The UNSW Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Juris Doctor (JD) degrees both satisfy the academic requirements for admission to practice as a lawyer. However, there is a second essential step to being admitted as a lawyer – you will need to complete practical legal training (PLT).
Completion of an approved program of PLT is a requirement of the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) for admission as a lawyer to the Supreme Court of NSW and by mutual recognition to the Supreme Courts of other Australian states.
Practical legal training can typically be undertaken straight after you finish your law degree (Or if you have less than 2 electives remaining to complete your LLB/JD or equivalent and you can show evidence of completion of the Priestley 11 core subjects). Practical legal training is designed to help you develop the practical day-to-day skills you will need as a lawyer, and to satisfy the prescribed competency standards for entry-level lawyers. It is made up of a combination of programmed training (coursework) and work experience.
Practising in NSW
The UNSW LLB and JD are both accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) and satisfy the academic component for admission to practise as a solicitor and barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW.
UNSW PLT (GDLPP)
From 2020, UNSW will offer a distinctive in-house, practical legal training program – the Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP). The GDLPP, accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) in February 2019, will welcome both UNSW and external students with two intakes per year (February and September). UNSW students will therefore be able to complete all necessary education to be eligible for admission to the legal profession, at UNSW Law.
The GDLPP offers a flexible, predominantly digital pathway to practice that is aligned to the Faculty’s mission of social justice, flexible skills and broad horizons. It is framed by contemporary professional contexts and social justice principles and practices and underpinned by transformative pedagogy and learning technologies.
The GDLPP is a structured training program designed to develop practical, day-to-day skills needed as an entry-level lawyer. The GDLPP is comprised of programmed training and workplace experience as follows:
- 20 weeks coursework (comprising 5 days of onsite workshops, followed by 19 weeks of online coursework);
- compulsory minimum of 20 days of work experience;
- a choice of an additional 20 days of work experience OR a practicum.
The coursework comprehensively covers the following prescribed practice areas:
Skills in Practice (Lawyers Skills; Problem Solving; Work Management & Business Skills)
Blended online course – includes a 5-day onsite
|Values in Practice (Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Trust & Office Accounting)||6||Online|
|Transactional Practice (Property Practice; Commercial & Corporate Practice)||6||Online|
|Additional Practice Areas (choose 2 from Administrative Law Practice; Banking and Finance; Criminal Law Practice; Family Law Practice; Employment and Industrial Relations Practice; Wills and Estates Practice)||6||Students must choose and complete 2 practice area modules in this course|
Practising in other states of Australia
Under the National Practising Certificate scheme legal practitioners with a current practising certificate in NSW may also practise in other Australian States and Territories. Please refer to the relevant Law Society in the state or territory in which you wish to practise.
As in Australia, to practise law in other countries you must satisfy the academic and accreditation criteria in the particular jurisdiction. Always refer to the relevant authority or admitting body in that country or state.