UK LLB to Victoria


ckseven
Hi guys,

This is my first post here so please bear with me!

I have a few very specific questions pertaining to a UK qualified lawyer attempting the move to Australia, specifically Melbourne, Victoria. Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated!

1) Based on anybody's experience (or anything they might have heard!), how long does it usually take for the Council of Legal Education (COLE) to revert on a submitted qualification assessment?

2) Have any UK graduates been exempted from the 'Property' unit in the fulfillment of any additional academic requirements prescribed by COLE?

3) Which university/ies in Melbourne would you recommend for non-award courses?

*I've been scouring the different university websites about their approach to non-award or single units for law, but I seem to be having a hard time of finding any useful information. Deakin University seems to have the most comprehensive material about their approach to non-award units but I don't really fancy being out in Geelong. :s

4) Which Visa types have people applied for, for the purposes of satisfying the academic requirements? What about the PLT?

For some very basic information on me:

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2007 with a LLB (Honours) degree in Law. I then completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in London in 2008.

I returned to Malaysia in December 2009 and recently completed my Pupillage/Chambering/Traineeship (whatever you want to call it!) at a highly respected Malaysian firm.

I hope somebody (anybody!) will be able to answer some (or all if I'm lucky. :)) of my above questions. I shall reward you with virtual hugs and endless gratitude. :)

Thanks so much to you all in advance!

xC
Hi guys,

This is my first post here so please bear with me!

I have a few very specific questions pertaining to a UK qualified lawyer attempting the move to Australia, specifically Melbourne, Victoria. Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated!

1) Based on anybody's experience (or anything they might have heard!), how long does it usually take for the Council of Legal Education (COLE) to revert on a submitted qualification assessment?

2) Have any UK graduates been exempted from the 'Property' unit in the fulfillment of any additional academic requirements prescribed by COLE?

3) Which university/ies in Melbourne would you recommend for non-award courses?

*I've been scouring the different university websites about their approach to non-award or single units for law, but I seem to be having a hard time of finding any useful information. Deakin University seems to have the most comprehensive material about their approach to non-award units but I don't really fancy being out in Geelong. :s

4) Which Visa types have people applied for, for the purposes of satisfying the academic requirements? What about the PLT?

For some very basic information on me:

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2007 with a LLB (Honours) degree in Law. I then completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in London in 2008.

I returned to Malaysia in December 2009 and recently completed my Pupillage/Chambering/Traineeship (whatever you want to call it!) at a highly respected Malaysian firm.

I hope somebody (anybody!) will be able to answer some (or all if I'm lucky. :)) of my above questions. I shall reward you with virtual hugs and endless gratitude. :)

Thanks so much to you all in advance!

xC
quote
Gregor2009
xC

I can only help you with some of your queries - see as follows:

3. Monash Uni, Melbourne Uni - they take on non-award students frequently and you can enrol as a non-award student taking courses with their JD students (who will be graduates just like yourself).

4. They have specific visas for students undertaking non-award studies - the university will tell you which to apply for. In relation to PLT, you could try to enrol in it concurrently while you are undertaking your non-award studies. ANU and College of Law offer good online PLT courses. By doing PLT concurrently with your non-award studies, you could potentially be admitted immediately after finishing your non-award studies.

Cheers,
Greg
xC

I can only help you with some of your queries - see as follows:

3. Monash Uni, Melbourne Uni - they take on non-award students frequently and you can enrol as a non-award student taking courses with their JD students (who will be graduates just like yourself).

4. They have specific visas for students undertaking non-award studies - the university will tell you which to apply for. In relation to PLT, you could try to enrol in it concurrently while you are undertaking your non-award studies. ANU and College of Law offer good online PLT courses. By doing PLT concurrently with your non-award studies, you could potentially be admitted immediately after finishing your non-award studies.

Cheers,
Greg
quote
ru2
Hi, I am a Malaysian as well, who did my undergraduate law degree in Melbourne.

1) No personal experience, but remember someone telling me it took less than a month.

