Key career takeaways

  • Salary of A$1,978 (median rate per week)*

  • Strong future growth. Over the next 5 years, it is expected there will be 4,000 job openings for legal professionals.*

  • 58% of workers in the judicial and legal professions are female.*

If you’re looking for a rewarding career that has the power to help and protect the rights of individuals, groups, and organisations while being an integral part of our justice system, becoming a lawyer could be the right move for you. 

*Data sourced from JobOutlook.gov.au

What it takes to become a lawyer

Lawyers are good communicators who cultivate the ability to debate, persuade and pull the levers that control our societies. Lawyers will often specialise in distinct areas of law, such as corporate and commercial law, litigation, employment, data security and information technology law, intellectual property, employment, family, criminal law just to name a few. 

  • "I heard about Swinburne’s new Law School via a radio ad and thought I would check it out. When I first came to the campus I was amazed at just how accessible the university was. There is a real sense of community at the Law School. My placement in commercial law gave me a true, raw experience of a barrister’s day-to-day activities and work."

    Matthew , Bachelor of Laws

How to become a lawyer 

1. Complete an approved law degree (LLB or JD)

To become a lawyer, it depends on where you start from.  If you haven’t studied before, you’ll need to study hard so you can get into and complete a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.  If you’ve already completed a degree, you can complete the Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) course and graduate in 3 years.  This is an equivalent of a Juris Doctor (JD) qualification and you’ll have the same career opportunities upon completion.

Wherever you start from - you’re on your way. 

To study a Bachelor of Laws, you must satisfy one of these requirements:

  • a Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification (2019 Guaranteed Entry ATAR: 90) 

  • completion (or partial completion) of a degree.

With our law degrees, you’ll complete three work placements as part of your degree.  Each placement is 20 days each so you’ll have 60 days’ real world experience before you know it.  You’ll be experiencing what it's like on the ground in legal environments such as a national firm, an in-house legal team or at a government department. 

All this, plus you’ll get hands-on training in our very own moot court where you can hone your skills on a regular basis.  No other law school in Victoria has this level of skills and experiential learning. 

Even if you don’t want to be a lawyer, a law degree can be a ticket into many other professions.  It is a very useful skill for many roles - as everyone deals with the law in one way or another. 

If you want to keep your options open and develop a whole series of skills outside the law, you may want to study a double degree course. Double degree courses are also perfect if you want to be a lawyer specialising in a particular sector, eg aviation, government policy development as then you’ll understand it from both perspectives.  At Swinburne, you can combine a Bachelor of Laws with a Bachelor of: Arts, Aviation Management, Business, Business Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminal Justice and Criminology, Engineering (Honours), Innovation and Design, Media and Communication, and Science.  

2. Supervised Workplace Training or Practical Legal Training

When you graduate from most law degrees, you’ll then need to complete 12 months of work experience under a practising lawyer and study a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.  When studying at Swinburne, you now have a choice to make.  

You can either do this upon graduation or you can also choose to complete a Dual Award (Bachelor of Laws/Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice) through the widely recognised Leo Cussen Centre for Law concurrently while completing your Swinburne degree.  This means when you graduate you’ll be ready to work a year ahead of many of your peers.

3. Apply for admission with the Victorian Legal Admissions Boards for a Compliance Certificate

Once you have completed the required academic and practical legal training, you may apply to the Supreme Court for admission as a lawyer. 

To be eligible, you must satisfy the requirements of the legal board in your state or territory. 

It’s a fair bit of work, but to enter one of the most respected professions with the power to shape our futures. It’ll be worth it. 

Interested in studying Law?

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