Onsite Full-Time PLT

Leo Cussen’s onsite Practical Legal Training is a 24-week course, comprising 21 weeks of formal training and three weeks’ professional placement. Full-time attendance at our Melbourne CBD campus is required from 9am to 5pm each day.

You have your own workspace alongside other trainees for the duration of the course. With our onsite PLT, you will get one-on-one, face-to-face mentor support and feedback.

Professional placement

Professional placements may be at private law firms, community legal centres, government agencies, public interest organisations or in-house. They are organised by Leo Cussen Centre for Law for onsite trainees. If a trainee has failed to satisfactorily complete all coursework by the end of the formal training period, they may not be permitted to participate in the placement program until they have completed all work and it has been assessed as satisfactory. These trainees may also be required to arrange their own placement.

Practice days

Some onsite days are set aside as file-work days, on which you may work on course exercises and client files. Lectures or short group-instruction sessions, appointments for settlements or court appearances and group meetings may also be programmed for these days.

Optional topics

The Onsite course has further optional topics, such as Optional Advocacy. These are often taken by trainees who intend to go to the Bar to practise as a barrister, or by other interested trainees. Online trainees can participate in these if they can attend the Little Bourke St campus on the scheduled days.

Workstations

For the duration of the course, onsite PLT trainees are each allocated an individual workstation.

Online Full-Time PLT

Our online PLT is a blend of online and onsite activities over 24 weeks, and three weeks of professional placement that may be undertaken during the formal training period. Applicants must have proficiency in email and internet applications, reasonable access to such resources and an aptitude for successful learning via online delivery modes.

Contact days

The Online PLT (full-time and part-time) is suitable for law graduates who have other commitments during typical business hours. The Online PLT includes 13 face-to-face intensive contact days at our Melbourne or Perth CBD campuses. Attendance is a requirement. Online PLT trainees conduct simulated files with the same parity of workload as onsite PLT trainees. Attendances at hearings, settlements, interviews, signings and other activities are scheduled on intensive contact days.

Professional placement

Professional placement of three weeks is a requirement of the course in Victoria, and 15 weeks in Western Australia. As most online PLT trainees prefer to arrange their own placement so that it suits their other commitments, Leo Cussen does not arrange placement for Online PLT trainees. However, your chosen placement must be approved by the Coordinator Online PLT and the Director PLT. Online PLT placement can be done shortly before or after the formal coursework, or concurrently with coursework. Placements can be organised with private law firms, community legal centres, government agencies, public interest organisations or in-house.

Online completion of Client Files

Online PLT files are largely conducted via guided one-to-one online contact with mentors, except for attendance at hearings, settlements, interviews, signings and other activities that are scheduled on contact days.

Optional topics

Optional Advocacy may be available to online PLT trainees who are able to attend onsite at the Melbourne campus at the required times. Optional Advocacy is often taken by trainees intending to go to the Bar to practise as a barrister or by other interested trainees.

Online Part-Time PLT

This differs from the half-year online course above only in that it extends over the full calendar year. Leo Cussen’s Part-time Online PLT has the same course structure as our full-time online PLT, with the required topics spread over two semesters. In addition to the expected minimum of 15 hours per week of online study, you must attend all contact days. This means the Part-time Online PLT has its own attendance dates.

Course dates and fees

For detailed information, go to our Course Dates and Fees page.

Required topics

All PLT trainees must satisfactorily complete the following 14 topic items in addition to professional placement.

SKILLS

Topic

1. Accounts

Topic comprises instruction in:

Accounts, Costing

How topic is practised and assessed

Mentor examination of accounts

Topic

2. Advocacy

Topic comprises instruction in:

Advocacy 1 and 2 (Intro to Advocacy, Criminal and Civil Advocacy)

How topic is practised and assessed

Hearing component of Client Files: Interlocutory, Family (Parenting and Property Orders) or Administrative, Crime (Onsite only)

Topic

3. Lawyer’s Skills

Topic comprises instruction in:

Intro to Lawyer’s Skills
Interviewing & Drafting
Dispute Resolution

How topic is practised and assessed

Client Lawyer Interviewing Program (1, 2), Skills applied in Client File Program

Topic

4. Work Management and Business Skills

Topic comprises instruction in:

Intro to Work Management & Business Skills, Intro to Legal Practice, Legal Practice Review

How topic is practised and assessed

Setting up Practice File, skills applied in Client File Program and Professional Placement & additional competency-based assessment for Risk Management.

