Deakin Law School (DLS) is set to become a market leader in legal education by introducing new law clinics in mid-2016. The clinical program at DLS is designed to prepare law students for roles in an innovation driven economy, which focus increasingly on economic growth and investment.
The law clinics are designed to engage students in legal practice by responding to the needs of real clients under the supervision of practising lawyers and academics. The Venture Clinic for example, teaches students to implement theoretical knowledge in advising entrepreneurs on early stage business development. It particularly focuses on an innovation driven economy and technology start-ups. There will also be a Civil Justice Clinic, which will deal with civil justice cases. The law clinics are run at legal firms, attracting, assisting and advising real clients, with full responsibility over the management of client files.
The prime advantage to students who participate in law clinics is that they acquire the critical and practical skills and competencies employers are looking for. While employers assume that students graduate with a sound academic knowledge-base and the critical and reflective skills of rigorous academic training, they are increasingly seeking graduates with work-ready capabilities, much of which can only be developed through deep immersion and direct experience. Deakin Law School expects that the law clinics will position it as a market leader in legal education and training by offering the first Bachelor of Laws (LLB) program, which deals directly with the legal problems of, and designs the legal solutions, and the regulatory and policy approaches for, these new technology and businesses models.