Are you graduating with a law degree and ready to be admitted to practice? Develop the skills you need to thrive in the day-to-day practice of law with UNSW's Practical Legal Training program.

Our distinctive and practice-ready Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP) is innovatively designed to surpass the professional competency standards of entry-level lawyers to prepare you to launch your career in law with confidence.
 

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Faculty
Faculty of Law and Justice
Delivery Mode
Distance (online with some face-to-face), Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
0.5 Year(s)

Practical Legal Training (PLT) is an essential step for law graduates to enter the legal profession. UNSW's PLT program is the Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP). It combines coursework and practical experience to develop skills and proficiency in the day-to-day practice of law.

The program covers the skills and values required to be a legal practitioner in Australia. You’ll graduate from the program confident that you can complete essential tasks required of legal professionals in areas such as:

  • Litigation and Transactional Law (Property, Commercial and Corporate)
  • Administrative Law
  • Banking and Finance
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Employment and Industrial Relations
  • Wills and Estates

You'll also complete a total of 40 days of work experience as part of the program, which offers placement opportunities with UNSW partners, including legal centres and clinics.

View the full program structure under the What will I study? tab.

Key features

  • Complete your PLT at a Law Faculty ranked 13th in the world.*
  • Take advantage of our online courses which can be accessed from a wide range of devices to learn on the go in a flexible, digital pathway to practice.
  • Benefit from close interaction with industry professionals with a practitioner-mentor model of student engagement.
  • Opportunities to undertake unique work experience in the Faculty’s clinics and centres, including Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC), Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) and Youth Law Australia (YLA).
  • Get more out of your PLT qualification with legal project management and opportunities to acquire additional specialised experience, skills and knowledge in our innovative practicum.
  • Current law students can complete their PLT while finishing their degree with the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) early start rule.
  • Learn with our broad team of experts, including accredited specialists, senior counsel, law firm partners, barristers, solicitors and former commissioners.
  • All resources and materials are provided and there are no exams or essays.

*QS World Rankings by Subject 2021

Why study at UNSW?

A Progressive Approach
The UNSW PLT course incorporates best-practice emergent educational technologies and flexible delivery modes to help you balance PLT with work and personal commitments.

Engaged Learning
Study from anywhere in Australia or the world in a supportive learning environment that prioritises student experience. You’ll receive mentoring from our practitioners who’ll support you as you transition into legal practice.

Exclusive Career Support
Graduate career-ready with UNSW Law & Justice’s in-house careers service, dedicated to our students and alumni. The service includes one-on-one counselling sessions, a jobs board and a range of resources, presentations and workshops to maximise your employability.

Workplace Experience
UNSW PLT offers unique opportunities to apply, test and reflect on your skills and knowledge through professional placements. You can experience interacting with different clients in a range of settings, including at UNSW in-house clinics (e.g. Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC)), community legal centres (e.g. Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) and Youth Law Australia) and firms.

Practicum
Students have the option to complete a practicum to strengthen their professional development through a combination of placements, simulated workplaces, technical learning spaces, law-related projects, continuing legal education and structured reflective practice.

 

Program Code
5213
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
42

Entry requirements

Candidates for the GDLPP are required to have completed an accredited academic qualification in law. Accepted qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree
  • Juris Doctor degree
  • other qualifications considered equivalent from an Australian university or tertiary institution

Applicants with academic qualifications from a jurisdiction outside Australia need to have the qualifications assessed by the Legal Profession Admission Board (NSW) before applying to undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT). Please refer to the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) website for more information.

Prospective international students will require a visa other than a student visa (e.g. a temporary graduate visa) to be eligible to apply to this program. We advise international students to seek independent immigration advice about their visa options.

Early Start of PLT
It’s possible to start your PLT during your law degree if you've completed all prescribed (‘Priestley 11’) core courses and have no more than 12 Units of Credit (UOC)/2 electives left to complete in your LLB/JD or equivalent qualification.

For UNSW students, approval of early commencement in the GDLPP and verification of remaining electives requires:

  1. Application for a Progression Check
  2. Completion of an Early PLT Request form
  3. Submission of early start request form to the LPAB
  4. Completion of online application for the UNSW PLT Program (GDLPP) attaching early start approval from the LPAB

For non-UNSW students, please follow the process identified by your institution for steps 1 and 2 and then complete steps 3 and 4 above.

Recognition of Prior Learning/Advanced Standing
Advanced standing for previous learning may be granted for up to 12 Units of Credit (UOC) for practical legal training courses completed at a recognised equivalent higher education provider.

 

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Candidates for the GDLPP are required to have completed an accredited academic qualification in law. Accepted qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree
  • Juris Doctor degree
  • other qualifications considered equivalent from an Australian university or tertiary institution

Applicants with academic qualifications from a jurisdiction outside Australia need to have the qualifications assessed by the Legal Profession Admission Board (NSW) before applying to undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT). Please refer to the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) website for more information.

Prospective international students will require a visa other than a student visa (e.g. a temporary graduate visa) to be eligible to apply to this program. We advise international students to seek independent immigration advice about their visa options.

Early Start of PLT
It’s possible to start your PLT during your law degree if you've completed all prescribed (‘Priestley 11’) core courses and have no more than 12 Units of Credit (UOC)/2 electives left to complete in your LLB/JD or equivalent qualification.

For UNSW students, approval of early commencement in the GDLPP and verification of remaining electives requires:

  1. Application for a Progression Check
  2. Completion of an Early PLT Request form
  3. Submission of early start request form to the LPAB
  4. Completion of online application for the UNSW PLT Program (GDLPP) attaching early start approval from the LPAB

For non-UNSW students, please follow the process identified by your institution for steps 1 and 2 and then complete steps 3 and 4 above.

