Will Leo Cussen continue to run PLT courses throughout COVID-19?
Absolutely. It is business as usual for all of us at Leo Cussen so our PLT courses will continue to run, with the necessary adjustments to keep everyone safe and comply with government guidelines.
How much of the PLT course can I complete online?
Our 100% Online Learning option will enable you to complete the PLT course entirely online in 2021, including the work placement component.
In what form will Leo Cussen provide its PLT courses moving forward?
For now we are continuing to run all aspects of the Victorian Leo Cussen PLT program at distance. We will reopen our premises when it is safe to do so.
Our WA course is running in blended mode with attendance onsite at Murdoch University.
I’m not sure about the technology, what support will there be for me to learn online?
We have a dedicated IT support team to help our students with any difficulties. We use Zoom for our video conferencing and live-streaming and our online learning system is simple and easy to use. For anyone needing additional support, we will help you learn some new skills which you can take with you into the workplace.
How will I complete the Work Placement component of my PLT course?
You can now complete the work placement component entirely online.
The Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) has approved the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component of the course. This can be completed entirely online at no additional cost and without adding additional time to your course.
You can now complete the work placement component entirely online. The Legal Practice Board of Western Australia (LPBWA) has approved the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component of the course. This can be completed entirely online at no additional cost and without adding additional time to your PLT course
Can I still get guidance from the Careers Advisor?
Yes, Alex Giannopoulos is providing career consultations via email, phone and video conferencing.
Can I be admitted on time at the end of the PLT course?
Yes, VLAB is currently completing admissions ‘on the papers’, which means that applicants are not required to attend court for admission.
Instead applicants are required to affirm/swear an affidavit of office in which they will affirm/swear that they will:
“well and honestly conduct myself in the practise of my profession, as a member of the legal profession and an officer of the Supreme Court of Victoria, to the best of my knowledge and ability.”
The LPBWA has advised us that applicants can apply through the usual processes and they are processing applications in the usual way.
Will my admission be delayed?
No your admission will not be delayed.
In Victoria VLAB is continuing to organise admissions and the Supreme Court is continuing to admit applicants ‘on the papers’. There are no delays in being admitted once qualified.
Admission ceremonies are occurring as usual.
How will Leo Cussen support me during my PLT studies
Support for our international students is very important to us. As an organisation, we are very experienced in looking after our international students and we greatly value the rich diversity they bring to our PLT programs.
Fonda Gazis, Lawyer and Mentor, is our dedicated International Trainee Advisor. He is there to provide additional support along with allocated mentors. We also have a panel of migration lawyers, who can assist international students with visa issues as required.
Will the online PLT course satisfy my visa requirements?
Yes, our PLT course can currently be delivered entirely online and still meet the visa requirements for a face to face program.
Can I complete Leo Cussen's PLT from my home country?
Yes, you can currently complete the entire Leo Cussen Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice online, including the Leo Cussen Work Experience Module as a replacement to the work placement component.
How can I complete my legal work placement with the COVID-19 safety measures in place?
You have the option to complete an online legal placement program.
VLAB and LPBWA have approved Leo Cussen PLT students to complete an online program to substitute the work placement, if COVID-19 measures prevent them from undertaking a placement in a legal workplace.
Is face to face attendance compulsory? I'm worried about COVID-19.
In light of the restrictions on face to face attendance created by COVID-19, we have changed our face to face attendance to enable our trainees to complete these components wholly online. For further information on attendance, go to PLT Course Dates.
If the onsite PLT program is currently being delivered online, will it still comply with my visa requirements?
Yes. Due to COVID-19, we are able to deliver our onsite PLT program at distance, so that it complies with requirements for international students to study in an onsite program.
I've heard admission ceremonies are currently cancelled. Does this mean I would be delayed in getting admitted?
No. Whilst admission ceremonies are not taking place due to COVID-19, Victorian admissions are instead being completed ‘on the papers’. The Victorian Legal Admissions Board website has further information: Victorian Legal Admissions Board
So there are no delays on being admitted in Victoria and graduates of our program will be eligible to apply for admission in the same time frame as usual.
In WA the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia has not yet announced changes to its process but may take the same approach as Victoria.
What qualification will I receive when I graduate from the Leo Cussen PLT course?
When you graduate from our PLT course you’ll receive a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GLDP). Our GDLP is a level 8 qualification in the Australian Qualifications Framework. By comparison, a Bachelor’s degree is level 7 and a Masters Degree is level 9.
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.
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 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 PLT 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 PLT program lasts for 24 weeks – a relatively short, but intensive and challenging, program. There is also a Part-time Online PLT course that follows the same format as the full-time online PLT 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 plus placement as required by the WA Legal Practice Board. For detailed information, go to Important Information for Applicants, Course Dates page.
Is FEE-HELP available for PLT courses?
Yes. FEE-HELP is available for our PLT 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 for providing our law graduates with the skills and confidence required to be work-ready.
How much focused guidance can I expect on the Leo Cussen PLT 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 legal profession. To that end, you are assigned a mentor who actively oversees your progress and supports your development as a lawyer. Our mentors are allocated small groups of PLT trainees, so they are able to be really hands on and they have time to interact with you as much as needed to meet your learning preferences and requirements.
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 PLT graduates to form lifelong friendships and professional legal connections.
What are the major differences between Onsite PLT and Online PLT?
Probably fewer than you would think. We appreciate that PLT 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 PLT course includes 13 days of personal contact – more than usual for a course like this – which is designed to meaningfully build your practical skills and networks.
What does professional legal placement entail?
Onsite placement takes place at the end of the PLT course, while online placement can take place during the course itself or after course work is 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 a PLT course?
This differs between our onsite and online PLT courses.
Leo Cussen arranges professional placement 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 assists online trainees when they need help.
Will Leo Cussen help to find me a legal job after I graduate from the PLT course?
We are frequently approached by firms or other organisations looking for a Leo Cussen PLT graduates.
Information about positions is regularly circulated to the graduates.
Can I get an employer to sponsor my PLT course?
Yes, many employers sponsor their graduates to complete PLT. The decision to sponsor is up to the particular firm or legal practice.
Can I undertake employment or study during the PLT course?
Sure, but you’ll need to ensure you have time for your coursework.
If you are enrolled in the Full Time PLT course, you may work full-time or part-time but you’ll need to commit to 25 hours of course work each week.
In the Part Time PLT course, you will need to commit to 15 hours of course work each week.
How soon before commencement can I have access to the timetable?
The handbook is made available to trainees once they make final payment of tuition fees and receive their login to the learning portal.
For further information about the timetable email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Can I defer from the PLT course?
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?
Does Leo Cussen offer tuition assurance?
I have completed my law degree in Australia. Am I eligible for PLT?
You are eligible to apply for either the onsite PLT or online PLT 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?
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 some or all of a course of Practical Legal Training, you are welcome to enrol with Leo Cussen Centre for Law to complete these requirements.
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 PLT course.
However, it depends on the conditions of your visa, so if unsure you should check this with the Department of Home Affairs or seek advice from an agency. See below.
Leo Cussen checks your visa when you enrol for the PLT course. Overseas students on a Student Visa are only eligible to study the full-time onsite PLT course.
Am I eligible for FEE-HELP for the PLT course?
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 International Student Advisor, Fonda Gazis, for further advice and referrals:
Do I need to complete an IELTS test to be eligible for PLT?
No. You are not required to take an International English Language Test to enter PLT.
What are the PLT fees for international students?