What is Clinical Legal Education?
Our Clinical Legal Education Program is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate law students seeking real-world experience as lawyers. This means you work with real clients, on real cases, all while gaining course credit towards your degree.
Depending on your placement opportunity, you can work directly with clients, solicitors and other professional staff, gaining 'real life’ experience and skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.
Apply for a Clinical Placement
Learn more and apply for the following opportunities below.
LAW4328 / LAW4330 / LAW5050 - LLB Professional Practice / Family Law Assistance Program (FLAP) / JD Professional Practice
LAW4803 / LAW4811 - Clinical Placement / In House Placement
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
LAW4328 / LAW4330 / LAW5050 - LLB Professional Practice / Family Law Assistance Program (FLAP) / JD Professional Practice run four times a year. Students will receive an outcome within 2 weeks after the applications close.
LAW4803 / LAW4811 - Clinical Placement / In House Placement run three times a year. Students have the option to put in five preferences when applying for these placements. They will receive an outcome within 3 weeks after the applications close.
For all faculty organised placements, you will be advised where your placement is, around two weeks before you commence via email.
Faculty-managed international internships
The individual internship weblinks outline the details of the notification process. If you're successful, you'll receive confirmation soon after the company has confirmed you as the successful candidate.
Students can apply for self-sourced LAW4803 placement if they can secure a law placement interstate or internationally. Self-sourced placements will need to be approved before you can undertake them. Applicants are advised to understand the requirements of this process before submitting an application.
Student-managed internships can occur at any time throughout the year as long as they don't interfere with the student's study or final assessment period (exam period).
If you organise your own placement, you'll have some limited flexibility with the dates. However, you will need to cover a minimum of 1 placement day over a 12 week period. This has to match the placement cycle of the Monash units. See LAW4803 - Self Sourced Clinical Placement and International Placements for more information.
Faculty-managed placements are within the month(s) listed on the faculty-organised placements website. These units within the faculty are offered three/four times a year. We suggest you apply to the one which clashes least with your pre-existing commitments.
We offer a range of faculty-organised placements whereby you can choose to apply to the various organisations. The placements offered can vary with each intake. You're aware of available placements before you apply and can nominate preferences that suit pre-existing commitments.
The faculty also supports Self Sourced Clinical Placement - Interstate or International which means you can apply to organisations of your choice.
Students in the Faculty of Law are encouraged to apply for a placement in their third or fourth year. You must have completed at least 72 credit points of law study when applying for a placement.
There are also a small number of faculty-managed internships that are available at particular times of the year. For details, see faculty-organised international placements.
Clinical and In-House placements (LAW4803 and LAW4811)
You would be aware of where the placement is located before you apply. Therefore you would take this into consideration when submitting your preferences.
Professional Practice (LAW4328, LAW4330 and LAW5050)
The faculty will advise you where the placement is located before you apply. It is up to you to determine if the placement is located too far away.
This depends on the host organisation. Please check with them before your placement commences. Students will be introduced to their supervisors in the host organisation at least a week before the placements start.
You should contact the placement supervisor and/or the program coordinator to inform them of this (preferably in advance). Placements are undertaken in professional setting involving real legal work, therefore you will be expected to attend the workplace in full on the day/s nominated by your placement host.
Some host organisations may require you to work on a public holiday. You need to discuss this with the organisation.
Resolve issues at the workplace to the best of your ability as this is part of the learning. If there are issues that are difficult, contact the Faculty of Law for further assistance.
The workload commitment for these units are two days per week consisting of a legal service session day, when you will interview clients and undertake follow up work, a priority day, when you will work on your client matters and meet with your supervisor to discuss your matters and a compulsory 2 hour weekly online seminar every Thursday.
The workload commitment for these units is one day per week where students will go to the clinic or host organisation to undertake client-handling and documentation prep.
All professional practice placements (LAW4328/LAW5050 and LAW4330) and some clinical placements (LAW4803 and LAW4811) will require students to have a valid Working with Children's Check (WWCC).
You are welcome to apply for a placement before you apply for a WWCC card. However, you will need to have a valid WWCC card at least a week before your placement commences.
When you join Monash Law, you have the opportunity to provide expert legal help to those who would otherwise slip through the cracks. Clinical legal education not only develops practical legal skills for students but increases access to legal services and justice for people from adverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Want to know what's really great? You can help the community while learning invaluable practical legal skills, gaining work experience (great for your CV), and you can do all this for credit towards your Law degree.
Our Clinical Guarantee
We guarantee our students a place in the clinical legal education program to build their knowledge, experience, and confidence.
