ABOUT IN-HOUSE PRACTICE

In-house practitioners are crucial to the daily function of the corporations and organisations they represent.

The LLM (Applied Law) with a major in In-house Practice enables:

  • Private practitioners moving in-house to develop their skills 
  • In-house practitioners to work more effectively in their role  


This program focuses on the commercial aspects of being an in-house lawyer. The law is covered, but always in the context of the commercial realities faced by in-house counsel.

It completely changes the way you practise. It takes you to another level. You can really tell lawyers that have actually done the course because they practise at a completely different level.

Catherine Leach

Managing Director, Leach Legal, Perth Australia

COURSE INFORMATION

IHP101 Foundations of In-house Practice

This subject has been developed around the core issues faced by in-house lawyers and the unique environment in which they must discharge their legal and professional obligations.

In-house lawyers must be able to communicate effectively and deal with all organisational levels up to the board and the directors. The in-house role also requires a thorough understanding of the risks the client faces in its operations. From a management aspect, in-house lawyers must today understand how to provide appropriate service levels, optimise execution and yet manage costs while achieving scale in both of these areas.

Topics
  • Acting in the private and public sectors
  • Challenges for in-house lawyers - balancing role as facilitator against role as guardian
  • Drafting effective reports, advices and other communications in an in-house environment
  • Understanding the role of the director and the board
  • Understanding corporate governance and risk management
  • Balancing your role as facilitator against your compliance obligations
  • Managing your own risk – limiting your liability if something goes wrong
  • Understanding professional duties; maintaining confidentiality and privilege
  • Recognising conflicts of interest and duties; complying with statutory requirements
  • Briefing out: an introduction to outsourcing external lawyers; managing the relationship and costs
IHP102 Managing Disputes

This subject deals with the various ways in which the in-house lawyer may be called upon to represent the interests of the company or government in dispute management (including litigation) and in other contexts which require negotiation skills. The subject also examines some of the practicalities of managing both internal and external disputes, including inter-departmental co-ordination and enlisting the support of senior management.

Topics
  • Understanding dispute management
  • Managing complaints effectively
  • Identifying dispute management processes
  • Managing electronic communication
  • Managing information and documents
  • Implementing document retention policies
  • Maintaining legal professional privilege
  • Legal Services Directions and managing FOI
  • Managing external lawyers
  • Managing interlocutory processes
  • Managing the discovery process
  • Quantifying claims
  • Representing the client
  • Dealing with negotiation and mediation
IHP111 Acting as a Company Secretary

The in-house lawyer is frequently tasked with a dual role as company secretary. Developing core governance competencies is an integral part of this role, particularly in the light of recent corporate collapses and inquiries which have highlighted the effects of poor corporate governance within organisations. Company secretaries need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to discharge their duties effectively.

Topics
  • Understanding the role of the company secretary
  • Balancing the roles of the in-house lawyer and company secretary
  • Managing the relationship with the board
  • Applying corporate governance principles
  • Understanding the accountability of company secretaries
  • Managing company information
  • Conducting meetings
  • Not-for-profit and Government Organisations
  • Acting as company secretary in not-for-profit organisations
  • Assessing Performance
  • Designing programs to induct and assess performance
IHP112 Managing the Legal Team

Senior management will usually judge the legal team on its contribution to the organisation’s key objectives. To achieve this outcome, the legal team’s technical legal skills must be supported by effective management.

This subject deals with the principles of legal practice management in a corporate or government context and covers some of the knowledge and skills required to manage a legal team.

Topics
  • The in-house legal team and the organisation understanding and communicating the value proposition
  • Leading the in-house legal team – managing strategy and structure
  • Managing the budget, the people and crises
  • Selecting and managing external lawyers
IHP116 Multi-Disciplinary Project Management

Project management encompasses a broad range of disciplines and skills. This subject focuses upon supporting the project management activities of the relevant players in a project role through the lifecycle of a major project. The objective is not to prepare lawyers to be project managers, but rather it is to familiarise you with the various components of the project lifecycle and with a lawyer’s role and contribution at the various stages of the lifecycle.

Topics:
  • Understanding the project process and lifecycle
  • Defining the project and conducting preliminary analysis
  • Selecting project delivery methods
  • Analysing and identifying risk
  • Setting up project delivery structures
  • Design and Documentation Phase
  • Specifying project requirements
  • Dealing with contractual issues
  • Project Procurement Phase
  • Conducting the tender process and awarding contracts
  • Project Delivery Phase
  • Administering the contract and controlling budget, time and quality
  • Dealing with common problems and disputes
  • Completing and commissioning
  • Operational Phase
  • Reviewing key learning and operational issues
IHP00 Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is taken as your final subject, as a culmination of the knowledge and skills attained throughout your major. It will allow you to demonstrate your skills in a specialist practice area using real-life scenarios and case studies.

Throughout the intake, you will receive individualised feedback from your lecturer and will also have access to a rich array of skills modules that include guides, samples, and practice exercises for honing your legal skills.

The highlight of the Capstone Project is the final task, where you will prepare a Final Portfolio that demonstrates your legal writing, research, and oral skills.

The subject has four components:
  • Four short answer questions
  • Two legal writing samples
  • Oral communication (e.g. client interview) assessment held through online conferencing
  • Reflective analysis of oral communication


Advisory Board

David Cosgrave Director, Legal Services University of Southern Queensland 

Tony de Govrik In-house Legal Advisor, A C de Govrik & Associates

Dion Gooderham Senior Corporate Counsel, IAG 

Angela Taylor Global Head Legal and Compliance, Corporate Group in Financial Services Sector 

Chris Woodforde Principal and Owner, Bridgewater Strategies Pty Limited 

Emma Zipper General Counsel & Company Secretary, Bupa ANZ


Teaching Staff

Jairan Amigh Corporate Governance and Legal Professional 

David Cosgrave Director, Legal Services, University of Southern Queensland

Craig Smith Adjunct Lecturer, The College of Law and Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

Jean-Paul Wallace General Counsel, CPD Contractors


Advisory Board

Chris Bland Principal, Legal Tradecraft Consulting

I found the lecturers very knowledgeable and also known in the industry so I felt like I was getting first-hand knowledge from people who knew what they were doing.

Carla Parsons, Director, Parsons Law

Applied Law Program

It changes the way you practice completely, it takes you to another level. You can really tell lawyers that have actually done the course because they practice at a completely different level.

Catherine Leach, Managing Director, Leach Legal

Applied Law Program

It’s great when you have lecturers who are academics leaders in the field or leading practitioners in the field and barristers. It makes you feel as though you’re going to have the edge on other people learning the same sort of course.

Edward Maragna, Solicitor, MRH Lawyers

Applied Law Program
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