Take the next step in your career as a paraprofessional in the legal practice industry with an Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice at Victoria University Polytechnic.
This course will provide you with extensive training in the workings of today’s professional legal office.
You will gain essential skills for work as a legal paraprofessional, including how to:
- provide advice on legal services to potential clients
- practise in a legal area of your interest
- manage legal practice operation resources
- interpret legislation
- produce complex legal documents.
You’ll also develop a basic understanding in the following areas:
- family law
- property law
- contract law
- commercial law
- criminal law
Our experienced teachers will ensure you are job-ready by the time you graduate. You could also go on to further study, as this course can be the first step towards becoming a lawyer.
You’ll learn from teachers who have valuable industry contacts and the latest industry-standard skills and knowledge. You’ll also develop links with industry and professional experience through guest speaker presentations and scenario-based learning and assessments.
You will benefit from VU’s many industry connections. These include:
- partnership with Victoria Police
- programs at the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts
- programs at several community legal centres
- partnership between VU, Werribee Community Legal Services and the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department.
As a student of this program, you can apply for membership of the Institute of Legal Executives (Vic).
Our campus libraries have photocopying, computing and printing facilities as well as electronic and print resources.
You'll also have access to a rich collection of online resources at any time of the day or night, including:
- e-learning content for courses
- student email
- student software packages
- social networking tools.
On campus, we make sure that all of our students have access to digital resources. We offer:
VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.
Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses, including Footscray Nicholson.
We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.
Our programs include:
- drop-in sessions
- peer mentoring
- maths and writing resources
- resume and career guidance.
Careers in legal practice
This course will qualify you to work as a paraprofessional in the legal practice industry. You’ll be able to perform legal work on behalf of clients under the supervision of a lawyer. Our graduates find work as law clerks or paralegals in:
- law firms
- government departments
- legal aid organisations
- financial institutions
- court registries
- Victoria Police.
You may find employment in the public or private sector. Example job titles include:
- law clerk (litigation debt recovery, property, mortgage recovery)
- legal probate clerk
- conveyance clerk
- corporate law clerk
- family law assistant
- probate/deceased estate law clerk
- compliance officer
- assistant to parliamentary counsel
- Victorian legal aide
- land title officer
- legal assistant/secretary
- legal research assistant
- trainee court registrar
If you want to begin your pathway to becoming a practising lawyer, this course provides an excellent foundation for further study in law.
The course structure has been chosen from the following core and elective units.
To be eligible for the award of 22565VIC Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice, learners must successfully complete a total of twenty one units comprising:
• eleven core units
• ten elective units, consisting of:
• a minimum of four units selected from Group A
• six units from Group B and/or from Group A not already selected
A maximum of four units may be selected from any currently endorsed Training Package or accredited course. All electives chosen must contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome and must support the overall integrity of the AQF level of this qualification and should not duplicate the outcomes of the core units or elective units already selected.
A Statement of Attainment will be issued for any unit of competency completed if the full qualification is not completed.
VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).
Group A Law Elective Units
Group B General Elective Units
Group B General Elective - Imported Units
Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers
Previous completion of units at the Polytechnic or any other Registered Training Organisation and/or previous attainment of skills and knowledge may be credited towards this course. Units must satisfy the completion rules of the qualification and be assessed as appropriate by Victoria University Polytechnic.
Graduates of the Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge in a broad range of legal interests, processes and practices within legal practice environments and associated fields within public and/or corporate sectors in a para-legal role. Graduates will work on the instructions, and under the supervision, of an Australian legal practitioner or other licensed entity in supporting those entities.
The 22565VIC Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice is consistent with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) 2nd Edition January 2013 specification for Advanced Diploma Level 6.
Graduates of an Advanced Diplomas will have extensive and integrated technical and theoretical knowledge with depth within one or more fields of work and learning, through a demonstrated in-depth understanding of specific legal knowledge within a range of areas of legislation: including law of torts, contracts, property, civil and criminal procedures, evidence, privacy, and/or administration, cyber law, consumer protection, family, and employment, in order to work within the operational and/or assistant level of organisations in the legal practice environment
Graduates at this level will have a broad range of cognitive, technical and communication skills to select and apply methods and technologies to:
- demonstrate a command of wide-ranging, highly specific technical, creative or conceptual skills in the application of legal research techniques to identify legal information from a range of sources
- demonstrate accountability for personal outputs within broad parameters in developing own action/work plan according to own responsibilities and the legal project brief
o demonstrate accountability for personal and group outcomes within broad parameters in coordinating and facilitating team work
• Application of knowledge and skills:
Graduates at this level will apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, judgment and defined responsibility to:
- analyse, diagnose, design and execute judgments across a broad range of technical or management functions in the application of relevant legislation in a legal practice environment
- generate ideas through the analysis and review of information and concepts at an abstract level of a range of information sources to draft complex legal documents
• Volume of Learning:
The Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice incorporates structured and unstructured learning.
• Structured learning activities develop the knowledge and skills to operate as a para-legal professional within one or more fields of work and learning, through a demonstrated in-depth understanding of specific legal knowledge within a range of areas of legislation.
• A significant number of additional hours of unsupervised learning are expected including research, work experience and/or industry placement to support successful course completion.• The volume of learning for this qualification is typically 1.5 – 2 years
Fees & scholarships
Fee type for this course: VET
Fee type definitions
The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full fee-paying place.
Students who enrol in a:
- government subsidised place pay subsidised tuition fees (the government contributes the rest), and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee along with any material fees
- full fee-paying place pay the full fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).
Find out more about:
- the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)
- ways to pay your fees
- important fee dates
- how to apply for a VE/TAFE refund
Scholarships & assistance
Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.
We can help with fee assistance and advice.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.
Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.
How to apply
Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.
Before you apply
Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:
- Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
- Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.
Find out more about applying for our courses.
Apply direct to VU
Apply direct to VU using our admission centre, submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information.
Already a VU student?
If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.
After you apply
- It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
- Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered