Communal reflections on the workplace: Locating learning for the legal professional

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Woodley, Carolyn and Beattie, Scott (2011) Communal reflections on the workplace: Locating learning for the legal professional. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 12 (1). pp. 19-30. ISSN 1175-2882


There is an increased public expectation that Australian universities should assume responsibility for ensuring that their graduates are work-ready. Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne has implemented a commitment to Learning in the Workplace and Community (LiWC) which requires that 25 percent of all courses be assessed by situated learning. Workplace training has a long tradition in legal education. The real work environment is seen as basic to the training of legal professionals, through legal clinics, post-degree practical legal training and apprenticeship models such as articled clerkship. In the Bachelor of Laws degree at VU, typical of many law degrees, work placements are often extra-curricular and so have been invisible in terms of measurable learning outcomes or measurable LiWC components of a course. Law in Practice (LiP) is a unit of study that accredits the workplace experience and identifies and assesses the learning that occurs in the legal workplace. We argue that the significance of the ‘de-situated’ online space for both individual reflection and peer interaction is central to the syncretization of various sites of learning. As well as reporting on the curriculum design of the online resources, the discussion will draw on generalized analysis of student journals to report on student responses to LiWC as a learning experience enhanced through personal and social reflection in online discussion.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Current > Division/Research > Sir Zelman Cowen Centre
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > SEO Classification > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Keywords ResPubID24449, learning in the workplace, blogging, legal identities
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