Jump to content
Denny87

HELP! Help! Graduate Diploma in Law GDL

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

This is my first post even though I have been a long time reader of the forum.

 

Next week I am due to return to Melbourne from England with my Aussie fiancée and it seems I have run into a bit of a hurdle which is causing me some grief. I am struggling to find some answers so thought I would turn to this forum for help.

 

Last September I began a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) from the College of Law with every intention of returning to Melbourne with my OH. I spoke both verbally and through email with The Legal Board of Examiners in Melbourne in regards to the proceedings once I graduated from my course. Through reading the uniform principle guidelines and through speaking with two people at the board, they assured me that after graduating I could send in my application for skills assessment where they said they would prescribe me around 6 subjects (from the list of about 11 I think) and then I could go on to do my practical legal training in Melbourne.

 

So on this information our flights are booked and we are set to fly back to Melbourne next week. However on Thursday I sent the Legal Board of Examiners an email just asking a simple question and letting them know I was sending in my application for a skills assessment. To my surprise the email I received back caused immediate stress for my fiancée and I, the email stated that I was in fact not even eligible to to apply for a skills assessment as I had not completed a 3 year LLB in the UK or an LPC on top of the GDL, the email was sent by the very lady who told me only months earlier that all I needed to apply was a GDL.

 

I would be so grateful if people would share their similar experiences or if they have been in the same boat.

 

I do now know through further investigation that a GDL doesn't quite equate to an Aussie LLB but I find it hard to believe that my GDL [comprising of Tort, Contract, Equity & Trusts, Crime and Land (plus Public and EU law)] could possibly be completely worthless and make me ineligible for a mere assessment.

 

It seems to me that if it doesn't quite equate shouldn't I just be prescribed the full list of 11/12 subjects? Because from what she has said it seems as though I am not even eligible to do that. I am MORE than happy to pay for and do all of those subjects instead of completing a worthless and expensive UK LPC on top of what I have already done

 

I'm at a loss as to what to do now as the woman at the board has given me two contradictory pieces of information and as it is the weekend I won't get a reply until next week, and when you potentially have boxes to ship and possible flights to delay it is oh so stressful.

 

If anybody has any experience of suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Also does anybody know how the Legal Board of Examiners vary from state to state? Am willing to do whatever it takes.

 

Many thanks in advance for your help xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why are you applying for a skills assessment? The skills assessment is purely for skilled migrant visa purposes and nothing else. Are you not moving to Australia on a partner visa?

 

This could be a terminology thing, a skills assessment for migration purposes could be completely different to what you are trying to do ... which I am not clear on, but seems like you are trying to get recognition for some UK qualifications. Try again, but don't use the term "skills assessment" unless you are indeed thinking of applying for one of the skilled migrant visas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why are you applying for a skills assessment? The skills assessment is purely for skilled migrant visa purposes and nothing else. Are you not moving to Australia on a partner visa?

 

This could be a terminology thing, a skills assessment for migration purposes could be completely different to what you are trying to do ... which I am not clear on, but seems like you are trying to get recognition for some UK qualifications. Try again, but don't use the term "skills assessment" unless you are indeed thinking of applying for one of the skilled migrant visas.

 

Hi Rupert,

 

Thanks for your reply, yes you are right I am coming over on a partner visa. I had no idea that the skills assessment was only for the skilled migrant visa, I have only used this terminology as that is what they had used with me (even after they knew my situation)

 

Does it have a different name then? Do you think this would have affected the response I received? Many thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Rupert,

 

Thanks for your reply, yes you are right I am coming over on a partner visa. I had no idea that the skills assessment was only for the skilled migrant visa, I have only used this terminology as that is what they had used with me (even after they knew my situation)

 

Does it have a different name then? Do you think this would have affected the response I received? Many thanks

 

Unfortunately I do not know enough about your occupation to understand what it is you are trying to do.

 

But talk to them again and definitely do not use the expression "skills assessment" this is all about the visa. Maybe you want to get registered, or licenced or even get some recognition, I do not know ... but you definitely do not want to get a skills assessment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying to get on the path to becoming qualified in Australia one day in the future.

 

I've just checked their website again and they do refer to the process of checking overseas qualifications as a "Skills Assessment" so the terminology may just be coincidental? Unless you know this for sure??

 

Have you been through this process yourself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be a lawyer you need to have a university under grad degree in law and a one year apprenticeship if you like with the Leo Cussen Institute in Melbourne. If you have not got a university degree then you would be a para legal and these people either do their course through the TAFE system or have worked in legal for a long long long time gaining the experience to be a clerk.

 

The Law Institute in each State should be able to provide further information.

