Practical Legal Training (PLT)

Course Overview

In our PLT course you be applying the theory you learned in law school the way you will in the practice of law, such as through analysing a client’s problem, providing written or oral advice, drafting legal documents, and negotiating with other parties.

PLT is all about preparing you for your future as a practising lawyer, giving you the skills to operate on a day-to-day basis, as well as network with other lawyers and make you employable for law firms.

icCourse Length

Full-Time – 21 weeks, 25hrs/week

Part-Time – 42 weeks, 15 hrs/week

icCost

Find out more here

icLocation

Campuses in Melbourne & Perth Our online course is available to anyone, anywhere

Part-Time & Full-Time, Online & On-Site

Please note: Due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, all coursework will be conducted online.

PLT at Leo Cussen can be done online or in-person, part-time or full-time. We are flexible in adapting to your needs and supporting you in your extracurriculars and growing career.

Starting Dates

  • 6 July - 11 Dec
    Full-Time PLT On-Site

    Structured and scheduled learning availably fully online

  • 6 July - 11 Dec
    Full-Time PLT On-Site

    Structured and scheduled learning availably fully online

  • 6 July - 11 Dec
    Full-Time PLT On-Site

    Structured and scheduled learning availably fully online

Learn by Doing

All PLT trainees complete the following 13 topic items in addition to professional placement. For further development (or to replace the Professional Placement), students can also complete a Virtual Internship.

img

Coursework

All PLT Trainees will complete 13 topic items from ‘Skills’, ‘Core Practice Areas’, ‘Values’, Choice Areas’

img

Professional Placement

All PLT trainees must complete 3 weeks in legal practice.

img

Virtual Internship

All PLT trainees are able to complete a Virtual Internship

Coursework

Topic Topic comprises instruction in: How topic is practised and assessed
Trust and Office Accounting Accounts, Costing Mentor examination of accounts
Advocacy Advocacy 1 & 2 (Intro to Advocacy, Criminal & Civil Advocacy) Hearing component of Client Files: Interlocutory, Family (Parenting & Property Orders), or Administrative, Crime (Onsite only)
Lawyer’s Skills Intro to Lawyer’s Skills
Interviewing & Drafting
Dispute Resolution
Client Lawyer Interviewing Program (1,2), Skills applied in Client File Program
Work Management & Business Skills Intro to Work Management & Business Skills, Intro to Legal Practice, Legal Practice Review Setting up Practice File, Skills applied in Client File Program and Professional Placement & additional competency-based assessment for Risk Management
Legal Analysis Problem Analysis, Practical Legal Research, Statutory Interpretation Practical Legal Research File/ Competency-Based Assessments
Skills applied in Client File Program
Topic Topic comprises instruction in: How topic is practised and assessed
Litigation Practice Civil Litigation (1, 2 Enforcement, 3 Federal Court Practice) Magistrates’ Court File, Interlocutory File
Commercial & Corporate Practice Commercial & Corporate (1 Commercial including Trusts, 2 Company) Commercial File & additional competency-based assessment
Property Practice Property Property transaction file & additional competency-based assessment
Criminal Law Practice Criminal Law Practice Crime File
Taxation Revenue Law (1 Duties & 2 Taxation) Knowledge applied in Client File Program (Commercial Client File & Property Client File) and Client Lawyer Interview Program
Topic Topic comprises instruction in: How topic is practised and assessed
Ethics Ethics Values applied in Client File Program & additional competency-based assessment
Topic Topic comprises instruction in: How topic is practised and assessed
Administrative Law Practice Administrative Law Administrative Law File (FOI)
Family Law Practice Family Law Parenting and Property Orders File
Consumer Law Practice Consumer Law Consumer File
Employment & Industrial Relations Practice Employment & Industrial Relations Practice Employment File
Planning and Environmental Law Practice Planning and Environmental Law Planning and Environment File
Wills and Estates Practice Wills & Deceased Estates 1 and 2 Wills File, Deceased Estates File
Banking & Finance Banking & Finance Banking File

Fees & Payment Options

A part tuition fee of $500.00 (or a completed Request for FEE-HELP Assistance form) is required to confirm your enrolment. The balance of the full tuition fee for non-FEE-HELP applicants is payable in full no later than two weeks before the commencement of the relevant course (the enrolment date).

