The New Lawyer

James, Nickolas & Field, Rachael (2013) The New Lawyer. John Wiley and Sons Australia, Milton, Qld.

View at publisher


This text is designed to implement the Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for law in the first year, and to incorporate Sally Kift’s First Year Curriculum principles:

This is a learning-centered text book intentionally designed for first year students and written by experts in legal education and the first year experience. It is written in a tone and style that engages and communicates effectively with first year law students, without compromising its rigour. It provides students with opportunities to contextualise and make sense of their learning by connecting that learning with what they already know, and with current contemporary issues and affairs.

This work is designed to ease students through the transition from a diverse variety of backgrounds (such as high school, work or other disciplines) to the first year of law. It provides practical guidance about adjusting to law school and to university. Students are asked to regularly reflect upon why they are studying law.

The book also prepares law students for success in their latter year studies in law by ensuring that they are equipped with the necessary threshold concepts and foundational skills to do well: for example, research skills (particularly, online research skills), reasoning skills, written communication skills, negotiation skills, and self-management skills. A range of practical tips on studying law are provided throughout the book.

The work also asks students to engage with developing an emergent sense of professional identity – including what it means to ‘think like a lawyer’. In supporting the students to engage with the concept of professional identity, the work begins a process of preparing students for transition from law school to legal practice. This is achieved by providing explanations of how the material being presented relates to the practice of law, as well as practical information relating to employability skills as a new graduate.

This work has a number of learning and teaching objectives to enhance the quality of student learning in their first year of law by engaging, motivating and supporting that learning.

First, the work is designed to engage first year students with their legal education and with a future sense of professional identity. It does this through its: • Dynamic writing style • Engaging format • Inclusion of contemporary issues and events • Flowcharts, checklists, mind-maps, tables and timelines • Inclusion of real-world problems and dilemmas.

Second, the text motivates student learning by promoting active learning. It does this by: • Demonstrating, and asking students to practice, what they need to do – that is, the work is not simply focussed on telling students what they need to know • Including regular self-directed learning exercises throughout each chapter, such as practical exercises for the development of important foundational legal skills • Including exercises that promote student collaboration, and that require students to apply their learning to practical situations, and • Incorporating a range of interesting active thinking points and research activities.

Third, the book supports student learning by encouraging reflective learning and independent learning. It does this by including: • Specific content on how to be a reflective practitioner and an independent learner • Exercises that require students to engage in independent learning, particularly in relation to legal research skill development • Exercises requiring students to reflect upon what they have learned, and encouraging students to keep a reflective learning journal • Exercises requiring students to reflect upon their own views and beliefs • Reflection on whether students have achieved the learning objectives articulated at the beginning of the chapter.

The work also: • Demonstrates respect for student experiences, views, opinions and values • Acknowledges student diversity • Recognises the importance of being globally minded law students and lawyers • Supports law teachers in using the work in their classrooms through the provision of comprehensive teaching materials.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 75544
Item Type: Book
Keywords: First year, law in context, threshold learning outcomes, threshold concepts for law
ISBN: 9780730301547
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Access to Justice (180102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems) (180120)
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
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2014 23:31
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2014 22:30

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page