Law, like all disciplines, must leverage off the capacity to interest, engage and extend knowledge through physical and digital interactions. Spaces that are highly engaging and offer a range of settings are fundamental to contemporary knowledge transfer.
The Forgan Smith Building has served its students admirably and has endured many changes throughout its long history. The re-imagined Forgan Smith is a state-of-the-art and progressive teaching, research and practical facility that incorporates the latest technology to future-proof learning at the TC Beirne School of Law.
The TC Beirne School of Law has been home to many distinguished legal scholars. Their teaching and guidance has been integral to the education of graduates, and they are responsible for the prevailing culture of intellectual rigour and discipline that contributes to the recognised high quality of the school’s alumni.
Ultimately, the goal is to become a more compact organisation, unequivocally dedicated to excellence in legal teaching and research. The re-imagination of the school’s spaces goes hand-in-hand with the strategic aims of the school.
A program of comprehensive reform has been initiated to instil the highest standards of legal rigour and discipline. The reform includes a revised curriculum, reviews of the teaching quality, smaller yearly cohorts of only 200 students and broadening the student experience to include opportunities such as international study experiences, mooting, and professional networking.
Students require practical learning experience to augment their rigorous theoretical legal foundation, and this is found in the blend of teaching methods and learning spaces at the law school.
The re-imagination has focused on enhancing structured learning spaces with informal small group environments to encourage collaboration and interaction. Students and academics will have the opportunity to linger, discuss and debate in new state-of-the-art break out rooms, lounges and seminar facilities.
Inquiring minds thrive on the energy and stimulus of collaboration and spirited debate, but also need quiet spaces for reflection and contemplation. Research and academic spaces in the new Forgan Smith Building accommodate these diverse needs for independent study as well as areas for informal or formal group learning.
As the hub of the law school, the Walter Harrison Law Library has been integral to the education of generations of law students. Expanded and refurbished over the years to accommodate the changing information delivery and learning needs of students and academics, its greatest transformation is underway.
The library is evolving into a more contemporary learning and study space, a key part of the public realm of the building. The entire ground floor has become a Student Learning Lounge, seamlessly integrating with the arrival space of the school. Book-lined seating nooks provide places for interactions and extend existing building motifs into contemporary settings.
The advent of the internet and mobile technology has significantly impacted on the storage and sharing of knowledge. While legal study was historically book based, today’s environment demands an extra layer of interactivity – information available on demand, from any location, more easily shared and highly accessible.