Deakin’s Legal Internship enables you to gain an appreciation of certain aspects of legal practice and to extend and deepen your theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills while working in a legal environment.
DLS student Jade Hovey reflects on her internship at VLA
'In early 2015, I applied to partake in the Legal Internship elective, offered at Deakin Law School. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the program and in August 2015, I commenced a seven-month internship at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA). I attended the VLA office once per week. There, I was paired up with a lawyer whom I shadowed at court and assisted in the office. My role at court included liaising with police prosecutors and other parties’ legal representation, clerking, sitting in on client interviews and observing litigation. My office tasks included legal research, analysing and evaluating the strength of cases, organising barristers and drafting letters and briefs.
During my time at VLA, a temporary, three-month legal assistant position became available. I leaped at this opportunity with both arms open. Once again I was left feeling extremely lucky upon being offered the position. The role included reception duties, case management, finalising accounts and extraordinary amounts of dictation work. Although managing full-time employment, the internship and a full study load was at times quite stressful and difficult, I am so proud that I did take on and successfully conquer the challenge.
Throughout the entirety of my time at VLA, I always felt a sense of gratitude. Throughout my third and fourth year of studying law, I began having second thoughts about whether or not studying law and criminology was for me. My VLA experience however brought my degree to life. The experience provided me with a wealth of knowledge. I was able to watch the law happen in front of me. I thoroughly enjoyed attending court and witnessing how the legal tests and procedures I had learnt about were applied. Simply, I was provided with the opportunity to watch the law in action every single day. Post-internship, I am shocked that I ever second-guessed whether or not pursuing a career in the legal field was for me.
Today, I am extremely grateful that a partnership between Deakin and VLA exists. I am thankful for the astronomical amounts of motivation and inspiration the legal internship program has provided me with. Words can simply not express how beneficial and enjoyable I found my time at VLA to be. Without this partnership, I would not have been provided with the opportunity that has ultimately confirmed my legal profession aspirations for the future. I encourage all students considering the elective to partake in the internship, and gain all of the legal experience they can. I have come out of the program feeling a lot more prepared for the legal world and for what is to come.' - Jade Hovey