About to finish your law degree and confused about what happens next? It can be a very stressful time jumping from the lecture theatre to the courtroom, which is why Australia mandates that all law graduates must complete Practical Legal Training before becoming a lawyer. We’ve answered some most asked questions about Practical Legal Training, the next step towards practising law, and how to ensure you are prepared for your career beyond study.
What is Practical Legal Training?
Practical Legal Training (PLT) is the last push to finalising your career in law in Australia, completed after your law degree. It’s a structured program run by certified providers, which advances new graduate’s skills and confidence to jump headfirst into legal practice.
There are two parts to completing your PLT:
At Leo Cussen, we provide the ability to complete both parts online, given the current global situation, and ensure that all of our students are given exceptional, hands-on mentoring from current lawyers and professionals in the field throughout the course. The coursework and placement will expand your knowledge of the day-to-day life of a lawyer, and give you the opportunity to practise your skills with simulated clients and cases that you will own from start to finish. You can learn more about the specifics of our PLT courses here.
Getting your PLT is so much more than just ticking off another stepping stone to becoming a practising lawyer, it’s a time to own your cases in a safe learning environment so you can feel more than ready to take care of your clients in the field.
Is PLT compulsory in Australia?
To be admitted as a lawyer throughout most of Australia, you must complete a PLT course from an accredited program, although some states still allow for an alternative known as SLT. At Leo Cussen, completion of our PLT program awards you a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. The other two requirements for admission are that you have completed a law degree, and that you are a fit and proper person.
Completing your PLT is much more than meeting a requirement for admission. At Leo Cussen, our mission is to have all our students ‘learn by doing’. We believe that PLT should act as a bridge between academic learning and legal practice. We go above and beyond the minimum requirements, ensuring that you are incredibly well-equipped with knowledge, skills and the confidence to ‘hit the ground running’ as you enter the legal profession.
This can also be completed by lawyers looking to requalify if they’ve not practised for a while, though you must first contact the admitting authority in the state you wish to practice and they will direct you to the individual course that will requalify you. Find out more here. Lawyers from overseas can also requalify. Find out more here.
We have 40 years of experience helping students become the best lawyers they can be, and we are a registered charity run with the sole purpose of providing quality education programs, so all money going into our business is going directly back to you. Learn more about who we are on our about page.
When do I complete PLT training in Australia?
This course is normally completed after you finish your law degree (or equivalent), but there is an Early Commencement Rule which can allow you to start earlier. You can do this if you have completed all 11 Priestley core subjects and only have 2 electives remaining in your degree. You will also need to seek approval from the admitting authority in your state – you can find yours here.
Completing your PLT is an exciting next step in your journey towards becoming a lawyer, and at Leo Cussen we ensure that you have the support to feel confident in your skills, as well as connecting you to personal mentors and practising lawyers who will be key contacts throughout your career.