Risk Management by University Lawyers in Work Integrated Learning Programs
The strategic expansion of work integrated learning (‘WIL’) programs by Australian universities is not without legal risk. The primary sources of that legal risk are the participation of third party entities that host students in the workplace and the placement of students in a workplace environment that they may be unfamiliar with. Managing the legal risks associated with WIL is not only a commercial imperative, but is mandatory under higher education law. University lawyers, a relatively unknown category of in-house counsel, have a central role in risk management. A case study involving 13 Australian university lawyers represents the first known systematic study of risk management in WIL from the perspective of university lawyers. The insights and recommendations provided by university lawyers can educate stakeholders about risk management and the role of university lawyers, and can be used as a basis for evaluating and improving risk management in WIL programs.