Real-life social justice issues are challenging the minds of an enthusiastic group of Macquarie Law School students. Building on the university’s strong commitment to foster and encourage legal social justice, a pilot Social Justice Clinic was established in the first semester of 2017.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between Dr Daniel Ghezelbash and Adjunct Professor George Newhouse (Principal Solicitor at the National Justice Project), who have worked together on numerous pro-bono human rights cases.
The clinic will give students the opportunity to work with the not-for-profit law firm, the National Justice Project on relevant and current social justice issues – including promoting human rights and fighting against disadvantage and discrimination.
Working with a Solicitor-Teacher, the one-day-a-week week clinic will deliver hands-on legal education for graduates, based on the successful US-style model used at institutions such as Harvard Law School.
By providing students with experiential learning opportunities on campus, the initiative builds on a long-held tradition at Macquarie Law School of studying law in context and law in society.
The clinic will build on the social justice advocacy unit as a way of giving students more practically focused units. As they work on real-life issues the students will gain experience in evidence-based advocacy and strategic litigation.
This style of clinic, which helps students develop the skills they would need to work in the social justice advocacy area, is considered to be the gold standard in clinical legal education.