These rules are for students enrolled in Practical Experience (75411) from Autumn 2018 onwards i.e. the subject Practical Experience (75411) appears as ‘enrolled’ on your study plan in Autumn 2018 or onwards.
Students may only enrol into Practical Experience according to their course progression set out in the UTS Handbook. Students must refer to the handbook relevant to the year they commenced their course. Handbook versions for prior years may be accessed by clicking on the archives link.
The successful completion of the subject Practical Experience (75411) requires a student to complete 15 weeks of approved work experience. The purpose of Practical Experience is to provide a student with an opportunity to apply, test and reflect on their coursework and to experience the routines, procedures and dynamics commonly found in offices in which legal services are provided.
Applications for approval of a Practical Experience placement are made to the UTS Law Practical Experience Committee (the Committee).
PLEASE NOTE: IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE AUTUMN 2018 RULES:
- Students are now required to submit a reflective journal (refer to the subject outline for further information).
- The rules relating to Practical Experience outside Australia have changed, refer to Rule 7.
- Work day increments for ‘part time’ work have changed, refer to Rule 5.1 and 5.2.
Approval of a Practical Experience placement requires satisfaction of the following rules:
Rule 1: Application process
Students seeking approval for practical experience must:
- 1.1 Be enrolled in the subject Practical Experience (75411)
- 1.2 Submit Form 1 - Application for Practical Experience Placement Approval. Form 1 must be submitted only when students are enrolled into Practical Experience (75411) and as soon as they have secured a placement or a seeking retrospective approval of a placement.
Rule 2: Quality of workplace experience
The work experienced by a student undertaking Practical Experience is to include the application of legal knowledge and skills to legal problems and must include most or all of the following:
- 2.1 Significant interaction with external or in-house clients;
- 2.2 Drafting documents;
- 2.3 Legal research;
- 2.4 Using a file management system.
Rule 3: Types of acceptable placements
Practical Experience may be undertaken with:
- 3.1 A legal practitioner in private practice with a full practising certificate or a restricted practising certificate held for two or more years; or
- 3.2 A person admitted to the legal profession by the Supreme Court of any Australian jurisdiction who is eligible to hold a practising certificate and who is able to satisfy the Committee that he/she can provide appropriate Practical Experience as described in Rule 2; or
- 3.3 Any government, semi-government or corporate legal office or department, employer or employee association, or a community legal service which is recognised by the Committee as being a legal office, department or centre in which appropriate Practical Experience might be undertaken; or
- 3.4 Any other organisation, department or office which the Committee recognises, either generally or upon application in a particular case, as being an organisation, department or office in which the applicant might undertake appropriate Practical Experience; or
- 3.5 Employment by a judge or a similar judicial officer to carry out duties such as those undertaken by the judge's associate or the tipstaff.
Rule 4: Qualifications of Supervisor
- 4.1 A person may serve as a supervisor if that person:
(a) (i) is a legal practitioner with a full practising certificate or a legal practitioner who has held a restricted practising certificate for two or more years; or
(ii) is a person admitted to the legal profession by the Supreme Court of any Australian jurisdiction who is eligible to hold a practising certificate and who is able to satisfy the Committee that he/she can provide appropriate practical experience as described in Rule 2; or
(iii) is a judge; or
(iv) is a tribunal member who has held a practising certificate for at least 2 years; and
(b) (i) has not been the subject of an adverse finding by his/her licensing authority or disciplinary body; or
(ii) if the supervisor has been the subject a disciplinary order, they may apply for approval by making full disclosure to the Committee;
(c) normally has no more than three other persons working for him/her who are gaining Practical Experience; and
(d) advises the Committee that he/she accepts responsibility to ensure that the experience outlined in these Rules is received, and that any other requirements of the Committee are complied with.
- 4.2 A person may be substituted as a supervisor during an approved placement if he/she is a member of the same employer/organisation and certifies that he/she fulfils the requirements of Rule 4.1 and undertakes to supervise in accordance with Rule 2 by completing sections 4, 5 and 6 of Form 1.
Rule 5: Length of Practical Experience
- 5.1 To successfully complete the subject Practical Experience (75411) a student must undertake 15 weeks (75 days) of approved experience based upon a, maximum 40 hour working week, including a one hour lunch break per day. Only full (no less than 7 hours per day) or half (no less than 4 hours per day) work day increments may be counted.