2) I don't think you need to do Property. This article may shed further light: http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=30440EFC-1C23-CACD-22AD-FF00728F08CE&siteName=lca


3) Monash or Melbourne. As a Monash graduate myself, I'd suggest Monash. I'd email the law faculty directly for further information. The Council would let you know what subjects you need to take, so once you obtain that list, you can let the faculty know. I know someone who was admitted in the UK and took single subjects at Monash as well and all was well.

4) Not sure about visa, but if you are in Victoria, and you do not have PR, then you will need to do the Leo Cussen course as it is the only full time, on-site training course to gain admission. Further information here: http://www.leocussen.vic.edu.au/content.asp?pid=15405

Hope that helps!
Hi, I am a Malaysian as well, who did my undergraduate law degree in Melbourne.

1) No personal experience, but remember someone telling me it took less than a month.

2) I don't think you need to do Property. This article may shed further light: http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=30440EFC-1C23-CACD-22AD-FF00728F08CE&siteName=lca


3) Monash or Melbourne. As a Monash graduate myself, I'd suggest Monash. I'd email the law faculty directly for further information. The Council would let you know what subjects you need to take, so once you obtain that list, you can let the faculty know. I know someone who was admitted in the UK and took single subjects at Monash as well and all was well.

4) Not sure about visa, but if you are in Victoria, and you do not have PR, then you will need to do the Leo Cussen course as it is the only full time, on-site training course to gain admission. Further information here: http://www.leocussen.vic.edu.au/content.asp?pid=15405

Hope that helps!
quote
ckseven
Hey guys,

Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful responses - and apologies for the late response! The festivities of the last few weeks have been awfully distracting. :s

Now thinking cap back on.

rbr, how do you like living in Melbourne as compared to living in KL (assuming you're a KL-ite)? Am I incorrect in my assumptions about Melbourne (and Australia in general), having a better appreciation for the work/life balance, a more productive office culture, etc? Do you think it would be easy (or at least doable!) for a single, young professional female to make the jump for a life change?

Thanks guys!

:)
Hey guys,

Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful responses - and apologies for the late response! The festivities of the last few weeks have been awfully distracting. :s

Now thinking cap back on.

rbr, how do you like living in Melbourne as compared to living in KL (assuming you're a KL-ite)? Am I incorrect in my assumptions about Melbourne (and Australia in general), having a better appreciation for the work/life balance, a more productive office culture, etc? Do you think it would be easy (or at least doable!) for a single, young professional female to make the jump for a life change?

Thanks guys!

:)
quote
ru2
Hi ckse7en, I've changed my username to ensure I don't get recognised. I'm pleased to help, but its a major decision you are making, so I'd just like to add a lawyer's disclaimer that what I say is from my own observations and anecdotal experiences of my friends and acquaintances =)

I think Melbourne (and Australia in general) has a much better lifestyle than KL. I won't list in detail, but the major plus points for me are good weather, low crime rate, good environment and strong currency. For lawyers, perhaps the most important distinction is how much more advanced and mature the legal system here is, everything from the judiciary to finding legislation and cases!

As to work/life balance, that depends. By and large, the smaller firms do not expect too long hours. Just generalising here, at the top tier, you would be expected to do 12 hours a day, and some weekends too. In the mid-tiers, it will be about 10-11 hours. I can't give you a percentage, but I know of several lawyers in smaller firms who work 9am - 5.30pm. Stress is part of the job - expectations are very high, and even more so in this difficult times. With the exception of the top tiers who hold blue-chip clients, you would be expected to do client marketing and bring in new work. I raise this because many migrants, myself included, often have difficulty in this. I do not know very many people here, and did not school here. Further, it takes a while to absorb the local culture.

Office culture is probably better than Malaysia. My working experience in Malaysia is fairly limited, but to list a few factors:

- There is less of a "class distinction" between the partners, lawyers and PAs in that we all chat to each other on the same "level", go for lunch together

- Salary is way better at junior levels.

