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The Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) in Victoria as meeting the educational requirements for admission to practise as an Australian lawyer. You will be able to be admitted to practice after completing a recognised Practical Legal Training course (6 months); or supervised workplace training with a law firm (12 months). You will possess a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the Australian legal framework and fundamental legal principles, an understanding of comparative and international legal systems, an understanding of the ethical framework in which the Australian legal system operates, and a fundamental knowledge of the extra-legal factors impinging upon the substantive law.
Learning activities and experiences in this course include case-based learning with students encouraged to engage in critical discussion in seminars and online forums, supplemented by active, authentic experiential learning opportunities in various simulations that develop legal skills. These simulations include writing briefs and other legal documents, mooting, interviewing, negotiation and mediation skills. These are integrated into most substantive law units to ensure that students develop the skills in close connection with the legal knowledge. Clinical legal education and industry placement opportunities are also available.
A capstone experience will be provided in the unit Legal Practice Management & Professional Conduct which will give you the opportunity to critically reflect on this course’s curriculum. The unit promotes the integration and synthesis of a range of knowledge and skills gained in the program and the application of these in discipline related real-world scenarios.
Students can determine their own study load each session – perfect for those wishing to fast-track but also flexible for those wishing to combine study with work and family commitments.
As all of the units in the course are taught wholly online, students have the convenience of studying at a time that suits them, wherever they are. Yet the course also provides the rich experience of face-to-face, where students are recommended (but, not required) to attend on-campus in Melbourne.
Juris Doctor graduates will have the foundational legal knowledge required for a career as a legal practitioner or legal/non-legal roles in a variety of law-related fields. You will also possess the ability to analyse a problem involving a question or questions of law and, through research, to provide a solution to it. You will possess the skills needed to practise law in a variety of fields, industry sectors and locations; and you will develop skills in effective writing, drafting, advocacy, interviewing and advising, negotiation, team work and presentations. You will have an understanding of the application of ethical standards; be able to demonstrate judgement and strategic reasoning; and be effective in self-management and be lifelong learners. Possessing strong self-management skills, you will be able to work well individually and as members of teams. You will have sound commercial judgement and an awareness of the ethical and justice issues affecting all stakeholders in the Australian legal system.
On the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Apply an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in professional practice.
- Demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions.
- Identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues.
- Practice law in a variety of fields, industry sectors and locations.
- Apply and integrate professional theory with practice in authentic Work Integrated Learning (WIL) contexts, professional contexts and industry settings.
Current career development
Students seeking to expand their career options within their current positions will find that being an RMIT JD graduate opens doors to a wider range of professional opportunities where legal qualifications are sought or required.
As a conversion course, the RMIT JD offers graduates the opportunity to change their career direction and enter the legal profession by adding a legal qualification to their undergraduate qualification.
The Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board as meeting the educational requirements for admission to the Australian legal profession in Victoria as a lawyer.
To be eligible to be admitted to practise law in Victoria, graduates must complete the Practical Legal Training (PLT) requirements, either one year of Supervised Workplace Training with a law firm or an approved PLT course. The PLT course can be undertaken on a fee paying basis through Leo Cussen Centre for Law or The College of Law.
Academic Entrance requirements
Australian Bachelor degree or equivalent or higher level qualification in any discipline except an LLB (Common Law), with a GPA of 2.5 (out of 4.0).
- Applicants with a partly-completed LLB or JD at another overseas institution may be considered for admission (in a full fee place only) to the program to enrol in a unit or units required to obtain admission to legal practice. A letter from the Board of Examiners, Victorian Council of Legal Education (or equivalent interstate body) must be submitted, which lists the unit(s) that are required to be completed and the educational institutions which are accredited to provide the relevant unit(s)
Applicants with either an Australian Bachelor degree or equivalent or higher level qualification in any discipline except an LLB with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) may be considered for a full fee place when a personal statement is provided demonstrating evidence of significant interest or intended career progression in law.
International students currently residing in Australia on an International Student Visa are not eligible for this course.
Juris Doctor students must start with OJD110 Introduction to the Australian Legal System and Legal Methods as this is the prerequisite for all core units.
Juris Doctor students must complete:
- 18 Core units
- Six (6) Electives - three (3) of these electives must be law electives.
Law electives are predominately offered in Session 3.
To qualify for the award of Juris Doctor students must successfully complete 18 core units and 6 electives (including at least 3 Law electives) for a total of 24 units.
The Juris Doctor is now fully online, but students can attend on-campus activities in Melbourne if they wish
The Juris Doctor course is now fully online and it is only recommended that students attend the Melbourne activities. There is no disadvantage to NOT attending the Melbourne dates – attending will just provide a different experience. Online you will have the equivalent activities.
You may attend one or more of the activities in Melbourne, but if you are going to attend, then you must attend all the date/s for that particular unit.
OJD110 Introduction to Australian Legal Systems and Legal Methods
The relevant dates for the 2018 intensives are as follows:
- TBA - 3 non-consecutive weekends
- TBA - 3 non-consecutive weekends
Times: Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am-4:30pm
The following units have simulations with industry engagement in Melbourne:
- OJD260 Civil Procedure
- OJD330 Evidence
- OJD120 Law of Torts
- OJD180 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
Dates for these activities within units will be advised after enrolment, but generally will only consist of one Saturday per unit, with OJD180 held on one weekend.
Australian law degrees are required to include 11 core areas of knowledge – the ‘Priestley 11’. These areas are: Criminal Law and Procedure, Tort, Contract, Property, Equity, Company Law, Administrative Law, Federal and State Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Professional Conduct.
Exemptions of Priestley 11 units are not possible unless the units concerned are the equivalent units in another postgraduate law program leading to legal practice.
For other core units and the 3 Law electives, exemptions may be granted for units successfully completed at postgraduate level.
For non-law electives, a maximum of 3 exemptions may be granted for units successfully completed at postgraduate level.
If you wish to apply for RPL or Credit, please complete the below PDF form and attach it to your course application.
If you have already submitted your course application, please send your RPL/Credit application directly to RMIT via RMIT Connect
RMIT_Credit_RPL_Application_Form.pdf (661 KB)
Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.
Who can access it?
- Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
- Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
- Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
- Money order
You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
Juris Doctor Changes in 2018
From 2018, the JD will have 18 core units (up from 16) and 6 elective units. The two new core units are:
- OJD290 Innovative Justice (new)
- OJD416 Legal Practice Management (previously an elective unit)
The total number of units in the JD will remain at 24, the changes have been introduced to give students a broader and more relevant skill set.
For student who commenced prior to Session 2 2014
Please refer to the transition document attached below:
For students who commenced on or after Session 2 2014
Please refer to the transition document attached below:
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