Why ADR must be a mandatory subject in the law degree - the academy

Duffy, James & Field, Rachael M. (2013) Why ADR must be a mandatory subject in the law degree - the academy. In Australasian Law Teachers Association, 29 September - 1 October 2013, Canberra, ACT.


The profession of law is deeply steeped in tradition and conservatism. The content and pedagogy employed in law faculties across Australia is similarly steeped in tradition and conservatism. Indeed, the practice of law and our institutions of legal education are in a relationship of mutual influence; a dénouement which preserves the best aspects of our common law legal system, but also leaves the way we educate, practice, and think about the role of law, resistant to change. In this article, we lay down a challenge to legal education orthodoxy and a call to arms for legal academic progressivists. It is our simple argument that alternative dispute resolution should be a compulsory, stand alone subject in the law degree. There has been traditional pushback against the notion that alternative dispute resolution should have a place amongst black letter law subjects in the legal curriculum. This position cannot be maintained in the modern day legal climate. We put forward ten simple arguments as to why every law student should be exposed to a semester long course of ADR instruction. With respect to relationships of mutual influence, whether legal education should assimilate the practise of law, or shape the practise of law makes no difference here. Both views necessitate the inclusion of ADR as a compulsory subject in the law degree.

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ID Code: 63104
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, Legal education, Mandatory subject, Law degree
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 13 Oct 2013 23:38
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 01:33

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