Domestic Students

  • Onsite Full-time $11,125.00
  • Onsite Full-time $10,455.00
  • Online Part-time $10,810.00

International Students

  • Onsite Full-time $15,945.00
  • Onsite Full-time $15,500.00
  • Online Part-time $15,955.00

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is available for PLT applicants. However, please note that FEE-HELP is available only if you are an Australian citizen or a student on a permanent humanitarian visa. If you are an overseas practitioner on a permanent visa for the purposes of bridging study, then you are NOT eligible for FEE-HELP for PLT.

For eligible students, the tuition fee can be fully or partially covered by FEE-HELP. If you are not an Australian citizen or do not have a permanent humanitarian visa, then you will be required to pay the tuition fee upfront. All applicants wishing to access FEE-HELP loans must return a Request for FEE-HELP Assistance Form with their acceptance of offer (electronic versions of this form are acceptable). FEE-HELP forms will be emailed to applicants with the Offer Letter. Hard copies can also be posted by request to pltadmin@leocussen.edu.au.

After you apply for FEE-HELP, if you disagree with a decision about re-crediting or remitting then please read the Centre’s FEE-HELP Review Procedures below.

Overseas Students: Please note that overseas students may pay the course fee of $15,555 by instalments. However, an application for permission to pay the fee by instalments must be made in writing to the Director PLT no later than two weeks before the commencement of the course (the enrolment date). Payments may be made by direct deposit, bank cheque/money order or credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla eget tempus dolor. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

Absolutely. It is business as usual for all of us at Leo Cussen, with the necessary adjustments to keep everyone safe and comply with government guidelines.

100% of course components can be completed online, including the work placement component.

For the foreseeable future we will continue to run all aspects of the Leo Cussen PLT program at distance. When safety measures are lifted, we will welcome onsite trainees to our Williams St, Melbourne premises to learn with us onsite. Online students will have the option to attend intensives onsite or to continue learning online for the entire course if they prefer.

Leo Cussen has one course, with two different delivery methods. We will continue to offer these two different methods to cater to different learning styles and different lifestyle needs. The onsite course suits learners who prefer more structure and guidance from their mentor. The online course suits learners who prefer more flexibility and independence in their learning. In both courses, students have a dedicated mentor guiding them through the program and available to support them every day.

The July onsite course – structured learning

Until we are able to resume our regular onsite delivery, onsite trainees will receive a weekly schedule with specific activities listed for each day of that week, so they can work as though they are onsite in the building with us. They will also participate in whole group zoom meetings with their fellow trainees and their group mentor, in addition to regular 1 on 1 coaching with their mentors. They will also participate in livestreamed workshops and other training throughout the course.

The July and August online courses – flexible learning

Online trainees will work through the course with a more flexible timetable and intensives being conducted at distance via livestreaming and zoom. They will also participate in whole group zoom meetings and 1 on 1 coaching with their mentors.

We have a dedicated IT support team to help our students with any difficulties. We use Zoom for our video conferencing and live-streaming and our online learning system is simple and easy to use. For anyone needing additional support, we will help you learn some new skills which you can take with you into the workplace.

Yes, we will be happy to welcome trainees onsite, once safe to do so, so they can learn with us at our premises in William St, Melbourne.
Online trainees can continue to learn online for all components of their course unless there is any change to regulations.

VIC
You can now complete the work placement component entirely online.
The Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) has approved the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component of the course for 2020. This can be completed entirely online.

WA
You can now complete the work placement component entirely online. The Legal Practice Board of Western Australia (LPBWA) has approved the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component of the course for 2020. This can be completed entirely online.

Yes, Alex Giannopoulos is providing career consultations via email, phone and video conferencing.

VIC
Yes, VLAB is currently completing admissions ‘on the papers’, which means that applicants are not required to attend court for admission.
Instead applicants are required to affirm/swear an affidavit of office in which they will affirm/swear that they will:

“well and honestly conduct myself in the practise of my profession, as a member of the legal profession and an officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria, to the best of my knowledge and ability.”

