Today’s legal professionals must be creative problem-solvers capable of working in a global, multi-disciplinary marketplace
DLS students have tackled contemporary global issues such as mental health, domestic abuse, and healthcare by participating in the award-winning global legal education program Law Without Walls (LWOW).
LWOW is an experiential learning initiative that brings together international students in a quest to develop human-centred law solutions for business, law, and social justice issues.
Deakin students Emily Hong, Julia Arrighi and Daniel Barac joined teams of students from around the world to work on real-world challenges that were set by a range of sponsoring global organisations.
Each team was supported by an LWOW project manager and an innovation coach, and in first four-week phase of the program, they learned to develop new and creative ways of solving problems says DLS lecturer Dr Antje Kreutzmann-Gallasch.
‘They had to assess the issue, re-define the problem, develop and present a preliminary solution to a group of experts. The teams then refined their project during the second, three-month phase,’ she explains.
With the support of ongoing team meetings and training webinars, the second three-month phase enabled students to refine their project and work on a prototype to develop a full business plan that was then presented to a judging panel.
‘The teams had to explain the problem and provide their refined and advanced solution which was judged on substance, creativity and viability,’ says Dr Kreutzmann-Gallasch.
DLS student Julia Arrighi’s team tackled the topic Mental Floss: How can we destigmatize mental health issues in the legal profession? which saw the students develop an app as their prototype.
‘By creating awareness of lawyers’ cognitive bias against mental issues, the app focused on the destigmatisation of mental health issues within the legal profession,’ Julia explains.
Julia designed a powerful and engaging aminated presentation for the judging panel and says participating in LWOW was a unique privilege.
‘It allowed me to collaborate and network with industry professionals and law students from across the world … a particularly unique experience, considering current travel restrictions. The team environment also helped me improve my intercultural communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, which will be transferrable across my future career.’
Emily Hong joined students from Argentina, Chile, Spain, USA, and Iceland to explore the issue of Personal protection: How can the legal system protect against those who experience domestic abuse during the pandemic?
Focusing on how legal profession can protect against domestic violence and abuse during the pandemic, they developed a questionnaire tool designed to help women recognise and understand the signs of coercive control.
‘The law is often reactive and can only intervene after the circumstances have escalated and the incident has been reported. Our project aimed to be proactive, encouraging young women to reach out and access support.LWOW gave me the opportunity to collaborate with students and mentors from all around the world to come up with viable, innovative solutions to real problems,’ she says.
With teammates from the USA and Brazil, Daniel Barac’s topic was Somewhere over the Rainbow: How might litigation funding help severely injured people get the home health care they need without having to give up the farm?
After delving into the USA’s healthcare and insurance sector, Daniel designed a team business plan (which went on to take out the Best Business Case prize) centred on a socially-driven home healthcare funding company to fund in-home medical assistance for injured litigants.
‘I developed and branded a new home healthcare funding company, completed financial reports, a business plan and venture capital pitches. Not only did I learn about the USA’s healthcare, insurance and litigation funding industries but I also developed invaluable problem-solving, teamwork and cultural competency skills that will serve me well into the future.’
Dr Kreutzmann-Gallasch says she’s very proud of the DLS students and their dedication to the entire LWOW program.
'They learned to face unknown tasks and problems. The new skills they gained will not only benefit them in their future studies but also when entering the job market.’