construct sustainable and evidenced arguments in the conduct of a legal case or project.
• To conduct self –directed research including accurate identification of issues which require researching, retrieval and evaluation of accurate, current and relevant information from a range of appropriate sources including primary sources.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• To exercise initiative, self-manage and exercise judgement in a professional and ethical manner and to reflect on your personal and professional development .
• To display the attitudes and skills to engage and work constructively and sensitively in multicultural environments and teams.

How will I be assessed?

Your performance in relation to your clinic work will be assessed through continuous assessment, and with reference to the portfolio you will submit at the end of the module, incorporating your key pieces of work. The portfolio will include work evidencing that you have developed an understanding of the reflective skills required in professional practice and a report which takes an aspect of the legal practice experience and critically examines the context in which this has occurred..

Formative assessment – your supervisor will provide on going feedback on the work such as practical research reports and letters you produce in relation to your clinical experience, and you will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), as part of your reflective development. There will be a structured programme of support for the contextual report in parallel with firm supervision.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

The award-winning Student Law Office is an in-house law centre within the University, with state of the art facilities. This internationally respected teaching programme provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their legal skills within an authentic practice environment, and includes work on real cases for the public under the supervision of practitioner members of staff, enabling you to develop key employability skills.
Student satisfaction rates for this module are very high, with students able to develop personally, as well as professionally and academically.

Northumbria University was awarded the prestigious Queens Anniversary Prize , for the exceptional work of its Student Law Office. The prize , the highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic institution, was awarded in recognition of work judged to be of outstanding excellence and with positive impact, and for having: “A university law clinic making a distinctive contribution to the needs of the local community and to legal education.”

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 60

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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