WA
The LPBWA has advised us that applicants can apply through the usual processes and they are processing applications in the usual way.

VIC
No, as VLAB is continuing to organise admissions and the Supreme Court is continuing to admit applicants, there should be no delays in being admitted once qualified.
WA
Admission ceremonies for April and May are currently on hold. We understand that LPBWA is continuing to process applications and there is a slight delay to admissions at present.

Support for our international students is very important to us. As an organisation, we are very experienced in looking after our international students and we greatly value the rich diversity they bring to our programs.
Fonda Gazis, Lawyer and Mentor, is our dedicated International Trainee Advisor. He is there to provide additional support along with allocated mentors. We also have a panel of migration lawyers, who can assist international students with visa issues as required.

Yes, our course can currently be delivered entirely online and still meet the visa requirements for a face to face program.

Yes, you can currently complete the entire Leo Cussen Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice online, including the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component.

You have the option to complete an online placement program.

VLAB and LPBWA have approved Leo Cussen students to complete an online program to substitute the work placement, if COVID-19 measures prevent them from undertaking a placement in a legal workplace.

In light of the restrictions on face to face attendance created by COVID-19, we have changed our face to face attendance to enable our trainees to complete these components wholly online. For further information on attendance, go to Course Dates.

Yes. Due to COVID-19, we are able to deliver our onsite program at distance, so that it complies with requirements for international students to study in an onsite program.

No. Whilst admission ceremonies are not taking place due to COVID-19, Victorian admissions are instead being completed ‘on the papers’. The Victorian Legal Admissions Board website has further information: Victorian Legal Admissions Board

So there are no delays on being admitted in Victoria and graduates of our program will be eligible to apply for admission in the same time frame as usual.

In WA the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia has not yet announced changes to its process but may take the same approach as Victoria.

When you graduate you’ll receive a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GLDP). Our GDLP is a level 8 qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework. By comparison, a Bachelor’s degree is level 7 and a Masters Degree is level 9.

Provided you have completed all other academic requirements, you are then eligible to apply for admission to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

For further information about admission to practise, please see the website of the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia.

No. You are continually assessed, based on the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers. The program replicates actual workplace practice, with the aim of making you ready to practise law efficiently and ethically in the interests of your clients.

No. At present, Leo Cussen is the only provider of full-time onsite PLT courses in Victoria. There is currently no full-time onsite course in Western Australia.

We have a longstanding reputation within the profession, also expressed tangibly in the number of Leo Cussen graduates who gain employment, and the number of practitioners who choose to pass on their knowledge and expertise here by working as instructors.

In simple terms, Leo Cussen runs two full-time onsite and online courses per year in Victoria, each lasting for 24 weeks – a relatively short, but intensive and challenging, program. There is also a Part-time Online course that follows the same format as the full-time online course, but which runs for 42 weeks, starting in January. There is currently one Online PLT course a year for Western Australian trainees, including 21 weeks of course work plus placement as required by the WA Legal Practice Board. For detailed information, go to Important Information for Applicants, Course Dates page.

Yes. FEE-HELP is available for our courses for eligible trainees.

You will run simulated client files (connected to our simulated Court Registry and Bank) to help you manage your introduction to legal practice within a safe environment while engaging with the realities of practice. We have a proven record for providing our graduates with the skills and confidence required to be work-ready.

Our overriding concern is ensuring that PLT trainees are guided through tasks to maximise their learning and prepare them as well as possible for entry to the profession. To that end, you are assigned a mentor who actively oversees your progress and supports your development as a lawyer. Our mentors are allocated small groups of trainees, so they are able to be really hands on and they have time to interact with you as much as needed to meet your learning preferences and requirements.

With a combination of friendly, well-connected instructors, the intensity of undertaking challenging work in small groups, and a supportive, friendly environment, it is commonplace for our graduates to form lifelong friendships and professional connections.

Probably fewer than you would think. We appreciate that trainees will have good reason for preferring the convenience of online learning, but the major difference is obviously face-to-face contact. However, our online course includes 13 days of personal contact – more than usual for a course like this – which is designed to meaningfully build your practical skills and networks.

