Legal Internship

Subject LAWS50059 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Pre-Internship 'Getting Ready for Work' session – 1 day.
Total Time Commitment:

178 hours (being 4 weeks internship plus research and writing).


Some Legal Internships may have additional prerequisites. These will be noted on the internships database.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Semester 2
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the School’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

The aim of this subject is to provide for community-focused legal experience in an approved role in a workplace setting to complement and deepen students’ coursework in the Melbourne JD. Students must complete the equivalent of a 4-week or longer unsalaried internship. Students are required to attend a post internship debriefing session that provides a structure for reflection on, and learning from, the internship experience itself.

Internships can be hosted in an organisation in any sector, provided it is approved by the subject coordinator, whether not-for-profit, government or private. Host organisations can be locally based, national or international.

During internships, students must carry out legally-oriented work that meets the aim of the subject. Students’ work plan for their internships must be negotiated with the host organisation and approved by the subject coordinator before the internship begins. The proposed work should build on the students’ studies to date in the Melbourne JD, involve written legal research work and be of an appropriately demanding standard to model professional practice.


A student who successfully completes this subject will have:

  • Strengthened their ability to understand professional practice, derived from doing challenging legal work in a practical setting;
  • An enhanced knowledge of a particular legal area relevant to the internship;
  • An enhanced capacity to identify, develop and employ appropriate legal skills for the workplace;
  • Increased capacity to engage with public discussion about law and policy;
  • Experienced a range of new opportunities and contacts through doing an internship in a field in which they are interested;
  • Have contributed to the University of Melbourne’s commitment to community engagement.

  • Pre-Internship 'Getting Ready for Work' (Internship) 1 day session (hurdle);
  • 6,000 words of legal research; maximum of 2 pieces of assessment. Weighting to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the student. Due 2 months after the completion of the internship (100%);
  • 1 hour post-internship debrief (hurdle);
  • Post-internship report, approx 500 words, due 2 weeks after completion of internship – to be submitted to Student Centre (hurdle).

The assessed research work may take a variety of forms (including substantial research memoranda or advice, briefs or written submissions, legal policy advocacy, and research essays). It may include work carried out during the internship (subject to agreement with the host organisation) or after the internship but directly connected with the internship.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

A student who successfully completes this subject will have the capacity to:

  • Research, select and organise an appropriate internship for credit;
  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships throughout the duration of the internship;
  • Contribute constructively and productively to the projects underway at the organisation hosting the internship;
  • Formulate or refine their own topical and relevant research question related to or arising from either the nature of the organisation hosting the intern or an issue with which the organisation has to deal;
  • Refresh, reinforce and develop research and writing skills that students have acquired during their undergraduate degree and law studies.

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