Real practical legal training

We believe that practical legal training should be just that – practical

Build your skills and confidence with a mentoring program you won’t find elsewhere

Small group training – to provide the finest practical training experience

Here’s why you should take Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussen:

  • Highly practical course – offered online, onsite and part-time
  • An outstanding reputation – Leo Cussen has offered practical legal training courses since 1974 
  • Career support – dedicated Graduate Placement and Careers Advisor to help with job search and preparation
  • Online course – online blended learning with 13 dynamic days of intensive, personalised, face-to-face training
  • Onsite course – we offer the only full-time onsite course in Victoria. In our onsite course, we find your professional placement for you
  • Personalised mentoring – comprehensive feedback and support, with regular one-on-one feedback on your work as you do it
  • Small group training – we believe in offering the finest practical training experience, with plenty of personalised support
  • Develop excellent advocacy skills – through compulsory civil and criminal file work
  • Gain strong legal business skills – run your own files, maintain client contact, meet deadlines and bill clients in practical settings
  • No theoretical exams – ‘learn by doing’, with continuous practical assessments
  • Develop strong networks – with peers and those in the legal profession
  • Our graduates – work in a wide range of legal and professional environments in Australia and overseas
  • Satisfaction* – 95% of our graduates are highly satisfied with the course and state that it has given them the confidence to work in legal practice

* Graduate Survey Data 2014-2015

When we say practical, we mean PRACTICAL

Our practical legal training is designed to help you be work-ready and of immediate use to your new employers. There are no exams – in other words, at Leo Cussen it is about learning by doing. You will be taught and assessed by leading, practising lawyers and lawyer/mentors.

Our reputation

For 45 years, Leo Cussen has been training law graduates for admission to the legal profession. We are widely recognised by legal employers for providing comprehensive and high quality practical legal training for entry-level lawyers, with a strong emphasis on the practical.

Personal mentoring

One-on-one mentoring and working in small groups with a diverse range of lawyer trainers are key parts of the Leo Cussen philosophy. We find this very effective in building confidence and skills in critical areas like client communication, drafting, and practice management.

Mix with the right people

Leo Cussen is a friendly, supportive environment where you’re constantly interacting with expert, well-connected lawyers, not to mention talented and ambitious fellow trainees, so building professional networks and starting lifelong friendships comes naturally.

Leo Cussen graduates

Graduates are entitled to apply for admission to legal practice in Victoria or Western Australia with reciprocal admission in other Australian states. Our graduates have gone on to fill a wide variety of legal and professional roles.

 

The Leo Cussen Practical Legal Training Course (Onsite & Online)

Leo Cussen Centre for Law offers a course of practical legal training for LLB graduates (or equivalent) leading to admission to the legal profession as an Australian Lawyer. All law graduates must complete practical legal training as a prerequisite for admission to the legal profession. This training can be undertaken either as ‘supervised legal training’ known as Traineeships (Victoria) or Articled Clerkships (Western Australia), or in a practical legal training course such as the Leo Cussen Practical Legal Training Course.

Leo Cussen Centre for Law has been providing practical legal training since 1974. Its course leading to the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice is approved by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board and the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia, and is recognised by the legal profession as providing comprehensive and quality training. The course is delivered in both an onsite and online (blended learning) mode. The online course is also offered part-time.

Course Features

Learning by doing

The emphasis of Practical Legal Training is on ‘learning by doing’. You will complete exercises to develop your understanding of legal practice such as advising your client, drafting legal documents and communicating with other parties. You complete highly interactive simulated files, which means you run the file from opening instructions to the closing letter. You participate in settlements, negotiations, will signings and court hearings.

Whether you study onsite or online, you will learn through:

  • face-to-face classroom instruction in small groups
  • self-directed learning
  • role plays
  • one-on-one and group mentoring with an experienced legal practitioner
  • and you will helped with job search and preparation by our dedicated Graduate Placement and Careers Advisor

 

Wide range of practice areas

Leo Cussen’s training goes beyond the minimum requirements of the National Competency Standards for Entry Level Lawyers so that you are well equipped with knowledge, skills and confidence to exercise choice as you enter the legal profession.

See more on Areas of Practice in our Course Structure page.

Leo Bank and Registry; settlements, hearings and interviews

You will set up your own ‘legal practice’, including Trust and Office books of account. A ‘bank’ is operated at Leo Cussen for the conduct of these accounts. The ‘Leo Registry’ acts as government offices and court registries, with your work here also assessed. The course also includes a Client and Lawyer Interview Program.

Mentors and visiting lawyers

Your mentor is an experienced lawyer who gives you regular one-on-one feedback, overseeing your progress and supporting your development as a lawyer. Our visiting lawyers, senior members of the profession, lead small group sessions and seminars on a wide range of topics. Online trainees complete a substantial part of this work online but it is also covered on face-to-face contact days.

Assessment

Experienced legal practitioners, including your mentor, give feedback, support, assistance and assessment of drafting, letter-writing, running of simulated files, settlements, negotiations, signings and hearings. The overall aim is to allow you to develop as a practitioner in a risk-free and supportive environment to ensure that you are adequately prepared to practise law efficiently and ethically in the interests of your clients. Satisfactory completion of all required assessment tasks amounts to satisfactory completion of the course.

Topic support materials and library

You receive a comprehensive set of reference materials for all skills, values and practice areas. Many of our graduates find these papers useful later in professional practice. Leo Cussen has a small library that supports the PLT course.

Evaluation and course review

At the end of each topic and at the end of the course, we invite you to comment on all aspects of the course. This helps us to continually develop and improve the course.