Learning about the Law: A Study of the Use of Real World Experiences in Introductory Law Courses
Learning law should be concerned with understanding the dynamics of the law and the impact of the law on the community as a whole. Most students have had little exposure to any law in practice and our international students have little or no knowledge of the Australian legal system. Students' knowledge is often limited to what they glean from television and movies that generally depict the American justice system with Judge Judy and Ally McBeal as the world-wide experts on the adversarial system. In designing the curriculum for the first year introductory business law unit at the University of Sydney, it became apparent that students needed a concrete experience of their own upon which to discover knowledge about the law in practice. This paper explores the reasons for including court visits in courses and the importance of combining court visits with a written report. The paper also outlines the authors' experience of using court reports for assessment and explains how such a task can become a tool to identify students with difficulties in written academic English and thus an even more valuable teaching and learning strategy.
Keywords: Experiential Learning, Tertiary Education, Reflective Observation
Ms Patty Kamvounias
Lecturer, School of Business, University of Sydney
School of Business, University of Sydney