From 2018, Monash Law will be offering a guaranteed clinical education experience for all students who wish to incorporate a practical component credited towards their Monash Law degree.
We are the first law school in Australia to offer a guarantee like this for our students. This reflects our belief in the transformative effect of experiential education.
Students - more for their degree & improved employability
- Improved graduate employability driven by the skills and knowledge gained through participation
- Providing all students, regardless of social or economic background, with pathways into the legal profession.
- Increase connection points and enhanced opportunities
- Build professional networks.
- A deeper understanding and appreciation of the law and its application in the community, government and commercial world
- Potential to be involved in meaningful and high-profile law reforms.
For over 40 years we have been trailblazers in this space. We’re committed not only to continuing this important service into the future - we’re expanding it.
At Monash Law we believe access to quality legal advice shouldn't be confined to those who can aford it. Tens of thousands of Victorians are turned away from community legal services each year. We believe this is unacceptable.
At Monash Law we believe you should be work-ready, confident and equipped with life experiences when you enter the workforce. As a Law student, we know you are a wealth of knowledge. You also possess a boundless enthusiasm, dedication and creativity to find solutions to problems that others would simply declare 'too hard'.
At Monash Law, we believe in innovation. We recognise opportunities to improve access to justice while also strengthening your education.
Our Clinical Legal Education (CLE) program is the result of the above factors.
CLE gives Monash Law students the opportunity to work in real community law clinics, which are operated by (or in association with) Monash Law. CLE places you with real clients who are seeking legal advice for the array of problems life can throw at you.
Working under the supervision of expert lawyers, Monash Law students learn new skills outside of the classroom; practical skills, including client relations and how to navigate the legal system.
Your CLE experience as a Monash Law student is able to be credited towards your degree.
Best of all, our CLE program contributes to the lives of people who have nowhere else to turn.
The benefits of CLE are three-fold:
1. Provide an invaluable service to the community
2. Learn new skills so you can be career- ready
3. Earn credit towards your Law degree.
For more than 40 years Monash Law’s CLE program has helped many members of our community.
As a Monash Law student, you have the opportunity to be part of our future.
Join us as we expand CLE to improve the lives of more and more people. As a Monash Law student you’ll learn how to be the best lawyer - and the best citizen - you can be.
Outside the confines of a classroom and into the real world, our clinical legal education provides our students the opportunity to work with real people on real cases.
A hallmark of Monash Law and highly regarded by legal professionals, our clinical legal education brings our law students to the forefront of the job market, before they even graduate.
Best described as experiential learning, our clinical legal education delivers:
- Specific knowledge and skill sets that better prepare our students for career success
- A practical learning experience with real people and real cases
- An understanding and appreciation of law’s fundamental purpose: to improve access to justice.
Our experiential learning also:
- Improves graduate employability driven by the skills and knowledge gained through participation
- Empowers and builds our students' resilience to meet the significant demands of the profession
- Enhances emotional intelligence by working closely with members of the community from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds
- Establishes lifelong professional mentors through our clinic's legal professional supervision
Key Transferrable Skills & Knowledge
We work with a variety of people from different backgrounds on real cases to achieve the best possible outcome.
We empower community members through our clinical education program by:
- Providing free legal information, advice, and representation
- Raising awareness about people's legal rights and responsibilities
- Simplifying the legal process
- Improving the community’s capability and confidence to deal with and use the law and legal system
- Providing advocacy on systemic issues, including advocating for policy and law reforms on issues of importance to the local communities we serve.
Below are statistics on the assistance we provided to the community in the past year through our clinical legal education program.
Membership of the Clinical Advisory Board is by invitation of the Dean and is drawn from alumni and distinguished members of the legal profession.
The purposes of the board are to:
1. Facilitate the engagement of alumni and distinguished members of the profession in the development of the Monash Clinical Program, providing an opportunity for their input on policy, strategic directions, and connections with the profession;
2. Enhance the profile of the Clinical Program and its connection with the legal profession;
3. Advise specifically on internships, employment exchanges, research partnerships and such;
4. Advise on/ facilitate new funding strategies for the Clinical Program, and the Law Faculty more generally;
5. Provide a high-level transparent governance mechanism for the Clinical Program, capable of liaising with equivalent high-profile professional bodies in other disciplines which might be associated with the Law Faculty Program in the future;
6. Make recommendations to the faculty to use the funds form the Susan Campbell Memorial Fund to provide access to the latest international and national clinicians and clinical research and to develop linkages between the clinical legal education program and the profession on a national and international level.
