Here at Leo Cussen, we understand how busy your schedule can be and how some are completing their law degree while working full time. Our Practical Legal Training (PLT) is flexible and can be completed in various ways to meet your schedule, preference, and needs as a student with us. We know that many law graduates have been working full-time or part-time throughout their degree and will need to continue this work during their PLT to support themselves. Just because you may need to work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to complete your work on time or feel overwhelmed by your workload. That’s why our PLT course structure includes different options. To ensure no one is disadvantaged for needing to work, and can still equip themselves to be an exceptional lawyer. Completing your PLT in Australia doesn’t have to create added stress for you, with Leo Cussen. To find out how you can meet all of your PLT requirements whilst working on a full-time basis, read on.


PLT part-time or PLT full-time: What’s the best option for me?

If you decide to complete your PLT full-time directly after your law degree, it takes around 5-and-a-half months of coursework and placement to complete the program. Our full time PLT courses run for 24 weeks, and we recommend setting aside around 25 hours each week to complete the coursework. In Victoria, you also need to complete three weeks of workplace experience in an area of interest to you and in WA you’ll need to complete four weeks.


The full-time course is an intensive and challenging program but gets you comprehensively ready and confident for your first job. Currently, both VIC and WA courses are completed wholly online, which does give more flexibility to how you structure your working day and study day.


Whilst PLT hours can be demanding and it is a challenging course, many students find they can balance full time work alongside full-time study. The best thing to do is to consider how well you think you can engage with the workload and simulated cases whilst working full-time, and decide if you want to devote more time to your PLT if you think this might be more detrimental to building your skills. We will support you through either program, regardless of your external workload.


However, for this reason we also offer a part-time practical legal training program online for anyone who is in this situation. Our part-time PLT program follows the same format as our full-time course, with the same incredible mentors, instructors, and connections with current lawyers, but runs for 42 weeks instead and is predominantly online, starting in January and July each year. To ensure you meet all of your PLT requirements, we recommend a commitment of around 15 hours per week for our part-time PLT course. This option may be more favourable for those who have a full time job.


How can I complete my PLT placement if I’m working full-time?

In both courses, full-time and part-time, we give you support and guidance to help you find a placement in the area of your choice, from private law firms to public interest organisations, so you’re never made to feel alone when figuring out how to complete your PLT.


During COVID-19, our Victorian students have the unique option of replacing the workplace experience with an online module if they prefer, thereby allowing students to complete our course completely online in 2020. For our WA students, we are working with the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia (LPBWA) in relation to arrangements for our WA students. We will work with you to find a placement option that works best for you to ensure you get the experience necessary to bolster your skills and complete the full PLT.


We also ensure that our careers advisor, Alex Giannopoulos, is available for career consultations to chat through your options within the course and post your PLT. He can always be contacted via email, phone and video conferencing.


Completing a professional legal training course doesn’t have to create more stress on your day-to-day life and work, and we have numerous options available to support you through our course. Still wondering how to complete your work on time and balance your work load alongside full time work? If you need any more information regarding our legal training in Australia, you can book a chat with us through our website and check out our FAQs!