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Practical Legal Training

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Have you graduated from Law School? Do you want to practice law? Your legal career starts here with the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP).

If you have a law degree and now want to be admitted as a lawyer, the GDLP is the final piece in the jigsaw. Practical legal training is a compulsory requirement to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Australia.

  • Program Information
    Compulsory Courses
    Complete all five
    Elective Courses
    Choose Any Two
    Foundations of the GDLP Criminal Law Practice
    Civil Litigation Practice Family Law Practice
    Commercial and Corporate Practice Employment and Industrial Relations Practice
    Property Law Practice Planning and Environmental Law Practice
    Professional Obligations Wills and Estates Practice

    The Adelaide Law School GDLP program is designed to give you the practical skills required to become a competent legal practitioner.

    • The program can be completed in 6 months or take up to 3 years.
    • There are 4 intakes in 2018– commencing 6 February (Trimester 1), 17 April (Term 2), 2 July (Term 3) and 9 October (Term 4).
    • The GDLP consists of 5 core courses and 2 electives. 
    • Seminars have compulsory attendance but you have options to accommodate your professional and personal schedule, i.e. during and outside of business hours
    • Complete up to 6 weeks (225 hours) of legal practice placement.
    • Attend 5 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars.

    For a list of compulsory and elective courses please see the Study Plan.

  • Timetable Information

    The most up-to-date timetable information can be found on the University of Adelaide course planner:

    *LAW 6501 - Foundations of the GDLP
    *LAW 6502 - Civil Litigation Practice
    *LAW 6503 - Commercial and Corporate Practice
    *LAW 6504 - Property Law Practice
    *LAW 6505 - Professional Obligations
    LAW 6506 - Criminal Law Practice
    LAW 6507 - Family Law Practice
    LAW 6508 - Employment and Industrial Relations Practice
    LAW 6509 - Planning and Environmental Law Practice
    LAW 6510 - Wills and Estates Practice

    * Compulsory classes

    Students are required to enrol in all of the compulsory classes, and 2 of the elective classes to meet the academic requirements of the GDLP.

  • Why Complete Your GDLP at Adelaide?

    The GDLP at the Adelaide Law School offers you unparalled access the South Australian legal community.

    The University of Adelaide, in partnership with the Law Society of South Australia, offers a GDLP designed to accommodate the needs of local, interstate and international law graduates who wish to train for the legal profession. We take your training seriously and our program provides the following:

    Don't wait until you graduate

    The GDLP may be commenced concurrently with your undergraduate studies (subject to conditions).

    Practical legal training

    The GDLP is designed and taught by South Australian judges, barristers and solicitors to ensure that you develop invaluable practical skills.

    Flexible delivery

    Course seminars are held on weekdays, in the evening and on weekends to assist students juggling study, work and social commitments.

    Students can also elect to study full-time or part-time.

    Don't wait until you graduate

    The GDLP may be commenced concurrently with your undergraduate studies (subject to conditions).

    Direct local admission

    The GDLP offers direct admission to practice in South Australia and reciprocal admission nationally. That is, once you are admitted in South Australia, you can easily apply for a practising certificate in other States and Territories without seeking further admission.

    Individual Assessment

    Although the program includes some group collaboration, there are no group assessments. All marks are gained on an individual basis.

    There are no exams!

    All assessments are available online and are focused on practical 'real-world' legal situations.

    Networking while you learn

    Completing the GDLP at the Adelaide Law School allows you to network and build relationships within the South Australian legal profession. This is a significant opportunity, especially if you plan to work in South Australia.

    Grow Your Network

    Build relationships with legal professionals and potential future employers while working with South Australian judges, barristers and solicitors.

    Legal Practice Placements

    The program includes a six week Legal Practice Placement. This vital experience will give you the skills and confidence to hit the ground running when you enter the legal profession.

    Take advantage of our professional contacts to secure a placement in line with your career aspirations in one of the many firms we have developed relationships with.

    You will also receive access to the Adelaide Law School and Law Society's employment register.

    Practice your advocacy skills in the District Court

    Why should you wait until it really matters and your client is depending on you?

    Our students get to practice their advocacy skills in the District Court. They make submissions and obtain feedback from senior members of the profession such as Judges and Senior Counsel.

    This unique opportunity has been the highlight of the program for many students, providing them with invaluable experience.

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

    Completion of 5 hours of CPD is a requirement of the program. Students can attend most Adelaide Law School or Law Society CPD events free of charge while doing their GDLP at Adelaide Law School.

  • Views on Adelaide's GDLP from Practitioners
    " GDLP students completing their 6 week placement at Pace Lawyers gain relevant, 'hands-on' experience of life in a busy legal practice, whether they're drafting contracts or applications, spending time in court or sitting in on client appointments. At Pace Lawyers we make our own coffees, our students are too busy training to be lawyers!"
    Julia Adlem, Senior Associate Lawyer, Pace Lawyers

    " This is a terrific chance to be a part of a functioning legal team, with direct exposure to a wide range of actual disputes. PLT students have the opportunity to make long lasting connections with those in the profession, and in many cases, kick-start their career in the law. The mentoring offered by supervising partners can be invaluable, in a non-threatening and open learning environment."
    Kaye Smith, Partner, EMA Legal
  • GDLP Student Experiences
    " The six week placement block was one of the major highlights of the GDLP. The chance to gain hands on experience from leading practitioners in South Australia is a money can't buy opportunity to learn the essential skills which will remain with me for my entire legal career."
    Sam Hooper

    " Completing the placement block of six weeks allowed me to put into practice what I have learned throughout my degree. It consolidated my learning and was a huge confidence boost because I got really good ongoing feedback from my supervisor in relation to real life matters."
    Adam Jones

    " I found placement to be an invaluable part of my continuing legal education. Having the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of substantial legal work of real practical benefit has been challenging and rewarding beyond my expectations."
    Spencer Webb

    " My placement was a rewarding and challenging experience that taught me many legal realities. I was provided diverse and interesting tasks and my supervisor was a patient and generous mentor."
    Beatrix Van Dissel
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have any questions about the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, please see our FAQ.

  • Contact Us

    For further enquiries

    Adelaide Law School
    Telephone: +61 8 8313 5063

    Law Society of South Australia

    Telephone: +61 8 8229 0200


Adelaide Law School

Faculty of the Professions




Ligertwood Building
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005
North Tce Campus Map


Telephone: +61 8 8313 5063
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 4344
Staff Directory: Adelaide Law School
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