Centre on the Legal Profession

The Centre on the Legal Profession (COLP) aspires to build a bridge between the legal profession and the school.

Encompassing four areas (law clinics, practical legal training, research and internationalisation), COLP’s vision encompasses increasing employment opportunities for law graduates as well as fostering research, collaboration and networking both within Australia and internationally.


The centre’s research arm represents a unique development among Australian law schools, and conducts research focused on the changing market for legal services. 

The centre investigates optimal forms of regulation in sectors of the economy that are sensitive to factors such as globalisation, technology and the ageing population, while we also focus on delivering access to justice and protecting the rule of law.

Conferences & Seminars

2017 Conference – Disruptive Innovation in Law

The Centre on the Legal Profession hosted a successful ‘Disruptive Innovation in Law’ conference on Wednesday 24 May 2017.

Visit the conference website

Upcoming training

Executive Training for Officials of the Attorney General's Department – Sri Lanka
August 14 to 18, 2017, Burwood campus and Deakin Downtown

The Centre on the Legal Profession is providing new executive education program for the Officers of the Attorney General’s department in Sri Lanka.  This program will enhance the improved penetration into the professional legal education market in Asia, and is designed and articulated by senior lawyers and academics to provide high level professional insights into a range of global legal issues which are customized to the targeted cohort.

Expression of interest (PDF, 208.7 KB)
Program Overview (PDF, 327.8 KB)

Practical legal training

The Deakin Law School Practical Legal Training Course (PLTC) is a six-month full-time course for graduates. Completion allows legal qualification and practising status in Australia. Part courses are available for foreign-qualified lawyers wishing to practice in Australia.

Legal training in Victoria

The Victorian Legal Admissions Board and its state and territory equivalents require trainees to complete 30 days of work experience as part of their practical legal training. Work experience is normally at a host institution such as a law firm, government agency, community legal centre or judicial administrative office. 

Such work experience arrangements have some problems. For example, the host institution might require the trainee to undertake work that it needs, but that doesn't satisfy the requirements of PLTC; or the work isn't of a sufficiently high standard or satisfactory type; there's lack of supervision; or there's disruption to the legal training as the host institution makes demands inconsistent with course requirements.

Deakin's PLTC adopts the model of in-house legal clinics to overcome these problems. The clinics offer a seamless transition between PLTC and supervised work experience; high-quality training by directly aligning PLTC requirements with clinical work; complete compatibility and reflexivity between clinical work and course work; and close, readily available supervision by qualified lawyers who are also PLTC faculty staff.

Legal clinics

Our clinics are a unique feature of Deakin’s law qualifications. Staffed by both students and experienced lawyers, they operate as pro-bono law firms. Students gain skills working with real client cases, while Deakin provides a valuable community service.
Learn more about our legal clinics

Law orations

Delivering the 2017 Deakin Law Oration, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister the Honourable Dr Ranil Wickremesinghe called for renewed regional attention to ensure free and safe navigation in the Indian Ocean. This was the first official visit to Australia by a Sri Lankan Prime Minister in 60 years.

Read more about the 2017 Deakin Law Oration in the Deakin Law Newsroom (includes video)

International impact

The Centre on the Legal Profession aims to be a global force in legal education, with both a domestic and international footprint.

In mid-2016 we hosted an 11-member delegation from the Sri Lankan judiciary. This included professional development for five Supreme Court judges and six judges from the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal. 

On 7 October 2016 a delegation from the Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce visited Deakin. This was part of our ongoing mission to impart legal education to global executives and professionals in the industry through executive education. An agreement was formed to send business executives and entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka to participate in Deakin's Short Executive Education Programs in the areas of Business Conduct, Business Law and Legal Frame Work, Import/Export Laws and Barriers and Trade and Intellectual Property. 

On 19 December 2016 our Executive Director, Athula Pathinayake, met with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, the Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, to present a special letter from the Vice-Chancellor.

The centre plans to expand our local and international partnerships to other countries, such as Malaysia. In 2017, the Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the private Centre for Australian Training and Education (CATE).

Executive training

Deakin recognises that for lawyers to gain employment and promotion opportunities, they must possess a multi-disciplinary skill set, understand key sources of disruption in their industry and know where the future of their profession lies.

We offer short courses that provide business skills for lawyers and legal skills for businesspeople.

Upcoming events

The Centre will be hosting a conference on Developing a Code of Conduct to Supplement UNCLOS in Sri Lanka later in 2017 with regional leaders from the Asia-Pacific.

Email us now to create a short course for your staff.

Past events

Centre Forums

October 2016: The Honourable Mrs Justice Andrews of the Queen's Bench, High Court of England and Wales on ‘Brexit and its Legal Consequences’.

July 2016: Her Honour, Associate Justice Ierodiaconou on Health and Wellbeing in the Law. (with existing link to newsroom)

April 2016: The Honourable Michael Kirby provided our staff and students with valuable insight into what it's like to be a High Court Judge in Australia.

Continuing Professional Education

May 2017: The Centre hosted a two-day workshop on ‘Transitioning from Law School to Law Practice’ with Arnold Bloch Leibler. This two day workshop was designed to give law students an introduction to and overview of working in a commercial legal practice.

August 2016, the Centre hosted a second visit from an 11-member delegation from the Sri Lankan judiciary, who took part in a Professional Development program.

October 2016: the Centre hosted a visit from a delegation from the Sri Lankan Chamber of Commerce and provided legal Training for Sri Lankan business executives.

April 2016: 11 members of the Sri Lankan judiciary, including five Supreme Court judges and six judges from the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal were welcomed to Deakin Law School (DLS) for professional development.

Our staff

Executive Director, COLP
Athula Pathinayake 

Executive Director, COLP
Dr Claudio Bozzi

Staff list

Staff names

The Hon Michael Kirby

Rebecca Tisdale 

Associate Lecturer 
Dakshina Chandra

Christina Tao

Program Manager
Sriram Srinivas

Program Manager
Linda Black


The Centre on the Legal Profession has two directors:

Athula Pathinayake

  • Over 30 years in the legal profession
  • Specialising in criminal and civil cases
  • Holds qualifications in law, management and education
  • Current research focused on Sentencing

Claudio Bozzi

  • 12 years a barrister
  • Practice in commercial, technology and maritime law
  • Advisor to major private clients and government
  • Principal current research and engagement interests in New Economy, Innovation, Frontier Technologies, procedural law and training law students to be effective lawyers

Contact us

Centre on the Legal Profession
Email COLP