Relationships with Clients in Legal Services Delivery


There is a competitive process of scholarship application applicable at UTAS. A typical scholarship provides $27,596p.a. (2019 rate, indexed annually) living allowance for 3.5 years with no extension.

The Faculty of Law also provides to candidates some operational funds to support the PhD research project. Further information may be found on the Scholarships web page.

Closing Date

31st March 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

The legal services industry is dynamic and there are significant changes occurring on an international scale in the way lawyers interact with their clients. This is largely driven by corporate client demand for more efficient and effective legal services, greater participation in dispute resolution, and a breakdown in the elite status of the legal profession. In Tasmania the legal services market is primarily comprised of small to medium sized firms who represent individuals and small to medium sized businesses. This could mean that lawyers tend to be in a powerful position as compared to their clients, and that there has not been as much pressure to alter traditional methods and manners of client engagement as has occurred in large multinational corporate legal environments. This project seeks to identify and analyse the ways that Tasmanian legal practitioners have traditionally interacted with their clients, consider whether that relationship is changing, or whether it must respond to changes in the market, law and society. This will be informed by the contemporary and future needs of the profession, clients and the administration of justice in Tasmania. Ideally the project will obtain the client as well as lawyers’ perspective on the lawyer-client relationship.


The following eligibility criteria apply to these scholarships:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Legal service delivery
  • Qualitative research methods, particularly in depth interviewing


The competitive PhD scholarship programme is funded by the University of Tasmania.

Application Process

Applicants requiring more information, or who are interested in this specific project, should firstly contact the Supervisor listed below.

To determine eligibility, applicants should also contact the Research Hub for their proposed area of research and request an Expression of Interest Form (EOI). Further information on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

If a Graduate Research Administration Officer (GRAO) subsequently invites you to complete an application after you have submitted an EOI, please visit the Apply Now website and complete an application via the University of Tasmania's Online Application System. Please indicate under Scholarship Support that you wish to be considered for a living allowance scholarship.

Self-funded applications are welcome at any time. Information about scholarships, and scholarship round deadlines, may be found on the Scholarships webpage.

More information

Please contact Dr Olivia Rundle for more information

The supervision team for this project will be led by Dr Olivia Rundle. See Olivia's profile regarding her work in relation to the nature of legal services (particularly within the context of dispute resolution).