Professional Experience Requirements
Deakin Law School’s compulsory Professional Experience requirement involves a student working in a law-related environment undertaking law related work.
Types of work places include: Law Firms – working directly under the supervision of a lawyer; Community Legal Centres working directly under the supervision of a lawyer; Court of Law; Tribunal; Statutory Authority working under the supervision of person who has completed a law degree; Barrister; police prosecutor. The role must be law related. See ‘what counts as PE’ for further details.
The purpose of the Professional Experience (PE) requirement is to enrich the student's formal legal education and produce graduates with practical experience of how the law operates. As well as being a benefit in itself, this will also make the student's university study more meaningful.
All LLB students must undertake 30 days PE placement (unless otherwise stated in their course rules) in a legal related field (prior to completion). As this is a compulsory component of the course it is not possible to graduate without having satisfied this requirement. Students are encouraged to begin obtaining PE from the time they commence their degree. Students may participate in more than one PE placement in order to meet this requirement. For example a student may spend five days working in a Court, ten days working within one law firm, five days working within a statutory authority, and ten days in another law firm.
On completion of any PE placement days the student needs to submit the evidence so the days can be recorded.
If a student is unclear about whether or not their PE placement host meets Deakin Law School's requirement then contact firstname.lastname@example.org before commencing to obtain clarification.
All students undertaking the PE placement as part of the LLB requirements are automatically covered by Deakin University’s insurance policy. Some PE placement hosts will require a copy of this.
Where students apply to graduate and they have not completed the 30 day PE placement requirement, their graduation will be delayed until such time as the 30 day requirement has been met. Please check the Important Dates for eligibility to graduate.
Visit Graduations for more information.
Where do I find PE?
It is a student's responsibility to locate and formalise a professional experience placement. Work readiness is an extremely important aspect of you completing the LLB degree and it is in the student's best interests to make the most of the resources available to you.
Deakin University offers a number of fantastic services to students including cover letter writing, resume writing services. JobShop can assist in developing skills in relation to approaching employers for placements and future employment.
MLL351 Legal Internship counts for 15 days towards the professional work experience component of the course. There are three intakes per year. Some hosts offer 30 days.
The Deakin Law School coordinates the Professional Experience Placement Scheme where students are placed at Victoria Legal Aid offices in Dandenong, Frankston and Ringwood. Review the Placement Scheme page on a regular basis as other opportunities are often advertised.
Visit our Employment Opportunities page for regularly updated job advertisements.
What counts as PE
What counts as PE?
undertake Professional Experience part-time or as a full 30-day placement. For
this purpose, the Deakin Law will consider 7.5 hours as being the equivalent of
one working day.
Professional Experience placements may only occur in an environment in which a student can gain experience on how the law, or the legal system operates in practice. Placements with a solicitor or barrister; in a public law or regulatory office such as the ACCC, ASIC or Crown Law Department; in a court; or with a police prosecutor are examples. It is not necessary for students to undertake placements at separate firms. Seasonal Clerkships are an ideal way to satisfy this requirement. Where students work within a legal environment undertaking legal work this may also qualify as PE.
Placements may only
occur in an environment where the student will be supervised by a lawyer
(solicitor or barrister), judicial officer, statutory legal officer, police
prosecutor or court staff.
It is not expected that there be any formal instruction for the student. Rather, they are expected only to be able to experience the work undertaken by those working at the placement. In particular, it is hoped that by being supervised in the above outlined legal environments students will be able to experience some or all of the following:
- the types of routines and procedures commonly found in the legal departments and/or legal settings (courts etc)
- the dynamics which are commonly associated with the provision of legal services
- the process of becoming a professional law practitioner
Insurance, OH&S, Police Checks
Insurance cover and will I be paid?
Under the University's insurance policy, it is not expected that students be paid for Professional Experience.
Students will be afforded coverage under Deakin University's insurance policy regardless of whether they will receive paid or unpaid (voluntary) work experience.
Students must, however, work in a law-related field, performing law-related duties.
Occupational Health & Safety (OH & S)
If students are concerned about any aspect of occupational health and safety, they should discuss the matter with their organisation host. If their concerns persist, they should notify Deakin Law School who will either advise students directly or seek advice accordingly.
Some Victorian host organisations may require the student to undertake a police check. Information and relevant consent forms can be found at the Victoria Police website.
Completed relevant forms must be forwarded to the student's host organisation.
Australia Post offers you the ability to apply and post your Police Check. Find out more from the AusPost website.
Working with Children Checks
Some Victorian host organisations may require the student undertake a working with children check. Information and relevant consent forms can be found at the Working with Children Check website.
Completion of placement
A Completion of Placement form is submitted once a student has completed their PE placement (paid or unpaid).
How to apply
A student may only submit a Completion of Placement [141KB] when all three criteria listed below are satisfied:
- completed 30 days placement;
- employment placement is in a law-related field, eg legal executive, police, prosecutions or magistrates clerk;
- a signed letter is supplied from the host employer on formal company letterhead that states:
- commencement and conclusion dates
- total number of full-time days completed
- brief list of legal duties performed
The student must satisfy all three criteria above. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Submit all documents by email and allow three weeks for the processing of the application. Professional Experience status will be updated on the student's StudentConnect once the 30 days have been submitted and processed. Days credited will only be approved once the student has successfully submitted the required documents.
Please note: Do not leave this to the last minute, as you could risk missing out on your preferred graduation date!