School of law

Completing Your Practical Legal Training at Murdoch

Stay on campus and complete your Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) through our partnership with Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

Cafe 4Practical Legal Training (PLT) is designed to help you develop the practical, day-to-day skills you will need as a lawyer. Completion of a PLT Course is the second essential step to being admitted by the Legal Practice Board of WA as a practising lawyer.

From 2019, Murdoch and Leo Cussen will give graduates the opportunity to complete their Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree and then continue to study here on campus to complete their legal training.

 

Benefits of Completing your PLT at Murdoch:

  • Stay on Campus
    Receive face-to-face training, with access to the state of the art Murdoch facilities you are familiar with.
  • Fast Track Your Studies
    Complete some of your units in the winter and summer breaks. Finish your LLB faster and complete your PLT to start practising sooner!
  • Run Your Own Simulated Law Firm
    Learn through practical application, working on client files and building on your foundational knowledge from the LLB. Your clients will come to you with problems and want a solution.
  • No Exams
    'Learn by doing', with continuous practical assessments.
  • Blended Learning
    Online course delivery combined with 13 days of personalised, face-to-face training.
  • Mentoring and Support
    Receive genuine, considered and regular one-to-one feedback and personalised support from experienced practising lawyers.
  • Build Strong Networks
    Connect with peers and experienced solicitors and barristers.
  • Short PLT Work Experience Placement
    Only twenty days (four weeks). Plus, if you have completed Clinic with Murdoch in your LLB, the opportunity to be placed at SCALES.
  • Career and Placement Support
    Receive ongoing assistance from a dedicated Graduate Placement and Careers Advisor to help with placement, job search and preparation.

WA PLT Graduate Testimonials

Nicole Farrar - Murdoch Graduate

Nicole Farrar

I graduated from Murdoch University in 2018 with a Juris Doctor qualification. I chose Leo Cussen for the same reasons I chose Murdoch University – because it has a long-standing reputation for excellence in providing legal education and professional development. At the completion of my law degree, I wanted to participate in a PLT Course that gave me the best chance to succeed in entering legal practice and making the transition between study and work.

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    I was also attracted to Leo Cussen because it is a not-for-profit body and committed to supporting an ethical legal profession.

    During my initial research, I found the Leo Cussen website accessible and it was easy to find the information I wanted. When I contacted the Centre by telephone to enquire about the course and the professional placement component, the staff who assisted me were attentive, helpful and able to give me the answers I was looking for.

    The WA Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) course itself was excellent. The course content is delivered online, coupled with face-to-face intensive sessions with fellow trainees and Leo Cussen instructors. I was learning to ‘run’ client files (simulated) from beginning to end including drafting client letters, negotiating with the opposing party, filing court applications and attending settlement. I was also given the opportunity to practice my oral advocacy skills in a safe and supportive environment and given feedback by highly regarded legal professionals. It was an invaluable experience to learn from experienced barristers and solicitors who had taken the time from their busy schedules to give trainees an insight into legal practice.

    The Leo Cussen course provides one-on-one mentoring and I was given the best mentor a student could ask for. I received personalised and constructive feedback from my mentor for each piece of work I submitted for assessment. I could track how my skills were developing and improving and I felt my competence grow.

    I was also able to translate these skills into practice during my professional placement. I was able to interact with clients and conduct interviews with confidence. I drafted documents of a high standard to submit to my supervisor and felt I could contribute positively to the work environment. On completion of the GDLP Course, I felt confident that I could make the move into legal practice successfully.

    The Leo Cussen staff who attended each intensive session gave their all and became trusted colleagues. I could always turn to them for help or advice and they were genuinely interested in how I was progressing through the GDLP Course and where my legal career might lead me. It was great to feel so supported. The close-knit learning environment has meant that I have forged life-long friendships with other PLT trainees. As trainees, we relied on each other to push through some of challenges and congratulate each other when we did well. By the final intensive there was an atmosphere of excitement and a feeling of achievement as we reached our goals.

    I would highly recommend Leo Cussen Centre for Law and the courses it offers. Leo Cussen delivers on its promise to provide excellent learning, training and development. I couldn’t have asked for more.

Ben Williams - Murdoch Graduate

Ben Williams

As a paralegal at a Perth CBD law firm, it was important for me to be able to find a PLT that would allow me to maintain my work performance whilst completing the PLT in the shortest possible time. I selected the 20 week WA Leo Cussen PLT Course because it met those criteria and it did not disappoint.

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    The PLT workload was a really good mix for me, it was manageable with my four days per week part-time workload, and the face-to-face intensives being spread out at the beginning, middle and end of the couse allowed me to take bite-sized time off from my work without an avalanche waiting for me when I returned. The pacing of the three intensives also allowed me to meet up with the other PLT trainees.

    In terms of skills development, the most beneficial aspect was the advocacy training, it provided me with an opportunity to develop in an area, where as a junior, there is not much oppportunity in the workplace. The Leo Cussen advocacy was definitely a highligh of the PLT Course as it also assisted me to develop confidence. I felt, at times, that I was underprepared for the hearings and pleas where I appeared to represent my client, but the assessors gave me positive feedback, which has assisted me in understanding the requirements of good advocacy.

    Possibly the best aspect of the Leo Cussens PLT Course is the (apparently tireless) mentors that are assigned to the students. My mentor gave me exceptional feedback on my work and was always available and approachable whenever I needed help with a topic or an assignment.

    In my PLT course, the solicitor for the other side was a highly experienced senior practitioner and Leo Cussen staff member, acting in the role of partner in a fictitious law firm. I was really impressed by the responsiveness of the feedback I received from the “partner” in this context, and very much enjoyed the negotiations that we engaged in as part of my conduct of a range of matters. I was proud to have achieved a really great commercial outcome for one of my “clients” in a retailer/supplier contract dispute. I definitely encourage other law firms and law graduates working in a paralegal/law graduate capacity to give the WA Leo Cussen PLT Course a go.

    In fact, all of the Leo Cussen PLT staff were amazing – even without the many other reasons to recommend Leo Cussen’s PLT Course, I would highly recommend the PLT Course solely for the high calibre of Leo Cussen’s staff!