Recognition of Prior Learning/Advanced Standing
Advanced standing for previous learning may be granted for up to 12 Units of Credit (UOC) for practical legal training courses completed at a recognised equivalent higher education provider.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

The UNSW PLT program combines coursework (four core courses and two electives) and workplace experience (40 days). The full-time 20-week coursework component consists of a 5-day intensive followed by 19 weeks of online courses. Workplace Experience (1) is 20 days; and Workplace Experience (2) and practicum can be completed in your own time. Our Term 3 intake for the UNSW PLT program will be delivered fully online.

You can choose different combinations of coursework, work experience or a practicum to complete the program. These options allow you to prioritise your work experience goals by choosing to do two work experience placements or complete a practicum if you wish to gain further specialised knowledge. 

Full program structure

Coursework

Immersive Workshop (five days)
Our program begins in Orientation Week (O-Week) of Terms 1 and 3, with five days of workshops. This immersive week provides a solid foundation for students’ success in the program and includes specially designed activities and seminars/webinars with introductions to core practice areas and skills.

Online Coursework (19 weeks)
The online coursework is completed over 19 weeks and consists of four core courses and two elective practice areas. The core courses are:

  1. Skills in Practice
    Lawyers’ skills, problem solving, work management, business skills, wellbeing and legal project management.
  2. Values in Practice
    Ethics and professional responsibility, trust and office accounting.
  3. Litigation Practice
    Skills, values and competencies for civil litigation practice.
  4. Transactional Practice
    Property practice and commercial and corporate practice.

You’ll also choose two elective practice areas from:

  • Administrative Law Practice
  • Banking and Finance
  • Criminal Law Practice
  • Family Law Practice
  • Employment and Industrial Relations Practice
  • Wills and Estates

Assessment
For coursework, you must complete all the workshops and activities in each of the online courses. The coursework activities include written and oral work to be submitted for feedback and assessment. A mentor will provide individual and/or group feedback before you’re required to submit a final version of your portfolio of work for assessment.

You’ll receive a timetable for portfolio submissions during the online coursework and submit a final portfolio after the work experience components are completed.

 

Work Experience 1

As part of the program, you can choose from various organisations to complete 20 days of work experience. This placement requires the submission of supervisor declarations. You don’t have to do all your workplace experience in the one workplace but the total days for all workplace experience placements must not be less than 20 days.

You have up to 2 years to complete Workplace Experience 1 from the commencement of PLT coursework.

You can complete the course in less time if you've undertaken work experience within the last two years and apply to have up to five days recognised towards Workplace Experience 1.

 

Work Experience 2 or Practicum

You can choose to complete a second 20-day work experience placement or undertake a practicum. These options support students who find it difficult to accrue enough work experience to complete the PLT program or those already with work experience who want to gain specialised knowledge.

Practicum is an innovative alternative to Workplace Experience 2 and offers opportunities to acquire additional specialised experience, skills, and knowledge with a Practicum Mentor's guidance.

The Practicum has four streams:

  • Adaptive Lawyering and Leadership with a UNSW PLT consultant psychologist and lawyer
  • Commercial Law and Enterprise with a senior counsel
  • Social Justice and Impact through a combination of placements, simulated workplaces, technical learning spaces, law-related projects, or structured reflective practice
  • Technology and Innovation through coding with the developers of AustLII

PLT Workplace Experience Forms
Students undertaking or planning to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP) at UNSW can apply for retrospective recognition of placement for Workplace Experience 2 (PLTX2020) and five days of placement for Workplace Experience 1 (PLTX1300).

Practical legal training (PLT) is an essential step in your legal career and a requirement for admission as a lawyer in Australia. Studying the UNSW GDLPP program, you'll develop the skills needed for a legal practitioner's day-to-day tasks through a combination of coursework and practical experience.

The UNSW GDLPP provides the qualification graduates require to apply to be admitted as a lawyer in New South Wales and satisfies the Legal Profession Admission Board's requirements. Once you have been admitted as a lawyer in NSW, you can apply to be admitted in any other Australian state or territory.

Potential careers

  • Attorney
  • Barrister
  • Lawyer

Accreditation

This graduate diploma is accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

To be considered for an offer, you must submit a formal application through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Note: This program is not CRICOS registered. International students will require a valid visa other than a student visa (e.g., a temporary graduate visa) to apply to this program. We advise international students to seek independent immigration advice about visa options.

Ready to apply?

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$10,800*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$10,800*

UNSW PLT Program fees are not required upfront but are paid progressively. Course fees are payable on the relevant census date. FEE-HELP is available for eligible students.

^The indicative fee is for the standard program. The indicative fee for the program with practicum is $12,960.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition and materials.

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$13,800*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$13,800*

UNSW PLT Program fees are not required upfront but are paid progressively. Course fees are payable on the relevant census date.

^The indicative fee is for the standard program. The indicative fee for the program with practicum is $16,560.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition and materials.

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Scholarships

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university life accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a local or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.

Featured scholarship

The Dean’s PLT Equity Scholarships

UNSW Law & Justice has established the Dean’s PLT Equity Scholarships to support students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to undertake the UNSW GDLPP. Each year three scholarships are available: Indigenous, Refugee and General Equity.

Featured scholarship

UNSW Law & Justice International Award (PUCA1028)

This award was established to empower the brightest and most passionate international students to achieve their goals through their studies at UNSW Law & Justice.


  • Top 50
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2020.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

It was collaborative and we were taught skills that we will really need for the workplace.
Alumni Regie Gardoce

Regie Gardoce

Sprintlaw Graduate Lawyer

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