Legal Internship

Subject LAWS40048 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Taught on campus and through a practical placement at an internship host organisation.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Students must complete at least 20 days of placement at an internship host organisation, and participate in pre-internship orientation and post-internship debrief sessions.
Total Time Commitment:

178 hours (including 20 days internship placement, completion of hurdle requirements plus research and writing for the written assessment task).


Permission is required from the subject coordinator to enrol in this subject.

Some internship host organisations may have specific requirements regarding prerequisite subjects.

Prerequisite Subjects: Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ms Claire Carroll


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

Subject Overview:

The aim of this subject is to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a public interest / community-focused legal workplace experience that complements and deepens their coursework learning in the Melbourne LLB.

Internships can be hosted by any public interest organisation that will facilitate the student undertaking legally-oriented work, including government departments, regulatory and statutory bodies, courts and tribunals, legal assistance sector organisations such as legal aid or community legal centres, and non-government or not-for-profit organisations. Host organisations can be locally based, national / interstate or international. The internship placement including the proposed work to be undertaken must be approved by the subject coordinator – the internship experience should build on the students' studies to date in the Melbourne LLB, involve written legal research and be of an appropriately demanding standard to model professional legal work or practice.

Students must complete at least 20 days of unsalaried internship. Students are also required to participate in pre-internship induction, and a post internship debriefing session that provides a structure for reflection on, and learning from, the internship experience itself. Students are also required to complete a short internship debrief written report.

Learning Outcomes:

Student who successfully completes this subject will have:

  • Strengthened their ability to understand professional legal work or practice, derived from doing challenging legal work in a practical setting;
  • An enhanced capacity to identify, develop, employ and reflect upon appropriate legal skills for the workplace;
  • An enhanced knowledge of a particular legal area relevant to the internship;
  • 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.
  • Attendance at a pre-internship orientation session or online equivalent (hurdle);
  • Attendance at a post-internship debrief session (hurdle);
  • Post-internship report of approximately 500 words, due 2 weeks after completion of the internship placement (hurdle);
  • 5,000 words of legal research, with the format to be approved by the supervisor in consultation with the student, due 2 months after the completion of the internship placement (100%).

The assessed research work may take a variety of forms, including substantial research memoranda or advice, briefs or written submissions, legal policy advocacy, or a research essay. 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:

Specialist printed materials will be made available from Melbourne Law School.

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, apply for and organise an appropriate internship for credit;
  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships throughout the duration of the internship;
  • Identify, acquire and reflect upon specific professional skills relevant to work undertaken at their host organisation;
  • 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 they have acquired during their undergraduate degree and law studies.

Students must submit a 5,000 word research essay in this subject for it to be regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.

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