Topic

5. Problem Solving

Topic comprises instruction in:

Problem Analysis, Practical Legal research, Statutory Interpretation

How topic is practised and assessed

Practical Legal Research File/Competency-Based Assessments
Skills applied in Client File Program

CORE PRACTICE AREAS

Topic

6. Civil Litigation

Topic comprises instruction in:

Civil Litigation (1, 2 Enforcement, 3 Federal Court Practice)

How topic is practised and assessed

Magistrates’ Court File, Interlocutory File

Topic

7. Commercial & Corporate

Topic comprises instruction in:

Commercial & Corporate (1 Commercial including Trusts, 2 Company)

How topic is practised and assessed

Commercial File & additional competency-based assessment

Topic

8. Property

Topic comprises instruction in:

Property

How topic is practised and assessed

St Kilda File & additional competency-based assessment

Topic

9. Criminal Law Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Criminal Law Practice

How topic is practised and assessed

Crime File

Topic

10. Taxation

Topic comprises instruction in:

Revenue Law (1 Duties & 2 Taxation)

How topic is practised and assessed

Knowledge applied in Client File Program (Commercial Client File & St Kilda Client File) and Client Lawyer Interview Program

VALUES

Topic

11. Ethics

Topic comprises instruction in:

Ethics

How topic is practised and assessed

Values applied in Client File Program & additional competency-based assessment

CHOICE AREAS OF STREAMS (must complete 2)

Topic

12a. Administrative Law Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Administrative Law

How topic is practised and assessed

Administrative Law File (FOI)

Topic

12b. Family Law

Topic comprises instruction in:

Family Law

How topic is practised and assessed

Parenting and Property Orders File

Topic

13a. Consumer Law Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Consumer Law

How topic is practised and assessed

Consumer File

Topic

13b. Employment & Industrial Relations Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Employment & Industrial Relations Practice

How topic is practised and assessed

Employment File

Topic

13c. Planning and Environmental Law Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Planning and Environmental Law

How topic is practised and assessed

Planning and Environment File

Topic

13d. Wills and Estates Practice

Topic comprises instruction in:

Wills & Deceased Estates 1 and 2

How topic is practised and assessed

Wills File, Deceased Estates File

Topic

13e. Banking & Finance

Topic comprises instruction in:

Banking & Finance

How topic is practised and assessed
  1. Professional Placement. Three weeks in a legal practice must be completed.

 

For more information on course content, continue reading below, and go to:

Important Information for Applicants

About our PLT

Why Leo Cussen

Areas of Practice Covered in Practical Legal Training

The areas of practice covered in the PLT include those prescribed in the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers as required by the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015. Training at Leo Cussen Centre for Law goes beyond the minimum requirements so that you are well equipped with knowledge, skills and confidence to exercise choice as you enter the legal profession.

Core mandatory practice areas

The following practice areas are mandatory according to the National Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers.

  • Civil Litigation Practice
  • Commercial and Corporate Practice
  • Property Law Practice

 

Choice of practice areas

The course provides choice to trainees, subject to our aims for high quality and comprehensive training. The following table compares and explains how the PLT choice of practice areas compares with those proposed by the National Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers.

 

Skills and values

Compulsory skills and values training include:

  • 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.

 

Professional placement

Online trainees must organise and complete their professional placement before the due date, which is usually not long after the end of coursework. For Victoria trainees, three weeks in a legal practice must be completed; for Western Australia trainees, 15 weeks in a legal practice must be completed.

 

Additional onsite topics

These areas are not compulsorily assessed but are viewed as helpful additional experiences that PLT can provide for those enrolled in the onsite delivery mode. Optional Advocacy may be available to Online PLT trainees who are able to attend the Melbourne campus at the required times onsite.

Additional choice

  • Client Lawyer Interview Program (CLIP) Part 3
  • Duty Lawyer

Optional

  • Optional Advocacy – often taken by trainees intending to go the Bar to practise as a Barrister or by other interested trainees