School of law

Clinic at Murdoch

Statement from the Clinical Director

Anna 2016.jpgOur Clinical Legal Education program has an international reputation and is a national leader in both student education and client service. Since 1997, our Clinic, through its collaboration with SCALES Community Legal Centre, has placed students within a real legal practice, offering legal advice and representation to clients that are marginalised or disadvantaged. It provides a unique opportunity for our students to develop their legal skills while gaining a deeper understanding of law in context. Students have the opportunity to work on a range of legal matters, and use a broad range of skills, including interviewing, formulating advice, advocacy and representation. Some of the cases our students have been involved in include:

  • A High Court case which became the precedent for safe third country issues in asylum law
  • Supreme Court action around the rights of juveniles while detained
  • A decision from the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the issue of torture
  • Numerous Parliamentary Enquiries at both a state and federal level
  • Reports and submissions to the United Nations, both the Committee system and the Special Rapporteurs

Our clinic offers our students an opportunity to explore the role of law in society, what legal practice can achieve and what are its limitations. This all contributes to students developing a clear picture of the kind of legal practitioner they want to be, while giving them the skills to become that practitioner.

About Scales

SCALES, The Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service Inc., is a community legal centre which allows Murdoch Law students the opportunity to participate in Clinical Legal Education. Students enrolled in the programme are given the opportunity to work independently on their own cases and be responsible for their own clients. Clinical Legal Education at SCALES is an invaluable experience for any law student, allowing them the chance to apply their knowledge and skills to real world situations. Law students with a keen interest in practising law and in social justice can apply themselves to first-hand legal practice, receive valuable feedback on their efforts and partake in guided reflection on the professional role and its responsibilities to the larger society. The opportunity to apply and hone legal skills afforded by Clinical Legal Practice will form a core part of the legal education of any student who wishes to pursue it. SCALES was established by Murdoch University in partnership with the local community in 1997 and provides free legal advice and representation to low income people living in the Kwinana and Rockingham areas. In addition to representing clients, the clinical programme includes non-litigation strategies for legal change, like community education and law reform.

More Information

For Students:

For people seeking advice from SCALES: