Practical Legal Training, known as PLT, is a course that all law graduates must complete if they want to work as lawyers in Australia. This blog will take you through the eligibility requirements for enrolling in PLT so that you can begin your career in law.
PLT is the application of a graduate’s theoretical knowledge acquired during their law degree into a real-world setting through a structured training program. PLT is undertaken after you have completed your law degree, as it allows you to further develop certain skills that will be indispensable when you are working in the legal profession. It is imperative that you have completed all of the requirements of your LLB or JD from an approved law school before beginning PLT.
However, it is possible to begin PLT before you have officially completed your degree, provided you have no more than two elective subjects left to complete. However, you must have completed all of your compulsory ‘Priestley 11’ subjects. Also, if you’re a law student who has a summer school subject or a supplementary exam where the results will not be available until after the course commences, you are eligible to enrol in the PLT and commence your practical legal training. For students wishing to do this, you must make a Concurrent Study Application to the admitting authority in your state ,such as the Victorian Legal Admissions Board or the WA Legal Practice Board for approval to commence PLT before completion of your law degree, and evidence of approval must be provided to the PLT provider before your course begins.
In terms of residency status, international students are eligible to complete their PLT requirements in Australia. If you have graduated in law from an approved Australian university, you will be eligible for either the onsite or online PLT at Leo Cussen depending on your visa type and individual circumstances (although please note that due to current COVID-19 restrictions, all PLT will be conducted online. We will update our website and policies when this restriction changes).
As part of the PLT, graduates will practice the many tasks that lawyers carry out in legal offices by running cases and files in a simulated law firm setting. This means you will essentially be treated as a first-year lawyer, and given tasks that reflect the real-world of legal practice.
The cases and files you work on will include:
- Property transaction: you will sell or buy residential property
- Commercial transaction: you will sell or buy a business
- Civil Litigation: you will represent a plaintiff or defendant in a breach of contract case
- Criminal Charge: You will defend a client accused of theft
You will also get to choose the following electives:
- Elective one: choose between Administrative law or Family law
- Elective two: choose between Consumer, Employment, Planning/Environment, Wills/Estates, or Banking/Finance law
Through running those matters, you will develop skills in areas such as advocacy, negotiation, drafting and client interviewing – all the key skills that employers look for when hiring graduates
The final stage of PLT involves professional placement in a legal practice, where you will have a further opportunity to improve your legal skills. Once the above have been successfully completed, graduates will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP). This allows you to apply for admission through your state’s Admitting Authority, after which you will obtain a practising certificate and complete a period of supervised practice.
As you can see from the above, PLT is a challenging but also thoroughly satisfying experience, which will get you ‘job ready’ for your first role as a lawyer. Leo Cussen is here to ensure that your PLT experience is as rewarding as possible for you.