Law Institute Internship Program
La Trobe Law School and the Law Institute of Victoria offer later year law students internship opportunities in a range of regional and metropolitan law firms. Students who participate will gain confidence and develop their practical legal skills to understand the reality of legal practice in a firm.
Students participating in the program are enrolled in the Legal Internship subject where they participate in regular classes and online modules in conjunction with their firm's case load.
How the program developed
In late 2014, La Trobe Law School and the Law Institute of Victoria formed a partnership for a teaching program which has seen later year law students placed as interns in law firms all over Victoria.
The Law Institute surveyed its members and encouraged law firms to offer internship places to law students to develop their practical legal skills and allow them to obtain their first experience of law in action. La Trobe Law School developed an academic program to complement the students' practical placement experiences.
The Law School called for applications from students and received a large number of applications. Law firms were able to select their own internship student from a pool of applicants. A Supervision Manual was developed to provide firms with guidance and assistance in supervising students. An academic staff member from the Law School working with the students is available at all times to assist any students or firms who have questions or any problems in relation to the program.
As a result of this partnership between the Law School and the Law Institute, in 2015, twelve students enrolled in the program while undertaking placements in legal practices in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Students were not only placed in Melbourne but took up positions in Bendigo, Bairnsdale and Whittlesea.
Students have regular classes both face to face and online in which they study communication skills, technology and the law and issues relating to the future of the legal profession, diversity in the profession and legal ethics. Students also share their practice experiences and use their placement experience to discuss modes of lawyering and critically analyse the legal system in operation.
Quotes from our students
'It is great to be given real tasks to do'.
'The way the solicitor prepared and communicated with the other parties was awe inspiring. I hope to one day have such skills.'
'This course is making me realise that there is a variety of legal working environments to choose from. This news is somewhat refreshing, as it makes me feel more empowered to enter a work environment that suits my aspirations and working style the best.'
'Were it not for the Law School starting up such a subject like this, I would not be lucky enough to experience these amazing first hand realities.'