Legal Internship (formerly Law Clinic)

Deakin’s Legal Internship 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 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 Legal Internship you will gain 1 credit point towards your degree and 15 days towards your professional experience requirements. This elective unit allows you to gain first-hand experience in community law.

What is Legal Internship?

Selection criteria

Please note cross-institutional students are ineligible to apply.

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 Legal Internship 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, 2015.

2016 applications will open in October 2015.

Compulsory induction session and enrolment details

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

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 during the last week of the previous Trimester from 9am - 1pm.

Failure to attend will result in your Legal Internship offer being rescinded and you will no longer be eligible to enrol in the unit.

Participating centres

Participating Centres Location
AED Legal Centre  Melbourne
Ann Valos Criminal Lawyer Werribee
Barwon Community Legal Service Inc. Geelong
Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre       St Albans and Melton
Department of Health and Human Services  Geelong
Ethiad Melbourne
Fair Work Building and Construction  Melbourne (Pre-req MLL342 Workplace Law)
Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre Shepparton
Inside Access Mental Health  Melbourne (working with imprisoned persons)
JobWatch Melbourne
Kimberley Community Legal Services Inc. Kunnunnara
Legal Services Board Victoria Melbourne
MacGregor Barristers and Solicitors and HIV/Aids Legal Centre  St Kilda
Moonee Valley CLC Legal Service  Ascot Vale
Social Security Rights Victoria Fitzroy
St Kilda Legal Service St. Kilda, Melbourne
TAC Geelong
Victoria Legal Aid: Geelong Geelong
Victoria Legal Aid: Ringwood Ringwood
Villamanta Disability Legal Rights Service Geelong
Western Community Legal Centre Ltd Werribee (Pre-req MLL408 Family Law)
West Heidleberg Community Legal Centre West Heidleberg
Women's Legal Service Victoria and Family Law Legal Service  Melbourne (Pre-req MLL408 Family Law)
Youth Law Melbourne
Youth Workers Victoria - Victorian Traders Hall Council Carlton (Pre-req MLL342 Workplace Law)

Please note: Not all centres participate in all trimesters.

Legal Internship Induction dates

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! (now called Legal Internship).

Christine Mellino
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws

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