This unit of study will examine the legal profession within the Australian context (in particular, Victoria) and the professional standards of the law profession. It will consider the general ethical responsibilities of the legal practitioner; the duties owed by the practitioner to the law, the court, the client (including the basic principles of holding trust money), fellow practitioners and the public. The focus will be on the regulation of the legal profession, the professional conduct of legal practitioners and the practical application of legal ethics in professional practice. This unit meets the Victorian Legal Profession Rules requirements under Sch 2 for Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Unit details

Online Real Time
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


6 Level 1 Law units

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Research relevant information on principles of legal ethics and legal practitioners' ethical obligations;  
  2. Canvas the framework for the regulation of the legal profession and the professional conduct of legal practitioners to a variety of audiences;  
  3. Elucidate and critically reflect on principles of legal ethics and legal practitioners' ethical obligations in professional legal practice in 21st century contexts;  
  4. Analyse and canvass ethical issues that commonly occur in professional legal practice in contemporary multicultural Australia and apply the relevant principles to creatively resolve those issues with accountability and responsibility;  
  5. Devise and collaboratively innovate arguments from existing principles to support or counter propositions for reform in legal ethics;  
  6. Communicate clearly, both orally and in writing, use appropriate language and present coherent arguments and independent exposition of ideas.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Online test 15%
Assignment Analysis of case study 35%
Examination Final exam 50%

Required reading

Lawyers' professional responsibility 6th 2017
Dal Pont
Law Book Co. Thompson Reuters

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.