The city location will enable Curtin University to deliver a new form of legal education, providing a hub for both formal and informal interactions between staff, students and in-house legal professionals.
The building, located at 57 Murray Street in the heart of Perth’s legal precinct, will include a law clinic specialising in small business disputes, and private barristers’ chambers, exposing students to the culture, community and ethics of legal practice early in their studies.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the Law School would offer an enriched and practical learning experience for students by drawing the world of legal practice into the classroom.
“Theoretical studies are very important for law schools, but the life blood of the law is practical experience. Legal education is much more than the ‘law in books’ and much of our program will highlight this for students,” Professor Terry said.
“The new premises have undergone significant restoration work by the National Trust in the past five years, and Curtin has added new technologies to enhance the academic experience.
“The facilities offered within this building, play a critical part in engendering a passion for a form of legal education that is unique and different, quite apart from the benefits of being physically located in the city,” Professor Terry said.
Foundation Dean of the Curtin University Law School, Professor Paul Fairall, said the heritage-listed building houses barristers’ chambers with a common room, which will see barristers work in-house and interact with students as part of a practical legal education program.
“We intend to use the expertise of practitioners for the benefit of our students and to ensure our curriculum meets the needs of the profession,” Professor Fairall said.
“A student advice clinic is also planned, which would give students the opportunity to gain practical law experience under the supervision of experienced practitioners.
“The Clinic will also provide legal assistance to members of the public in the area of small business.”
The new additions to the building include acoustically treated rooms, tracking cameras and large screens that will allow interactive events to take place with participants from around Australia and the world.
The month of May featured a series of events hosted at the new premises, with prominent speakers from the law profession engaging directly with staff and students.