Clinical Advisory Board members
The current members of the Clinical Advisory Board include:
Professor Jeff Giddings - Chair Clinical Advisory Board & Associate Dean (Experiential Education), Monash Faculty of Law
Dr Renata Alexander - Senior Lecturer, Monash Law Faculty
The Honourable Justice Jennifer Coate - Judge, Family Court of Australia, Commissioner, Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In 2013, Justice Coate was appointed as a Judge of the Family Court of Australia and as one of the six Commissioners of the Commonwealth Royal Comission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Prior to this, Justice Coate held a number of appointments including Judge of the County Court of Victoria, State Coroner of Victoria, the inaugural President of the Children's Court of Victoria and Senior Magistrate, Deputy Chief Magistrate, and Magistrate of the Magistrate's Court of Victoria. During her time as President of the Children's Court of Victoria, Commissioner Coate oversaw the establishment of the Children's Koori Court. Justice Coate has also worked as a part-time Law Reform Commissioner, a solicitor in private practice, a solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria and in policy and research for the Victorian Government.
Mr Dominic Cook - Partner, Wisewould Mahony Lawyers
At Wisewould Mahony Lawyers, Dominic leads a team which acts for the Victorian WorkCover Authority and the Transport Accident Commission, conducting public liability recoveries on behalf of these statutory insurers. Dominic holds Bachelors of Laws and Economics degrees from Monash and was admitted to practice in 1991.
Mr Bruce Dyer - Senior Legal Consultant, Ashurst
Bruce Dyer is a senior consultant in the corporate group at Ashurst in Melbourne having been a partner of the firm from 2008 to 2015. Bruce specialises in company law and governance, corporate, government, mergers and acquisitions.
Mr Andrew George - Partner, Doogue, O'Brien George
Andrew George has over 20 years of experience as a criminal lawyer and has been an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 1995. Andrew is a clinical graduate and was the former chairperson of the Buoyancy Drug Foundation and was a member of the committee of management fo the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) for over 10 years, including a period as Secretary. He as also been a volunteer at Springvale Monash Legal Service Inc. and the Brimbank Legal Service. Andrew spent 6 months in Papua New Guinea and assisted in establishing the first community legal service in that country.
Ms Fay Gertner - Practice Manger, Monash - Oakleigh Legal Service
Dr Kristine Hanscombe QC - Queen's Counsel, Victorian Bar
Kristine has a broad administrative law, commercial and equity practice. Her administrative law practice includes judicial review and merits review. IN addition to such litigation, she has advised government as to matters of legislative drafting and related issues. She is experience in professional disciplinary matters and related processes, mostly in relation to the legal profession. She has a substantial appellate practice in both State and Federal jurisdictions. In addition, Kristine has a long standing interest in access to justice issues and is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Committee and the Victorian Executive of the International Commission of Jurists. She is accredited by the Victorian Bar as an Advanced Mediator, and a member of the national panels of expert mediators maintained by the Office of the Mediation Advisor under the Franchising and Oil Industry Codes of Conduct.
Mr Ross Hyams - Convenor, Legal Practice Programs
Dr Kate Seear - Academic Director, Springvale Monash Legal Service Inc.
Ms Kristen Wallwork - Executive Director, Springvale Monash Legal Service Inc.
Ms Jennifer Kanis - Principle Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Jennifer is a Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn and is head of their social justice practice. She has a particular interest in taking on matters that challenge the structural and systemic issues that entrench disadvantage and has been involved in a range of issues including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, asylum seeker rights, challenges to corporate and government power, gender equality, LGBTIQ equality, protecting communities and environments and workers’ rights.
Our experiential learning program is available for both our undergraduate and postgraduate students.
You will be working directly with clients, gaining 'real life’ experience and skills that cannot be taught in the classroom. Practical skills in mediation, negotiation, collaboration, arbitration all essential for your future capacity as a lawyer.
You will also begin to understand the boundaries between a lawyer’s role and those of other human services. And you will gain communication skills and emotional intelligence - essential for effectively attracting, representing and keeping clients.
Our experiential learning program provides students with an insight into what an average day-to-day looks like for a real-life working lawyer.
Students will manage between 10 to 12 client files over a 17 to 19 week period; the community legal centre becoming your defacto classroom for this period.
Springvale Monash Legal Service is open five days and four evenings per week so you may be required to do an evening shift.
When can I apply?
You can apply for our experiential program from your 3rd year of study, as an undergraduate student.
Juris Doctor students can apply for their clinical legal education program in their 2nd year.