Clinical legal education programs

The College of Law & Justice offers several programs designed to ensure our students will graduate with practical experience in the field of law.

Our partnerships with the courts, community legal services and industry organisations provide unique exposure to the Victorian justice system.

Provide yourself with the grounding needed for a real and rewarding career in law by challenging yourself with one of our programs.

WEstjustice

VU have worked in partnership with WEstjustice since 2010 to establish a variety of clinical legal education programs for our students. These programs will provide you with real life practical experiences, giving you a head start in your legal career.

WEstjustice Sunshine Youth Clinic


Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate Melanie Rudolphus

The Sunshine Youth Clinic is a four-month program for law students and operates in partnership with WEstjustice. The centre is located in the busy youth service at the Visy Cares Youth Hub in Sunshine.

The centre provides legal guidance, support and advice to all young people between the ages of 15 – 25 years with legal concerns and queries from across the Western region. The areas of assistance include but are not limited to:

  • summary crime
  • infringements
  • motor vehicle accidents and other civil matters.

Working in a real legal practice, you will deal with real clients and issues under the supervision of a practising lawyer. You'll have the opportunity to interview clients, liaise with police and appear in court, gaining practical experience in the justice system as it relates to individuals and communities.

The program runs three times per year for a four-month period.

Hear from Bachelor of Laws (Honours) graduate Melanie Rudolphus about her experience at WEstjustice Sunshine Youth Office.

WEstjustice Fines Clinic

Within the WEstjustice Fines Clinic you will have the opportunity to work as a paralegal. You'll be trained in all aspects of the infringements system and have the opportunity to interview clients under the supervision of a staff lawyer, liaise with workers at support agencies, conduct casework and attend court hearings to support clients.

The clinic runs three times per year for a four-month period.

WEstjustice Family Law Clinic

This Clinic enables you to work alongside specialist family lawyers dealing with family law clients from disadvantaged backgrounds.

You will work across a range of areas including the:

  • Children's Court
  • Family Court
  • Magistrates Court
  • Victoria Legal Aid office.

​Tasks are allocated according to the abilities you demonstrate - the the more skill you show, the more complex the work you will be given.

The clinic runs twice a year for a five-month period.

WEstjustice Refugee Clinic

Working as a paralegal in the WEstjustice Refugee Clinic you will be trained in various areas of relevant community law. You will have the opportunity to:

  • interview clients under the supervision of a staff lawyer
  • liaise with workers at support agencies
  • conduct casework
  • attend court hearings to support clients.

The clinic runs three times per year for a four-month period.

Our partnership with Victoria Legal Aid Melbourne and Sunshine offers you a unique experience within the Duty Lawyer Service, Family Law Clinic, Infringements Clinic and General Clinic.

Victoria Legal Aid Duty Lawyer Service (Magistrates Court) Program


The Victoria Legal Aid Duty Lawyer Service (Magistrates Court) program operates in partnership between the College of Law and Justice and Victoria Legal Aid.

Working with the Victoria Legal Aid Duty Lawyer teams servicing the Magistrates' Courts at Melbourne, Sunshine and Werribee, you will have the opportunity to develop skills that will make a difference to the lives of real people. You'll gain valuable grassroots insight into the criminal justice system and experience firsthand the role the Duty Lawyer plays in the Magistrates Court system. 

This program runs three times per year for a four-month period.

Victoria Legal Aid Family Law Clinic

Work alongside specialist family lawyers assisting families from disadvantaged backgrounds in a range of working contexts including:

  • Children’s Court
  • Family Court
  • Magistrates Court
  • Victoria Legal Aid office.

Under the guidance of the VLA team, you will help people resolve family disputes and achieve safe, workable and enduring care arrangements for children.

The program runs twice a year, for a six-month period.

Victoria Legal Aid Infringements Clinic

Under the direct supervision of Legal Aid lawyers in the Sunshine office, you will work with clients from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds. You will assist with infringements (fines) and work on a variety of tasks including:

  • client file
  • legal research
  • client interviews
  • court attendance.

This opportunity is offered twice a year and runs for a six-month period.

Victoria Legal Aid General Clinic

The Victoria Legal Aid General Clinic offers you the opportunity to work under the direct supervision of Legal Aid lawyers. You will work with clients from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds on a variety of tasks including:

  • client files
  • legal research
  • client interviews
  • court attendance.

You will be exposed to a number of practice areas, including criminal law, family law and infringements (fines).

The clinic runs twice a year for a six month period.

Victoria Police

The Victoria Police (Prosecutions Division) Program is a ten-week placement with Victoria Police in their Prosecutions Division. Hear from various lawyers about the paths they took to achieve their legal goals and participate in moot.

You will be exposed to the various legal units within Victoria Police and interact with police prosecutors and police lawyers. You will shadow lawyers/prosecutors at court, attend therapeutic courts, conduct research tasks and file reviews.

The program is offered twice a year for a period of ten weeks.

State Trustees Program

The State Trustees Program is your opportunity to gain valuable skills in various areas of law including:

  • wills and probate
  • powers of attorney
  • executor services
  • trustee services.

As part of this program you will conduct research, work on documents and assist State Trustees legal teams. There may be opportunities to attend VCAT with the supervising lawyer.

This program is offered to students four times per year and runs for a three-month period.

Young Workers Victoria

The Young Workers Victoria Clinical Placement offers you the opportunity to assist young workers with employment law issues. Gain experience interviewing and advising clients on employment related issues, drafting legal correspondence and researching issues of employment law.

The program runs twice a year during semester 1 and 2.

Courts & Tribunal

County Court Internship Program


The County Court Internship Program is a joint initiative of VU's College of Law & Justice and the County Court. This four-day intensive internship offers you the opportunity to gain experience and insight into the County Court structure and its inner workings.

This program allows you to spend a week with County Court Judge Phillip Misso examining court processes. You'll observe Judge Misso as he undertakes his judicial duties, including conducting research for judgments.

The internship includes daily lectures by a sitting County Court judge. You can also go on a behind the scenes tour of the various areas in the court building, including the Registry and a Judge's chambers. In this program you'll gain a practical and detailed understanding of the how the County Court works, how a file is run from start to finish, and exposure to various court proceedings.

Supreme Court Internship Program


The Supreme Court Internship Program has been developed following the success of the County Court internship program. With the support of the Hon. Justice Maxwell, President Court of Appeal and adjunct professor, VU's College of Law and Justice will be piloting the program with the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

The program is modelled on the intensive County Court internship program and will offer you a unique opportunity to gain experience and insights into the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal structure and its inner workings.

Mooting

The College of Law & Justice equips graduates for success in the real world with a world-class moot program.

A moot court is a mock court which simulates the proceedings of a live court room (or a similar dispute resolution setting).

Your participation in the program offers a significant professional advantage by developing your legal skills to be better equipped for practise in the real world.

Contact us

For further information about placements in the College of Law and Justice contact:

Laurel Bakos
Legal Placements Coordinator
Phone: +61 3 9919 1862
Email: law.internships@vu.edu.au