Educating the Transnational Lawyer: Globalisation and the Effects on Legal Research Skills Training

Hutchinson, Terry C.M. (2006) Educating the Transnational Lawyer: Globalisation and the Effects on Legal Research Skills Training. In Australasian Law Teachers Association - ALTA, 4-7 July 2006, Melbourne, Victoria.


This paper argues that the forces of globalisation and the forecasts of an increasingly cosmopolitan professional future for law graduates, increase the importance of legal research training for the new generation of ‘transnational lawyers’. The contextual issues driving change in the Australian legal education sector, including Australian government interest in fostering research quality, the effects of extensive take-up of information technology in the higher education sector, the growth of trade in professional legal services, and policies aimed at internationalising the legal curriculum all point to a need for more extensive jurisdictional coverage within the legal research education framework. These factors support the need for expanded legal research and communication training at the undergraduate level, together with enhanced offerings at the postgraduate level. First year legal research units have traditionally focussed on inculcating basic research skills. These have ensured that students could ‘find the law’ in their own state jurisdictions, and also in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. The units have also usually included some basic legal writing skills.

This paper supports the need for more advanced research units within the undergraduate degree in order to build on this base in a planned and articulated fashion. Such units must include information about the legal systems of foreign jurisdictions together with training in researching the laws there. England, New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and the United States should be covered. International law should also be included. This extension of skills to cover research in international jurisdictions is vital for Australian lawyers, who are undoubtedly being affected by transnational forces.

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ID Code: 6600
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: legal research training, transnational lawyer, internationalising the legal curriculum
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (Please consult author)
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:24

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