Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Law


This thesis is an exploratory and quasi-experimental project about legal education in Australia – in particular, about law student writing and how it is supported and developed in Australian law schools. Australian law students now come from a wide variety of backgrounds, bringing with them a variety of prior learning experiences. However, despite the importance of writing to success in law school, and the recognised need to support the academic literacy of law students from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds, the issue of how law students’ writing should be supported and developed has not been extensively researched in Australia.

Australian law schools have been provided with some guidance as to how they might best teach writing to their students. Following the publication of the Threshold Learning Outcomes (‘TLOs’) for law in Australia in 2010, a series of Good Practice Guides (‘GPGs’) was developed to support the implementation of the TLOs. The GPG concerning TLO 5 (Communication and Collaboration) makes a number of key recommendations. These include that writing instruction should be embedded in classes with discipline content; writing support should be informed by an understanding of how students learn literacy; methods to facilitate skills transfer should be utilised; and there should be collaboration between academic literacy experts and law academics.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.