LAWS13019 - Legal Automation

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit is designed for students who want to develop knowledge and skills in the automation of the practice of law. This unit incorporates theory, research and the practical application of legal project management, process improvement and innovation frameworks, expert systems, document and process automation, data analytics, machine learning and blockchain. Students will examine software systems that empower consumers including lawyerless internet-based systems that vend interactive documents and intelligent legal assistance. Intelligent systems designed for lawyers to produce inexpensive transactional outcomes will be considered. The challenges, threats, opportunities and ethical considerations associated with these developments will be explored. Consideration will also be given as to how governments, pro bono and community legal centres may directly benefit from automation. Through engagement with legal knowledge engineering, students will develop a legal App. No programming experience or other technical knowledge is required.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Co-requisites: LAWS11057 and LAWS11059

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 80%
2. Group Work 20%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 40.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 29.41% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: The lecturer
Collaboration with industry
A closer work with Josef Legal (an Australian legal chat bot) could be valuable. Josef offers a program for educational institutions, their team was willing to consider lesser or no charge. Their program could be a solid backbone for the unit and provide real world experience to the students with legal automation without the need to have prior technical knowledge. An additional option is to include a class on documents automation and discovery, technologies that are very prominent in the legal sphere.
Action Taken
The unit coordinator worked closely with Josef Legal in the 2022 offering. Josep Legal provided one on one training for students in their chatbot system. The unit did include document and e-discovery automated content.
Source: Student feedback.
The unit should be a mandatory component of the law degree.
A benchmarking process will be undertaken to see how many Australian Law degrees include legal automation as a core requirement.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Apply process improvement and innovation frameworks to the delivery of legal work
  2. Identify aspects of legal work and new forms of service delivery that can be automated
  3. Classify what ethical and regulatory issues are presented by lawyering using intelligent machines
  4. Construct a software application that can model legal knowledge and reasoning to perform useful legal work for non lawyers.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Group Work
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Group Work