If you have been admitted overseas or hold an overseas legal qualification and want to practise Australian law

 

  • In Australia, the legal profession is regulated independently by each State and Territory. Applicants will generally apply for admission in the State or Territory in which they intend to practise.
  • In Western Australia the legal profession is regulated by the Legal Profession Act 2008 (Act) which is administered by the Legal Practice Board .
  • The legal profession in Australia is “fused”, i.e. a person is admitted as a lawyer and may practise as a solicitor and/or a barrister. (Practitioners who wish to practise solely as barristers would generally join the WA Bar Association http://www.wabar.asn.au/ . A person must hold an unrestricted Australian practising certificate to join the WA Bar Association.)
  • A person who does not hold a current Australian practising certificate must not engage in legal practice in Western Australia. An exception to this prohibition is a person doing legal work under the supervision of an Australian legal practitioner, as a paid employee of a law practice or in the course of approved legal training. For the legislative requirements relating to the reservation of legal work and related matters, including presumptions about using a title, please refer to Part 3 of the Act . Please also refer to the Board’s policy on titles that may be used by an overseas admitted legal practitioner.
  • An overseas qualified and/or admitted applicant for admission in Western Australia must either complete an approved Australian law degree or apply for assessment of their qualifications. If, in completing the form, you are only eligible to apply for academic exemptions, the fee is AUD$200. If you are eligible to apply for academic and practical legal training exemptions, the fee is AUD$400.
  • A person who holds an overseas law degree but is not admitted overseas may only apply for assessment if the legal qualification was completed over the equivalent of 3 years full-time study and if their qualification meets admission requirements or qualifies them to undertake practical legal training in their home jurisdiction. All other overseas law graduates must complete an approved or corresponding Australian law degree .
    It is a matter for the university to determine what, if any, advanced standing can be given for the studies completed overseas, but in any event, advanced standing would not usually be given for any of the core subjects of an Australian law degree.
  • In assessing the eligibility for admission of an overseas admitted or qualified applicant, the Board has regard to the Uniform Principles for Assessing Qualifications of Overseas Applicants for Admission to the Australian Legal Profession ( Uniform Principles ). This policy document is published on the following website: https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/resources/law-admissions-consultative-committee/documents-about-present-admission-policies
  • All overseas qualified and admitted applicants will have further academic and practical legal training to complete in Australia. Individual requirements will be detailed in the assessment statement issued by the Board.
  • Assessment statements should issue in:
    Mid February for complete applications lodged by 13 Jan 2017
    Mid March for complete applications lodged by 10 February 2017
    Mid April for complete applications lodged by 17 March 2017
    Mid May for complete applications lodged by 13 April 2017
    Mid June for complete applications lodged by 19 May 2017
    Mid July for complete applications lodged by 16 June 2017
    Mid August for complete applications lodged by 14 July 2017
    Mid Sept for complete applications lodged by 18 August 2017
    Mid October for complete applications lodged by 15 September 2017
    Mid November for complete applications lodged by 13 October 2017
    Mid December for complete applications lodged by 17 November
    Mid February 2018 for complete applications lodged by 19 January 2018
    Requirements must be commenced within 12 months and completed within 5 years of the issue of the assessment statement.
  • Overseas qualified and admitted applicants will be required to meet English language testing requirements when they apply for admission.
  • Following admission all practitioners will be required to complete a period of employment under supervision. Refer to section 50 of the Act , the definition of “supervised legal practice” in section 3 of the Act and paragraph 8 (Restricted Rights of Practice) in the Uniform Principles refer https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/resources/law-admissions-consultative-committee/documents-about-present-admission-policies.

 

Further enquiries regarding the requirements for overseas qualified applicants can be directed to dmacdonald@lpbwa.com .