My PhD candidature report card 2014

1416804548-kris-greaves211114It was a good year for my PhD candidature. I have learned a lot, and met dozens of interesting people online and through national and international conferences.

Here is my report card for 2014, with reference to my thesis, journal articles, conference presentations, awards, social media (status are cumulative) and other activities…

PhD Thesis

I am approaching the end-stage with my PhD Thesis, ‘Australian PLT Practitioners’ Engagements with Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’. The document is at near-final draft with 100,000 words written across twelve chapters and includes 40 figures. Proofing and editing continues, and subject to the comments of my supervisory panel, I anticipate I will notify my intention to submit the thesis for examination sometime before 30 March 2015.

Journal Articles

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Is Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Practical Legal Training a Professional Responsibility?’, The Law Teacher, forthcoming.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Re-Imagining Practical Legal Training Practitioners – Soldiers for ‘Vocationalism’, or Double Agents?’, Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, vol. 7, no. 1/2, p. forthcoming.

Conference Presentations

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research’, paper presented to Australasian Professional Legal Education Council Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, November 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘The Forks of Law: Structure and Agency in Australian Post-Graduate Pre- Admission Practical Legal Training’, paper presented to British Sociological Association Annual Conference – Changing Society, University of Leeds, UK, April 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘‘O Where Are You Going? O Do You Imagine?’ Reproduction and Response – A Reflexive Sociology of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Practical Legal Training’, paper presented to Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference – Responding to Change, Leeds, UK, April 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Professional Turns: The Juridical Field, Australian Practical Legal Training Practitioners, and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’, paper presented to ISSOTL14, Quebec City, Canada, October 2014.

Awards etc

Stan Marsh Bursary – Association of Law Teachers – Leeds, England, April 2014.

ISSOTL Award for Best Student Conference Verbal Presentation – International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning – Quebec, Canada, October 2014.

Print Media

Whiteley, Claire, ‘Innovative Train of Thought’, Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Australia), 21 November 2014.

Social Media (to date)

Academia.edu – Anon 2014, Kristoffer Greaves | Deakin University – Academia.edu, Academia.edu, retrieved 31 December 2014, KristofferGreaves> – 39 items, 463 views.

figshare – Anon 2014, figshare.com/authors/Kristoffer_Greaves/606543, figshare Digital Science, retrieved 31 December 2014, <http://figshare.com/authors/Kristoffer_Greaves/606543> – 42 items, 445 views.

PleagleTrainer Blog – Greaves, K 2014, PleagleTrainer Blog, Kristoffer Greaves, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 19,962 unique page views.

ResearchGate – Anon 2014, researchgate.net/profile/Kristoffer_Greaves/contributions, ResearchGate GmbH, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 23 items, 653 views.

SlideShare – Greaves, K 2014, My Presentations, Kristoffer Greaves, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 17 items, 17,823 views.

Social Science Research Network – Anon 2014, Greaves, Kristoffer Scholarly Papers, retrieved 31 December 2014, <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1850376> – 7 items, 3,501 views.

Twitter (PleagleTrainer) – Greaves, K 2014, PleagleTrainer, retrieved 31 December 2014, <https://twitter.com/PleagleTrainer> – 987 followers, 100,987 impressions since 4 December 2013.

YouTube – Greaves, K 2014, kglawyer Channel, retrieved 31 December 2014, < https://www.youtube.com/user/kglawyer> – 38 items, 4,723 views.

Other Activities

Presenter – ‘Working with NVivo’ – Methodology on Fridays – Deakin University, Waurn Ponds – 7 March 2014.

Presenter – ‘Advanced Techniques with NVivo’ – Deakin University Warrnambool Collective – Warrnambool, 21 June 2014.

Presenter – HDR Workshop on NVivo – Deakin University Burwood Campus – 19 August 2014.

Presenter – HDR Workshop on NVivo – Deakin University City Prime – 20 August 2014.

Independent Consultant: Invited to independently consult to the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council (APLEC) to rejuvenate their website and institute a digital research repository for scholarship of teaching and learning – November 2014 (details to be confirmed).

Consulting Editor: Joined editorial committee of the Legal Education Review as consulting editor – December 2014.

Peer reviewer: the Alternative Law Journal (AltJ), Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association (JALTA), Legal Education Review, and the Tasmanian Law Review – 2013 to 2014.

Participant: the Warrnambool Collective, Deakin University, Warrnambool – 2013 to 2015.

Curator: Social Media in Legal Education Blog – since July 2014.

Curator: LinkedIn Group – Practical Legal Training Educators Australasia – since 2012.

