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First Year Experience in Law School: A New Beginning?

The Faculty of Law at Bond University is hosting a one-day legal education conference focusing on the first year experience in law school.  We welcome papers from legal academics in Australia and overseas who would like to share their practical teaching experiences, experiments, research findings and critical reflections on the possibilities and problems involved in introducing new students to the discipline of law.  Themes of the first year experience in law will include:

  • Designing an effective curriculum for a first year law program;
  • Coping with different cohorts of students (undergraduates, postgraduates, NESB students, students from regional or disadvantaged backgrounds);
  • Using technology and social media;
  • Identifying a place for research skills, ethics and values in the introductory law program;
  • Balancing lawyering skills, legal method and analysis and reflective in the first year curriculum;
  • Creating effective student support and positive learning environments, such as peer mentoring programs and strategies for coping with relatively high levels of depression among law students; and
  • Identifying new models for delivering teaching services and innovative techniques for engaging students in the learning process.

The conference will be divided into two sessions. The morning session will feature presentations by senior academics or those who are reporting new, controversial or innovative findings from their research into first year legal education. The afternoon session will be more of an interactive experience, where facilitators will lead discussion sessions around the work of a panel of presenters. This is so that we can maximise the number of participants in the conference as well as draw on the ideas and experience of non-speaking participants.

The conference organising committee also plans to publish a selection of papers into an edited volume. If you are unable to personally present but wish to have your paper considered for publication in the edited volume, please let the organising committee know.


8.30am Registration

9.10am WELCOME: The First Year Experience in Law: A New Beginning? (Leon Wolff, Bond University)


  • Resilience and Depression in First Year Students (Prue Vines, UNSW)
  • The Curriculum Renewal Journey: Mapping a Process for Holistic Reform (Molly Townes O’Brien; Anthony Connelly, ANU)
  • Scaffolding First Year Law Texts: Tailoring to Audience as Well as Content (Michelle Sanson, UWS; Thalia Anthony, UTS)

10.45am Morning tea


12.30pm Lunch


2.45pm DISCUSSION FORUM with afternoon tea

For the full program of The First Year Experience in Law: A New Beginning? please click here.


Registration is free. Simply email Maria Nicolae (mnicolae@bond.edu.au) with your name, affiliation and, if you intend to present, your paper proposal.


For conference delegates seeking accommodation close to Bond University, we recommend The Chancellor (www.thechancellor.com.au).

For others seeking accommodation closer to the Gold Coast beaches, we recommend hotels in the Broadbeach area. This is a thirty minute bus ride (750 bus to Mudgereeba) to the university campus or 15 minutes by taxi. Broadbeach has a wide range of pleasant cafes and two major shopping outlets nearby (Oasis and Pacific Fair).


02 July 2011


Bond University

Contact Information

Conference Organisers