Relax and relish the moment! You have finished law school – hooray! This is such a momentous occasion. You can finally forget about assignments and exams and sit back to enjoy the euphoria of knowing all those years of hard work have earned your law degree Put that student card away, sit back and grab a good night’s sleep knowing that you’ve reached this enormous milestone.
Perhaps you have 2022 organised already. Perhaps you don’t. Either way, there are many things to consider about your legal career. But learning more about your options is probably the last thing you feel like doing right now. So, we have done the hard work for you; collating graduate feedback, we have captured information from our students on the what and why of PLT at Leo Cussen.
What’s involved? What can you expect? Why do it?
At Leo Cussen, our aim is to help pave the way between finishing your law degree and starting your first job in law. As Australia’s most experienced PLT provider, our course is designed to make the transition as seamless as possible, preparing you for the next step in your career.
We caught up with a number of recent Leo Cussen trainees and graduates from around the country to find out what they thought about the different aspects of the Leo Cussen experience.
Here’s what you do and what you can expect:
Learn Like A Lawyer
Completing PLT at Leo Cussen provides you the opportunity to move away from law school, where you learn the theory of law, to lawyer school, where you practice the skills of being a lawyer. After all, the best way to learn the skills for practice is to actually practice them.
For many students, including Leo Cussen Victorian Graduate, Millie Waters, Leo Cussen’s simulated law practice was a reason for choosing the course. After six years of study, Millie said she “had this knowledge but no idea of how to apply the skills.” But Leo Cussen’s focus on learning through practice meant she was able to apply the knowledge she had learned at law school.
Derek Tan, an ACT trainee, said that “Leo Cussen did not just teach me the law, but also the ways to do legal work” helping him to become “someone who is confident to enter the legal profession.” In this way, it’s important to feel confident in your skills as you graduate from law, helping to set you up for a successful career.
A big part of this is through practical file work. As Athulya Meddegoda, an International Leo Cussen trainee explains “running my own files really provided me with that practical aspect of being a lawyer that made me feel like a budding future lawyer.” This practical learning helps you to enter the industry with a base for the type of work you’ll be doing. Current Queensland trainee Binuri Totawattage believes it gave her “a good sense of what it’s like to be a solicitor”, while WA Graduate Jasmine Kasbergen believes the practical assessments enabled her to “develop practical skills that have really set [her] up as a junior lawyer today.”
Support From Mentors
In helping you to take the step from law school into your future legal career, Leo Cussen partners you with a supportive lawyer mentor. This mentor relationship is incredibly important as they are senior lawyers who understand what is required in the field, so they are a wealth of knowledge to help your transition. As such, it’s important to create a supportive space in which you can hone your practical skills to allow you to enter the industry feeling confident.
In this way, Leo Cussen’s supportive lawyer mentors have helped trainees build their confidence. Jasmine, WA Leo Cussen Graduate, outlines her personal experience with her mentor: “whilst at Leo Cussen the mentor relationship was a space for me to seek honest feedback on my work from a person I really respected and aspired to be … it was also a space for me to seek support when the course was challenging.”
Similarly, Athulya, an International Leo Cussen trainee says that “working closely with my mentor made all the difference. My mentor truly supported me every step of the way, allowed me to be myself which in turn boosted my confidence and created such a positive learning environment”. Mentors will provide you with a safe environment to ask questions, gives detailed feedback, and give you the opportunity to learn as best you can and develop throughout the course.
Placement and Careers
Along with mentor support, Leo Cussen provides trainees with support from our dedicated Careers advisors. This is especially important at the end of your PLT course as students must complete a professional placement. This is an opportunity to put the skills you’ve learnt throughout your course into action and get an even greater taste for the career that lies ahead of you.
Many law graduates were encouraged to complete their PLT at Leo Cussen due to this dedicated support. Millie, a Victorian Leo Cussen graduate, explains how easy Leo Cussen made the process: “I didn’t have many connections in the field. I felt that getting a job would just be impossible… I submitted preferences to Alex… He then was able to source a firm that accorded with all my preferences. At the end of the three weeks of placement, I was actually able to obtain employment.” Millie points to the skills she learnt through Leo Cussen as to why her placement was so successful. She believes the skills and process of practice “was really invaluable in attending the placement and being able to show that [she] did have that skill set”.
Queensland Leo Cussen trainee Renee Drury says that the placement support “was definitely one of the things that attracted me to Leo”. Both Renee and fellow Queensland Leo Cussen trainee Quinn Hironaka have found that what they learnt at Leo Cussen was directly applied to their placements. Renee says “that the things I’m learning at Leo, especially with my crime file, I’m using in my placement,” while Quinn uses skills like “opening files and writing initial letters to clients” in her placement.
These placements are invaluable in starting your legal career. Our dedicated careers team is made up of qualified careers advisors with legal and recruitment backgrounds who can help you find the career path that best suits you!
Collaboration and your legal network
While completing your PLT at Leo Cussen, not only will you work closely with our supportive and experienced lawyer mentors, but also with your peers. It is an opportunity to create relationships and network with colleagues who you will continue to work with throughout your career.
Many trainees and graduates look back on their time at Leo Cussen with fondness, thinking of the friendships and relationships they have found through the course. Millie, Victorian Leo Cussen Graduate, has “made numerous friends” and speaks of the “collaborative environment” she experienced at Leo Cussen. Similarly Derek Tan, ACT Leo Cussen trainee, is grateful for the “peers with whom I have worked closely and built long-lasting friendships”.
Lauren Abrahams, ACT Leo Cussen trainee, says “by far the best part of my Leo Cussen experience was the new connections and friendships I formed, which I know will be invaluable professionally and personally for years to come.” In working alongside like-minded individuals, you have the opportunity to build relationships that will endure through your career in law.
So with all that information, why do the Leo PLT?
PLT with Leo Cussen is renowned for giving graduates real skills, for real practice. Forget the exams and assessments it’s all about practical learning now! Our course is geared to set you up with a mentor and community of learning that leads to your very own legal network. With our dedicated career team, you receive the full circle of support, including in preparing your admission application upon successful completion of your PLT. Quality in qualification is key to our PLT and your success is our success. So relax and relish that incredible feeling of finishing law school and when you are ready, reach out for any additional information you need regarding your next step in your legal career.