Lawyers for a Changing World
In three years, the RMIT JD program will transform you from a non-law graduate into a legal professional. We will develop your practical and theoretical capabilities through a unique approach that we call ‘bringing law to life’. Through our deep industry connections, you will gain valuable legal experiences that prepare you to contribute in a rapidly changing world.
The RMIT Juris Doctor is an innovative postgraduate law program focusing on the fundamentals of law and the justice system.
The program is based on a unique approach that we call ‘bringing law to life.’ It has been designed specifically to create job-ready graduates, with direction and input from a Program Advisory Board made up of senior executives from law firms, representatives from the Bar, Magistrates and other senior members of the profession.
You will build practical legal skills such as mooting and advocacy, research and policy development, interviewing and working with clients and negotiation, influencing and mediation. These are integrated into the study of substantive areas of law.
You will also choose from a range of law electives that include Human Rights Law, Law and Technology, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Competition and Consumer Law, Insolvency, Acquisitions and Mergers, Labour Law, Environmental and Planning Law, Health Law, Wills and Family Law.
The RMIT Juris Doctor has a three-year flexible structure. The program can be delivered in ways that suit your life. For example, a part time option is available, while you can study off-campus via Open University Australia’s online portal.
Your classes on campus are held in the evening, generally at 5.30pm, and on selected weekends via intensive delivery. They will mostly be held at the Emily McPherson College Building, a magnificent heritage property on the corner of Russell and Victoria streets in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Facilities include a student lounge, conference suite, teaching theatres and classrooms with the latest multimedia technology, and a rooftop patio with views of the city.
A summer semester is available and some students may be able to accelerate their progress. Classes are offered weekly and intensive mode over summer.
In addition you will have access to online and digital resources through myRMIT. Through this online learning portal, you will be able to view online resources and learning activities created by lecturers, access course materials via Canvas, collaborate with lecturers and fellow students, and access your student email account.
Throughout the program, you will build legal skills and gain expertise in the critical areas of practice. Under the supervision of members of the legal profession you will engage in a variety of simulations to develop practical legal capabilities.
You will also learn how to conduct research, to gain insights into policy development and law reform. All students undertake a compulsory course in legal research, which prepares them for work in the profession and in related legal fields. This course culminates in students presenting their research to a panel of legal professionals.
Opportunities to Moot at RMIT
As part of your JD experience all students are engaged in mooting. A moot court is an activity where students take part in simulated court proceedings, which usually involves drafting briefs and presenting an oral legal argument. The aim of the moot court is to consolidate the learning of substantive law and provide experience in legal advocacy, presentation and teamwork.
Moot court will also test your understanding of court etiquette, legal research and legal writing.
Students can further hone their mooting skills through an an elective in advanced advocacy, or by joining mooting competitions, such as the VIZ moot in Hong Kong, the Jessup moot in Canberra and the Kirby moot in Melbourne.
Participation in these competitions is credited toward the JD Program.
Moots are conducted in the nearby Old Magistrates' Court building. Some classes may be held at other locations at RMIT’s Melbourne City campus.
As an RMIT JD student, we prepare you for the changing world of work in Law. We offer real industry internships and opportunities for Clinical Legal Education. Practical, industry-relevant options include:
- shadowing judges, magistrates and practising lawyers in their daily work
- working with industry mentors to solve legal problems
- clinical legal education with community legal centres and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre
- research for the Centre for Innovative Justice on law reform projects
- participating in international study tours to observe innovative courts and overseas legal systems.
Penelope (Penny) Weller has conducted and published research that explores coercive care and the application of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
David Mejia-Canales explains how completing the Juris Doctor opened the door to a diverse and rewarding legal career.
Global opportunities are a unique feature of the on-campus program. You can combine an overseas travel and cultural experience with coursework completed in intensive mode and have this credited towards your degree. College tours are available to destinations such as the United States, China and Europe.
A specialist intensive study tour to New Zealand, offered in conjunction with the Centre for Innovative Justice, offers Juris Doctor students the opportunity to observe a number of innovative courts, discussions with presiding judges, and briefings by justice practitioners in New Zealand. Additionally, there is the opportunity to take a study tour to our Vietnam campus looking at legal systems in Asia.
If you are planning to include a study tour as part of your program, you are advised to check that you have the required number of student electives or credit points available.
You must complete 18 core law courses (including the 'Priestley 11') and six optional courses (electives).
You must complete at least three law-related electives from the approved list, and may also choose non-law electives.
Plans are variations offered for a program such as specialisations, modes of delivery or location. Browse a plan to see the courses our students are currently studying.
This program plan applies to students who are commencing the JD, or have commenced in, or after, semester 2 2014.
