At Leo Cussen, our mission is to go above and beyond the baseline for Practical Legal Training in Australia. This doesn’t mean just ticking off the admitting authority’s requirements, but incorporating important skills and knowledge that will ensure that you feel confident jumping into your law career after our PLT course. We incorporate a wide range of tasks and activities throughout the course that simulate the work of a real-life lawyer,and you’ll work on these both independently and alongside mentors and other students. Find out more about our Practical Legal Training course structure below.
PLT entry requirements
To see whether you have met the PLT entry requirements, read here.
Core and elective PLT client files,
To make sure that entry-level lawyers are fully prepared for going into their first job with more than just academia behind them, our course is designed to simulate real legal practice so that you get experience in working on client files as though you were a first year lawyer.
To graduate, each student needs to complete the following PLT requirements:
- Programmed training appropriate to such a diploma
- The equivalent of 15 days’ workplace experience in Victoria, or 20 days in WA
There are also key skills that graduate lawyers must be able to demonstrate before they can be employed in an entry-level position at a firm and undertake legal work or become a barrister. These are elements that we at Leo Cussen provide comprehensive training on and where we build your knowledge and skills through practical tasks such as drafting documents, running client files and interviewing clients.
Here at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law, we want to ensure that you feel like you have enough experience in different areas of law to decide where you want to take an entry-level position.
Case files you’ll get to work on
- Hearing component of Client Files: Interlocutory, Family (Parenting and Property Orders) or Administrative, Crime (Onsite only)
- Practical Legal Research
- Magistrates’ Court File, Interlocutory File
- Commercial File & additional competency-based assessment
- Crime File
- Property transaction file & additional competency-based assessment
If you want to read more about the specifics of PLT requirements or what legal training you’ll be undertaking, you can find them here.
What kind of PLT client files does Leo Cussen run?
To make sure that we have you feeling confident in all of these areas, we create engaging and relevant tasks that build your skills in each of these areas and incorporate them into real-life practice. In our course, you won’t sit any exams, but instead you will be continually assessed across the course by your mentor and instructors. 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. If it’s not done in real legal practice, you won’t do it in our PLT course.
Each client file will focus on different skills you need to learn, and therefore the practice and workplace experience you will be gaining will differ accordingly. When you are studying the Lawyer’s Skills areas, you will be focusing on opening a file, interviewing your client, writing a retainer letter and conducting legal research – the foundations of a lawyer’s role. Once you move towards the core practice areas and your chosen PLT electives, you will move into more specific client files like Magistrates’ Court files or crime files to work with from start to finish.
Through your file work and PLT electives, you will be able to see firsthand what it is like to be working with clients who have varying needs, backgrounds and personalities, and also have the opportunity to make mistakes in a safe learning environment.s. By getting your worries and concerns out of the way in our course, you will be able to jump headfirst into any legal practice scenario with a barrage of experience and knowledge of how you dealt with previous errors.
Similarly, in your core practice areas, like Criminal Law Practice, you will be given a crime file to own and hand in as a part of the assessment for that topic. This will give you insight into what information needs to be kept in the file, what added information should be placed after client interviews and meetings, and how to complete Indictable Crime Checklists which include case strategy, analysis of the case, committal report, and trial preparation plan. This is alongside working the simulated case as the key lawyer on the matter. Tying together the day-to-day legal work alongside managing client files will bolster your career and prepare you for juggling the workload of an entry-level lawyer.
Every year, the Leo Cussen Centre for Law prepares a huge number of lawyers to jump into their chosen career path with the skills and experience necessary to be an exceptional lawyer. To learn more about the specific courses and assignments you can find the full list on our courses page, or you can contact us!