SCU Law School – A smart use of your summer
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SCU Law School – A smart use of your summer

The School of Law and Justice (SLJ) at Southern Cross University (SCU) has been hosting its annual Summer Law School for 20-years. And as the school prepares to open its doors once more in December 2017, students are lining up for this invaluable program of discovery.

The longevity of the course serves as testament to the quality of content on offer. Each year, compelling and socially-relevant topics are examined, giving students an in-depth insight into everything from communism to public interest advocacy.

SCU itself is well known for its strong social conscience, a factor that sits at the heart of the curriculum and dictates the school’s approach towards the legal profession. This ethos of equality and social justice blends itself into the summer school syllabus, with units covering some of the critical – albeit uncomfortable – issues affecting society today. Taking a look at challenging areas like race, gender, class, sexuality and state violence, the school works hard to rile up and enlighten those with a passion for law.

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The school is putting on two summer schools this year, with the “Capitalism and Its Critique” sessions being held at the Gold Coast campus in December 2017, and the “Law, Politics, Culture” program on offer at the Byron Bay location in January 2018.

While all summer schools afford you the chance to expand your knowledge, learn something new and make friends along the way, the SLJ Summer Law School offers so much more for budding lawyers, seasoned professionals and anyone with a genuine interest in the field.

Here’s why the SLJ Summer Law School is a perfect use of your summer…

1. Location

You can’t beat the location on this one. With two campuses – one in Byron Bay and the other in Gold Coast – SLJ is the ideal place to spend your summer months.

Picture yourself heading out for a surf after class, or having group discussions with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. Just a few minutes’ walk from the beach, both campuses combine the best bits of summer living with intellectual inspiration.

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Debate the role of 21st century activists, delve into the complexities of international trade, discuss the intricacies of contemporary legal theory, ponder the cinematic representations of legality, explore the relationship between law and the unconscious—and, then, kick-back with a cold one on some of the best stretches of beach the world has to offer.

2. Open to all

Recognising the importance of the subject matter, as well as the interest and relevance it holds, SLJ does not restrict attendance to its noted summer school.

Whether you’re a career professional in the field of Law, a student just starting out, or a keen member from the community at large, you’re encouraged to sign up for any of these intensive subjects in the ‘Capitalism and Its Critique’ stream and/or the ‘Law, Politics, Culture’ stream.

Summer School subjects are open to interested undergraduate and postgraduate students from every discipline, as well as to lawyers and members of the public, so there’s nothing standing in your way.  Take as many subjects as you’d like!

International students are particularly welcome with warm and open arms. This diversity gives an added level of appeal and contributes towards an energetic exchange of ideas between people from different backgrounds and experience levels.

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Taught intensively, each Summer School subject lasts four to five days, meeting for four hours per day. Assessment will be due a fortnight after the subject ends. Where two subjects are running in the same week, students may enrol in two units in the week, as classes will be staggered to allow attendance at one unit in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

These Summer School subjects can be taken for credit, Continuing Practice Development (CPD) points or for pure pleasure:

  • For SCU and/or cross-institutionally enrolled students, each intensive subject can count for credit towards your degree;
  • For enrolled lawyers and/or other professionals, each intensive subject can be counted as Continuing Professional Development points (CPD);
  • For students who do not want to take these intensive units for credit, miscellaneous enrolments (ie, non-credit) are welcome as well. Sit back and enjoy the subject!

3. Learn from the best in the business

The intensive sessions offered by the SLJ are conceived and run by thought leaders in the field.

Prominent authors, activists, philosophers and, of course, lawyers are all running sessions as part of this year’s syllabus. They are:

  • Professor Maria Aristodemou (London),
  • Professor James R Martel (San Francisco),
  • Mr Jay Finkelstein (Washington, DC),
  • Professor Jodi Dean (New York),
  • Mr Aiden Ricketts (NSW)
  • Professor Renata Salecl (Ljubljana/London)

One cannot understate the insight to be gained directly from leading scholars and practitioners who shape and influence the field, while the opportunity to have an exclusive access to, and audience with these internationally renowned experts is too good to miss.

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4. Tackles niche subjects

As a law school that takes diversity and difference seriously, the SLJ has chosen niche subjects that are rarely tackled in the mainstream arena. With the ever-present vein of social justice and ethics running throughout, topics cover an expansive range that include the most culturally-relevant ones for our time.

Byron Bay’s ‘Law, Politics, Culture’ units include:

The Gold Coast’s ‘Capitalism and Its Critique’ units include:

5. Summer School will boost your studies – and career

Attending any summer school will have lasting benefits in your academic life and beyond, but the SLJ Summer Law School offers so much more than extra academic credit. The niche and relevant nature of the subjects makes for an enriching experience, allowing participants to explore areas of interest that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to in any other traditional school.

This acts to flesh out your education experience and will be of great benefit when choosing your future path. It also enables attendees to become drivers of positive social change as they gain a deeper understanding of the issues we face.

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On top of this, it can provide a boost in your career as invaluable experience to add to any resume or curriculum vitae. And, as noted previously, for legal and other professional practitioners, it counts towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The list could go on. Not only is the SLJ Summer Law School academically rigorous and rewarding, it combines the best aspects of an Aussie summer—sand, sun, surf— and opens your eyes to an imaginative landscape of law, politics and culture that you may never have otherwise discovered.

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