Lawyers from overseas

Lawyers who have been admitted or qualified overseas, and want to practice in Western Australia, must either

  • complete an approved Australian law degree, or
  • apply for assessment of their qualifications.

All overseas qualified and admitted applicants will have further academic and practical legal training to complete in Australia. They must meet English language proficiency requirements to apply for admission.

Applying for assessment

To apply for assessment of overseas qualifications and practical legal training requirements, complete LPB Form A8. Applicants may be eligible for academic exemptions only (fee AUD$320); or may be eligible for academic and practical legal training exemptions (combined fee AUD$640).

The Board assesses the eligibility of an overseas admitted or qualified applicant according to the Uniform Principles for Assessing Qualifications of Overseas Applicants for Admission to the Australian Legal Profession. The Board’s assessment statement following application will detail individual requirements to meet Australian standards.

Qualified but not admitted overseas

Those holding an overseas law degree but who were not admitted overseas may apply for assessment only 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.

The university may give advanced standing for studies completed overseas, although advanced standing is unusual for any of the 11 prescribed subjects of an Australian law degree.

Following assessment and admission

Requirements given in the assessment must be started within one year and completed within five years.

Following admission, all practitioners must complete a period of employment under supervision. Refer to section 49 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (WA), the definition of “supervised legal practice” in section 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (WA)  and the Board’s Supervised Legal Practice Guidelines.

The legal profession in Western Australia

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 practice.

In Western Australia the legal profession is regulated by the Legal Profession Uniform Law (WA) which is administered by the Legal Practice Board.

The legal profession in Australia is fused – a person is admitted as a lawyer and may practice as a solicitor and as a barrister. They must hold a current Australian practising certificate to engage in legal practice in Western Australia.

Practitioners who wish to practise solely as barristers would generally join the WA Bar Association. They must hold an unrestricted Australian practising certificate to join the WA Bar Association.

Those 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 do not need to hold a current Australian practising certificate.

For more information, see Part 2.1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (WA) – Threshold requirements for legal practice.

See also the Board’s policy on titles that may be used by an overseas admitted legal practitioner.

Send further enquiries about overseas qualified applicants to