The Susan Campbell Oration: The Transformative Nature of Clinical Legal Education

Presented by Professor Leah Wortham, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C


Clinical legal education has expanded across the globe. Moving through time and across borders, clinical legal education demonstrates its capacity to adapt to the needs of differing societies and legal systems and varying clients and problems within a country, to transform students, and to evolve and change its own methods and forms.

Beyond training new lawyers in “how to do it here,” clinical legal education can:

  • Move its participants from seeing “how things are” to “how they should and could be"
  • Build students’ personal vision of the lawyer they want to be
  • Develop future lawyers’ habits of being so that problem-solving skills and professional judgment
    improve throughout life
  • Nurture critical and creative capacities for strategic thinking and envisioning better ways to bring
    justice throughout a society. 

Professor Wortham will draw on her work in 30 countries and almost 40 years of experience in clinical
legal education to cite examples of the transformative nature of clinical education and share her views
on how strong clinical programs are built and nurtured.

Date Monday 16 April 2018
Time 6.00pm – 7.30pm (light refreshments provided)
Venue Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP Wednesday 11 April HERE or via email to law-marketing@monash.edu

Susan Campbell AM

Starting her legal career in private practice, Sue Campbell commenced her long relationship with Monash in 1980. She quickly became one of the Faculty’s most respected and loved teachers, with a deep interest in each student as an individual and a strong and unwavering belief in social justice. 

Sue’s skill as a lecturer saw her granted a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993. As Chief Examiner and co-ordinator for the first year subject of Legal Process, as well as for the final year subject of Professional Practice, many students saw Sue as a trusted mentor throughout the duration of their degree. Sue was instrumental in establishing new opportunities such as the Family Law Assistance Program, which allowed student appearances to support self-represented parties in family law cases.

Beyond teaching and clinical education, Sue was a founding editor and ongoing contributor to the Lawyers’ Practice Manual, a Board member of the Judicial College of Victoria, and in 2006 was commissioned by the Victorian Attorney-General to review the articled clerkship system, which led to wholesale reform of practical legal training for law graduates. In 2007 Sue was made a member of the Order of Australia for ‘services to the law, particularly through the development of clinical legal education and community legal services in Australia’.