Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Leo Cussen Centre for Law

Stage of career


Contact details

Address: 360 Little Bourke Street Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
Phone: 03 9602 3111
Visit the Leo Cussen Centre for Law website
Contact person: Judith Dickson


Leo Cussen Centre for Law is a not-for-profit body that aims to continue to strengthen and support the administration of justice and the legal system by providing high quality:

  • education
  • training, and
  • professional development

in legal practice and the law.

Leo Cussen provides:

  • a Practical Training Course (Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice) in onsite and online delivery modes for law graduates (‘Practical Legal Training') -
    • Online, full-time courses (5 months)
    • Onsite, full-time courses (5 months)
    • Online, part-time courses (12 months)
  • Traineeship Program. Topics comply with national admission requirements for law graduates undertaking Supervised Workplace Training (Traineeships) in firms and legal practices. Onsite delivery of Topics workshop style.

Completion of either a PLT course or a Traineeship results in the graduate becoming eligible for admission to the legal profession in Australia.

Number and type of positions within organisation

Practical Training Course:

  • Onsite full-time course has 140 places available
  • Online full-time course has 70+ places available;
  • Online part-time course has 20 + places available

**Full-time courses run twice a year with January & July intakes.

Traineeship Program:

  • Booking into individual Traineeship Topics is agreed between the graduate and their employer. In Victoria the employer is required to pay the cost of training.
  • Topics are capped at 20 participants however multiple Topic intakes occur throughout the year.  All programs include full catering and materials and are delivered by experienced legal practitioners.
  • Training and assessment occurs during Topic delivery with no exams or online component.

How to apply

Practical Legal Training: Visit the Apply page of the Leo Cussen Centre for Law website for application form and further information on the Practical Training Course including application procedure, dates, FAQs .

Traineeship Program: Visit the Traineeship Programs page of the Leo Cussen Centre for Law website for further information on the Traineeships Program and to make bookings.

Dates for application

Practical Training Course: Two intakes per year - January and July. January intake applications close late November the previous year and July intake applications close mid-May of that year.

Traineeship Programs: Visit the Traineeship Programs page of the Leo Cussen Centre for Law website for current Topic timetable and availability

Enrolment process

Practical Training Course:

  • Applicants submit application form and supporting documents (see web above)
  • Students may apply while finishing their law degree and provide evidence of completion once final results are released. Selection is not based on grades.
  • First preference may be given to applicants who have already completed their law degree at the time of application.

If there are more eligible applicants than available places, Leo Cussen conducts a ballot after the closing date and offers are notified. Places are allocated to the waiting list and 2nd and 3rd round offers are usually made.  

Traineeship Program:

See above 

Qualifications/skills required

All applicants must have completed an LLB, JD or equivalent qualification. All Australian LLB/JD qualifications are recognised. Applicants with outstanding results or subjects should contact Leo Cussen to discuss eligibility.  Email:

Overseas qualified applicants should have their qualifications assessed by the Council of Legal Education prior to application. Visit the Council of Legal Education Board of Examiners website

Advice for applicants re payment

Practical Legal Training:

FEE-HELP is available (this functions in a way similar to HECS). Graduates may also choose to pay privately.

Employer-sponsored places are available where your employer pays the tuition fees.

Traineeship program:

The employer will normally pay fees per Topic.


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