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76097 Local Internship

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 70617 Administrative Law
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 78292 Local Legal Internship Program AND 94680 Entering Professional Life (6cp) AND 94681 Entering Professional Life (8cp)


To apply for Autumn 2018, students must complete an application in CareerHub before 29 January 2018. Students will be notified of the outcome by 9 February 2018. Spring 2018 applications close on Friday 4 May 2018.


Internship subjects enable students to apply their academic learning to a professional context and in so doing, produce better-equipped legal graduates. This subject provides students with the opportunity to obtain practical legal experience and to develop professional skills through work with a local host organisation. An internship exposes students to a 'live working environment' of practitioners, professionals and peers and can help shape future directions and career options. An internship enables students to apply their learning to practice and can help to enrich and enliven the classroom experience. Students further develop key personal and professional skills and attributes including reflective practice and the capacity to identify gaps in knowledge and skills.

The subject involves participation in an internship for 11 weeks during the teaching session as well as certain academic requirements for the subject including a pre-departure preparatory meeting, reflective journals and a post-internship presentation. Information about internship opportunities, application and enrolment into this subject can be found on the Law website. Find out more about the newly established Redfern Legal Centre Practice Clinic.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Apply legal knowledge and research skills to practical projects in a professional context in order to understand the relationship between legal theory and practice.
2. Exercise ethical judgment and responsibility as a legal professional in a legal organisation.
3. Manage themselves as self-directed, reflective and resilient professionals able to develop their skills while ensuring their own well-being.
4. Critically reflect on their learning experiences and evaluate the implications for their future professional pathways.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    A capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, accountability, public service and ethical standards including an understanding of approaches to ethical decision making, the rules of professional responsibility and, an ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical challenges in practice. (2.0)
  • Self management
    The ability to implement appropriate self-management and lifelong learning strategies including initiating self-directed work and learning, judgment and responsibility, self assessment of skills, personal wellbeing and appropriate use of feedback and, a capacity to adapt to and embrace change. (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Preparation for the internship

Prior to commencing their internship placement students participate in a briefing and preparation workshop to help them maximise their learning experience and placement opportunity. During the workshop students will be given the opportunity to discuss their expectations of the internship, their obligations towards the host organisation, its staff and clients, the University, Faculty and subject coordinator.

Prior to the workshop students are asked to undertake some initial research about the host organisation, and to write and bring to the workshop a short statement on:

  1. What you think you are bringing to the internship in terms of knowledge and skills, your expectations and what you would like to learn from the experience.
  2. What you think are your obligations and responsibilities towards the host organisation, its staff and clients, fellow students, the subject coordinator, the Law Faculty and UTS.

Students, together with the subject coordinator, will discuss these reflections in the workshop so as to prepare students for the internship and the subject. The guidelines for the reflection are included within the document entitled ‘Preparation and Assessment Briefing Sheet’ in the Subject Documents folder on UTSOnline. The reflection and discussion in the workshop will inform student participation in the internship as well as their critical reflections that are to be submitted (see Assessment task 1). The themes articulated in the preparation workshop will be returned to in the debriefing workshop at the end of the teaching session (see Strategy 4 below).

Strategy 2: Participation in the internship

Students spend 11 days undertaking legal work on a placement with a professional organisation during the teaching session under the instruction of the relevant member/s of the host organisation, in compliance with their rules and expectations. Participation in the activities and projects within the host organisation provides the opportunity to increase students’ working knowledge of the law and to develop professional skills and attributes. Students learn about legal practice through participant observation which involves actively monitoring and analysing the way in which professional staff fulfil their functions and how the legal practice operates. They also learn through active practice-based learning by completing assigned tasks. Internship projects require students to draw on their self-management skills, resourcefulness and professionalism in unfamiliar environments. The professional setting will require students to apply their academic knowledge of ethical practice in a real-world setting. The host organisation supervises student work and provides ‘on the job’ feedback in relation to the tasks set for students. The organisation also provides an appraisal of the student at the end of the internship on a detailed form provided by UTS. The organisation evaluates the student’s performance in relation to: Work quality including well researched, appropriate and well communicated outputs; Planning and organisation, including ability to meet deadlines; Professional conduct, including responding to feedback, punctuality and reliability; Adaptability to new requirements and problem solving; and Interpersonal skills (team work, communication, listening skills, negotiation, decision making and assertiveness). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the organisation completes the appraisal form in time to be handed to the subject coordinator by the date of the debrief presentation. This is the feedback from the host organisation to the student and to the Faculty and is essential for completion of the subject. The subject coordinator will provide the names of students participating in the subject to UTS for insurance purposes so that students’ work off campus is covered by UTS insurance.

Strategy 3: Critical reflection and feedback

The ability to critically reflect is an important attribute of legally-trained professionals. This ability assists lawyers in monitoring their well-being and learning from their experiences. Students will submit three critical reflections over the course of the internship to the subject coordinator who will mark these and provide students with feedback. Detailed information on what is required for these reflections is provided in the document entitled ‘Preparation and Assessment Briefing Sheet’ in the Subject Documents folder on UTSOnline. The reflections are submitted at the beginning, middle and end of the internship placement. Staging the reflective tasks throughout the internship placement assists students in learning the practice of reflection through evaluation of knowledge, skills and learning and connecting this awareness to future actions and learning.

Strategy 4: Debrief and reporting on internship

At the completion of the internship, students will report on their internship experience at a debriefing workshop. This will involve a debrief presentation to peers based on student participation as interns at the host organisation and what they learned from this experience. Students consolidate and build on learning in their placements by presenting orally on the experience of and lessons learned from the placement. This enables students to deepen their reflections on the internship experience as a whole, to assess the professional and personal skills gained and to identify the areas that each student needs to develop for their future professional and academic work. The subject coordinator provides feedback on the presentation focusing on the student’s development as a future legal professional and self-aware practitioner.

Subject Delivery

2 workshops (briefing and debriefing) and the internship placement (11 days).

Content (topics)

  1. Briefing and preparation
  2. Internship in professional setting accompanied by critical reflection
  3. Debrief


Assessment task 1: Critical Reflection


This task gives students an opportunity to critically reflect on their internship experience while they are on their placement and receive feedback and targeted support.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0 and 6.0

Weight: 60%

3000 words (1000 words x 3)

  • Describes key aspects of each week of the internship experience; discusses challenges, feelings and approaches;
  • Clearly relates new knowledge and understanding to previous knowledge and understanding;
  • Provides insights into the theory and application of law and options for future practice and a growing awareness of translating academic research skills into professional practice;
  • Identifies and discusses the significance of contextual factors, including the specific practice context, to the practical operation of law;
  • Displays resilience and resourcefulness and the capacity to solve problems and contribute to solutions with maturity and professionalism;
  • Demonstrates clear written communication skills, including clarity, structure, coherence, grammar and syntax.

Assessment task 2: Debrief presentation


This task provides students with the opportunity to report back on their internship in an oral presentation. It is intended to further develop critical reflection skills.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0 and 6.0

Weight: 40%

2000 words equivalent.

  • Clear, effective and well-structured presentation that responds to the presentation brief;
  • Analytical and insightful approach to the issues you worked on and the experience as a whole that demonstrates the development of your professional skills applied to a real-world context as well as the development of your capacity for self-management;
  • Interesting and thoughtful presentation with reflections on what you learned about yourself and how this has informed the rest of your studies and your future career.

Minimum requirements

This subject is taught at Masters level. All students will need to achieve the advanced subject learning outcomes of self-management, critical reflection and professional responsibility through their participation in the internship and pre-departure preparations, their critical reflection and their debriefing presentation.