Research output per year

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Personal profile


Ms Rachel Spencer is the Director: Monash Law Clinics - Clayton and Melbourne. Her teaching experience includes Legal Ethics; Law, Art and Literature; Civil Procedure; Legal Skills; Interviewing; Negotiation; Property Law Practice; and Clinical Legal Education. She has extensive experience in the establishment and management of Legal Advice Clinics, where law students (under supervision) provide free legal advice to members of the public.

Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA), a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Adelaide, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the South Australian Institute of Technology, a Master of Creative Arts (MCA) from Flinders University and is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing at the same institution. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Education (Academic Practice) from UniSA.

Rachel has extensive experience in the legal profession, having practised in a variety of areas of law, including commercial dispute resolution, insurance, insolvency, criminal law, family law, intellectual property and disputed estates. She has been in-house counsel in the wine industry, a corporate solicitor in the radio broadcasting sector, a senior associate of a major Adelaide law firm, a Governor of the State Theatre Company of SA, the Chair of the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council (APLEC) and the Director of Practical Legal Training at Flinders University. She has appeared as counsel in Magistrates, District, Supreme, Industrial and Family courts.

Rachel’s current research interests include legal ethics, clinical legal education, experiential learning, the links between law, literature and popular culture, how media representations of lawyers (both real and fictional) affect access to justice, and the role of narrative in the adversarial system. Rachel has published various books, book chapters and journal articles on a variety of areas of law, legal ethics and legal education. 

Rachel is a past member of the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee and a current member of the Law Faculty Research Committee.  

Research area keywords

  • access to justice
  • Law
  • Popular culture
  • Ethics
  • clinical legal education
  • True Crime
  • Life Writing
  • Speculative Biography

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Research Output

On being a legal educator: responsible teaching for law justice and wellness

Carroll, C. & Spencer, R., 2020, Wellness for Law: Making Wellness Core Business. Marychurch, J. & Sifris, A. (eds.). 1st ed. Chatswood NSW Australia: Lexis Nexis, p. 89-98 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Reflecting on reflection: a dialogue across the hemispheres on teaching and assessing reflective practice in clinical legal education

Spencer, R. & Brooks, S. L., 2 Oct 2019, In : The Law Teacher. 53, 4, p. 458-474 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

Deferring to the ‘unlearned’ friend: professional ethics and the unrepresented litigant

Spencer, R., 2018, In : Legal Ethics. 21, 1, p. 70-88 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Troubling narratives of true crime: Helen garner's This House of Grief and Megan Norris's On Fathers Day

Spencer, R., Oct 2018, In : Text: the journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs. Special Series, 50, 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Communication beyond the judgments: the Australian High Court, speaking for itself, but not tweeting

Spencer, R., 2017, Justices and Journalists: The Global Perspective. Davis, R. & Taras, D. (eds.). 1st ed. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 39-57 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review