Legal Internship

Subject 730-434 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: No contact hours
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory. It is a prerequisite for enrolment in this subject that students be offered a place in an approved internship of a minimum of six weeks full-time. Approval for a particular internship, which may be in Australia or ­overseas, and which must involve substantive legal work, is required in writing from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Subject Overview:

The Melbourne Law School recognises that many of its students take the opportunity to engage in significant and exciting law-related work during their time at the Law School.

Legal Internship allows students to gain credit for research arising out of their work in an approved internship of at least six weeks of full-time work in an approved organisation. Students gain credit for a substantial research essay involving critical legal research and analysis on a topic developed by the student during or after their approved internship.

Examples of approved internship organisations include international organisations, government departments, non-government organisations, and law reform bodies. The internship must involve substantive legal work. The ­student must organise, prior to obtaining approval from the Coordinator and formal enrolment in the subject, an academic staff member from the Law School to act as supervisor for the writing of the substantial research paper which forms the basis of assessment in the subject. Students may choose to combine Legal Internship with Advanced Legal Research, with approval of the coordinators of both subjects and their supervisor.

Note: The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing.


The aim of Legal Internship is to encourage and to recognise the initiative of students in obtaining for themselves an approved internship and to provide academic credit for self-directed legal research carried out under academic supervision.

Students who complete Legal Internship should have:
• strengthened their ability and self-confidence in legal work, derived from their real-life experience doing challenging work in an approved internship organisation;
• an enhanced knowledge of a particular legal area relevant to the internship;
• the ability to develop, scope and write a substantial and thoughtful research essay on a topic chosen by themselves;
• increased capacity to participate in constructive public discussion about law and policy and to speak out against prejudice, injustice and the abuse of power; and
• a range of new opportunities and contacts through doing an internship in a field in which they are interested.


Students will be required to complete a brief report on the Internship experience and a 5000-word research essay 100% (due on the first day of the examination period in which the internship is undertaken).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage
  • the capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • the capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information
  • the capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing
  • the capacity to plan and manage time
  • the capacity to participate as a member of a team
  • intercultural sensitivity and understanding

In addition, on completion of the subject, students should have developed the following skills specific to the discipline of law:

  • The ability to engage with and solve real-life legal issues and problems in an intense and unfamiliar environment;
  • academic legal writing skills.

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