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People helping others better understand the law.

Help others better understand the law

There are many ways to make sense of where ‘the law’ fits into our daily lives.

Because we all have different lived and shared experiences interacting with the law, it means that we will all approach the question of trying to define what is ‘the law’ differently.

Placing the law in context

For some of us, when we first think about ‘the law’ we think about rules and consequences. Throughout our lives we are constantly exposed to standards and expectations of how we must behave in different social contexts. This might be within our family, at school, at work, or even at our local sports club, gym, or environmental group there are rules, and we are all expected to know and follow them.

As one famous legal author once said: ‘in any large group, general rules, standards and principles must be the main instrument of social control.’

Help others better understand the law

One way of understanding the purpose of having the law is to look at the social functions it can provide us. It can give authority to specific groups or people to complete certain activities, provide a way of resolving disagreements, and even be a way of facilitating personal relationships and how they change.

As you make your way through the course, think about the examples presented in the case studies and videos or the topics raised in the comments and then determine how they relate to you.

The Friendly Memo

In Week 3, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an assignment that we call ‘The Friendly Memo’. It’s your chance to bring together everything you’ve learned in the course to create an advisory that helps others in your jurisdiction better understand the law. This way you get to share your new knowledge, educate others around you and inform your neighbours of their rights and responsibilities under the common law.

The assignment is text-based, but you can choose to build upon what you’ve done by creating your Friendly Memo in a digital form such as a poster or video, a post on social media or even an audio recording. You can also share with us via the Law for Non-Lawyers - Friendly Memo group on Flickr any guidance that you’ve seen that help others better understand the law, including photos of a brochure or a poster or links to a website or online campaign. Building upon your Friendly Memo is entirely optional.

If you’d like your Friendly Memo to be considered for the gallery, you’ll need to post it to the Law for Non-Lawyers - Friendly Memo group on Flickr. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register with Flickr. If you’re not sure how to do this, review Signing in to Flickr and How to join a Flickr group.

We’ll then select a number of pieces that have been shared with us that best demonstrate the themes of the friendly memo in interesting ways to be included in the Friendly Memo gallery.

Please note, that if you post your work to the Flickr group, we will take that as you giving us permission to showcase your work to the world in the gallery.

If you’re curious about what you need to do or would like an example, explore the sample, the assignment or the gallery to find out more about The Friendly Memo. Once you have, return to this step and continue to make your way through the course.


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This article is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University