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Does my GPA count?

Yes it does.  The online application form asks you to provide a range of information, including your LAWS GPA.  Although there is no GPA cut off for the CLE Program, a strong academic performance is one consideration that will be taken into account.  You must provide an accurate LAWS GPA on the form (the Law School may check the GPA provided against student SI-net records).  LAWS GPA is calculated on the first attempt at all LAWS courses which count towards the degree.  Further information on calculating GPAs is available here - http://www.uq.edu.au/myadvisor/calculate-gpa

What else is taken into account?

The online application form also asks you about your motivation for applying to participate in the CLE Program, as well as any prior work experience you have undertaken.  Generally, students who can demonstrate a genuine interest in community legal work will be preferred to those who apply for other reasons, such as career advancement or as an ‘easy’ elective option.  Students who can provide specific examples of pro bono activity or work experience in the subject area of the clinic for which they are applying will be strongly considered.  An example may be a student who participates in a local environmental group and who applies for the Environmental Law Clinic, or a student who assists with the Rosie’s Street Van who applies for the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic.  Demonstrated experience is not essential, but again, it is a consideration that will be taken into account.

At what stage of my studies should I apply for the CLE Program?

Students must have completed at least sixteen (16) units of LAWS courses before they are eligible to apply for the CLE Program.  Students in their final or penultimate semester of study will often be selected over more junior students (but this is not always the case).  The main reason is because students in their third or fourth years of study will still have the opportunity to apply for the CLE Program again in future semesters, whereas for final year students this may be their last chance.  Students in their third year are still encouraged to apply; all applications are recorded, and a prior unsuccessful application may be positively regarded as an indication of the student’s genuine desire and commitment to participate in the CLE Program.

Can I apply again if I have previously participated in the CLE Program?

Yes you can, although a student’s chances of being selected to undertake the CLE Program twice are very low.  The course is oversubscribed and the Law School seeks to provide as many students as possible with the opportunity to participate.  This naturally reduces a student’s chance of having a second go if it means that other students may miss out.

I only really want to do one clinic (e.g. I am passionate about environmental law. This is the only clinic that interests me.) How can I maximise my chances of being selected?

The online application form allows you to select an option which states you are only interested in one clinic.  Please select this option. You should also be clear about your preference in the ‘motivation’ section of the application form. 

What else is required?

It is a requirement of the CLE Program that all selected students attend a clinic induction at UQ.  Semester 1 2017 clinic students will be required to attend an induction during O’Week on Thursday 23 February 2017, from 9am - 1pm.  In addition, each student must also be able to commence their placement in Week 1 of semester in order to attend an induction at the relevant Community Legal Centre.

Breakdown of past applications

A breakdown of CLE applications over the past two years is provided below (in reverse chronological order).  This information may help students to ascertain the popularity of clinical offerings.  It also illustrates the varying clinical offerings from year to year.  

Semester 1, 2016

55 students applied for CLE in Semester 1, 2016 for 47 available places.  8 students missed out.

The preferences were as follows:

Clinic preference – Semester 1, 2016
Clinics 1st preference Any preference (from 2016, the form allows students to list their top clinic preferences from 1 to 4.
Prison Law Clinic 11 27
Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic 2 31
Public Interest Research Clinic 2 12
Mental Health Law Clinic 8 34
Consumer Law Advice Clinic 10 18
Environmental Law Clinic 5 11
Disability Law Clinic 2 12
Refugee and Immigration Law Clinic 8 27
Health Advocacy Legal Clinic 3 19
Tenancy Law Clinic 4 14
% gender breakdown of students who applied: Male: 30%  Female: 70%

Semester 2, 2015

53 students applied for CLE in Semester 2, 2015 for 46 available places.  7 students missed out.

The preferences were as follows:

Clinic preference – Semester 2, 2015
Clinics 1st preference Either preference
Prison Law Clinic 6  
Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic 6  
Public Interest Research Clinic 3  
Mental Health Law Clinic 8  
Consumer Law Advice Clinic 5  
Environmental Law Clinic 1  
Disability Law Clinic 4  
Refugee and Immigration Law Clinic 13  
Health Advocacy Legal Clinic 2  
Tenancy Law Clinic 5  
% gender breakdown of students who applied: Male: 30%  Female: 70%