Teaching Law for Everyday Lives: Demonstrating the Relevance of Legal Education for All

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


This paper presents findings from an empirical study of 174 students who studied ‘Adulting: Law for Everyday Lives’, a unit taught at the University of Western Australia to undergraduate non-law students. The unit is designed to be highly relevant to students’ everyday lives, seeking to address the lacuna in young people’s knowledge of the real-world legal issues which are relevant to their lives. For example, it teaches the law relating to housing, relationships, working, and health care. It uses a collaborative approach to curriculum design, adopting a student-led model of co-creation of learning content, allowing students to meaningfully contribute to their own educational experience, thus developing what Iverson and Pedersen call a ‘co-creative generative dialogue.’

The existing scholarship on teaching real-world, everyday knowledge primarily relates to secondary education, with only limited research in this area focussing on higher education. The literature indicates that students value learning real-world knowledge and skills, and that this learning can significantly improve young peoples’ ability to use this knowledge in their everyday life. In relation to student-led learning and collaborative curriculum design, the literature suggests that it can lead to greater student engagement, motivation and learning, assist in the development of graduate attributes and have a positive impact on student-teacher relationships. It is, however, still relatively unusual in the higher education context.

The results from the empirical study align with findings from previous research in these areas and offer further and richer insights about why students value curriculum co-creation and how students use taught knowledge in their everyday lives. The presenters will discuss how these findings validate legal education practices which include students and blend academic and real-world learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventLegal Education Research Conference - UNSW, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 26 Nov 202127 Nov 2021


ConferenceLegal Education Research Conference
Internet address


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