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Reflective Practice and You

By William van Roosmalen, Victoria University of Wellington

Reflective practice at law school

Last week I participated in a reflective practice session provided by my employer, Disability Services at Victoria University. The training was amazing, and one thought that struck me was the lack of reflective practice throughout our time at law school.

I realised that it extended only to about five or ten minutes after an exam or a test, where you and your mates talk about how it went and usually complain about either time pressure or some difficult question put to you in the exam. It may also be positive, and this also counts as reflective practice.

The next stage of the law school cycle is that you rinse and repeat: either burning your notes or trying to erase the assessment from your mind, until you receive your either satisfactory or disappointing grades, after which point you begin the next semester of your law career.

Career planning and reflective practice

I am in my fifth year now and am only just realising the importance of reflective practice –  it is something you must do in preparation for graduate recruitment. After three or four years, I began to write to employers trying to convince them why I was the one candidate they should choose out of 30 or 40. But its value is not entirely instrumental, you can use it to help you learn better, something which I think most of us value for many reasons.

From a careers perspective, one way to reflectively practice is to read over your week’s work and compare it to what the teacher was trying to convey. Another is to read the marking guides provided with assessments and to compare it to your own work. These provide learning in that you can consider what skills are at play, but with a perspective of hindsight, which may be considerably more objective.

On a deeper level, reflective practice can be used for your law careers to give an objective perspective to all sorts of experiences and memories that build your personal skill set.

Find out more

Go to for detailed blogs on Reflective Practice, it is worth doing, particularly if you have results that you are concerned with or that exceeded your expectations. It is also very useful for reflecting on employment experiences, personal experiences, and whatever else you can think of that would benefit from a more objective perspective.

Kia kaha!