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Centre for Professional Legal Education

Our centre

Established at Bond University in 2015, the Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) is a community of legal educators, researchers, practitioners and administrators who collaborate to define, understand and promote best practice in the teaching of law, with a particular emphasis on professional legal education and training.

Our members include more than 20 scholars from within the Faculty of Law at Bond, as well as several external scholars and practitioners who are committed to engaging in scholarly and critical reflection on the purpose, form and practice of legal education and the role of law schools in contemporary society.

Exterior of the Faculty of Law building.

Key focus areas

  • Understanding and responding to the changing nature of the legal services sector.

  • Defining, understanding and promoting best practice in the teaching of law.

  • Designing and developing high quality, innovative, personalised legal education training programs.

  • The well-being of law students, academics and practitioners, including administering and supporting the Wellness Network for Law.

Our research

Current projects include:

  • The job readiness of today’s law school graduates and how to equip them with the motivation and skills to make a positive difference in the world.
  • The impact of emergent technology on the teaching of core law units in the Australian law curriculum.
  • The regulation of Australian legal education and options for reform.
  • The internationalisation of legal education.
  • Clinical legal education.
  • Wellness and resilience of law students, law academics and legal practitioners, including increased job satisfaction, reduced burnout and improved overall mental health outcomes.

Community impact

The CPLE has built a national reputation in the legal education and legal services sector as a leader in professional legal education research and program design.

Since its formation, the Centre and its members have produced an extensive list of journal articles, books, book chapters, text books and conference papers, across the broad scope of the key areas of interest. It also publishes several of its own journals on an ongoing basis, including the Legal Education Review (in collaboration with the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA)) and the Australian Journal of Clinical Education.

In relation to the practical teaching of law, the Centre has led the development and delivery of innovative new programs and subjects in the areas of legal education, dispute resolution, personal and corporate insolvency, enterprise governance and animal law education (in collaboration with Voiceless). 

The Centre has hosted several successful research events and symposia including the biennial Professional Legal Education Conference.

A message from our Directors

  • “Students, employers, university administrators and government regulators have all called for legal education to become more professionally-focussed, more skills-based, more authentic, more global, more clearly articulated and more effective in preparing graduates for professional practice. At the same time, law schools continue to play important roles in preserving the rule of law, providing equitable access to legal services, and promoting thoughtful law reform and social justice; roles which do not always align with efforts to professionalise the law degree. 

    The Centre for Professional Legal Education responds to these concerns by facilitating ongoing disciplinary conversation and debate about the nature and purpose of professional legal education.

    We look forward to sharing the results of our work with you.”

    Professor Rachael Field & Professor Nick James - Directors – Centre for Professional Legal Education
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Related courses

Foundations of Legal Education Online Course

A suite of six online modules about Australian legal education, designed for university law teachers and available free of charge.

Learn more
Read more about Foundations of Legal Education Online Course

Animal Legal Education

The CPLE has partnered with Voiceless to develop online animal law modules freely available to animal law teachers. 

Learn more
Read more about Animal Legal Education

Centre for Professional Legal Education researchers

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