Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Approach the bench

The Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) is a compulsory requirement to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia. It provides practical legal training for law graduates.

To apply, you must have successfully completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), or met the criteria specified by admitting authorities in your state or territory. If you studied your LLB overseas you’ll need to have your qualifications accredited by the South Australian Board of Examiners before you can commence the GDLP. You can contact the Law Society of South Australia to discuss these requirements.

What will you do?

The GDLP program is designed to be flexible around other requirements. You’ll choose between weekday, after-hours and weekend classes. There is also an accelerated pathway, which can be completed in 20 weeks. You will:

  • complete six core courses
  • select two electives aligned to your interests and career goals
  • undertake five hours minimum of continuing professional development
  • build real-world skills through 30 days (105 hours) of legal practice placement.

After gaining admission, you can apply for a Practising Certificate in other Australian states and territories via mutual recognition.

Hear from our GDLP students

  • Build real-world skills through legal practice placement
  • Flexible delivery of program to meet user needs
  • Compulsory requirement to be admitted as barrister and solicitor in South Australia

Entry Requirements

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

Domestic applicants

SATAC Code 3GD087
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake Throughout the academic year
Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study A completed Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or equivalent program from within Australia. Applicants in their final semester of a Bachelor of Laws will be considered. In order to be permitted to commence the GDLP, applicants must have completed all Priestley 11 subjects required for admission. Applicants with overseas qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    International students 4 8.0%
    All students 50 100.0%

Fees and Scholarships

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

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Australian Full-fee place

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.


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.


Career Readiness

Graduates will be fully qualified to practise law in Australia, and pursue rewarding careers as a barrister, solicitor or lawyer.

Hear the benefits of studying GDLP

Co-developed by the South Australian Law Society and the Adelaide Law School, you'll be getting the best of the best when you complete our GDLP.

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 and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. 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.

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.

Professional Accreditation

GDLP graduates can apply for direct admission to practise as a barrister and solicitor in South Australia. Once admitted in South Australia, they can also apply for mutual recognition from the admitting authorities of any other Australian state or territory they wish to practise in.

Potential careers

Barrister, Solicitor, Jury Consultant, Lawyer / Solicitor / Barrister

Degree Structure

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

  • Six core courses
  • Two elective courses
  • Five hours minimum of continuing professional development
  • 15 days (105 hours) of legal practice placement.

The program is a 24 unit program. Traditionally the GDLP has been designed to be undertaken over a 6-12 month period. There is also an option for students to undertake the GDLP (unit delivery only) in 20 weeks via fast-tracking.

Note: International students must complete the program full-time and on-campus (face to face).

Example Study Plan

Indicative Study Plan
Core courses
  • LAW 6601: Lawyer's Skills (3 units)
  • LAW 6502: Civil Litigation Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6503: Commercial and Corporate Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6504: Property Law Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6505: Professional Obligations (3 units)
  • LAW 6515: Work Experience Placement (3 units) - by application upon confirmation of the work placement
Elective courses

Courses to the value of six units from the following:

  • LAW 6506: Criminal Law Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6507: Family Law Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6508: Employment and Industrial Relations Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6509: Planning and Environmental Law Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6510: Wills and Estates Practice (3 units)
  • LAW 6511: Administrative Law Practice - Online (3 units)
  • LAW 6512: Banking and Finance - Online (3 units)
  • LAW 6514: Consumer Law Practice - Online (3 units)

Candidates must also complete work placements to the value of six weeks (105 hours) as approved by the Law Society of South Australia and complete five 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


What attracted me to Law was the idea of standing up for those less fortunate or who needed someone to fight a cause for them.

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Last updated: Wednesday, 13 Sep 2023