This program plan applies to students who commenced the JD in, or prior to, semester 1 2014. Students in this program plan should ensure that they are familiar with any relevant transition rules.
Choose a program structure
|Juris Doctor||City Campus||
|Juris Doctor||City Campus||
3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
3 years full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: MC161
Graduates can change their career direction and enter the legal profession by adding this fully accredited legal qualification to their undergraduate degree.
RMIT’s Juris Doctor graduates have access to a range of legal opportunities. These include practising law in the commercial legal sector, practising as a barrister, or working as an in-house lawyer with corporations, governments or not-for-profit organisations.
JD graduates work in many other fields where knowledge of legal principles and the ability to think deeply and rigorously are essential. These fields include public administration, NGOs, politics and business. RMIT JD alumni are building a reputation as fully prepared, work-ready legal professionals. Finally, for those who are not contemplating a career change, the JD is a Masters level qualification can be a significant enhancement to your existing career.
Our JD program is accredited by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board as meeting the educational requirements for admission to the Australian legal profession in Victoria as a lawyer.
RMIT complies with the standards for Australian Law Schools adopted by the Council of Australian Law Deans and assessed by the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee (ALSSC).
For further details about accreditation please visit our accreditation and membership page.
Requirements for legal practice
To be admitted to practise as a lawyer in Australia, applicants must have completed a tertiary qualification in Australia that includes:
- the equivalent of at least three years of full-time study of law
- accredited units of study that demonstrate an understanding of and competence in specified areas of legal knowledge (known as the 'Priestley 11').
The RMIT JD satisfies these requirements. After completing the JD graduates must complete the Practical Legal Training (PLT) requirements - either a year of Supervised Workplace Training with a law firm, or an approved PLT course. The PLT course can be undertaken on a fee-paying basis through Leo Cussen Centre for Law or The College of Law.
- An Australian bachelor degree or equivalent in any discipline, except a Bachelor of Laws (LLB - Common Law), from a recognised tertiary institution with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (out of 4.0); or
- A partially-completed Bachelor of Laws (LLB - Common Law), from a recognised tertiary institution, in order to enrol in a course or courses required to obtain admission into legal practice*; or
- A partially-completed Juris Doctor (JD) from another overseas institution, in order to enrol in a course or courses required to obtain admission into legal practice*.
* A letter from the Boards of Examiners, Victorian Council of Legal Education (or equivalent interstate body) must be submitted which lists the course(s) required to be completed and the educational institutions that are accredited to provide the relevant course(s).
- Applicants with either an Australian bachelor degree, or higher level qualification, in any discipline except an LLB with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) may be considered for a full fee place when a personal statement is provided demonstrating significant interest or intended career progression in law.
- Applicants with an Australian Graduate Diploma, or higher level qualification, in any discipline except common law with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) may be considered for a full fee place.
Commonwealth supported places
A limited number of Commonwealth supported places (CSP) are awarded on academic merit alone. The minimum requirement to be considered for a CSP is a GPA of 2.5 out of 4.0. However, the actual GPA is dependent on the number and standard of applications received during the application period.
Students currently enrolled in an AFP place may apply for a CSP place after completing at least one year of full-time equivalent study (96 credit points) and have demonstrated a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0).
For non-law electives, exemptions may be granted for courses successfully completed at master degree level.
Credits and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.
This program has full-fee places, with a limited number of Commonwealth supported places (CSP).
2019 indicative fees:
- Full-fee places: AU$36,480*
- Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$6,444 and AU$10,754
* Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
A summer semester is available for this program, allowing some students to accelerate their progress. If you choose this option and enrol in more than the standard full-time load (96 credit points) for the year, you will be charged accordingly.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide. Learn more about fees for postgraduate study.
If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.
Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.
In 2019, the annual student contribution amount you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,566 to AU$10,958.
For further information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees see Fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Whether you are offered a full-fee or Commonwealth supported place (CSP) in this program, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to eligible students via the FEE-HELP (full-fee places) and HECS-HELP (CSP places) loan schemes. If your loan is approved, you will be able to defer payment of up to the full amount of your tuition or student contribution fees.
You may also be eligible to apply for SA-HELP, which will allow you to defer payment of the student services and amenities fee (SSAF).
How does a HELP loan work?
If your FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
This program is approved for income support.
You may be eligible for student income support payments from the Commonwealth Government if you are undertaking a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or an approved professionally oriented masters by coursework program. For more information see Income support for Masters students.
If you are enrolled in an eligible program you will also need to satisfy all other student payment eligibility requirements. You can contact Centrelink or the Department of Human Services for further information about student income support entitlements, your eligibility and how to apply.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student. The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2019 is $303.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.