- 5.2 Practical Experience may be obtained by undertaking part-time work provided the total time spent in the workplace amounts to 75 days based upon a maximum 40 hour working week, including a one hour lunch break per day. Only full (no less than 7 hours per day) or half (no less than 4 hours per day) work day increments may be counted. A part time placement must be a minimum of 2 days per week which can be made up of 2 full days or 4 or more half days (4 hours) in any one week.
- 5.3 Practical Experience placements must be no less than three weeks (15 days) in duration.
Rule 6: When Practical Experience is to be undertaken
- 6.1 Domestic students have 2 years to complete all 15 weeks (75 days) of approved Practical Experience from the commencement of the session in which the subject Practical Experience (75411) appears as ‘enrolled’ on their study plan. International students must complete their placement in the session in which the subject Practical Experience (75411) appears as ‘enrolled’ on their study plan. Failure to do so will result in a fail grade being recorded for the subject.
- 6.2 Students undertaking all PLT subjects may enrol into Practical Experience (75411) in their first and only session of study. Students undertaking PLT on a part time basis may enrol into Practical Experience (75411) in either their first or second session of study.
- 6.3 A maximum of 12 weeks (60 days) of work experience may be undertaken in the 2 years prior to the commencement of studies in the session in which the subject Practical Experience (75411) appears as ‘enrolled’ on the student’s study plan. Work undertaken prior to this 2 year period will not be considered. Please note credit cannot be given for any internship placement for which the student has already received academic credit within their degree.
- 6.4 Students undertaking more than 18 credit points per session may only accrue up to 2 days per week of Practical Experience during teaching weeks of each session.
- 6.5 Students undertaking 18 credit points or less per session can seek approval for any work experience undertaken during the session, up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.
Rule 7: Practical Experience outside Australia
- 7.1 A portion of Practical Experience may be undertaken outside of Australia. A minimum of 15 days of Practical Experience must be undertaken within Australia, concurrently with, or after completing, the programmed course work component.
- 7.2 A maximum of 60 days of Practical Experience may be undertaken outside Australia but must be undertaken in a Common Law jurisdiction.
- 7.3 The Committee may set criteria to be met where practical experience is undertaken outside Australia.
Rule 8: Completion of a Practical Experience placement
- 8.1 Upon completion of a Practical Experience placement, the student shall lodge a Form 2 - Supervisor's Report. This must be accompanied by a list of the actual days worked (in full or half day increments) during the placement, printed on the placement organisation's letterhead, with the total number of days tallied, and hand signed (original) by both the student and supervisor.
- 8.2 Upon completion of the Practical Experience placement (if more than one placement then the final one) during or after the programmed coursework component, the student must complete and submit a journal as set out in the Practical Experience Subject Outline.
Rule 9: The UTS Law Practical Experience Committee (PEC)
- 9.1 The PEC is appointed by the UTS Law Dean and comprises the following UTS Law staff positions:
* Subject Coordinator of Practical Experience; and
* Student Programs Coordinator; and Student Programs Assistant
* Academic Services Manager
- 9.2 All members shall hold office until their resignation or upon receiving one month's written notice from the UTS Law Dean of the termination of appointment.
- 9.3 The Committee may regulate its own procedures and otherwise act to implement these Rules.
- 9.4 Subject to the requirements of the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board, the PEC retains the right to exercise discretion in relation to minor non-compliance with the Practical Experience Rules.
Rule 10: Appeal against a decision of the UTS Law Practical Experience Committee (PEC)
- 10.1 A student may appeal against a decision of the PEC by writing to the Subject Coordinator of Practical Experience giving reasons for their appeal that are referenced to these Rules.
- 10.2 Upon receipt of the notification, the Subject Coordinator will notify the members of the UTS Law Practical Experience Appeals Committee and convene a meeting within 14 days of receipt of the student’s appeal.
- 10.3 The UTS Law Practical Experience Appeals Committee is appointed by the UTS Law Dean and comprises the following UTS Law staff positions:
*UTS Law Associate Dean (Education); and
* UTS Law Director of Students; and
* UTS Law Director of PLT
- 10.4 The UTS Law Practical Experience Appeals Committee shall notify the student of the result of the appeal giving reasons for their decision within 14 days of making their decision.