Virtual Law Placement (VLP)

Virtual Law Placement (VLP)

A Virtual Law Placement (VLP) is an online CLE program whereby universities connect to civil society and other partners involved in access to justice activities. VLP utilises online communication technologies to overcome barriers to participation in international social justice projects that are posed by distance, visa restrictions, expense, family responsibilities and financial hardship, while providing law students with authentic international social justice placement opportunities.

VLP offers students the opportunity to apply integrated legal knowledge and skills to complete a real world workplace project in a team using online communication technologies to communicate with their supervisors and each other.

The Virtual Law Placement (VLP) is one of a series of work integrated learning units to provide the student with the experience of using and developing their legal knowledge and skills in a real world placement. VLP is distinctive from other units in this series in several important respects:

  • VLP provides students with an opportunity to access a greater variety of work placement opportunities within the diverse range of working environments that are represented by the Career Streams for elective law subjects including international work placements
  • Students use online communication technologies to enable them to be virtually, rather than physically present at the workplace and to engage with other participants in the workplace, including the workplace supervisor of the virtual placement
  • Students have the opportunity to learn about the most effective methods of applying for a professional legal position
  • Students have the opportunity to learn about issues of law and social justice in the context of non-government organisation (NGO) practice, often working with human rights standards, and usually in developing countries.

Project partners are:

Author: Nattakan Chomputhong

Nattakan (Ann) holds a first class honours bachelor of law degree from Chiang Mai University and was involved in the CLE programs while she was a law student. Upon graduation, she became a legal fellow of CLE Foundation and BABSEA CLE (volunteer). Now, having completed her time as a legal fellow of CLE Foundation and BABSEA CLE, Ann works as a legal trainer. In this role her responsibilities include administrative and teaching support for clinic programs throughout South East Asia and providing training for those wishing to become clinical faculty members. Ann also provides valuable services to the community; she assists weekly, when possible, at the Wildflower Legal Education Initiative where she teaches single mothers, of varying ethnicities including Burmese and the people of the hill tribes, their legal rights. She also opens up clinic spaces for addition students and strengthens and enlivens clinical programmes to build a solid foundation of clinical faculty members. These programmes serve to develop the training ground for new clinical faculty, who are making the transition from practice to clinical teaching as well as providing the opportunity for entry level candidates with the time and intellectual space to craft a scholarly agenda that is tied to and symbiotic with clinical teaching and service. Ann has the opportunity to reflect on these experiences, and possibly the prospect of being better positioned in the law school teaching market.

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