 

As we are presently down by the head with lawyers at the moment you will have a lot of competition for jobs. There is a glut of lawyers around in fact a few years ago I read in the Law Institute journal that there were more lawyers studying law at the time than all the lawyers in Australia. So experience and high degrees are the way to good jobs.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guest30085
I am trying to get on the path to becoming qualified in Australia one day in the future.

 

I've just checked their website again and they do refer to the process of checking overseas qualifications as a "Skills Assessment" so the terminology may just be coincidental? Unless you know this for sure??

 

Have you been through this process yourself?

 

I think it's just a terminology they've used, generally skills assessment is thought to be regarding a visa application, I wouldn't worry about it. Basically you are looking for an assessment of your qualifications by the Australian Law Society? I can't help much, but there have been a few solicitors who have posted on here before and I know through a friend who looked into it, that they had LLB and LPC and still would need to take an approximate further six? Modules to be able to practice. Sorry I can't help much more than that, hopefully someone will come along who actually has the experience of this. Good luck with your move :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am trying to get on the path to becoming qualified in Australia one day in the future.

 

I've just checked their website again and they do refer to the process of checking overseas qualifications as a "Skills Assessment" so the terminology may just be coincidental? Unless you know this for sure??

 

Have you been through this process yourself?

 

As I say, I am not in your occupation, but I have followed the skilled migrant visa route. I am just trying to find avenues for you to explore to try to get to the bottom of the confusion and the term skills assessment is one such possibility as it is usually reserved specifically for the visa process. But no I do not know for sure or I would be more specific.

 

Can you post the link up for the website you are referring to, I am generally good with interpreting rules and regulations so will take a quick look for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Uniform Principles couldn't be any clearer: the GDL simply doesn't count for the purposes of academic exemptions which is the first stage of qualifying. You need to have an LLB. IMO that's perfectly reasonable for maintaining the integrity of the profession.

 

In the UK you do GDL+LPC +2 years TC so by the time you qualify you're a well rounded lawyer. Here, you do LLB or Diploma in Law plus 6 month PLT at which point you qualify. With the best will in the world, do you really think you should be entitled to be admitted as a solicitor on the basis of 1 year GDL + 6 month PLT?? Hence the reason why you will need to have academic study under your belt.

 

In NSW you can study for the LPAB Diploma in Law which is equivalent to the LLB for the purposes of admission. Pretty much anyone is eligible to take this diploma (no prior qualifcations required). Vic might have an equivalent?

 

NSW stuff is here http://www.lpab.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lpab/legalprofession_index.html

 

Tbh I'm a bit surprised you'd make such huge life decisions such as emigrating on the basis of an email or two from a random person at the Law Soc and without even reading up on the rules to satisfy yourself that what they were saying was right, ESPECIALLY when you knmoew (or ought to have known) that it contradicted what the rules clearly state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bottom line you need a degree and probably masters these days to get a nose in the door and there are many many people with double degrees commerce/law is a favourite one.

 

I worked in law for over 25 years and I know lots and lots of lawyers and sorry but its not easy to get a nose in if you do not have the right qualifications. Is even hard then, my friend's daughter who is a high paid lawyer says jobs are getting thin on the ground at the moment so those with a lot of experience or have family or friends or went to the right schools etc get first pick.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Uniform Principles couldn't be any clearer: the GDL simply doesn't count for the purposes of academic exemptions which is the first stage of qualifying. You need to have an LLB. IMO that's perfectly reasonable for maintaining the integrity of the profession.

 

In the UK you do GDL+LPC +2 years TC so by the time you qualify you're a well rounded lawyer. Here, you do LLB or Diploma in Law plus 6 month PLT at which point you qualify. With the best will in the world, do you really think you should be entitled to be admitted as a solicitor on the basis of 1 year GDL + 6 month PLT?? Hence the reason why you will need to have academic study under your belt.

 

In NSW you can study for the LPAB Diploma in Law which is equivalent to the LLB for the purposes of admission. Pretty much anyone is eligible to take this diploma (no prior qualifcations required). Vic might have an equivalent?

 

NSW stuff is here http://www.lpab.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lpab/legalprofession_index.html

 

Tbh I'm a bit surprised you'd make such huge life decisions such as emigrating on the basis of an email or two from a random person at the Law Soc and without even reading up on the rules to satisfy yourself that what they were saying was right, ESPECIALLY when you knmoew (or ought to have known) that it contradicted what the rules clearly state.

 

Wow... What a kind reply...

 

Firstly thanks for your concern on my huge life decision being made on the basis of some conversations with somebody at the Law Soc. you actually have no idea about my journey to emigrating, thank you though!

 

In no way did I ever state that I believe I should be able to qualify with my 1 year GDL + 6 month PLT which you'll find if you read my original post.

