Community engagement

Discover more about our engagements within the community

Two ladies and a man standing behind the counter at My Community Legal

My Community Legal

My Community Legal gives law students the invaluable opportunity to gain first-hand experience in providing free legal services to those unable to afford legal advice. Through the partnership between School of Law and Justice and My Community Legal, SLJ students are able to apply for a voluntary placement at My Community Legal with approved applicants working in the centre one day per week. During their placements, SLJ students will gain insight into holistic lawyering, a philosophy that sees legal officers motivated by neither government diktat nor commercial opportunity, but rather by the belief in access to justice for all. My Community Legal is accredited by the National Association of Community Legal Centres and is an ACNC registered charity.


Byron Writers Festival

After more than two decades of partnering with the iconic Byron Writers Festival, in 2019 Southern Cross University confirmed its commitment to the festival by signing a new three-year agreement. The School of Law and Justice is proud to be part of this important and creative partnership.

The School has hosted several key festival panels and events in the past including

  • In Conversation with Alexander McCall Smith (2018): Well-known novelist, Alexander McCall Smith - Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and the author of more than 80 books, including best-seller, The Number One Ladies Detective Agency - was interviewed by Professor William MacNeil, Dean and Head of the SLJ;
  • The inaugural Professor Greta Bird Lecture in Legal Theory and Critique (2018): Leading critical race theorist, Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin - Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California at Irvine and medico-legal scholar - delivered the address, “Pregnancy, Poverty and the State”;
  • The Honourable Michael Kirby Lecture (2019): Former justice of the High Court of Australia and internationally renowned human rights advocate, The Honourable Michael Kirby, was joined by his German judicial counterpart, Professor Bernhard Schlink of Humboldt University (Berlin), Westphalian judge and bestselling author of The Reader for a spirited evening of robust debate on law, letters and life, moderated by Professor William MacNeil, Dean and Head of the SLJ.


High School Engagement

The School of Law and Justice offers a number of options for high school students to become involved with Southern Cross University. For more information on any of these opportunities please email Jane Gilmour or call +61 2 6620 3800.

HSC Legal Studies Day

This annual event assists students in their preparation for their HSC legal studies examinations by accessing expert advice and knowledge from an experienced HSC markers and legal studies teachers. The day includes insights into the HSC and legal studies syllabus subjects, including human rights, crime, family, world order and global environmental protection. The School of Law and Justice hosts this free student event.


T: +61 2 66 20 3800

Criminal Process Intensive

This four-day unit explores how major crimes are prosecuted and defended and also overviews the role of lawyers, police, courts and the criminal justice system. The unit is ideal for students interested in criminology, the criminal justice system and law. The program has an optional assessment component and, if the unit is completed successfully, students will be granted credit towards a number of School of Law and Justice courses. Senior students undertaking Legal Studies, Advanced English, History or Business Studies may be particularly interested in this unit. Thirty places are available each offering, and no fees are charged.


T: +61 2 66 20 3800

Head-Start unit - Australian Legal System

This Head-Start unit provides an opportunity for Year 11-12 students (HSC or QCE) to gain direct entry and advanced standing into a variety of courses offered at Southern Cross University. Students are introduced to the concept of law and the Australian legal system, learning about federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, separation of powers, rule of law, statutory interpretation, the doctrine of precedent and procedural fairness. The unit also explores issues related to Indigenous Australian peoples, as well as the theme of equality before the law for all Australians. No fees are charged for this unit.

For more information, visit the SCU Head Start web page.

Contact the School of Law and Justice

Professor William MacNeil BA (Tor), MA (Tor), LLB (Dal), LLM (Lond), JSD (Col)

T: +61 2 6620 3375


Future students

T: 1800 626 481

Current students

T: 1800 005 687