The University of Adelaide has signed a formal partnership with the Law Society of South Australia to jointly deliver the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) for any eligible law students from 2013.
Completion of this practical legal training course is required for law graduates before they can be admitted to practise law in South Australia.
The agreement will effectively transfer the existing program for the training of legal graduates from the Law Society of South Australia into a joint program with the University of Adelaide.
Under the new arrangement, eligible law students or graduates will now be able to undertake the joint GDLP program drawing on Adelaide Law School’s teaching and learning excellence and resources with classes delivered in the Law School premises.
“Drawing on the Law Society’s resources and experience, and links to the profession, this is a natural synergy for the Law School,” according to the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Professions, Professor Christopher Findlay.
Adelaide Law School Dean Professor John Williams said this exciting development would enable University of Adelaide law students to seamlessly continue their law studies and graduate studies under the new arrangement.
The course would also be open to other law graduates, both interstate and international, who wish to train for the legal profession.
“Elements of the GDLP will be delivered outside of normal teaching hours and can be completed in accelerated mode, matching the life, study and work balance needs of students. This partnership with the Law Society will also offer students additional opportunities to develop professional connections,” Professor Williams said.
“University of Adelaide legal staff will work with the Law Society to further enhance the existing GDLP curriculum and learning experience to fit with the expectations of students today and the training requirements for a modern legal profession in South Australia.”
The joint program is the result of discussions over a number of months commencing with a review by the Law Society’s President, Ralph Bonig, and the establishment of a Working Group under the leadership of Mr Morry Bailes.
Mr Bailes said increasing competition from interstate providers had been a factor in establishing the new agreement.
“However, the opportunity to partner the Adelaide Law School in this venture for the overall betterment of the profession is a very exciting prospect and one that as a Society we could not pass up,” he said.
Law Society Chief Executive Stephen Hodder added: “The University of Adelaide has a distinguished Law School which offers a blend of rigour and relevance, with a strong academic foundation through its degree. It will now offer job-ready training of the GDLP.”
The University of Adelaide’s Law School is the second oldest law school in Australia and was founded in 1883, almost two decades before federation. It presently has a student body of about 1400, and 30 full-time academic staff.
Its alumni are among the most distinguished legal minds and leaders in Australia and include Prime Minister Julia Gillard, SA Premier Jay Weatherill, Attorney-General John Rau, current Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Director of Public Prosecution Adam Kimber SC and former Chief Justice the Hon. John Doyle AC QC.
Professor John Williams
Dean, Adelaide Law School
University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 5172
Mobile: 0401 319 227
Mr Morry Bailes
Law Society of South Australia
Phone: +61 8 8212 1077
Mobile: 0413 524 130