By Craig Over and Sabrina Tolsma
We began Day 2 of #ALTA2015 with parallel sessions. The ‘Equity and Accessibility in Legal Education’ panel explored different models for clinical legal education in law schools. Mandy Shircore outlined the program available to regional students located in the Cairns campus of James Cook University, while David Wiseman examined clinical programs and issues of access to justice in Canada. The ‘Frontiers of Legal Education’ panel canvassed the use of technology and the promotion of creative thinking in law schools. Stephen Colbran demonstrated the use of digital flashcards, storyboarding and animation in teaching legal ethics. Melissa DeZwart and Melissa Castan asked the big question are ‘law schools ready for tomorrow’s lawyers‘? And Gary Cazalet concluded that legal education has the potential to diminish creative thinking. Cazalet emphasised the importance of creative thinking for law students to promote well-being in law school and the legal profession.
At the ‘Legal Education – Foundations and Futures’ panel David Barker insightfully examined the development and history of legal education in Australia. This was followed by Scott Beattie exploring the demise of the legal text book and the rise of online legal texts through the integration of technology in teaching practice. Heath Grow and Anona Armstrong analysed the concept of academic leadership through recruitment advertisements of law Deans and Heads of School.
The ‘Assessment and Plagiarism’ panel started off with an engaging presentation on plagiarism. The first presentation emphasised that academics need to be mindful of distinguishing between plagiarism and poor referencing. Nick James and Kelly Burton explored some difficulties of assessing critical thinking in law schools. The panel concluded with an exposition of what teaching, learning and assessment practice looks like through a sample of 11 law schools across Australia.
La Trobe School of Law was very pleased to host this year’s Australasian Law Teachers Association conference at the outstanding City Campus. Congratulations to James Farrell for winning the best tweet of ALTA and Natasha Naude for winning the best selfie of ALTA for her impression of Ned Kelly at the Old Melbourne Gaol. We would like to thank the Honourable Michael Kirby and Professor Liz Tobin Tyler for addressing the conference on Day 1. We would also like to thank all the hard working volunteers, without which this conference would not have been possible. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who attended #ALTA2015. For those who travelled long distances we hope you enjoyed your stay in Melbourne and we wish you a pleasant journey home!
Craig Over and Sabrina Tolsma, ‘#ALTA2015 Day 2 Wrap Up’, Law and Justice, 20 July 2015 (La Trobe Law School Blog, http://law.blogs.latrobe.edu.au/)