Onsite placement takes place at the end of the course, while online placement can take place during the course itself or after course work is completed.

We invite onsite trainees to nominate an area of interest and we make every endeavour to find you a placement in that area.

Allocation of places is at the discretion of the Director PLT.

This differs between our onsite and online courses.

Leo Cussen arranges professional placement for onsite trainees.

We find that online trainees prefer the autonomy of organising their own placement, which they can then schedule to suit their own timetables and commitments.

However, our Graduate Placement and Careers Advisor assists online trainees when they need help.

We’ll try!

We are frequently approached by firms or other organisations looking for a Leo Cussen graduate.

Information about positions is regularly circulated to the graduates.

Yes, many employers sponsor their graduates to complete PLT. The decision to sponsor is up to the particular firm or legal practice.

Sure, but you’ll need to ensure you have time for your coursework.

If you are enrolled in the Full Time course, you may work full-time or part-time but you’ll need to commit to 25 hours of course work each week.

In the Part Time PLT course, you will need to commit to 15 hours of course work each week.

The handbook is made available to trainees once they make final payment of tuition fees and receive their login to the learning portal.

For further information about the timetable email pltadmin@leocussen.edu.au and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Yes. Contact the PLT Co-ordinator before making a deferral application. There is more information on deferrals in our Important Information for Applicants page.

In most cases, applicants in this situation forfeit their place on the PLT course and receive a refund of any part tuition payments they have already made. You will generally be subject to our Withdrawal Penalty, although in special cases this can be waived. To learn more, go to the Failed University Subjects and Withdrawal Penalties sections of the Important Information for Applicants page.

You will first have to undertake the Bar Readers’ Course. The Bar Readers’ Course runs twice each year, in March and September, and is a full-time 12-week course. For further information, please contact the Victorian Bar.

Some university Masters programs in law, legal practice and global business law recognise the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PLT) for the purpose of advanced standing or credit (sometimes referred to as ‘articulation’), but conditions vary. We encourage graduates to direct any queries to the relevant university.

Leo Cussen meets all the tuition assurance requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003. For more information, read the Higher Education Provider Guidelines.

You are eligible to apply for either the onsite or online course, depending on your visa conditions. In our onsite course offered in Melbourne, we find the professional placement for international students. See below for more information on visas. The Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice is a CRICOS approved course with the provider number 02224A.

Any applicant whose LLB degree or equivalent is from outside Australia must have their qualifications for admission approved by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or Legal Practice Board of Western Australia before applying for the course.

You must obtain a determination from the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or Legal Practice Board of Western Australia about any requirements for admission to the legal profession. If such a determination requires you to complete some or all of a course of Practical Legal Training, you are welcome to enrol with Leo Cussen Centre for Law to complete these requirements.

If you are on a bridging visa or other temporary residence visa with no restrictions on study, you may take the online course.

However, it depends on the conditions of your visa, so if unsure you should check this with the Department of Home Affairs or seek advice from an agency. See below.

Leo Cussen checks your visa when you enrol. Overseas students on a Student Visa are only eligible to study the full-time onsite course.

Australian citizens and applicants on a Permanent Humanitarian Visa are eligible to apply for FEE-HELP.

Yes. Find out more at The Department of Health.

You are required to pay a $500 part-tuition fee within one week of acceptance of your offer to secure your position. The balance of the tuition fee is due two weeks prior to the course start date. You may be able to pay the course fee by instalments but an application for permission to do so must be made in writing to the Director PLT no later than two weeks before the commencement of the course.

We can offer advice about our course, and assistance in what is best for you regarding onsite or online options, but you are required to arrange your visa yourself. The following resources can assist you:

  • The Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) for details of registered migration agents who can help.
  • Local law associations for each State often have a referral service that will connect you with lawyers who work in migration matters. In some cases the first 15-30 minutes are free. This may vary in each state so please check.
  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Contact our International Student Advisor, Fonda Gazis, for further advice and referrals:

Email: fgazis@leocussen.edu.au
Tel: 1300 039 031

No. You are not required to take an International English Language Test to enter PLT.

To view our most current list of fees, go to our Course Fees page.