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Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Degree Type Graduate Diploma

Duration 1 year full-time or part-time equiv.

SATAC Code 3GD087

CRICOS 077967G

The Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice provides practical legal training for Law graduates. This training is a compulsory requirement to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia. Once admitted in South Australia you can apply for a Practising Certificate in other States and Territories via mutual recognition.

The program comprises a core of compulsory courses and a small choice of elective courses. These courses are designed to be flexible around other requirements, with students offered the option of weekday, after-hours and weekend classes. Students are also offered the option of an accelerated program, which can be completed within 6 months.

All applicants to the GDLP must have successfully completed the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or met the concurrent study criteria specified by the Admitting Authority (see Degree Structure below). If you studied your LLB overseas, then these qualifications will need to be accredited by the South Australian Board of Examiners before you will be able to commence the GDLP. You should contact the Law Society to discuss what you will need to do for accreditation.

  • Entry Requirements

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    SATAC Code 3GD087
    Mid-year entry? Yes
    Enquiries Ask Adelaide
    Selection Criteria
    Graduate entry only.
    How to Apply
    SATAC Code: 3GD087

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    IELTS Overall 7 [more info]
    Mid-year entry? Yes
    CRICOS 077967G
    Enquiries Ask Adelaide
    Selection Criteria
    Graduate entry only
    Equivalent Scores
    How to Apply
  • Fees and Scholarships

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Annual tuition fees
    Australian Full-fee place: $8,750

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    Annual tuition fees International student place: $14,750


    These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

    Find a Scholarship.

  • Careers

    Career Readiness

    Graduates will be qualified to practise law in Australia.

    The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

    Graduate Attributes

    The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
    1. Deep discipline knowledge
    2. Critical thinking and problem solving
    3. Teamwork and communication skills
    4. Career and leadership readiness
    5. Intercultural and ethical competency
    6. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Industry Placement

    Most students complete their placement in a legal office, for example in private practice or a government legal services department. You can complete five out of six weeks of your placement as a Judge's Associate or judicial tribunal member; the remaining week must be completed in a legal office to enable completion of all tasks in the GDLP Placement Handbook.

    Although most students source their own placements, the Law Society of South Australia members of the GDLP staff can assist. Placements are allocated on a priority basis and whilst we endeavour to place students in their first choice practice area, this cannot be guaranteed.

    GDLP students complete a placement handbook to ensure that they complete real legal tasks and "hit the ground running" on day one of practice as an admitted lawyer.

    More information relating to placements can be found at

    Professional Accreditation

    When you have successfully passed the GDLP, you can apply for direct admission to practise as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia.  Once admitted in South Australia you can apply for mutual recognition from the admitting authority of the Australian state that you wish to practise in.

    Potential careers

    Barrister, Solicitor, Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister

  • Global Learning

    A Global Learning Experience is an integral component to your academic journey at The University of Adelaide. The university is committed to offering its students the opportunity to study overseas through a range of degrees offered via the Global Learning Office, including student exchange, study tours, short study degrees, internships and placements. There are many exciting opportunities in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.

    To find Global Learning opportunities available in your study area click Global Experiences.

  • Degree Structure

    Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice students are required to complete the following:

    • Five "Core" Courses - Foundations of the GDLP (compulsory before completing any other course), Professional Obligations, Civil Litigation, Commercial & Corporate, and Property Law Practice;
    • Two ‘Elective’ Courses from the following- Criminal Law, Family Law, Employment and Industrial Relations, Planning and Environmental Law, and Wills and Estates;
    • 10 hours minimum of Continuing Professional Development (CPD); and
    • 30 days (225 hours) of Legal Practice Placement.

    The program is a 24 unit program with Foundations of GDLP, a 6 unit course, being the pre-requiste course for all other courses.  The compulsory courses are offered twice yearly with the foundations course being offered in both summer and winter semesters.

    Concurrent Degree

    Seeking Exemption from the Requirement to have Completed Academic Qualifications in Law before Commencing Practical Legal Training.

    You don’t have to wait until you have finished your South Australian Law degree to commence the GDLP, as long as you:

    • have completed all Academic Requirements for admission and
    • have no more than two academic subjects to complete the qualification at the point of commencement (and will be enrolled to complete the subject(s) while undertaking the GDLP) and
    • can provide a letter outlining permission granted to commence the GDLP from the Admitting Authority.
    All of these conditions must be in place prior to commencing the GDLP.

    The process for permission is managed by The Law Society of South Australia Ethics and Practice Unit.  All enquiries should be emailed to:

    Academic Program Rules

    The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

    Example Study Plan

    Indicative study plan
    Core course
    • LAW 6501: Foundations of the GDLP – 6 unit course
    • LAW 6502: Civil Litigation Practice
    • LAW 6503: Commercial and Corporate Practice
    • LAW 6504: Property Law Practice
    • LAW 6505: Professional Obligations
    Elective courses 

    Courses to the value of 6 units from the following:

    • 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

    Candidates must also complete work placements to the value of 6 weeks (225 hours)
    as approved by the Law Society of South Australia and completion of
    10 Continuing Professional Development Hours.


    A variety of assessment tasks will be required varying slightly from course to course but including a combination of the following, multiple choice questions, practical legal research assessment, demonstration of advocacy skills, online quizzes, practical interviewing and advising tasks, participation in discussion boards, drafting letters of advice, drafting, completion of relevant forms.

  • Related Degrees
  • Further Information

    Please direct enquiries to Ask Adelaide
    Phone: +61 8 8313 7335 (toll free 1800 061 459)

    The annual Open Day and Information Night events provide an excellent opportunity to see our campus, meet with academics, and discuss your study options.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017


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