- There is a better appreciation of the vicissitudes of life. For example, women with children work part time, management actually has to care about how workers are treated, they accommodate your needs as best possible.

Its hard to say if it would be easy for you to make the jump. It would depend on your personality, your skills, how hard you are willing to work, what sort of work you are looking for, where you are currently working, your grades and your luck. For example, your Malaysian work experience will not count for much here. As such, you will not continue from the level you currently are but below it. Also, do you want to work in the top tier, or mid-tier or with a sole practitioner? Don't be fooled into working with the Freehills and Mallesons for the money. For one, not every associate at the top tier make it to equity partner level, and also, plenty of sole practitioners pull big bucks and suffer less stress. There are also many Asian sole practitioners around who mainly cater to the Asian clients. Finally, there is the option of working in-house, where the hours are much better, but the pay is generally lower.

To end on a positive note, the start is the hardest. Once you get your foot in, it is easy to move to another firm. If you start at a small practice, you can move up to a mid-tier after a couple of years, then to a top-tier. More positives - I recently met a Malaysian who was a partner at a mid-sized firm in Malaysia. This person made the move to Australia about 7-8 years back, and started right from the bottom as a first year. Because she was good at what she did, she is now a partner at a fairly prominent mid-tier firm here.

I hope that helps.
Hi ckse7en, I've changed my username to ensure I don't get recognised. I'm pleased to help, but its a major decision you are making, so I'd just like to add a lawyer's disclaimer that what I say is from my own observations and anecdotal experiences of my friends and acquaintances =)

I think Melbourne (and Australia in general) has a much better lifestyle than KL. I won't list in detail, but the major plus points for me are good weather, low crime rate, good environment and strong currency. For lawyers, perhaps the most important distinction is how much more advanced and mature the legal system here is, everything from the judiciary to finding legislation and cases!

As to work/life balance, that depends. By and large, the smaller firms do not expect too long hours. Just generalising here, at the top tier, you would be expected to do 12 hours a day, and some weekends too. In the mid-tiers, it will be about 10-11 hours. I can't give you a percentage, but I know of several lawyers in smaller firms who work 9am - 5.30pm. Stress is part of the job - expectations are very high, and even more so in this difficult times. With the exception of the top tiers who hold blue-chip clients, you would be expected to do client marketing and bring in new work. I raise this because many migrants, myself included, often have difficulty in this. I do not know very many people here, and did not school here. Further, it takes a while to absorb the local culture.

Office culture is probably better than Malaysia. My working experience in Malaysia is fairly limited, but to list a few factors:

- There is less of a "class distinction" between the partners, lawyers and PAs in that we all chat to each other on the same "level", go for lunch together

- Salary is way better at junior levels.

- There is a better appreciation of the vicissitudes of life. For example, women with children work part time, management actually has to care about how workers are treated, they accommodate your needs as best possible.

Its hard to say if it would be easy for you to make the jump. It would depend on your personality, your skills, how hard you are willing to work, what sort of work you are looking for, where you are currently working, your grades and your luck. For example, your Malaysian work experience will not count for much here. As such, you will not continue from the level you currently are but below it. Also, do you want to work in the top tier, or mid-tier or with a sole practitioner? Don't be fooled into working with the Freehills and Mallesons for the money. For one, not every associate at the top tier make it to equity partner level, and also, plenty of sole practitioners pull big bucks and suffer less stress. There are also many Asian sole practitioners around who mainly cater to the Asian clients. Finally, there is the option of working in-house, where the hours are much better, but the pay is generally lower.

To end on a positive note, the start is the hardest. Once you get your foot in, it is easy to move to another firm. If you start at a small practice, you can move up to a mid-tier after a couple of years, then to a top-tier. More positives - I recently met a Malaysian who was a partner at a mid-sized firm in Malaysia. This person made the move to Australia about 7-8 years back, and started right from the bottom as a first year. Because she was good at what she did, she is now a partner at a fairly prominent mid-tier firm here.

I hope that helps.
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