Academic Staff

Lisa Coates

Lecturer in Law
Building 1400 Room 1.18


“If the law is a map to the top of Everest, then justice is the wearing of high altitude gear.”

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Teaching from CSU. She was admitted to legal practice in the Supreme Court of the ACT and the High Court of Australia in 2001.

Prior to joining CSU in 2014, Lisa spent 10 years as a courtroom solicitor. Lisa has worked for global law firms such as DLA Piper in Canberra and boutique plaintiff firms. She regularly appeared before the Magistrates, Children's, Supreme, Federal and Family Courts in Canberra and Melbourne, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Lisa has instructed Senior Counsel on a special leave application before the High Court.

Lisa has represented three of the four major Australian banks and number of landmark Australian companies. She also has experience acting for both plaintiffs and defendants in civil and administrative proceedings, represented criminal defendants in summary and indictable matters, has worked as an in-house advisor to the Australian Federal Police, the Federal Government and as a legal researcher in Canada.

Lisa is committed the principle of legal and justice education, matching theory with practical application. At CSU, Lisa lectures into both the Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree and the Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB). She authored Property Law for the LLB and authors subject content for both degrees. Lisa is also the author of the CSU Workplace Learning: Justice Studies Student WebGuide, an interactive website for 3rd year Criminal Justice Students and Graduates to transition them into industry employment. She presented on this as a digital showcase at the International Improving University teaching Conference in 2018.

Lisa is a peer reviewer for Salus Journal. During her time in legal practice, she was Editor of industry newsletter on Commonwealth workers compensation with a national distribution. She is Chair of the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security Learning and Teaching Committee at CSU and is CSU representative on the New South Wales Judges and the Academy committee.

Lisa’s most recent submissions to government include a petition to Federal MP Andrew Gee, Member for Calare in 2017. She supported the position of Rosie Batty, domestic violence advocate and 2015 Australian of the Year, and peak bodies of Australian lawyers nationally who objected to the proposed funding cuts in the 2017 Federal Budget to community legal centres. These funding cuts were later reversed by the Federal Attorney-General. Lisa has also made a formal submission evaluating the NSW legislation on adult sexual assault to the New South Wales Law Reform Commission on Consent in Relation to Sexual offences in February 2019.


  • LAW216 Property Law
  • JST201 Criminal Law and Criminology (formerly Criminal Law and Process)
  • JST319 Evidence Law and Procedure
  • JST339 Sentencing Law and Practice
Recent 2017-2018
  • JST204 Young People and Crime
  • JST321 Justice Studies Workplace Learning
  • LAW309 Professional Legal Conduct

Selected Publications

Submission - New South Wales Law Reform Commission on Consent in Relation to Sexual offences, February 2019.

CSU Workplace Learning: Justice Studies Student WebGuide

Coates, Lisa ‘Human Rights Law is Grossly Deficient, Says Academic’, Western Advocate (Bathurst), 23 November 2017

Professional Memberships

CSU representative - New South Wales Judges and the Academy Committee.

Member - Australasian Law Teachers Association


2017: Teaching Excellence - Centre for Law and Justice.

2017: Excellence in Community Engagement - Centre for Law and Justice.

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