Conference Paper- ‘Access to Justice – Making it Come Alive and a Reality for Students and Enabling Engaged Future Practitioners’

12 Pages Posted: 31 May 2016

See all articles by Liz Curran

Liz Curran

Nottingham Trent University

Date Written: June 21, 2015


The presentation commenced with a 20 minute discussion and illustration by Dr. Liz Curran who has worked for many years as a clinical legal education supervising solicitor in an academic role and now works in Professional Legal Training role in the ANU Legal Workshop. She has been an active researcher on access to justice and human rights for over a decade with numerous research projects, articles and as a commentator.

In 2008 Dr Curran wrote in the Alternative Law Journal that ‘from this vantage point, being an academic and a practitioner, a constructive inter-play occurs where theory can inform practice and vice versa.’ It is this inter-play which can make a valuable contribution to policy debates, student learning and development and their sense of being involved in upholding justice and the rule of law. From such a vantage point, universities in their teaching and research and policy makers can tap into evidence based information on the experience of the day-to-day dilemmas facing the members of the community for whom survival, emotional and physical well-being can be precarious.

Dr Curran’s presentation outlines:

• How by using scenario based learning and role play rooted in real client experience of the complexity of the legal system and services to the most disadvantaged can inform, expose and better prepare students for practice. The presenter will outline examples of using role play rooted in real life experience that she utilised that can add a human dimension to skills based learning and a critical consideration of the law and its application in graduate and under-graduate teaching.

• How using materials and assessments that involve students in identifying trends and exploring solutions to problems can assist them as future lawyers in seeing they have a place in shaping the administration of justice more broadly. She will provide examples of how students’ work has influenced decision-makers.

This presentation was followed by a 20-minute interactive conversation with questions to stimulate small group discussion and report back.

• Logistics, for example, maximum number of participants, AV requirements and desirable room configuration.

Keywords: Teaching Access to Justice; Professional Legal Education; Making Practice-ready students

Suggested Citation

Curran, Elizabeth, Conference Paper- ‘Access to Justice – Making it Come Alive and a Reality for Students and Enabling Engaged Future Practitioners’ (June 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Elizabeth Curran (Contact Author)

Nottingham Trent University ( email )

Chaucer Building
Chaucer Street
Nottingham, NG1 5LP
United Kingdom

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