Law Clinic

Deakin’s Law Clinic enables you to gain an appreciation of certain aspects of legal practice and to extend and deepen your theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills while be working in a community legal centre.

During your placement in the legal centre you will receive instruction in the following areas of legal practice: taking instructions and client  interviewing; fact finding; alternative dispute resolution and negotiation; providing advice and counselling of a legal nature; legal research and problem solving; the litigation process; and advocacy.

At the successful completion of Law Clinic you will gain 1 credit point towards your degree and 12 days towards your professional experience requirements. This elective unit allows you to gain first-hand experience in community law.

What is Law Clinic?

Law Clinic (MLL351) is a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) unit worth 1 credit point where students complete a work placement in a legal environment. Law Clinic counts for 12 days towards the professional work experience requirement of the law degree course. The unit is only offered to Bachelor of Laws students.

Selection criteria

Applicants are required to:

  • Have successfully completed 16 units of their law/combined degree.
  • Provide an introductory cover letter outlining their interest in their preferred Law Clinic placement location.
  • Provide an up-to-date resume including all current and past professional experience placements and employment.

Please give careful consideration to your application, as there are limited places available. A detailed application, which outlines your suitability and enthusiasm, will greatly assist the selection process.

Where there are several strong applicants, order of application receipt will be used to finalise selection- so get your application in promptly.

Please note: The host organisation may require an interview prior to final offer being made.

How to apply

Applications are now closed for T3 2014 and T1 2015. 

We will be accepting applications for T2 and T3 2015 between 1 March 2015 and 1 April 2015.

Applications will not be accepted prior to this date as the number of host placements is likely to differ by this time.

Compulsory induction session and enrolment details

If you are offered a Law Clinic placement you will be required to attend a one day compulsory induction session prior to you commencing Law Clinic.

The induction session covers area such as: duty of confidentiality, interviewing diverse clients, working with interpreters, how to write file notes, how to draft letters etc. Additionally you will be given information about enrolment on completion of this compulsory session. The induction session is held at Deakin's Melbourne City Centre, Bourke Street, Melbourne, usually on the last Monday of the previous Trimester from 9am - 12noon.

Failure to attend will result in your Law Clinic offer being rescinded and you will no longer be eligible to enrol in the unit.

Participating centres

Participating CentresLocation
AED Legal Centre Melbourne
Barwon Community Legal Service Inc.Geelong
Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre      St Albans and Melton
Department of Human Services Geelong
Fair Work Building and Construction Melbourne
Inside Access Mental Health Melbourne (working with imprisoned persons)
Moonee Valley Community Legal Service Ascot Vale
M2 TelecommunicationsMelbourne (in-house counsel)
St Kilda Legal ServiceSt. Kilda, Melbourne
Goulburn Community Legal CentreShepparton
West Heidleberg Legal CentreWest Heidleberg, Melbourne
Victoria Legal Aid: RingwoodRingwood, Melbourne
Western Suburbs Legal Service Inc.Newport
Women's Legal Service Victoria and Family Law Legal Service Melbourne (Pre-req MLL408 Family Law)
Youth LawMelbourne
TACGeelong
Social Security Rights Victoria Fitzroy, Melbourne
Kimberley Community Legal Services Inc. Kunnunnara

Please note: Not all centres participate in all trimesters.

Law Clinic Induction dates

Trimester 1 2015 - Monday 2 February
Trimester 2 2015 - Monday 25 May
Trimester 3 2015- Monday 28 September

Dates are subject to change without notice.

Student profile

Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre

I have just completed my placement at the GVCLC and at the risk of sounding repetitive and cliché it really was an enriching, eye opening experience.

I found myself interacting with a lot more clients than I expected; completing initial intakes, making appointments, as well as sitting in on a number of interviews (including ones with translators and a woman who was completely deaf.)

I was given a couple of cases that were mine to manage with supervision. I was able to do the research, letter writing and provide advice. I assisted in court on the Centre's duty lawyer day, primarily in Seymour with IVO lists and even waited at the GV Public Hospital for 4 hours with a client as a representative of the Centre trying to get him admitted!

I know metropolitan centres seem more appealing, however after my experience at Goulburn Valley I honestly believe that you can gain more experience from a regional centre where you deal with a much wider variety of clients.

Goulburn Valley is a particularly disadvantaged area, and for a Centre that's supposed to focus only on advice there was a lot of case work - especially with criminal matters that VLA couldn't work and for immigrants who have trouble navigating the legal system.

One of the cases I worked was actually three separate matters against superannuation companies which is not something you would usually see worked at a CLC.

I believe it would be incredibly beneficial to students if there was the possibility of expanding our ties with regional and rural community centres, especially as they are the ones most in need of lawyers and the ones, in my opinion, who seem to be more willing to train graduate lawyers. There willingness to take on and train students was evident by the number of students in attendance.

The lawyers there were incredible and very accessible and were always up for a chat explaining what was going on or to outline future plans.

I would highly recommend to other students from the area if they wanted to do Law Clinic!

Christine Mellino
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws

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