Bond University


The central thesis of this article is that legal education is at a crossroads, facing uncertainty and pressures for change on multiple fronts, and we have a choice. We can either see this as a ‘curse’, or as a unique opportunity to actively embrace change, re-thinking our fundamental premises and questioning received wisdom and mental models or conceptualisations about ‘the way we do things round here,’ to harness our ‘creative energy’. The article discusses (i) re-conceptualising law schools as ‘learning organisations’, including learning to constantly scrutinize and interrogate our mental models; and (ii) adapting conventional notions of leadership to incorporate distributed leadership, marrying this with ideas from the literature on change management relating to leading school reform. It then addresses the sustainability of change, drawing on principles from environmental law to suggest how innovation in legal education can be embedded and maintained over time in an organic and dynamic process of renewal. Finally, it demonstrates the possibilities inherent in adopting a whole-of-school shared model of leadership, and the capacity of students to act as leaders and change agents. It briefly describes a student/ staff collaboration to design and implement a structured peer tutoring and informal mentoring program in Law, as an example of a student-initiated program that integrates the co-curriculum, taught curriculum, and broad curriculum.