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Access to Justice Arrangements Final Report – Quick Look re PLT

access-justice-volume1The Productivity Commission’s final inquiry report regarding Access to Justice Arrangements (5 September 2014) was released on 4 December 2014. You can download the report here.

I have previously discussed the draft report and some submissions to the inquiry here.

I have quickly scanned the report for what it states about practical legal training. Firstly, Recommendation 7.1 (underlining added):

RECOMMENDATION 7.1 The Law, Crime and Community Safety Council, in consultation with universities and the professions, should conduct a systemic review of the current status of the three stages 
of legal education (university, practical legal training and continuing professional development). The review should commence in 2015 and consider the: 


  • appropriate role of, and overall balance between, each of the three stages of legal education and training 

  • ongoing need for each of the core areas of knowledge in law degrees, as currently specified in the 11 Academic Requirements for Admission, and their relevance to legal practice 

  • best way to incorporate the full range of legal dispute resolution options, including non-adversarial and non-court options, and the ability 
appropriate resolution option to the dispute type and characteristics into one (or more) of the stages of legal education 

  • relative merits of increased clinical legal education at the university or practical 
training stages of education
  • regulatory oversight 
for each stage, including the nature of tasks that could 
appropriately be conducted by individuals who have completed each stage of education, and any potential to consolidate roles in regulating admission, practising certificates and continuing professional development. Consideration should be given to the Western Australian and Victorian models in this regard. 


The Law, Crime and Community Safety Council should consider the recommendations of the review in time to enable implementation of outcomes by the commencement of the 2017 academic year.

The first dot point is very interesting – Noel Jackling cites the Trew Report (1966), the Freadman Report (1969), the McDowell Report (1971), the Ormrod Report (1971) and the Victorian Joint Working Party Report (1985) as all adopting a ‘compartmentalised’ model, ‘in which the stages [of legal education] follow each other’.  A review of the three-stage model would have implications for those who have treated the three compartments as watertight in the past. I believe such a review is overdue.

Increased clinical legal education during the academic or PLT stage could have challenging consequences. I support clinical legal education for teaching and learning in law; however there are substantial administrative and financial factors associated with it. As the report observes at p. 249:

Although it has benefits, clinical legal education is very intensive in terms of staff resources, and is therefore relatively expensive when compared with more traditional university-based methods for teaching law.

I would not like to see an  approach to new requirements that might inhibit diversity, equity, and parity of access to legal education.

Regulatory oversight is also an interesting issue in PLT – I have received  feedback from PLT practitioners about  regulators’ resistance to change and innovation in teaching and learning theory and practices in PLT.

The recommendation contemplates the review of the three-stage model commencing next year and concluding before the 2017 academic year – so hold on to your hats – this will be an exciting ride!

Volume 1, p. 242 of the report includes a brief summary of ‘practical legal training and admission’.  Curiously, the report omits mention of one of the longest-serving PLT providers, the Leo Cussen Institute, when stating PLT courses ‘are offered online and throughout the country by universities, the College of Law and other select training bodies’.

Volume 1, p. 248 – the report states ‘Clinical legal education can provide more practical training’ but observes it should not just be an ‘add-on’ to the academic degree, later adding at p. 249 (underlining added):

Given the increasingly generalist role of the undergraduate law degree, a focus on elements that are specific to practising in the legal profession (as distinct from corporate or government work) could be misplaced. However, in postgraduate study (such as JDs or PLT), the use of clinical legal education to concurrently develop knowledge and skills may prove a valuable means to expedite courses while still maintaining quality.

It is not clear on first reading whether the Commission considered the work experience component of PLT. If the intention is to supplement the work experience component with clinical legal education, this may or may not solve the current problem of the shortage of work experience placements, provided the admission boards accept clinical legal education undertaken during PLT as part of the pre-admission work experience requirements. The Commission refers to the Newcastle University’s integrated program of academic, clinical legal education, and PLT, seemingly taking this as a model for what might be done. My understanding, however, is that graduates from integrated programs face difficulty in having the PLT qualification accepted for admission in some jurisdictions.

Vol 1, p. 252 – in discussing a ‘balancing’ of the three stages of legal education and training, the Commission states (underlining added):

Simply adding new elements to legal education (ADR, clinical legal education) risks driving up the cost and duration of education. Instead, the role of each of these stages in training professional lawyers should be examined. Such elements need to be incorporated or ‘embedded’ into the broader learning process. Given the tendency towards more ‘generalist’ undergraduate law degrees a tiered approach to education might be appropriate, with strengthened postgraduate or practical legal training for those who intend to practice.

