Bond University


Significant cuts to higher education, a sustained growth in the number of law students, quality review rounds, the placing of law in the highest band of new HECS charges, internationalisation, pressures to teach legal skills, legal workshop/ practice issues, the challenges of adjusting law teaching to new technologies, a belief in the value of small group teaching in the face of financial pressures to increase already large student-staff ratios, moves by the profession to “accredit” law schools, the export of Australian legal education, the rapid growth of post-graduate legal education — these are just a few of the issues facing law schools today which make the McInnis and Marginson Report important reading, even though it is now getting rather long in the tooth. That so much has happened in the few years since the Pearce and the McInnis and Marginson reports evidences the frantic pace of change to which law schools and universities must continue to adjust. I deliberately use the word “adjust” because few law schools, if any, have had the time or resources to be proactive, to plan for change in an orderly, coherent and strategic way. Perhaps in a world where the theory of chaos prevails, such strategic planning and visions must remain but illusions and dreams. At the same time, disciplinary reviews, such as the Pearce Report and the McInnis and Marginson post-Pearce evaluation are important, even indispensable, if legal education is to continue to advance and remain of a high quality. This review aims to summarise the major findings of McInnis and Marginson and to chronicle a few of the more significant changes which have occurred in the three years since its publication.