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LAWS5358 Innovations in Legal Practice Management

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This is an elective offered to students commencing their final year of the Juris Doctor and other postgraduate law students. The way lawyers and law firms run their business and deliver their services is rapidly changing. It is critical that law graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in future legal practice. This unit seeks to provide students with an understanding of the professional, ethical and business framework within which legal services are provided, and appreciation of how the provision of legal services is continually evolving in response to client need, regulation and technological development. The unit addresses three key themes. First, it explores an understanding of the business of law, including the economics of running a legal practice and the development of ethical business processes and strategies. Second, it considers the role of people and practice management in the delivery of legal services. This includes consideration of how to recruit, engage, upskill and lead staff in an ethical, client-focused and changing legal environment. Third, it considers the role of technology in the transformation of how lawyers and law firms perform legal work and deliver legal services. The unit will provide students with an understanding of the business of law as distinct from the service of law. It will provide students with an understanding of the key concepts of legal project management, leadership, strategy, pricing, business development, transformation + innovation and change management, specifically within a legal context.
Students are able to (1) apply understanding of the business of running a private legal practice to formulate a competitive business strategy incorporating appropriate legal business processes; (2) analyse the role of professional ethics and people management in the development of legal practice management strategies; (3) create strategies for responding to the changing role and possibilities of technology so as to optimise the delivery of legal services; and (4) create clear, concise and persuasive arguments, both orally and in writing, relating to the changing nature of legal practice and the provision of contemporary legal services.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group presentation; (2) participation; and (3) assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Aaron McDonald and Lauren Ziegelaar
Unit rules
For JD students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics; LAWS5109 Dispute Resolution; LAWS5101 Constitutional Law; LAWS5103 Equity and Trusts; LAWS5102 Administrative Law; LAWS5104 Corporations Law; LAWS5105 Remedies
Contact hours
Seminars: 5 days (9am - 4pm)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.