Graduate Attributes Underpin Everything We Do
Studying for a postgraduate qualification at the College of Law is not just about acquiring knowledge and skills for use in practice.
The College designs its courses and delivers them in a way that promotes the acquisition of qualities and styles which distinguish our graduates from those of other law schools and helps make our graduates attractive to employers and to clients.
Most fundamentally we are an Applied Law institution so the three qualities we try to encourage in our graduates are:
- Professional (who we are)
- Effective (how we work)
- Practical (what we achieve)
The three qualities can then be broken down into a small number of descriptors which elaborate on the qualities and provide a link from the qualities to the generation of Learning Outcomes in course design.
Professional (Who we are)
Effective (How we work)
Practical (What we achieve)
Accordingly, when we design courses we are mindful of the various descriptors which influence not so much the substance as the style and focus of the knowledge and skills being taught. In this way, a student learns requisite knowledge and skills for legal practice while simultaneously becoming more Professional, Effective and Practical – qualities much prized by employers, peers and the clients who use legal services.
DESCRIPTORS IN DETAIL
We know we can’t teach all graduates to be ethical in practice. But we can ensure all graduates are aware of their ethical duties in practice.
We do not believe in teaching ethics in a vacuum by limiting legal ethics to just one subject. Ethical issues arise in practice all the time. So that is the way we teach it – integrated throughout the PLT program and the Applied Law Programs where relevant.
As a lawyer you can never know or do it all. But you can at least learn what is most important – as well as how and where to find whatever you might need.
At the College, you will be exposed to highly knowledgeable lecturers and mentors.
You will learn to avoid common traps while accessing thinking at senior ranks of the profession.
You will also enjoy excellent professional networking opportunities.
We can’t teach you how to dress. But we can teach you how to present an argument – and how to conduct yourself in a professional and methodical manner.
Employers and clients are impressed by lawyers who can get to the heart of a matter quickly and communicate with clarity and confidence.
When you are ‘well-presented’ you are also ‘prepared’. And the more prepared you are, the better you will present.
We rely heavily on oral and performance-based assessments.
This will prepare you for legal practice – whether on the ground floor or the penthouse of the profession. Good preparation is a skill you must master to complete any course at the College.
Legal practice is a proud and ancient profession. But in the modern world it must operate in a competitive, commercial environment.
The only way to succeed in such an environment is to be attuned to the needs of your clients. They must believe that you are entirely on their side.
The College takes a problem-based approach to learning and assessment, putting the client at the centre.
To be both ‘well-presented’ and ‘client-centred’, you also need to be ‘clear’. Being clear means you have the ability to present written and oral arguments in a direct and unambiguous fashion.
Every lawyer must communicate clearly to ensure dialogue proceeds effectively and efficiently – thereby avoiding costly and wasteful confusion.
Clarity breeds confidence and facilitates completion and conclusion.
Lawyers are engaged for their expertise and their time. However, clients and other professionals also expect lawyers to respect their time by responding to their needs in a timely fashion.
Being responsive is also about substance. There is no point responding quickly without delivering value.
Learning to balance the priorities of numerous clients is a matter of professional judgment which we help you learn as you respond to the needs of lecturers and fellow students.
Understanding how to get the best results for clients often involves advice or input from other professionals, both legal and non-legal.
A collaborative approach also helps to ensure any solution you propose will be accepted and embraced by clients and other parties.
At the College, you will practise negotiation in a range of contexts while applying technical knowledge and other legal skills.
Being strategic is a way of thinking that underpins your entire professional approach.
Your strategy will help you get the best value out of your time and effort. It will also help to clarify your goals – and the best way to achieve them.
Lawyers who want to excel must be commercially aware – irrespective of the type of legal work they do.
If you have commercial clients, you must remain commercially aware to perform as they need you to.
Even if you have non-commercial clients, you still need to stay aware of the commercial world.
Commercial reality is a perspective that features regularly in all our programs.
Being ‘solution focused’ means you resolve issues in an optimal way rather than sticking to orthodox methods.
This is not about compromising. It’s about lateral-minded flexibility to achieve the best result for your client at the earliest possible stage.
Our courses emphasise negotiation and mediation as well as standard legal routes to save clients time and money.
Working according to a system means working efficiently and effectively. It also means not getting side-tracked by tasks or questions that are irrelevant to your goals.
All our courses are underpinned by a methodical, step-by-step approach to legal practice – whether you’re a graduate lawyer or a specialist.
At the College, we help you establish your own best systems for achieving your goals.