Teaching

Construction Site Visit

Dr Gerber and her students at a construction site

 

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says Theory without practice is as lifeless, as practice without theory is mindless. This philosophy underpins all of Professor Paula Gerber’s teaching. Professor Gerber is committed to producing law graduates who are neither lifeless nor mindless, and so ensures that her teaching balances both theory and practice.

Professor Gerber teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and across a diverse range of subjects that reflect her passion for human rights and her many years of experience working as a construction lawyer in Australia, the UK and USA.

Professor Gerber has received numerous teaching awards, including national awards, that recognise her excellence in teaching. She is passionate about ensuring that all her classes are interesting, interactive and illuminating for students.

 

Undergraduate

Construction Law: Principles and Practice (LAW4190)

Student Feedback:

“Paula was easily the best lecturer I have had in my time at law school. She was engaging and has plenty of practical and relevant “real world” experience in her field. She makes great use of a range of lecturing tools – most particularly guest lecturers, who each gave a unique perspective and genuine expertise in their particular area. The experience of the field trip was terrific, along with the regular “quizzes” which really helped reinforce knowledge and some of the technical terms used in this area of law.”

“Thank you for making construction law highly interesting. Your enthusiasm is contagious and will most likely encourage many students to enter this exciting field. I will be one of those students.”

“Enjoyed site visit – especially as this is not something I have had an opportunity to do in the past. Made lectures more realistic as could see practical application.”

Paula not only fuelled my passion to become a construction lawyer, but also reignited my excitement and appreciation for the law. Paula’s love for learning is addictive, and her commitment to excellence and pride in her work has had a resounding effect on my attitude.  I have enrolled in extra courses and pursued other avenues to help raise my skills. I now enjoy meeting the challenges of learning the law, and have continued independent study on construction law related issues. As a direct result of Paula’s encouragement, last semester I obtained the best results I have ever achieved in my law studies.  With Paula’s mentoring, I have grown in confidence and see many opportunities opening up to me that are bringing me closer to my dream of being a construction lawyer.”  

 Construction Law (Dispute Resolution) (LAW4244)

Email from a student:

“Hi Paula,

Just wanted to thank you for all the work you put into the Construction Law (Dispute Resolution) unit last year.
Thanks to your efforts, I not only got to study a really engaging unit, but I also got an internship at the Victorian Building Authority (which then turned into a job), and a job at a law firm, as a paralegal within their construction division.
That really opened my eyes to how much I loved the construction industry, and I’ve actually decided to study a Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics as an alternative to law. My only disappointment is that I didn’t get to take the Principles of Construction Law unit before I left.
Thank you again. You’ve been far and away the best part of my Monash experience.”

Civil Procedure (LAW4303)

Student Feedback:

“This subject was definitely taught in an engaging way, which made the content much more memorable. Just reading through my notes now, I’m shocked at how vividly I remember a lot of it from class – in contrast to other courses where I remembered almost nothing because they were taught in a dull manner. I also enjoyed the opportunity to have multiple assessments rather than just a huge exam. I always do better in tests/essays than I do in exams, so it felt like this subject was a bit for equally weighted and provided for students’ different strengths and weaknesses.”

“I really really enjoyed participating in the mock mediation exercise- it was fantastic practical experience, and a really good method of assessment. I think it is so important to have student/teacher interaction to facilitate learning and wellbeing in a cohort. Civil Procedure was on the mark. Doing exercises together as a class was also extremely helpful in terms of preparation for exams, and more generally useful to see how the material learned applied to situations in reality.”

“Paula Gerber is a fantastic lecturer. She puts effort into every class and tries to make it as interesting as possible. Her insights from her own experiences and added extras make the unit.”

Graduate

Children’s Rights in International Law (LAW5417)

Student Feedback:

“Paula Gerber’s vast experience, enthusiasm and personable approach to teaching made this subject my favourtite elective so far. The opportunity to attend a symposium on children’s rights as part of the four day program was also invaluable.”

“Paula’s energy and enthusiasm for this subject made it one of the best I have studied. Her approach to the material was such that what we learnt has made a lasting impact. Additionally her approach to the assessment tasks has assisted in clarifying the research topic early on.”

Sexual & Gender Minorities and Human Rights Law (LAW5439)

This subject was taught for the first time in October 2015.

This unit explores a range of controversial developments in the laws relating to sexual and gender minorities around the world, and evaluates them, using international human rights norms, in order to enhance students’ understanding of the way in which international law protects and promotes the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Students will analyse contemporary issues such as marriage equality/relationship recognition, criminalisation of homosexual conduct, anti-discrimination laws, hate-based violence and ‘gay propaganda’ prohibitions. Students will critique the work of the UN in this field and consider cultural relativism arguments before examining what, if any, reforms might be necessary to better protect the rights of LGBTI persons.

Protecting the Rights of Minorities, Marginalised and Vulnerable People (LAW7330)

Student Feedback:

“Paula was an amazing lecturer and this was the best class I have ever studied in my academic career. She was engaging, approachable and a pleasure to be around. The content was so interesting and the assessments were great. I really felt like she connected with us all.”

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