The world is evolving and the legal profession is no exception.

To enter the legal profession, it’s no longer enough to have knowledge of legislation and be able to apply it. Law is a people centred profession and requires empathy, creativity, ethics and interpersonal skills.



Practical Legal Training 

University teaches students the law but where do you learn how to be a lawyer? Practical Legal Training (PLT)!  

During PLT, you will learn the fundamentals of being a lawyer and get a sense of what life as a lawyer will be like.  

At Leo Cussen, we spoke extensively with the profession and have designed our PLT program to work hand in hand with the transition into legal practice – by creating Whole Lawyers.  



The Whole Lawyer 

As a provider of PLT for over 50 years, we’ve found the most successful lawyers are those who possess four different skillsets (quadrants) – technical capability (TQ), human skills (EQ), character (CQ) and adaptability (AQ). 

Together, these skills equip new lawyers to be the Whole Lawyer, which is then furthered by the profession to create truly successful lawyers of the future.  




  • Technical capability (TQ) – ‘bread and butter’ of being a lawyer
    Without the technical capability to be a lawyer, your success may be limited. The first quadrant of the Whole Lawyer is about just that. As part of the PLT at Leo Cussen, you’ll undertake five rotations in a simulated law firm environment. Just like working in a real law firm, you’ll represent a client, try your hand at negotiations and explore two specialist areas. The crucial element in mastering these skills is to learn by doing. For example, drafting a letter of advice, drafting pleadings, performing a negotiation and going to court.  By the end of the rotations, you’ll be ready to work in a range of entry level practice areas.  


  • Human skills (EQ) – managing clients
    Having human skills, although may seem obvious, will ensure you, as a new lawyer will have the knack for managing client relationships. Our program provides this opportunity through immersive learning with a focus on people skills. You’ll take part in three immersive sessions where you learn and master acting for a client in a simulated law firm environment. By the end of the third immersive, you’ll leave with the confidence to represent real clients.


  • Character (CQ)integrity
    Respect and trust are core to the legal profession. All your PLT program facilitators are practising lawyers with a wealth of experience in the legal profession. As mentors, they’ll guide you to make ethical decisions that balance the interests of the client.  


  • Adaptability (AQ) – creativity and curiosity are key
    Innovative thinking is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity in future lawyers.Our program will provide you the opportunity to apply a human-centred lens to the practice of law. The Leo Justice Lab forms part of the PLT program and encourages design thinking to collaborate and create innovative solutions to a real-world access to justice problem. Through this experience, you’ll gain emotional intelligence (skills to ‘read the room’) and ensure solutions provided to clients follow a human-centred approach. 



Setting up new lawyers for success 

The transition into legal practice as a new lawyer can be challenging. But, with the learnings from our PLT program, you’ll enter the profession as a Whole Lawyer and be equipped to make contributions from day one. 

Ready to start your PLT journey? 





Tiffany Long
Head of Education Delivery – Territories
Leo Cussen Centre for Law

Tiffany Long is Head of Education Delivery, Territories at Leo Cussen. Before making the transition to teaching and managing the Canberra PLT program, Tiffany practised in family law and family violence for over 7 years. Tiffany is passionate about sending graduates out into the profession with a solid foundation and understanding of their obligations and duties to the community.