LAWS 2015 Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Michael Brogan Opens in new window

Description This subject examines the nature of the legal profession and its role in society. It deals with the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities legal practitioners owe to the law, the courts, their clients and to fellow practitioners, as well as the state and society at large. Students will be able to explain and evaluate the law and practice of legal practitioners, by reference to key topics, such as: professionalism; legal ethics; the history, structure and regulation of the legal profession; and the interpersonal, psychological and cultural factors affecting lawyers. Guided by an ethical decision-making model, students will demonstrate their ability to use primary legal materials to answer legal ethical problems.

School Law

Discipline Legal Practice

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Co-requisite(s) 200006 Introduction to Law OR
200977 Fundamentals of Australian Law

Equivalent Subjects 200020 Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this subject, students will be able to: 

  1. Explain the professional obligations of legal practitioners in an historical, ethical and regulatory context with reference to the duties of legal practitioners
  2. Communicate in a professional manner and context
  3. Consider the link between legal, psychological and cultural factors that underpin professional ethical decision making
  4. Advise on legal problems, utilising primary legal materials
  5. Explain the necessity for legal practitioners to effectively and ethically communicate across cultures, particularly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Subject Content

  1. The Legal Profession: Issues, Ethics and Lawyering.
  2. Professional Communication (including cultural understanding).
  3. Duty to the Law, Courts and Fellow Practitioners.
  4. Duty to Clients (including basic principles of trust accounting).
  5. Admission, Professional Misconduct and Discipline.
  6. Psychology and ethical decision making.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Professional Task 500 words 10 N Group
Viva Voce 15 minutes 45 N Individual
Final Exam 24 hours 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

Dal Pont, Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility, (Thomson Reuters, 7th Edition, 2020)

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Michael Brogan Opens in new window

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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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