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Capstones as transitional experiences
Legal Education Review (2015)
  • Judith McNamara, Queensland University of Technology
  • Rachael Field, Queensland University of Technology
  • Sandra Coe, Queensland University of Technology
  • Des Butler, Queensland University of Technology
  • Catherine Brown, Griffith University - Australia
  • Sally Kift, James Cook University
Capstone programs are increasing recognised as high-impact value-laden learning experiences for students,
especially in aiding the transition of final year students to professional practice. Although these learning
programs have a long history in many disciplines, they are a very recent inclusion in law curriculum in
Australia. This paper reports on a project designed to renew the final year law curriculum in Australia by
developing a principled approach to designing capstone programs. This framework is based on six key
principles, which are transition, integration and closure, diversity, engagement, assessment, and evaluation.
The project also identified two themes underpinning capstone experiences which sit behind the six
principles - integration and closure, and transition. The principled approach advocated by the authors’
bridges the gap between curriculum theorising and practice. This paper discusses the theme of transition
and how the resources provided in the project Toolkit assist unit coordinators to design effective final year
capstone programs. The toolkit outlines the six principles, providing commentary on each, and also offers
suggestions for subject models along with examples of actual capstone programs, all of which have been
designed to facilitate smooth transitions for final year students as they move from undergraduate to
emerging professional.
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McNamara, J., Field, R., Coe, S., Butler, D., Brown, C., & Kift, S. (2015). Capstones as transitional experiences. Legal Education Review, 25(1), 7-28.

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Citation Information
Judith McNamara, Rachael Field, Sandra Coe, Des Butler, et al.. "Capstones as transitional experiences" Legal Education Review Vol. 25 Iss. 1 (2015) p. 7 - 28 ISSN: 1033-2839
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