Meeting the needs of clients and students: two Australian case studies

Sanzhuan Guo, Robert Lachowicz

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter first provides reflections on working with real clients whilst teaching and learning immigration and refugee law. The chapter looks at two specific examples – one a case study of the Flinders Migration Clinic (an in-house law school service at one time run by a migration practitioner, turned teacher) and the other an account by the education officer of an NGO that provides a range of legal and educational services to the migrant community. Both, in their own ways, demonstrate the potential of clinical teaching in educating students whilst serving the community. Difficulties are also discussed including the many benefits and challenges implicit in partnering with other organisations.

    As a closely linked theme, this chapter also looks at the various ways refugee and migration law is taught in a community legal centre in Australia. The Refugee and Immigration Legal Service in Brisbane provides free legal support for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants as part of a national umbrella of free legal aid aiming to enhance access to justice for the most vulnerable. Teaching comes initially from legal casework where expert lawyers empower clients to understand their legal situation and make informed decisions about their case. Clients also share the learning through the wider community, which builds awareness of refugee and migration law and policy.

    University law clinic placements give students opportunities to learn the law working directly with clients, and intensive legal education work and innovative resources created in partnership with communities provide deep law learning for refugees and asylum seekers – vulnerable but intensely resilient people who have so much to teach the world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeaching Migration and Asylum Law: Theory and Practice
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003167617
    ISBN (Print)9780367765781, 9780367765798
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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