The journey to becoming a practising lawyer is a long one filled with many hours of study and requires a great deal of dedication. Completing your law degree at university is only one part of the journey. Following your law degree, you need to complete your practical legal training (PLT) and be awarded your Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP). But how does completing your PLT at Leo Cussen differ from a law degree?

PLT at Leo Cussen offers an opportunity to move away from lectures and put away the textbooks. You will instead apply your knowledge in a real-world setting through a structured training program that reflects real legal practice. You’ll be learning the skills for practice, in practice.

While law school focuses on the theoretical side of the law, during your PLT you will be gaining real experience with real lawyers. You learn by doing – as Quinn Hironaka, a Queensland trainee, describes during her second intensive: “we had a sentencing hearing for the crime file that we get, a bail hearing that we had to do on a new set of facts, and then two client interviews.” Binuri Totawattage, a fellow Queensland trainee, explains how this gives trainees “a really good sense of what it’s like to be a solicitor”.

Not only are you learning in a practical way, but you’ll receive feedback from experienced legal practitioners. Renee Drury, a Queensland trainee, explains how she and her colleagues presented “in front of a few different lawyers and barristers, getting some really good quality feedback.” You also benefit from a relationship with a lawyer mentor who supports you throughout the course.

But not only is the work practical in nature, so are the assessments. At law school, you will have completed essays, tests, and exams for assessments, but at Leo Cussen you’re assessed through this practical work. Binuri explains: “we don’t actually get exams at Leo Cussen. Nor do we get essays. It’s all just practical file work.” Renee describes how this helps trainees “we work through steps that teach us what it would be like to run those files in the real world.” So if law school is all about learning theory, PLT at Leo Cussen is all about learning through practice!

The journey to becoming a practising lawyer may be a long one with your law degree and PLT being two vital steps. But the important skills you learn at Leo Cussen will hold you in good stead for a successful career in the legal profession.

Find out more about completing your PLT at Leo Cussen by watching our recent Zoom Info Session held on 6th October.


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Enrolments are open and filling fast. Completing our enrolment form submits your application for PLT and reserves you a place in the program. This form does not commit you to the program and you are still able to cancel your enrolment should you wish to do so.

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