FAQs

  • What do I get when I graduate from the Leo Cussen PLT course?

    A Certificate of Satisfactory Completion and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Provided you have completed all other academic requirements, you are then eligible to apply for admission to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Victoria. If you wish to work in legal practice as a lawyer, you will then need to apply for a Practising Certificate from your relevant State regulator (e.g. the Legal Services Board of Victoria or the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia). You must complete ‘supervised practice’ as an employed legal practitioner before you are eligible for a full practising certificate. For further information about admission to practise, please see the website of the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia.

  • Does Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussen include exams?

    No. You are continually assessed, based on the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers. The program replicates actual workplace practice, with the aim of making you ready to practise law efficiently and ethically in the interests of your clients.

  • Can I attend any other full-time onsite PLT course in Victoria? What about Western Australia?

    No. At present, Leo Cussen is the only provider of full-time onsite PLT courses in Victoria. There is currently no full-time onsite course in Western Australia.

  • What sort of reputation does the Leo Cussen Centre for Law have in the legal community?

    We have a longstanding reputation within the profession, also expressed tangibly in the number of Leo Cussen graduates who gain employment, and the number of practitioners who choose to pass on their knowledge and expertise here by working as instructors.

  • What is the length of the PLT course?

    In simple terms, Leo Cussen runs two full-time onsite and online courses per year in Victoria, each lasting for 24 weeks – a relatively short, but intensive and challenging, program. There is also a Part-time Online course that follows the same format as the full-time online course, but which runs for 42 weeks, starting in January. There is currently one Online PLT course a year for Western Australian trainees, including 21 weeks of course work and 15 weeks of professional placement, as required by the WA Legal Practice Board. For detailed information, go to Important Information for Applicants and Course Dates and Fees.

  • Is attendance always compulsory?

    In the Onsite PLT, attendance is full-time, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and is compulsory. In the Online PLT, you must attend all onsite intensive contact days.

    If you are doing the full time Online PLT you must attend 13 face-to-face onsite contact days, for further information on attendance, go to Course Dates and Fees.

  • Is FEE-HELP available?

    Yes. FEE-HELP is available for both the Onsite and Online courses for eligible trainees.

  • Just how practical is the Leo Cussen PLT course?

    You will run simulated client files (connected to our simulated Court Registry and Bank) to help you manage your introduction to legal practice within a safe environment while engaging with the realities of practice. We have a proven record with our practical courses in giving our graduates the skills and confidence required to make them work-ready.

  • How much focused guidance can I expect on the Leo Cussen course?

    Our overriding concern is ensuring that PLT trainees are guided through tasks to maximise their learning and prepare them as well as possible for entry to the profession. To that end, you are assigned a mentor who actively oversees your progress and supports your development as a lawyer.

  • Is Leo Cussen a good place for collegiality and networking?

    With a combination of friendly, well-connected instructors, the intensity of undertaking challenging work in small groups, and a supportive, friendly environment, it is commonplace for our graduates to form lifelong friendships and professional connections.

  • What are the major differences between Onsite PLT and Online PLT?

    Probably fewer than you would think. We appreciate that trainees will have good reason for preferring the convenience of online learning, but the major difference is obviously face-to-face contact. However, our online course includes 13 days of onsite contact – more than usual for a course like this – which we find helps in reinforcing the online learning.

  • Are there any special conditions regarding eligibility for the Part-time Online course?

    Yes. Applicants must provide written reasons why their circumstances (family, work, health etc.) are particularly suited to part-time online training.

  • What does professional placement entail?

    Onsite placement takes place at the end of the course, while online placement can take place during the course itself or after course work is completed, though we do limit the time within which the placement may be completed. We invite onsite trainees to nominate an area of interest and we make every endeavour to find you a placement in that area. Allocation of places is at the discretion of the Director PLT.

  • Who organises professional placement?

    This is the other major area that differs between our onsite and online courses. Leo Cussen arranges professional placement only for onsite trainees. We find that online trainees prefer the autonomy of organising their own placement, which they can then schedule to suit their own timetables and commitments. However, our Graduate Placement and Careers Advisor may be able to assist online trainees who struggle to find a placement. Online PLT placements must be approved by the Director PLT.

  • Will Leo Cussen help to find me a job after I graduate?

    We are frequently approached by firms or other organisations looking for a PLT graduate. Information about positions is circulated to the graduates on our Jobs Board. However, we do not function in the same way as an employment agency.

  • Can I get an employer to sponsor me?

    Employers who do not wish to employ an individual for a Supervised Legal Traineeship or Articled Clerkship may wish to sponsor you to complete PLT. The decision to sponsor is up to the particular firm or legal practice. Interested employers should contact Shirley Southgate, Director PLT:

    Email: ssouthgate@leocussen.edu.au
    Tel: (03) 9602 3111

  • Can I undertake employment or study during the course?

