This specialised, practical legal training (PLT) course is aimed at law graduates who wish to apply for admission to the legal profession in Western Australia.
It is approved by the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia and was the first PLT program to be delivered by a WA university.
You will study civil litigation practice, commercial and corporate practice, and property law practice. You will also further your legal skills in a range of essential areas including advocacy, cross-cultural communication, dispute resolution, drafting legal documents and legal interviewing. Students are also required to complete a one week placement with the John Curtin Law Clinic.
This course is delivered in the heart of the Perth CBD and legal precinct. We offer the convenience of early evening classes, so you can better manage your work and family commitments. You may also request assessment extensions if you have been affected by work commitments outside of your control.
This course focuses on practical learning activities and does not include any exams. You will be required to undertake 75 days of work experience within a Curtin-approved legal workplace or a 40-day work placement at the John Curtin Law Clinic (limited places by application). If you complete your work experience through the John Curtin Law Clinic, you will work directly with clients, providing advice on real matters, and learn to manage case files using practice management software.
You will be supported through regular, face-to-face seminars and workshops with experienced members of the legal profession.
Read more about the course structure here
You may be able to start this course before completing your Bachelor of Laws in certain circumstances, provided you have obtained prior approval from the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia. Read more
To discuss your eligibility for early commencement, or if you have any questions about the course, please contact Curtin.PLT@curtin.edu.au.
Please refer to the handbook for additional course overview information.
What jobs can the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice lead to?
- Banking and finance
- Courts and tribunals
- Resources and renewables
- Private legal practice
- In-house legal counsel
What you'll learn
- research, interpret and apply knowledge of Western Australian and Commonwealth legal concepts, theory, procedure, statutory rules, case law principles, work management and business skills and professional ethical responsibilities to understand, evaluate and apply them in legal practice
- critically and creatively analyse complex legal problems to effectively identify and articulate the issues involved, generate innovative options and apply legal reasoning to make a considered choice between competing solutions which best serves the needs of the client
- identify, access, assess and synthesise relevant information from a client, primary legal sources such as cases and legislation and secondary sources such as journal articles, commentaries, relevant websites and precedents (including electronic versions of these sources), identify all relevant issues and gather and present relevant information in practical oral and documentary advice, legal documentation and communications
- identify and evaluate the needs of a client and the purpose of a proposed communication; accurately confirm instructions, effectively undertake inquiries, communicate the outcomes of legal research and analysis effectively, appropriately, practically and persuasively to colleagues, clients, courts and tribunals, other professionals and the broader community
- use appropriate electronic resources (law libraries, on-line searches, electronic data bases, legal citators and digests) - for advanced legal research and precedent identification purposes, use appropriate institutional databases for search and lodgement functions for legal documents, understand appropriate technologies to maintain trust and office accounts and file management and be able to communicate effectively in electronic forms
- use learning by doing and observing, documenting in writing and critically reflecting on their own and others’ performance as legal professionals, making use of feedback as appropriate, demonstrating intellectual curiosity including via research tasks and problem solving, and demonstrating an understanding of resilience and well-being in the legal profession
- understand the similarities and differences between local and other jurisdictions, including interstate and overseas jurisdictions, and be aware of the client’s and other practitioners’ perspectives, be able to effectively represent clients in negotiations by recognising other perspectives and apply best practice file and client management practices
- demonstrate a highly developed understanding of, and be able to identify and respond appropriately to, cross-cultural verbal and non- verbal communication issues, particularly indigenous cultures and the possible effect that these issues may have upon a client’s dealings with the police, courts, government and legal agencies
- understand, apply and demonstrate professional responsibility and professional courtesy in all dealings with clients, the courts and tribunals, the community and other practitioners and demonstrate ethical legal practice and professional integrity when working within a team and independently