Pathway from University to Leo Cussen’s PLT Program

My journey to becoming a lawyer started as a fresh faced 19-year-old. My time at Deakin University was rewarding, and as is the case with any law student, at times challenging. Nevertheless, 8 years to the day after I set foot on campus as a student for the first time, I completed my Bachelor of Laws.

While no doubt a huge relief, it suddenly dawned on me that I was not prepared in the slightest for the transition into working in the legal profession. My grades left a lot to be desired, I had next to no legal experience and the thought of having to explain these shortcomings to potential employers seemed daunting.

Despite this, my singular goal was still to become a lawyer, so I decided to enrol in PLT at  Leo Cussen. My time at Leo Cussen was completely different to university; I could see how theory related to practice, I regained my confidence and most importantly, I enjoyed myself.

Once the PLT program was finished, Leo Cussen sourced a placement at a small law firm to fulfill the practical component of my PLT. After the three-week placement, I was offered a full-time role and a few months later, I was offered a role as a Graduate Lawyer in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), something that previously seemed entirely unattainable.


What I Love About My Current Job

My role at DEWR is incredibly varied, there are elements of advocacy, advice writing, statutory interpretation and all the usual things that come to mind when thinking of legal practice, but with that comes the unique opportunity to have a say in shaping legislation, writing guidance materials, and contributing to briefings that inform the Minister.

I’ve always been passionate about having a positive impact on the community through my work and being able to serve the public in my current capacity has been really rewarding for me both personally and professionally. The working conditions at the Department are fantastic and there are a wide range of opportunities to develop professionally and have a positive impact outside of ordinary work.


My Day-to-Day

As cliché as it sounds, no two days are the same in my role. Typically, I arrive at 8:30am having picked up a coffee on the way, I check my calendar and emails to get a handle of any meetings that might be on and then prioritise my work around them. That being said, my employers are aware that grads don’t come in as fully rounded lawyers or public servants and there is a structured program full of training and development to give us the tools needed. In addition to my usual work and training, I serve as the Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee and am assisting a hiring panel, which my supervisors are very supportive of.


I am very grateful to be where I am now and if nothing else, I hope my story and journey into law can serve as a reminder that progress is not always linear and you don’t have to fit the “cookie-cutter grad” mould to get where you want to be.

Taimoor Zia
Deakin University and Leo Cussen Alum 2023

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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