LAWS5174 Legal Internships : Law School : The University of Western Australia

Law School

LAWS5174 Legal Internships

Further Information

Aviva Freilich
Penny Carruthers

Key Dates 2017

Information Session
Thursday 13th April 2017, 1:00pm 
UWA Law School - E-Moot Court

Submission of Expressions of Interest
Expressions of interest should be submitted electronically to Penny Carruthers by 5.00pm Friday 21st April 2017. 

Notification of placements (via student email)
No later than 16th June 2017

Induction Program (Compulsory)

Students viewing papersLAWS5174 Legal Internship is  a dedicated clinical program in the Juris Doctor (JD) program. Students have the opportunity to work in a legal environment for academic credit over one semester (one day per week) or intensively over summer. The students’ experience in their placements will be supplemented by regular seminars and an ongoing assessment program designed to build legal skills and encourage reflective practice. 


  1. About LAWS5174 Legal Internship
  2. Legal Internship Opportunities
  3. How to apply for Legal Internships

About LAWS5174 Legal Internship

Legal Internship is comprised of four streams: ·

Social justice

The Social Justice Internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical legal experience and provide vital services to disadvantaged members of the Western Australian community. It involves student placements in government departments and non-government and community organisations offering legal advice and representation to special interest groups. Learn more...

Human rights

The Faculty of Law’s focus on human rights extends to the Legal internship program. Students can obtain work experience in organisations dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights in Australia and abroad. A range of organisations offer students the opportunity to experience evidence-based advocacy, research, litigation and community education in action. Learn more...

Rural and regional

The Rural and Regional Internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical legal experience in law firms and legal organisations in Geraldton, WA. Students will take part in a discrete induction program to introduce them to the legal environment in Geraldton, in particular the way law firms, government and non-government organisations collaborate to get the best results for rural and regional clients. Students may also have the opportunity to engage in research with students from other disciplines placed in Geraldton through our close relationship with Western Australian Centre for Regional Health. Learn more..


The Commercial Internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical legal experience in private law firms and government legal departments. Participation in the Commercial Internship introduces students to the skills, practical knowledge and understanding of values needed to practice as a lawyer.

In time, more internship opportunities will be available, including international placements. Students will gain training and practical legal experience and a unique insight into future career paths. Learn more...

Opportunities for Legal Internships

Students enrolling in Legal Internship will, no doubt, be keen to know how they will be placed and what organisation they will be placed in. Placements can be made in one of three ways:

Placements allocated through the Legal Internship Unit
Variety of placement opportunities are available to students enrolled in Legal Internship. In most cases, students are happy for their placement to be allocated by the unit-coordinators. If students are interested in learning about the placements available, please contact the unit coordinators.

Independently sourced placements
Subject to certain conditions, students may organise their own placements. This is permissible so long as it can be ascertained that the proposed placement meets the standard of content, structure and experience required by the Legal Internship Unit and that the unit-coordinators agree to the placement. Please ensure that you speak with the unit co-ordinators before accepting any independently sourced internship placement.

Other possibilities…
Many organisations offer internship placements to law students. While such organisations may not be on our ‘list’ of placements, a student who is selected for such a program may be able to obtain academic credit through the Legal internship Unit. This is subject to certain variables, for example the structure of the external program and whether or not the student has completed enough law units to enrol in Legal Internship. Please speak with the unit-coordinators about academic credit before accepting any independently sourced internship placement. Please note that we encourage students to take up such internships as there are many personal and professional advantages for doing so but if students are also seeking academic credit pursuant to the Legal internship unit, this must be approved by the unit coordinators.

Some external internship opportunities to consider:

DLA Piper
DLA Piper

As a leading pro bono law firm, we are frequently contacted by students seeking internships or work experience placements in our pro bono team. As part of our commitment to building a pro bono culture in the global legal profession, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of student placements in our pro bono practice each year.


The Aurora Project
The internship program aims to support under-resourced host organisations by introducing anthropology, law, and some social science students and graduates to career opportunities in native title, policy development, social justice and Indigenous affairs more generally.


Palestine Works
Palestine Works is a new US-based non profit founded by diaspora Palestinians to promote Palestinian human development. The Law Fellowship harnesses the talent and passion of law students and recent law graduates to support the work of human rights and human development organizations serving Palestinians in the Occupied Territory and Palestinian citizens of Israel.


Also keep an eye on
Social Justice Opportunities, or SJOpps, is a guide for Australian law students and new lawyers to volunteering and employment in the social justice sector. The page is updated regularly and may provide great opportunities for internship placements.  
Twitter @SJOpps
Facebook: Social Justice Opportunities SJOpps


How to apply for enrolment in LAWS5174 Legal Internship

All students seeking to take part in Legal Internship must:

  1. Complete the Expression of Interest form;
  2. Provide a Curriculum Vitae of no more than 2 A4 pages; and
  3. Attend a short meeting with the unit-coordinator and, in some cases, a representative of the host organisation.

The Expression of Interest form and CV must be submitted by 5.00pm 21st April 2017.  

Due to the volume of applications and the necessity to interview prospective interns, the application process is quite lengthy. Please be patient. Students will be notified whether they have been allocated a placement by 16th June 2017.