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Gain insight into a real legal environment

The Work Experience component is the second of three essential components of PLT Plus. Designed to give you insights into what it’s like to work in a real legal environment, this is your first opportunity to apply your skills to real-life legal problems.

You have many work experience possibilities available to you. However, your placement must be considered ‘eligible’ to be approved. This means it must:

Work Experience Guide For Students

work experience 
examples

You have a huge range of opportunities that may count towards your Work Experience component. Examples include:

  • Summer clerkships
  • Paralegal work
  • Volunteering at community legal centres
  • A placement with Legal Aid
  • Working with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Tax or legal division of chartered accountants
  • Government policy and planning work of a legal nature
  • Judge’s associate or tipstaff
  • Assisting barristers in chambers
  • Working in government or semi-government legal departments
  • Assisting Tribunal members
  • Company in-house legal departments

WORk experience format options

 

Structure

Choose if:

SHORT FORMAT

25 days of approved work experience

+

Clinical Experience Module (CEM)

You’ve already had work experience – or 75 days of work experience is impractical for you

STANDARD FORMAT

75 days of approved work experience

 

You have already accrued or plan to accrue a significant proportion of the work experience days needed

short format

In addition to your 25 days’ work experience, the Short Format requires you to complete the Clinical Experience Module (CEM). It takes place over a five-week period and comprises of two components:

  1. Four written reflections about your work experience
  2. An advanced skills session

The CEM incurs an additional cost (which is FEE-HELP applicable) and you may only start it after you have completed your 25 days’ work experience.

If you enrol in the Short Format and accrue 75 days’ work experience, you can move into the Standard Format.

 

Clinical Experience Module

standard format

The Standard Format requires you to complete 75 days’ work experience – before, during or after your Coursework component.

If you enrol in the Standard Format, you can move into the Short Format provided you have already accrued 25 days’ work experience.

Changing Format Options

The Standard Format requires you to complete 75 days’ work experience – before, during or after your Coursework component. If you enrol in the Standard Format, you can move into the Short Format provided you have already accrued 25 days’ work experience.

work experience rules

To be eligible, your work experience must comply with the Work Experience Rules. In short, your work experience:

  1. Must occur in the delivery of legal services
  2. Must be under the supervision of an appropriate supervisor
  3. May be undertaken in one or multiple placements
  4. May include experience undertaken as an undergraduate (but such experience cannot be used to satisfy the entire 75 day or 25 day placement)

Important: Please ensure you read the rules carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

Work experience
Work experience
Work experience

when can i do my work experience?

For both the Short and Standard Format, you need to complete 15 days work experience in Australia, concurrently with or after the Coursework Component.

You may undertake the remaining work experience before, during or after your Coursework Component subject to compliance with the Work Experience Rules

On many occasions through PLT the staff here was so fantastic in working with me to make sure I could hold down these jobs and still complete my certificate and get everything I possible could out of the program.

David De Witt

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid, Melbourne, Australia

how to have your work experience approved

Simply follow the following four steps:

  1. Read the Work Experience Rules (PDF) thoroughly. 
  2. Provide your supervisor with a copy of the Work Experience Guide for Supervisors to read. 
  3. Download and complete in full the Work Experience Approval Form (PDF).
  4. Submit your Work Experience Approval Form (PDF) (signed by your supervisor) before, or as soon as possible after you start your placement via email.
  5. We will then advise you of the outcome of your application.
  6. After completing your placement, submit an original Work Experience Declaration Form (PDF) (signed by your supervisor) to the College via post.

 
Student Services

  The College of Law

  PO Box 2

  St Leonards NSW 1590

 

  Or

 

  DX 3316 St Leonards NSW 

 

Work Experience Journal

If you are undertaking the Standard Work Experience Format, you need to submit a work experience journal for the 15 days' work experience that you have undertaken in Australia concurrently with or after the Coursework Component. This journal must be signed by your supervisor. 

 

Can work experience be approved retrospectively?

Yes. In fact, this is quite common – especially in cases where students have completed some work experience as undergraduates. However, approval is at our discretion.

Your work experience must still comply with the Work Experience Rules – and you still need to follow Steps 2-6 above. 

Your Work Experience Supervisor

We have created a guide that you can provide to your supervisor that helps explain the purpose of work experience and The College of Law's expectations about the nature of the supervision required.

 

Work Experience Guide For Supervisors

Am I Covered By Insurance While Doing Work Experience?

Yes, you are entitled to insurance cover as a College of Law student if you are undertaking an unpaid approved placement.

How to Find a Work Experience

We support you in a number of ways

Although you are responsible for finding your own work experience, we help and support you in a number of ways. These include: 

  • Advertising employment vacancies on our Jobs Noticeboard
  • Providing you with the opportunity to upload your resume so that employers can search for available law students and graduates
  • Networking with industry to source placements
  • Promoting the College and its students to employers

 

Online Jobs Noticeboard 

With more than 70 jobs from around the country at any one time, we have more opportunities available for law students than any other website in Australia.

We actively source opportunities for our Jobs Noticeboard – and actively work with industry to find placement opportunities. We also advertise in legal publications encouraging employers to post jobs on our noticeboard. 


Student Employment Register

The College of Law provides a free service that allows law students to post CV's on the Jobs Noticeboard so that employers can search for candidates who match their criteria.

To post your CV, create a Job Seeker profile on the Jobs Noticeboard. Please note that this service is only available to College students and graduates.


Other places to find work experience

Please see these links for work experience opportunities:

 

 Survive Law

Beyond Law

Social Justice Opportunities

Pro Bono Australia

Justice Connect (formerly PILCH)

National Association of Community Legal Centres

questions about your work Experience Component?

Please contact:

Jayne Watt
Work Experience Liaison Officer
jawatt@collaw.edu.au
Direct: 02 9965 7025
P: 1300 856 111 

I would strongly recommend The College's PLT course because it really gives you an insight into what it's like to practice as a lawyer and you get that experience in a non-threatening, learning, support environment.

Hollymaree Cobby, Graduate

Practical Legal Training

The lecturers are excellent. They are thorough professionals, very knowledgeable, able to provide you with real practical examples, they really teach you what the law is about and how to apply it.

Gary Zervas, Graduate

Practical Legal Training

The College marries up the law degree that you’ve got and the information in your head and it gives you the tools to apply it practically.

Nicholas Scerri, Criminal Defence Lawyer, Scerri Legal

Practical Legal Training
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