This seems to contemplate a more integrated approach, but with qualifications structured for practitioners and non-practitioners. An integrated approach could have modules mandated for the practitioner stream, and to which non-practitioners could later return if they chose to qualify for practice. There might be some (not insurmountable) challenges for instructional design if an integrated approach is adopted. Consider, for example, a pervasive approach to teaching subjects such as professional responsibility and legal ethics across the curriculum – instructional designers would need to track whether learning concepts are adequately covered in both practitioner and non-practitioner streams.

So that’s a quick look – I hope to complete a more detailed examination of the report early next year, with a comparison between the final report and the submissions considered regarding PLT.


 

Noel Jackling, ‘Academic and Practical Legal Education: Where Next’ (1986) 4 Journal of Professional Legal Education 1.

Productivity Commission, ‘Access to Justice Arrangements – Productivity Commission Inquiry Report’ (Productivity Commission, 2014).

The Committee on Legal Education, ‘Report Of The Committee On Legal Education (“The Ormrod Report”)’ (The Committee on Legal Education, 1971).

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in PLT gets a Bit ‘o Press…

1416804548-kris-greaves211114The excellent people at Deakin University were pleased when I received an award from the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at their recent annual conference held in Quebec City, Canada (ISSOTL14). The award was for best oral presentation by a post-graduate student, and I appreciate receiving it, given I was presenting my research to a new audience of interdisciplinary scholars. It is always an unknown quantity when one travels to another country and presents in front of an international audience who are unlikely to be familiar with your work or the peculiarities of your discipline. I am heartened by the warmth and friendliness of people at overseas conferences, particularly the Association of Law Teachers annual conference in Leeds, England, earlier this year, and ISSOTL14. Thanks to Dr Michael McShane, who alerted me to ISSOTL14 and prompted me to submit an abstract for the conference.

Geelong Advertiser 211114Thanks also to my supervisor, Dr Julianne Lynch, who is supportive in that rare constructively confronting way essential to great academic supervision – Juli prompted the Deakin Research group to spread news of the award – their research writer Claire Whiteley interviewed me and wrote a nice item, published in the Geelong Advertiser (the local news) and reproduced on Deakin’s Research Showcase website. Scholarship of teaching and learning in practical legal training is a bit of a niche topic – so it is good to see it get a public outing.

 

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#APLEC2014 – “Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research”

I am attending the annual conference for the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council hosted by the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Auckland this year (13-15 November 2014). I will post some impressions from the sessions I’ve attended after I return to Australia today, but overall the standard of the presentations is very high and there seems to be  momentum building for research in PLT practice. Thanks to APLEC for their support for my attendance at the conference.

I presented yesterday on “Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research” – I am arguing  PLT practice research encompasses professional practice research, scholarship of teaching and learning in professional legal education and the social, cultural, regulation, and policy around PLT.

Here’s a copy of my Prezi (more on this later):

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Just a couple more weeks until #issotl14 Quebec City

I’m looking forward to attending the annual conference held by the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Quebec City, 22-25 October 2014.

I will be presenting a paper, however the main purpose in making this trip is to get an up close look at the current interdisciplinary work around SoTL.

My paper focuses on PLT practitioner as a still-emergent professional trajectory in law. Institutional PLT has been around in Australia since the 1970s, but is still novel in the arc of the English common law tradition. There are some interesting epistemological challenges and opportunities for PLT practitioners and PLT providers around “what counts” in PLT teaching and learning.

issotletitleslide

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“Stale Qualifications” and Admission to the Legal Profession

Earlier this year, the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board  approved amendments to admission rules, which will take effect from 1 January 2015. You can read the NSW LPAB’s update here.

Admission to the Australian legal profession requires candidates to show they have the required academic qualifications, satisfactorily completed practical legal training, and meet “suitability” requirements.

In essence, the LPAB’s amendments require that completion of academic and PLT requirements occurred in the 5 years before application for admission. Applicants with “stale” qualifications will be required to apply to have their qualifications assessed.

The amendments seem consistent with the Law Admissions Consultative Committee “Uniform Admission Rules 2014”, in particular Schedule 3, “Common Considerations Relevant to Stale Qualifications”.

I have not checked, but I expect that jurisdictions other than New South Wales would adopt similar amendments. As always, information supplied here is of a general nature, and not legal advice. It is always prudent to check the law applicable to your particular circumstances, at the earliest opportunity.

LACC supplies a list of admitting authorities here.

 

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