To introduce first year students to their legal studies, the UQLA and the Law School provide an intensive small-group programme in Orientation Week.
Students are organised into groups of 30, which are led by a member of the UQ academic staff and a member of the UQ Law Society (UQLS).
For each group, the programme commences in the Supreme Court Library with a short introduction to the legal system by the President of the UQLA. The group then visits the Banco Court, to hear about the court system from a Supreme Court Judge. The third element of the programme is a visit to a criminal court room, to hear about the criminal trial system from a senior prosecutor from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The group is then briefed about a criminal trial which is in progress, and has an opportunity to observe the progress of that trial. The group then visits a set of barristers’ chambers to hear from a practising barrister about the work of the Bar. Finally, the group visits the College of Law to hear from a practising solicitor about the work of the wider legal profession.
This programme is intended to serve a number of purposes. At the very least, it gives all new students an opportunity to meet some of their new colleagues at the Law School – and at least one Judge, barrister, solicitor and member of the Law School’s academic staff. More importantly, it provides personal experience of the courts and the profession, which helps put in context the principles and materials studied in first year.
The UQLA is very grateful for the continuing support for this programme provided by the Judges of the Supreme and District Courts, the Supreme Court Library, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the College of Law and the participating barristers and solicitors.