 

If you actually read my first post I did say I know the GDL is not an LLB equivalent. I am merely asking why I would not be eligible to have my GDL even assessed as I know others have without having done an LPC, I am prepared and have accepted that I may need to do in excess of 10 subjects before even beginning an Australian LPC.

 

Petals thank you for reply also, I do understand the job market as I have lived and worked in Melbourne with a law firm already and will actually be doing an article clerkship with with my previous employer when the time comes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, DON'T do the LPC unless you're planning to train and qualify in the UK. The LPC is worthless over here unless you've then gone on to qualify. (I speak from experience! I have the LPC but am still required to do the PLT.)

 

If you come over post LPC but pre-qualification you'll still be in the same boat as having to get an LLB or equivalent and do the PLT, but having wasted thousands on a worthless LPC. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the uniform principles...

 

Overseas graduates in law, or overseas practitioners often undertake post-graduate work in Australia. A post-graduate Doctorate, Masters or Diploma course, taken in Australia or elsewhere, is generally not a relevant qualification for admission purposes. A Graduate Diploma in law undertaken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, and the Common Professional Examination are exceptions to this principle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If you actually read my first post I did say I know the GDL is not an LLB equivalent. I am merely asking why I would not be eligible to have my GDL even assessed as I know others have without having done an LPC, I am prepared and have accepted that I may need to do in excess of 10 subjects before even beginning an Australian LPC.

 

 

 

You can't apply to have your qualifications assessed because as far as the LPAB is concerned, there is nothing to assess as the GDL doesn't count for the purposes of academic exemptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can't apply to have your qualifications assessed because as far as the LPAB is concerned, there is nothing to assess as the GDL doesn't count for the purposes of academic exemptions.

 

What the OP really should do at this point is to have her qualifications assessed by the overseas qualification unit in the state she will live, for the purpose of entering further university study.She may then receive advanced standing for a few units.

 

She can then give this assessment to a university (which will be required), enroll and update her qualifications here.

Edited by Sammy1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What the OP really should do at this point is to have her qualifications assessed by the overseas qualification unit in the state she will live, for the purpose of entering further university study.She may then receive advanced standing for a few units.

 

She can then give this assessment to a university (which will be required), enroll and update her qualifications here.

 

 

I believe the board that assess legal qualifications in Victoria is the body which the OP is in correspondence with already - The legal Board of Examiners http://www.lawadmissions.vic.gov.au/overseas_applicants

 

The problem she is having is that someone at the board is telling her she is not eligible for even an assessment.


Lodged De facto Partner visa: 27th September 2011 ------- FRONT LOADED APPLICATION

VISA GRANTED: 3rd November 2011

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can't apply to have your qualifications assessed because as far as the LPAB is concerned, there is nothing to assess as the GDL doesn't count for the purposes of academic exemptions.

 

You are completely incorrect. Why do you insist on passing on flawed information whilst adding to the confusion the OP clearly has? Your tone is very abrupt and unsympathetic. Have some sensitivity around such matters and don't be so judgmental.

 

 

Im in a similar situation and Last week I spoke to the LPAB in NSW and a very helpful woman told me that applying for an assessment with a UK GDL (without LPC - I made this explicitly clear) is perfectly fine. She said she doesn't know what the rules are in Victoria but in NSW LPAB do count the core subjects of a GDL for an assessment and you could be prescribed 12 units extra.

 

Then it's up to you where you try and study - shop around with an assessment from LPAB at various universities. UNE is one option. You can study an LLB with them via distance learning & take your exams in a centre in Melbourne if youre in VIC.

Apparently they do recognise GDL core subjects and grant exemptions for those. UNE are very well equipped for questions regarding overseas qualifications too.

 

So the OP could try going via NSW if VIC won't assess her.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free


Lodged De facto Partner visa: 27th September 2011 ------- FRONT LOADED APPLICATION

VISA GRANTED: 3rd November 2011

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not incorrect. The uniform principles are clear. In respect of people who have done some or all of the study needed in the UK but not qualified: Academic exemption will only be given for subjects which normally lead to admission AND is substantially equivalent to a 3 year LLB. The GDL satisfies the first but not the second. You might have a chance of getting it through under rule 2.3 but it's a long shot.

 

OP also quoted rule 2.4 about GDL and CPE. However as I read it that relates to *admission*. You can't get as far as admission without first having your academic exemptions granted and then the practical training ticked off.

 

I don't have any faith in the information the lpab gives out over the phone. You can't guarantee that whoever you're speaking to knows every permutation of situations and the rules. I've been given wrong info myself which I only realised was wrong when I properly read the whole of the rules.

 

OP asked whether it was different in each state. I gave what I thought was helpful info for nsw. I'm also not being judgmental. OP said that 'on the information' she was given they'd booked flights, ad now with this confusion they potentially won't be going. Hence why I said I was surprised that they'd made such huge life decisions on the basis of an email which contradicted what the rules say.

