Street Law

What is Street Law?

Street Law is an elective subject that has been offered to JD students at Melbourne Law School (MLS) since 2012. Street Law is a community legal education initiative in that it aims to provide legal education to a non-legal audience. JD students who participate in Street Law visit partner high schools in and around Melbourne to deliver lessons on legal topics of interest and relevance to young people.

Street Law has a social inclusion agenda and partners with secondary schools that have diverse student populations.

street law staff
The 2013 Street Law Team: former Subject Coordinator Lucy Quinn,
former Director of PILI Joanne Kerr, and Melbourne Graduate School of Education's Catherine Reid.

Street Law won a University of Melbourne Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2013.

Street Law has also been positively profiled in the online human rights journal Right Now, and the University of Melbourne's Voice newspaper.

Aims

Street Law offers an experiential learning opportunity for JD students to build professional skills, while also enabling them to contribute to the community. It seeks to demonstrate the importance of community legal education as a tool to empower individuals, protect their rights and promote their responsibilities under law. JD students are able to assume real professional roles as community legal educators with the benefit of targeted academic supervision. The experience is designed to provide them with an insight into the contributions they can make as public interest lawyers and/or legal educators in their future careers.

Street Law also seeks to raise awareness of tertiary pathways for students who may not otherwise view higher education as a viable choice. The subject endeavours to remove social barriers between university students and students at our partner schools, who may not traditionally have had strong avenues of access to the legal profession, legal education or tertiary education.

What does Street Law involve?

Street Law is a multidisciplinary endeavour. A core component of the subject is the collaboration between MLS and the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education (MGSE). JD students enrolled in Street Law receive instruction in the relevant areas of law from MLS in addition to pedagogic training in lesson planning and delivery by MGSE. After completing a series of seminars at the law school, JD students attend partner schools to deliver lessons to year 9 students on various 'hot topics' in areas of law that interest them and scenarios that they can identify with. Examples of topics that have been covered in the past include the legal consequences of sexting and the rights and responsibilities of casual employees.

Street Law offers secondary school students the opportunity to learn about substantive law in areas specifically targeted to their interests. For those students who may not have obvious avenues of access to the legal profession, Street Law provides a chance to interact with current tertiary law students. In addition to engaging with JD students in their own classroom setting, the secondary school students are also invited to attend a Workshop Day at MLS at the conclusion of semester. At this event, secondary school students participate in legally oriented workshops, take a JD student led tour of the university and hear from guest speakers and Street Law students.

Street Law works in alignment with the Law Students' Society 'Stepping Stones' program, which matches mentors from MLS with year 11 students from the Street Law partner schools. The mentors and students attend a launch event at MLS and meet periodically over the course of the year for legal-oriented excursions to places such as the Police Museum and the courts.

Which schools participate?

Our current partner schools include Roxburgh College and Reservoir High School.

Perspectives

View Perspectives

How do I apply?

Details available on the JD LMS Community.

JD LMS Community Login

Further Information

Handbook details: LAWS50102

Enquiries about Street Law can be directed to the Subject Coordinator, Cosima McRae at chmcrae@unimelb.edu.au.