chapter  7
Collaboration: A Crucible for Cultivating Common Understanding in Professional Legal Education
ByCraig Collins, Suzanne Webbey
Pages 20

This chapter adopts an anthropological definition of 'culture' as 'the customs, ideas, and social behaviour of a particular people or group' for our purposes, Australian lawyers. The word 'culture', according to Raymond Williams, is 'one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language'. The university approach to learning law builds upon the attempts by Sir william Blackstone and Jeremy Bentham to impose system and coherence upon the common law by delineating positivist rules and narrow sources of law. Kohlberg's theory is built upon the earlier work of Piaget, which found that qualitatively different forms of reasoning emerge. The author's own experience is drawn from the Australian National University (ANU), where the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) program takes graduate law students and seeks to bring them up to the prescribed 'entry-level' standards of the Australian legal profession.