Practical Legal Training (PLT) is a fundamental step on the pathway to becoming a qualified lawyer. Rather than seeing it as simply more study time, graduates should embrace PLT as a unique way to test and hone their newly acquired skills before officially beginning their legal careers. So, how long does PLT take? Well, that depends – a Leo Cussen PLT course can vary in length depending on a few factors. Here are several ways that graduates can complete their PLT course.


Leo Cussen offers several delivery modes for its PLT course: onsite and online; full time and part time. Graduates are able to complete their PLT onsite at Leo Cussen Centre for Law in Melbourne or via online learning. Each mode offers students personalised support from practising lawyers to ensure they can confidently complete their PLT.


Leo Cussen’s PLT course comprises a mix of coursework, consisting of 13 subjects, followed by a professional placement in a legal workplace. Students can choose to complete the course as full-time or part-time delivery. The differences are:


Full-time PLT is a 24-week course, comprising:

Our full time Practical Legal Training program consists of 21 weeks of coursework (around 25 hours per week); three weeks’ professional placement.


Part-time PLT is a 45-week course, comprising:

Our part time Practical Legal Training program consists of 42 weeks of coursework (around 15 hours per week); three weeks’ professional placement.


The subjects studied aim to give graduates a broad view of the kinds of legal work they can encounter in their professional roles as lawyers, in order to satisfy the National Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers as set out by the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (which can be read here).


The 13 subjects comprise 11 core subjects and two electives:



Lawyer’s Skills (communication skills, interviewing, letter writing, drafting, negotiation and advocacy)

Problem Solving (problem analysis, statutory interpretation, practical legal research)

Trust and Office Accounting

Work Management and Business Skills (including professional placement, file management and risk management)

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Wellbeing for Lawyers

CLIP – Client/Lawyer Interviewing Program



Litigation Practice

Commercial & Corporate Practice

Property Practice

Criminal Law Practice



Administrative Law Practice

Family Law Practice

Consumer Law Practice

Employment & Industrial Relations Practice

Planning and Environmental Law Practice

Wills and Estates Practice

Banking & Finance


At the completion of the Leo Cussen PLT course, graduates are awarded a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) – a prerequisite for admission to the Australian legal profession – and they will now have the skills and confidence to become effective and highly employable lawyers.