What is Practical Legal Training?
Practical Legal Training (PLT) is the necessary step between your law degree and your admission to practice in South Australia. It is a requirement that helps you transition from Law School to real-life legal practice, helping you develop the necessary skills to enter the profession. The Law Society SA / Adelaide University is a recognised provider of PLT.
Why Study with us?
You can complete your GDLP in as little as 15-20 weeks and we can develop a timetable that works for you. There is also no set order by which to study the GDLP – it is a matter of tailoring your study to suit you best.
Courses are offered over weekdays, evenings and weekends and a typical full-time load only involves 16.5 days seminar time.
You can also enrol into the GDLP at any time and can commence with an elective or core subject.
We are the only GDLP provider who will assist you in securing a work experience placement. The Law Society has a wide range of firms who exclusively take on our students for PLT placements. Once you are placed, the placement handbook ensures you are kept busy for the duration of the placement and walk away from it with a range of new skills.
Experience and Networking Opportunities
The GDLP provides you with direct access to the profession. Our courses put you in direct contact with legal professionals, as well as a range of other recent graduates, enabling you to build your network of contacts and work collaboratively with others.
The courses provide an experience that goes beyond the typical lecture/tutorial study, providing you with a realistic sense of what it is like to practice law in South Australia. As part of Lawyer’s Skills you will have the opportunity to develop your advocacy skills with judicial officers, senior practitioners and barristers inside an actual court!
What is the Structure of the GDLP?
Students completing the GDLP with the Law Society of South Australia and the University of Adelaide will cover three distinct components:
- The completion of five mandatory subjects covering a number of areas of law, as well as two electives of a student’s choice;
- Six weeks of legal practice (225 hours) at an approved organisation, with the opportunity to claim recent work experience;
- The accrual of five Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.
The three components can be completed in any order and over a period as little as 15 - 20 weeks. You can, subject to conditions and approval, study the GDLP concurrently with your LLB.
What subjects can I study?
The wide range of courses draw on experts from many areas of the South Australian legal profession to tutor students in their areas of expertise. This direct access allows you to network with barristers, solicitors and other legal experts from various backgrounds, who offer real-life perspectives on legal practice.
| Mandatory Subjects:
- Lawyer’s Skills
- Civil Litigation and Practice
- Commercial and Corporate Law Practice
- Property Law Practice
- Professional Obligations
| Elective Subjects:
- Criminal Law Practice
- Family Law Practice
- Employment and Industrial Relations
- Planning and Environmental Law Practice
- Wills and Estates Practice
- Administrative Law Practice (Online)
- Consumer Law (Online)
- Banking and Finance (Online)
The mandatory subjects accommodate the essential skills you will need as you enter the profession, and the elective subjects allow you to study two topics of your choice. The assessment items often replicate the realistic tasks of a solicitor practicing in that area, and are marked on a competent/not competent basis.
Read more about the subjects by clicking the button below or watching the short introductory video below:
View GDLP Course Details
The 225-hour work experience placement puts you in actual legal setting, allowing you to apply the skills you have developed during your study to practical situations. For many students, it is the first practical experience they have and can be very influential in developing their careers.
During your placement, you will keep track of your progress in a handbook, completing a number of tasks that may include:
- Drafting legal documents
- Accompanying solicitors or barristers to court
- Drafting letters
- Observing client interviews
You can complete your placement on a flexible basis and can, subject to conditions and approval, claim credit for recent work experience. You can claim up to:
- 75 hours for clinical legal experience; or
- 112.5 hours of retrospective legal experience within two years of commencing the GDLP.
You will also have the option to either find your own placement or ask the Law Society to assist you in securing a placement.
You will also accrue five Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units as part of your GDLP program.
The GDLP program ensures all students receive five CPD units:
- Four CPD units - practical legal research; and
- One unit for a well-being survey completed as part of the mandatory course, Professional Obligations.
Those who join the Law Society as a Student Associate can sign up for additional CPD events at the Law Society free of charge.