ACU Law students get started

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Mabo, land rights, and social change were hot on the agenda at ACU's Law Induction Week in Melbourne.

More than 180 first-year ACU law students participated in a range of lectures and activities designed get them off to a successful start – including discussions, debates, moot preparation, and introduction to ACU’s Pro-Bono experience program.

ACU Professor of Law Fr Frank Brennan delivered the inaugural lecture to the first cohort of students to study law at the University.

“Law has the power to change and shape attitudes,” he said. “The High Court’s Mabo decision was instrumental in changing the way we think about Aboriginal rights in Australia.”

“Lawyers need to know about so much more than just the law. They need to consider not just the structure and content of the law, but the values that underlie it,” he said.

Executive Dean of ACU’s Faculty of Law, Professor Brian Fitzgerald, said that a unique aspect of ACU’s law programs is that all students are required to complete a minimum of 240 hours of Pro Bono legal experience.

“A key focus of the program is community service, and this will help students in developing ethical values and responsibility, whilst gaining practical legal work experience,” he said.

“In gaining this experience ACU law students will assist in meeting demand for legal assistance for the low income, socially disadvantaged and marginalised people in our local community.”

PhD student Kylie Pappalardo said that “ACU’s Law Induction Week has been a great way to meet fellow ACU students, to liaise with ACU staff, and to be inspired by highly regarded legal professionals."

“ACU Law is an exciting new enterprise.  I can’t wait to see the first-year ACU Law students get started.”

“Highlights of the week included inspirational talks from leading practitioners in the Pro Bono sector, along with a commercial and consumer law based moot before a number of leading barristers.”