La Trobe Law School Statement of Strategic Intent

The La Trobe Law School’s Statement of Strategic Intent aligns with La Trobe University’s Strategic Plan 2020-2030.

It contextualises our part in achieving the University’s mission: To be known for making a positive difference in the lives of our students, partners and communities.

The School proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands where its campuses are located, recognises the ongoing connection to Country of local communities, and values the contributions Indigenous people make to its activities.

Promoting justice and equity through innovative teaching and research

The rule of law plays a transformative role in promoting just and equitable societies. We believe that shaping the law for the better can improve individual lives and whole communities.

Our goal is to be known for our progressive and practical courses that inspire students to become change-makers, and equip them with the knowledge and experience to make a difference to their local and global communities.

Our interdisciplinary research, and our strong partnerships with industry, government and community organisations, will underpin our course portfolio to ensure it has the right balance of theory and practice, and meets the needs of our diverse study body, the legal profession and the communities we serve.

We will offer students outstanding clinical placement opportunities so they graduate with workplace experience, a commitment to professional responsibility and high ethical standards.

Drawing on our proud tradition of social responsibility, we will work with our students and partners to promote equity, justice and access.

We will encourage our students and staff to engage locally, nationally and internationally.

Our research will continue to champion the rule of law and community service. We will achieve high impact outcomes by focusing our research efforts on understanding the law in context; international and comparative law; and public law.

We will use our research findings to advise on and drive law reform in Australia and overseas.

Our contribution will align with La Trobe’s research themes: Social change and equity, Healthy people, families and communities, and Resilient environments and communities.

Equity and access: We will offer a range of entry pathways into high quality programs that meet industry needs and prepare students for employment.

Culture: We will embody La Trobe’s cultural qualities by being accountable, connected, innovative and caring. These cultural qualities will inform the way we work with each other, our students and our communities, to pursue our shared commitment to equity, justice and access.

Impact: We will produce graduates and research outcomes that make a positive difference to the disciplines of Law and Criminology.

Reputation: We will build capability and continuously improve in research and teaching to make us a pre-eminent Victorian law school.

Engagement: We will build strong and lasting partnerships with our students, alumni and the legal profession locally, nationally and internationally.

The La Trobe Law School is comprised of a strong team of academic and professional staff who work together to support our core missions of teaching, research and partnership engagement.

We will continue to champion a workplace that is safe and inclusive, and supports the health and wellbeing of all of our staff. The University’s cultural qualities will underpin everything we do.

We will promote equity, diversity and inclusion to make us an employer of choice for academic and professional staff. We will support strategies for the recruitment, retention and career development of Indigenous employees.

We will collaborate, share ideas, and drive innovations that further strengthen our work and impact. We will create a culture of shared practice that encourages best practice.

We will promote flexibility in working to ensure that we collaborate in efficient and sustainable ways. We will be accountable in all that we do.

We will recognise and celebrate the achievements of our staff and students and continue to foster a culture of excellence. We will engage with our communities, keep our stakeholders informed and promote the activities of our staff and students within and outside of the University.

We will champion a workplace, a learning environment and a legal profession that is fair, equitable and inclusive.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goal to develop a positive culture when we improve the Employee Experience as measured by a La Trobe Employee Experience Survey.

The La Trobe Law School offers programs in Law and Criminology. These programs graduate high quality professionals with a strong commitment to the rule of law and community service.

We will build a strong core curriculum – augmented by a skills-based approach to teaching and an extensive clinical placements program – to ensure our programs are relevant and closely aligned with the legal profession.

We will optimise our footprint, and grow our diversity, by offering students a range of entry pathways into our courses, including through the University’s Aspire Program.

We will grow our extensive portfolio of double degrees according to industry requirements and student demand. We will continue to harness the professional expertise of our Course Advisory Committees so that our curriculum is innovative and relevant to the workplace.

We will support our academics to ensure teaching quality and contributions are best practice. Our flexible approach to content delivery will allow students, where possible, to engage in learning at a time and place of their choosing.

We will develop cutting-edge electives that prepare our students to respond to emerging issues in the legal and criminal justice systems when they graduate.

We will launch an industry-leading advocacy program, designed to prepare students to run a case. We will select our mooting teams from this student cohort to enhance our reputation at domestic and international mooting competitions.

We will strive to ensure that our graduates are practice ready – that they are excellent communicators and advocates with transferable leadership skills, are digitally literate and culturally aware.

We will work closely with industry partners to develop an outstanding clinical placement program that offers the right mix of practical experience and awareness of the impact of law and legal institutions on vulnerable communities.

We will support our students through peer and industry mentoring programs in Law and Criminology. And, we will continue to lead the sector by offering students placement opportunities in second year.

We will achieve sector-leading graduate employability and supply the profession with a skilled workforce pipeline. We will continue to embed research pathways into our courses and support students to explore graduate research options.

We will welcome international students into our courses, supporting their journey to be globally employable graduates. We will partner with universities around the world to provide opportunities for internationally-trained lawyers to become eligible to practice law in Australia.

We will encourage our students to think locally and globally. We will provide students with opportunities to explore other legal traditions through exchange and study tour opportunities in common and civil law jurisdictions.

We will engage with our alumni to build a lifelong connections and affiliations with the School, and provide them with opportunities to support the next generation of legal professionals.

KPI

We will know we have succeeded in our goal to ensure quality of teaching when we achieve top 12 nationally in the Student Experience Survey for Teaching Quality and Overall Experience.

The La Trobe Law School is comprised of a strong team of outstanding researchers who work with industry, government and community organisations to build knowledge and conduct research that drives positive legal and social change.

Our research portfolio focuses on three areas of strength: law in context, with a focus on building a legal system that results in a more inclusive, equitable and just society; international and comparative law, with a focus on identifying oppressive forms of law and finding new ways to realise its emancipatory potential; and public law, with a focus on using the law as a tool to protect vulnerable and marginalised members of the community.

We will be known for the contribution our research makes to understanding law in its social, economic and political context. We will be recognised for our contributions to contemporary legal debates and for research that promotes a more just and equitable society.

We will continue to grow the capacity of our researchers, at all career stages, by fostering research collaborations that align with our areas of strength and expertise.

We will work collaboratively with our partners to understand challenges, bring together the right capabilities, manage projects efficiently, and guide the translation of legal research into law reform.

We will establish new avenues to highlight our research and broaden its reach into our communities. Our research outcomes will have a positive impact on individuals and communities, with impact also measured through publications and research income.

Our contribution will align with La Trobe’s research themes: Social change and equity, Healthy people, families and communities, and Resilient environments and communities.

KPI

20% improvement in performance in per capita research income and publications between 2025 and 2030 (2024 baseline).