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GDL recogition for Law in Australia


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I am in my final year of an English degree in the UK. My partner is Australian and is in the forces so cannot move here. I am hoping to complete a GDL then move to Australia to practice as a lawyer, but I am struggling to find consistent information regarding the standing of a GDL over there. I understand that I will be required to do additional subjects, but am unsure of how many, the cost of this and how long this will take. I have spoken to the law admissions board of Vic and they stated that a GDL is considered to be of equal standing to a LLB. Then they will prescribe additional subjects then the full PLT. Is this information correct or am I really not understanding this correctly?


Many thanks for any responses that may help me understand this a little better.

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Thank you for your speedy reply. Sorry I didn't explain why I was doubting very well. I have written to multiple law admission boards in Australia and not been told the same thing twice. I am unsure if this is because entry is different state to state or if I am asking the wrong people. There are also multiple feeds on here with some differing views on the subject so I am just hoping to get all of my above questions clarified such as cost and most importantly time scale from someone who has followed this route. Thank you for the reply though

Edited by flo29
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Guest guest73691

The only way to know for sure is to get your academic qualifications assessed by the Admission Board, who can then tell you exactly how many subjects you have to study. Their website should give you instructions about how to do this. It will probably involve submitting a lot of forms, copies of course transcripts etc. Although they may be able to give you a guide over the phone, they will need to look at each person case by case. Each state has a different board making the assessment. In NSW, I had understood that a GDL generally was not considered equivilent to an LLB because it only consists of 1 year of study, therefore there was generally a requirementr to take a lot more subjects than someone with a full law degree. However, it could well be that in Victoria the position is different. The problem is that the person you are able to speak to on the phone won't be the person who makes the decision. So unless they have an absolute policy, I'm not sure how concrete it is.

Edited by guest73691
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You have to have your degree assessed so keep your course handbook and transcripts. You will have to do a conversion course which could mean doing a number of subjects you have already done again as the law is very different in key areas, then you will have to get your practicing certificate.


To be honest, you will find it hard getting a job here. The grad market is extremely competitive and as your degree is an English one, in my experience, it is worthless in Australia unless you have at least 5 years post qualification experience in a UK law firm. I've known a few English lawyers who have PQE who started again from scratch by getting an Aussie law degree as they found it so hard to get jobs.

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