    The Onsite PLT course is full-time, so requires you to attend at Leo Cussen each weekday during business hours. Part-time work or study must not interfere with your full-time attendance or the standard of your work. If you are enrolled in the Online PLT full-time, you may work full-time or part-time but you must still commit to a minimum of 25 hours course work each week, plus 13 days onsite. In the part-time PLT course, you will need to commit to a minimum of 15 hours of course work each week and attend 13 days onsite over the 10 month period of the course.

  • How soon before commencement can I have access to the timetable?

    Onsite trainees will receive a handbook at the commencement of the course. The handbook is made available to online trainees once they make final payment of tuition fees and receive their login to the learning portal. If you have enrolled email pltadmin@leocussen.edu.au to request a copy of the 2017 trainee course timetable.

  • Can I defer from the course?

    Yes. Contact the PLT Administrator before making a deferral application. There is more information on deferrals in our Important Information for Applicants page.

  • What if I apply for PLT and then discover I have failed one or more university subjects?

    In most cases, applicants in this situation forfeit their place on the PLT course and receive a refund of any part tuition payments they have already made. You will generally be subject to our Withdrawal Penalty, although in special cases this can be waived. To learn more, go to the Failed University Subjects and Withdrawal Penalties sections of the Important Information for Applicants page.

  • If I wish to become a barrister after graduating from Leo Cussen, what is the process?

    You will first have to undertake the Bar Readers’ Course. The Bar Readers’ Course runs twice each year, in March and September, and is a full-time 12-week course.  For further information, please contact the Victorian Bar.

  • Can the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice gain me credit towards a Master’s Degree?

    Some university Masters programs in law, legal practice and global business law recognise the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PLT) for the purpose of advanced standing or credit (sometimes referred to as ‘articulation’), but conditions vary. We encourage graduates to direct any queries to the relevant university.

  • Where do I go if I have a grievance or complaint?

    You can find our Complaints Policy and Procedures here.

  • Does Leo Cussen offer tuition assurance?

    Leo Cussen meets all the tuition assurance requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003. For more information, read the Higher Education Provider Guidelines.

Overseas Student FAQs

  • I have completed my law degree in Australia. Am I eligible for PLT?

    You are eligible to apply for either the onsite or online course, depending on your visa conditions. In our onsite course offered in Melbourne, we find the professional placement for international students. See below for more information on visas. The Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice is a CRICOS approved course with the provider number 02224A.

  • I obtained my degree overseas. Am I eligible for PLT?

    Any applicant whose LLB degree or equivalent is from outside Australia must have their qualifications for admission approved by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or Legal Practice Board of Western Australia before applying for the course.

  • I am an overseas practitioner. Am I eligible for PLT?

    You must obtain a determination from the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or Legal Practice Board of Western Australia about any requirements for admission to the legal profession. If such a determination requires you to complete a course of Practical Legal Training, you may apply to Leo Cussen Centre for Law to complete this.

  • Can I take the PLT course online?

    If you are on a bridging visa or other temporary residence visa with no restrictions on study, you may take the online course. However, it depends on the conditions of your visa, so if unsure you should check this with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or seek advice from an agency. See below. Leo Cussen checks the visa at the application stage. Overseas students on a Student Visa are only eligible to study the full-time onsite course.

  • Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

    Australian citizens and applicants on a Permanent Humanitarian Visa are eligible to apply for FEE-HELP.

  • Do I need to arrange my own Overseas Student Health Cover?

    Yes. Find out more at The Department of Health.

  • When is the full tuition fee due and can I pay via instalments?

    You are required to pay a $500 part-tuition fee within one week of acceptance of your offer to secure your position. The balance of the tuition fee is due two weeks prior to the course start date. You may be able to pay the course fee by instalments but an application for permission to do so must be made in writing to the Director PLT no later than two weeks before the commencement of the course.

  • Will Leo Cussen help me apply for my visa?

    We can offer advice about our course, and assistance in what is best for you regarding onsite or online options, but you are required to arrange your visa yourself. The following resources can assist you:

    • The Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) for details of registered migration agents who can help.
    • Local law associations for each State often have a referral service that will connect you with lawyers who work in migration matters. In some cases the first 15-30 minutes are free. This may vary in each state so please check.
    • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection

    Contact our Overseas Student Coordinator, Fonda Gazis, for further advice and referrals:

    Email: fgazis@leocussen.edu.au
    Tel: 1300 039 031

  • Do I need to complete an IELTS test to be eligible for PLT?

    You are not required to take an International English Language Test to enter PLT.

  • What are the fees for international students?

    To view our most current list of fees, go to our Course Dates & Fees page.

Comprehensive Information

You will find comprehensive and detailed information covering most general queries in these pages:

Course Dates & Fees

Course Structure

About our PLT

Why Leo Cussen

Important Information for Applicants

International Students