Clinical legal education

La Trobe Law School has a strong commitment to social justice and to providing hands-on legal experiences for its students.

With five different Clinical Legal Education subjects  in Melbourne and Bendigo, students can serve the local and wider community while enriching their understanding of legal theory, learning about the realities of law in practice and gaining academic credit.

Students will be supervised in Clinical Legal Education by highly qualified academics and legal practitioners.

How do the subjects work?

Following an intensive induction program, you will spend one day a week during the semester at a community legal centre, not-for-profit organisation, government agency or private law firm, such as:

  • Commission for Children and Young People
  • Consumer Action Law Centre
  • Department of Human Services (Child Protection Unit)
  • Environmental Justice Australia
  • Federation of Community Legal Centres
  • JobWatch
  • Judicial College of Victoria
  • Justice Connect
  • Office of Public Advocate
  • Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co Op Ltd.

You will either interact directly with real clients in a lawyer/client relationship or work on legal issues of public interest with agency staff.

Your clinical work is complemented by classroom learning. You will meet regularly with other students to share your experiences and explore issues including access to justice, public interest lawyering and professional responsibility.

You will analyse problems arising from casework in your placement or an issue of concern in the community. You may even be required to prepare a law reform submission addressing an issue of injustice.

What are the benefits?

You will work with a range of legal practitioners and communities and gain skills in

  • interviewing
  • drafting
  • research
  • negotiation and advocacy
  • time management
  • reflective practice.

Working with experienced lawyers and other professionals, you will gain a real understanding of the legal practitioner's role and the variety in legal work.

Experiencing law first hand leads to a deeper understanding of important areas of professional practice such as property, criminal, family, administrative, consumer credit and human rights law. Throughout the program, you will be supervised and guided by an academic staff member, to ensure you develop a deep understanding of the ethical and professional responsibilities of legal practitioners.

Practical experience also improves your employment prospects and can clarify your future career aspirations. Our students often receive offers of seasonal clerkships and supervised workplace traineeships through contacts they make during their placements.

For further information, please contact the internships team.