David Knobel - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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David Knobel

President, USC Law Students' Association, 2015 & 2016
Vice President (Education), USC Law Students' Association, 2014

The collaboration between the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Law School and Suncoast Community Legal Service (SCLS) has provided an invaluable opportunity for USC Law students to experience the nexus between the theoretical scholarship of the law and experience of the law in practice. My placement in Law Clinic included not only the practical experience of working in a community legal centre but an opportunity to build skills in client interviews and advice, case filing, legal research and writing, and liaison with law firms, government departments and other legal professionals, all under the excellent supervision of Dr Gwynn MacCarrick and Suncoast’s principal solicitor.

During my placement I had the opportunity to open two case files and worked on these throughout the semester. This meant I was able to have several interviews with the clients, improve my skills in asking pertinent questions, identifying legal issues and preparing advice and assistance for these clients. My assessments became particularly relevant as I was working on a client’s actual legal issue rather than the hypothetical or philosophical question I might be presented with in other law units. Each week of my clinical placement offered new challenges that required me to reflect on my own professional practice and the differences between the theory of the law and the practice of the law in a community legal service. I would recommend Law Clinic to any student wanting to consolidate their legal skills through hands-on experience with clients.