Professional Experience Requirements
The School of Law's compulsory Professional Experience requirement involves a student working in a law-related environment.
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 your course it is not possible to graduate without having satisfied this requirement.
Strict deadline for PE completion (if applying to graduate). Please check the Important Dates for 2015 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 your degree and it is to your advantage 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 you 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.
Deakin Law Review
A student editor for the Deakin Law Review for one year counts for 5 days towards the professional work experience component of the course.
The Deakin Law School coordinates the Professional Experience Placement Scheme where students are placed at Victoria Legal Aid offices in Dandenong and Ringwood.
Visit our Employment Opportunities page for regularly updated job advertisements.
What counts as PE
What counts as PE?
Students may undertake Professional Experience part-time or as a full
30-day placement. For this purpose, the School of 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.
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
Some of the Professional Experience placements students have previously undertaken include:
- Community Legal Centres
- Law Firms
- Legal departments within corporations
- Seasonal Clerkships
- Court officer
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.
You will be afforded coverage under Deakin University's insurance policy regardless of whether you will receive paid or unpaid (voluntary) work experience.
You must, however, work in a law-related field, performing law-related duties.
Upon completion of each placement, you must submit a Completion of Placement [141KB] form, along with a letter from your host employer confirming your completed placement. Days credited will only be approved once you have successfully submitted these required documents.
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 the School of Law by email. The School of Law will either advise students directly or seek advice accordingly.
Some Victorian host organisations may require you to undertake a police check. Information and relevant consent forms can be found at the Victoria Police website.
Once you have filled out the relevant forms you must to forward them to your host organisation.
Completion of placement
A Completion of Placement form is submitted once a student has completed their placement (paid or unpaid) in a law related occupation, such as a legal executive, police prosecutor or magistrate's clerk.
You can choose to complete your placement part-time or in a full-time block.
How to apply
You may only submit a Completion of Placement [141KB] when you satisfy all three criteria listed below:
- you have completed your placement;
- your employment is in a law-related field, eg legal executive, police, prosecutions or magistrates clerk;
- you provide a signed letter from your employer on formal company letterhead that states:
- commencement and conclusion dates
- total number of full-time days completed
- brief list of legal duties performed
You must satisfy all three criteria above. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
Please submit all documents by email and allow 3 weeks for the processing of your application. Your Professional Experience status will be updated on your StudentConnect once your 30 days have been submitted and processed.
Please note: Do not leave this to the last minute, as you could risk missing out on your preferred graduation date!