 

I don't wish to get into pointless arguments with a stranger over the internet, especially as I'm going round in circles now on the facts. Nothing I've said about *academic* exemptions is wrong. I'll be willing to come with my tail between my legs once you've successfully applied for and been granted academic exemptions for your GDL. I'm sure we'll all be delighted to hear how you've done it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not incorrect. The uniform principles are clear. In respect of people who have done some or all of the study needed in the UK but not qualified: Academic exemption will only be given for subjects which normally lead to admission AND is substantially equivalent to a 3 year LLB. The GDL satisfies the first but not the second. You might have a chance of getting it through under rule 2.3 but it's a long shot.

 

OP also quoted rule 2.4 about GDL and CPE. However as I read it that relates to *admission*. You can't get as far as admission without first having your academic exemptions granted and then the practical training ticked off.

 

I don't have any faith in the information the lpab gives out over the phone. You can't guarantee that whoever you're speaking to knows every permutation of situations and the rules. I've been given wrong info myself which I only realised was wrong when I properly read the whole of the rules.

 

OP asked whether it was different in each state. I gave what I thought was helpful info for nsw. I'm also not being judgmental. OP said that 'on the information' she was given they'd booked flights, ad now with this confusion they potentially won't be going. Hence why I said I was surprised that they'd made such huge life decisions on the basis of an email which contradicted what the rules say.

 

I don't wish to get into pointless arguments with a stranger over the internet, especially as I'm going round in circles now on the facts. Nothing I've said about *academic* exemptions is wrong. I'll be willing to come with my tail between my legs once you've successfully applied for and been granted academic exemptions for your GDL. I'm sure we'll all be delighted to hear how you've done it.

 

You are incorrect by saying that LPAB won't assess the GDL without an LPC because I have read of another girl who did have hers assessed at LPAB and from my indication on the phone it seems I can be hopeful of an assessment and some exemptions. I'll let you all know what that outcome is.

 

I agree with the info about the uniform principles and that is very helpful! Just the above part was not completely accurate. I also felt you were quite harsh in the way you spoke to someone who clearly is in distress. I personally would have been kinder, but we are all different.


Lodged De facto Partner visa: 27th September 2011 ------- FRONT LOADED APPLICATION

VISA GRANTED: 3rd November 2011

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Denny87,

 

I share the similar situation like yours. May I know if you have got any further responses from LPAB regarding your case? All in all, I think holder with only the GDL (without LPC nor an admitted lawyer in any jurisdiction) is eligible to seek exemption for some subjects but certainly ones need to make up more than 6 subjects as that seems to only apply to those who got GDL AND an admitted lawyer. If you got an updates please let me know, good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

 

I thought I would update you with my progress.

 

It turns out that victoria are more strict than NSW in assessing legal qualifications.

 

What I did was apply to LPAB in NSW for a skills assessment ($250) and provided certified copies of my qualifications and unit guides from the GDL I had studied.

 

They replied and gave me exemptions in :

 

Legal institutions

Criminal law and procedure

Torts

Contracts

Equity and

One unspecified elective subject.

 

I have to study:

 

Real property

Constitutional law

Commercial

Admin law

Evidence

Tax

Succession

Conveyancing

practice and procedure

Legal ethics

jurisprudence

2 elective subjects listed in the LPAB rules.

 

I have enrolled online with the University of New England and they gave me advanced standing for those subjects in the first list above. My aim is to get an LLB from there and then apply for admission in Victoria, as that is where I live and there is mutual recognition between states.

 

The degree will take me about 1.5 years from now. I have completed my first trimester and it is going well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/07/2014 at 09:42, Denny87 said:

Hi all,

 

I thought I would update you with my progress.

 

It turns out that victoria are more strict than NSW in assessing legal qualifications.

 

What I did was apply to LPAB in NSW for a skills assessment ($250) and provided certified copies of my qualifications and unit guides from the GDL I had studied.

 

They replied and gave me exemptions in :

 

Legal institutions

Criminal law and procedure

Torts

Contracts

Equity and

One unspecified elective subject.

 

I have to study:

 

Real property

Constitutional law

Commercial

Admin law

Evidence

Tax

Succession

Conveyancing

practice and procedure

Legal ethics

jurisprudence

2 elective subjects listed in the LPAB rules.

 

I have enrolled online with the University of New England and they gave me advanced standing for those subjects in the first list above. My aim is to get an LLB from there and then apply for admission in Victoria, as that is where I live and there is mutual recognition between states.

 

The degree will take me about 1.5 years from now. I have completed my first trimester and it is going well.

Hello,

 

I would like to have an update about your pathway. Were you able to successfully get admitted to practise in Victoria? DId you do your PLT in Victoria or NSW after completing the required subjects at UNE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×