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Your postgraduate path to a career in law
Designed for non-law graduates, this law degree opens doors to a range of professional opportunities where legal qualifications are sought. Gain comprehensive knowledge of the Australian legal system whilst choosing from many electives to suit your goals.
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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 practice 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 judgment 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 judgment and an awareness of the ethical and justice issues affecting all stakeholders in the Australian legal system.
On the successful completion of this program, you will be able to:
- Apply an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge, including competence in the prescribed areas 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 Juris Doctor graduate opens doors to a wider range of professional opportunities where legal qualifications are sought or required.
As a conversion degree, the RMIT Juris Doctor offers graduates the opportunity to change their career direction and enter the legal profession by adding a legal qualification to their undergraduate qualification.
To be eligible to be admitted to practice law in Australia, 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.
This program is accredited by the statutory and professional bodies listed below:
Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) www.lawadmissions.vic.gov.au
Program satisfies the academic requirements for graduates admission to the Australian Legal profession.
Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) www.cald.asn.au
The School is compliant with the standards for Australian Law Schools adopted by the Council of Australian Law Deans and assessed by the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee (ALSCC)
Academic Entrance requirements
Australian Bachelor degree or equivalent or higher level qualification in any discipline except an LLB (Common Law), with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (out of 4.0)
Applicants with either an Australian Bachelor degree or equivalent or higher level qualification in any discipline except an LLB (Common Law) 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.
Please note: Applications for the Juris Doctor will only be accepted for Session 1 and 2. Applications submitted after the close of applications for Session 2 will be considered for Session 1 of the following year.
English Proficiency Requirements
All non-Australian residents and overseas full-fee paying students are required to meet RMIT English language requirements. For more information on these requirements and acceptable English Language tests please see:
To be eligible for admission to an RMIT program applicants must be at least 16 years of age by the commencement date of the program in which they want to enrol.
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 subjects are not possible unless the subjects concerned are the equivalent subjects in another postgraduate law program leading to legal practice.
Credit can only be granted in accordance with RMIT Policy and Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) requirements.
If you wish to apply for RPL or Credit, please complete the RMIT Credit RPL Application 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.
The Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) in Victoria as meeting the educational requirements for admission to practice 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 program 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 courses to ensure that students develop the skills in close connection with the legal knowledge. Clinical legal education and industry placement opportunities are also provided.
A capstone experience will be provided in the subject OJD416 (LAW2413) Legal Practice Management & Professional Conduct which will give you the opportunity to critically reflect on this degree’s curriculum. The subject 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.
Recommended Study Pattern
The Juris Doctor contains subjects with pre-requisites, please check each subject for details. Students must start with OJD110 (LAW2396) Introduction to the Australian Legal System and Legal Methods as this is the pre-requisite for all core subjects.
To graduate Juris Doctor students must complete:
- 18 Core subjects
- Six (6) approved Law Electives
Law electives are predominately offered in Session 3.
To qualify for the award of Juris Doctor students must successfully complete 18 core subjects and six (6) approved law electives for a total of 24 subjects.
PROGRAM CHANGE FROM SESSION 1 2021
From Session 1 2021, the Juris Doctor program structure will comprise of 6 law approved electives. This means that the 3 university elective spaces in the current program structure will be removed. This change will only to apply to new students who enrol in the program for 2021 onward. Any students who commenced the Juris Doctor program prior to 2021 and have already successfully completed up to 3 postgraduate electives subjects or wish to do so in the future, will still have them counted toward your program.
PROGRAM CHANGES FROM SESSION 1 2020
From Session 1 2020, the Juris Doctor program will undergo a minor change and all students will be transitioned to the new structure. All subject credits that have already been obtained will be recognised in the new structure. Students who commenced prior to Session 1 2020 should refer to the transition rules below.
- The introduction of OJD482 (LAW2568) Law and Technology as a core course to Level 2 Core subject of the program structure.
- OJD290 (LAW2552) Innovative Justice will replace OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project as the core research project subject.
- OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project will change from a core subject to a “Law Elective” subject
- There will be an addition of two new Approved Elective subjects: OJD130 (LAW2569) Discrimination Law and OJD135 (LAW2567) Business and Human Rights
Transition rules will apply to students who started prior to Session 1 2020 and are on the plan code MC161OUP14. These transition rules ensure that no student is required to complete more than 288 credit points. Please refer to the relevant information below that reflects your stage in the program to determine how this program structure change will affect you.
If you have completed OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project prior to Session 1 2020, you are not required to take OJD482 (LAW2568) Law and Technology as a core subject. You may choose this as an elective if you wish.
If you have not completed OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project prior to Session 1 2020, you may choose either OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project or OJD482 (LAW2568) Law and Technology as a core subject, although please refer to the important note below to ensure you are meeting all requirements for the program.
If you have completed OJD290 (LAW2551) Innovative Justice and have not yet completed OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project prior to Semester 1 2020, you must complete OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project as a core course; please refer to the important note below to ensure you are meeting all requirements for the program.
Your elective courses can include any of the new courses that are being introduced.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In order satisfy the TEQSA research component of a Masters level program, you must have completed RMI-OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project prior to Session 1 2020, or OJD290 (LAW2551) Innovative Justice after Session 1 2020. Please be aware that the completion of OJD290 (LAW2551) Innovative Justice prior to Session 1 2020 does not satisfy the TEQSA research component and you are required to complete OJD417 (LAW2424) Legal Research Project. Failure to comply with these transitions rules may result in you being ineligible to graduate and may prevent you from being admitted to legal practice.
You can apply direct through Open Universities Australia.
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