Disrupting Public Law Teaching? Flinders Law School's new online PBL JD initiative

Susannah Sage-Jacobson, Tania Leiman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In March 2016, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation released their White Paper entitled ‘Disrupting Law School: How disruptive innovation will revolutionize the legal world’. Writing in the US context, authors Michele Pistone and Michael B Horn identify five conditions that create room for disruption of legal education: non-consumption of legal services, policy and regulatory change, disruption in legal services, disruption in higher education and non-consumption of legal education. They urge law schools to consider adopting ‘scalable, competency based online programs’.

Many of the recommendations made in this White Paper were already present in the design of Flinders Law School’s online problem based learning Juris Doctor accredited by the Legal Practitioners Education and Admissions Council of South Australia in March 2016 and which commenced in July 2016. The key Public Law topics, Administrative Law and Constitutional Law, will be taught in the JD using an online problem based learning approach for the first time in semester 1, 2017.

This presentation will report on the process of designing both this new JD degree with specific reference to the new Administrative Law topic. The presentation will share lessons drawn from Flinders Law School’s experience of competency based assessment in its existing Practical Legal Training programs. It will explore how law schools might additionally use this or similar structures to provide other forms of limited legal training, such as the ‘limited license legal technician’ model being developed in the US, or articulate with higher research degrees or practical training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2017
EventPublic Law in the Classroom 2017: A workshop for teachers of Australian Public Law - University of New South Wales, Kensington Campus, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 16 Feb 201716 Feb 2017


ConferencePublic Law in the Classroom 2017
OtherThe third Public Law in the Classroom workshop was held on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Over seventy public law teachers from across Australia, New Zealand and the UK attended the workshop, which was co-hosted by the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law (UNSW Law) and the Public Law and Policy Research Unit (University of Adelaide).
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  • Higher education
  • Legal education
  • Law schools
  • legal training


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