In 2009, Newcastle Law School piloted an innovative program, “Lawyers of the Future”, designed to address the dearth of law students from rural and remote NSW backgrounds. After conducting focus groups with our existing law students from rural backgrounds, the School conducted a successful Schools’ visit program, involving a team of first year law teachers and hand-picked student mentors, to Orange, Dubbo and Mudgee in NSW. The Schools’ Visit program was complemented by networking sessions with local legal practitioners and Law Societies. At the commencement of the 2010 academic year, our commencing law students from rural and ATSI backgrounds were involved in an inaugural three-day Pre-law program, which focussed on social networking and academic skills enhancement to ease the transition to law school. The Pre-Law program was supported by first year law teachers, senior peer mentors and the University of Newcastle Law Students’ Association. This session considers the efficacy of the Newcastle program and its context within broader higher education priorities.
13th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference (FYHE2010). Proceedings of the 13th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference (Adelaide, S.A. 27-30 June, 2010)