General Information - Admission as a Lawyer in Australia


Many messages on this forum seek information for the holders of foreign LLBs/JDs on the requirements for admission as a lawyer in Australia.

Before I provide a link to the most general and up-to-date information, it may be worth clearing up one fundamental misapprehension. An Australian LLM has absolutely nothing to do with admission to practise. If you are the holder of a foreign LLB/JD, then taking an Australian LLM will not get you any closer to admission in this country.

Instead, you need to take a number of LLB-level courses from an Australian university or other provider (such as the Legal Profession Admissions Board). How many LLB-level courses you are required to do varies according to which country your LLB/JD is from.

On 20 January 2009, the national Law Admissions Consultative Committee released amended Uniform Principles for Assessing Qualifications of Overseas Applicants for Admission to the Australian Legal Profession.

While the ultimate decision rests with the admissions authority in the state or territory in which you seek admission, they will be guided by the Uniform Principles.

Please consult the Uniform Principles, which will give you an idea of how many LLB-level courses you will be required to study. You can find the Uniform Principles here:

http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/lpab/ll_lpab.nsf/vwFiles/Uniform_Principles_Feb_2008_version_updated_Jan_09.pdf/$file/Uniform_Principles_Feb_2008_version_updated_Jan_09.pdf

To qualify for admission in Australia, you must have completed 11 core subjects.

Holders of degrees from the following countries may seek exemption for one or more of the core subjects: Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Fiji, Hong Kong, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United States, West Indies.

If you are not from one of the above countries, you will almost certainly be required to study all 11 subjects.

The enquiries I most often receive (private messages) about admission in Australia are from India, Pakistan and the United States.

If you have a United States JD, you will probably be required to take: Administrative law, Federal and State Constitutional Law and Property.

If you have an Indian or Pakistani LLB, unfortunately, you will probably be required to take all 11 subjects.

If you are unable to study for whichever subjects you need to do at a university, you may study them through the Legal Profession Admissions Board of New South Wales (LPAB). Traditionally, LPAB classes are for people in full-time, who wish to study law in evening classes. Therefore, most LPAB students would take no more than 3-4 subjects per year. If you are not working, you may be able to take more; however, in my view, most students studying all 11 on a full-time basis would take 2 years to complete them.

You will then need to satisfy the Practical Legal Training requirement, which Australian satisfy by taking a 6-month full-time PLT course or in some states, by undertaking an articled clerkship. If you are admitted in your home jurisidiction and have significant (i.e., more than 2-3 years) experience, some exemptions may apply.

Finally, some advice for those seeking information on working as a registered foreign lawyers in Australia. The reality is that there is very little demand for this. Australia is a mature legal market, with a large oversupply of law graduates. Unless you have a US JD and are sent to Australia by one of the US firms that maintain Australian offices (Skadden, Shearman & Sterling, White & Case, Sidley Austin and Jones Day), it is unlikely that you will find a job in a law firm. There may be some limited openings for Chinese (PRC), Japanese and Korean qualified lawyers in some Australian businesses involved in trade and investment with those countries. Apart from that, I'm afraid it's extremely unlikely that you'll find a job.

I hope that the above is not too disheartening for anyone and that it will be of assistance if you are contemplating practising in Australia.
Many messages on this forum seek information for the holders of foreign LLBs/JDs on the requirements for admission as a lawyer in Australia.

Before I provide a link to the most general and up-to-date information, it may be worth clearing up one fundamental misapprehension. An Australian LLM has absolutely nothing to do with admission to practise. If you are the holder of a foreign LLB/JD, then taking an Australian LLM will not get you any closer to admission in this country.

Instead, you need to take a number of LLB-level courses from an Australian university or other provider (such as the Legal Profession Admissions Board). How many LLB-level courses you are required to do varies according to which country your LLB/JD is from.

On 20 January 2009, the national Law Admissions Consultative Committee released amended Uniform Principles for Assessing Qualifications of Overseas Applicants for Admission to the Australian Legal Profession.

While the ultimate decision rests with the admissions authority in the state or territory in which you seek admission, they will be guided by the Uniform Principles.

Please consult the Uniform Principles, which will give you an idea of how many LLB-level courses you will be required to study. You can find the Uniform Principles here:

http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/lpab/ll_lpab.nsf/vwFiles/Uniform_Principles_Feb_2008_version_updated_Jan_09.pdf/$file/Uniform_Principles_Feb_2008_version_updated_Jan_09.pdf

To qualify for admission in Australia, you must have completed 11 core subjects.

Holders of degrees from the following countries may seek exemption for one or more of the core subjects: Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Fiji, Hong Kong, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United States, West Indies.

If you are not from one of the above countries, you will almost certainly be required to study all 11 subjects.

The enquiries I most often receive (private messages) about admission in Australia are from India, Pakistan and the United States.

If you have a United States JD, you will probably be required to take: Administrative law, Federal and State Constitutional Law and Property.

If you have an Indian or Pakistani LLB, unfortunately, you will probably be required to take all 11 subjects.

If you are unable to study for whichever subjects you need to do at a university, you may study them through the Legal Profession Admissions Board of New South Wales (LPAB). Traditionally, LPAB classes are for people in full-time, who wish to study law in evening classes. Therefore, most LPAB students would take no more than 3-4 subjects per year. If you are not working, you may be able to take more; however, in my view, most students studying all 11 on a full-time basis would take 2 years to complete them.

You will then need to satisfy the Practical Legal Training requirement, which Australian satisfy by taking a 6-month full-time PLT course or in some states, by undertaking an articled clerkship. If you are admitted in your home jurisidiction and have significant (i.e., more than 2-3 years) experience, some exemptions may apply.

Finally, some advice for those seeking information on working as a registered foreign lawyers in Australia. The reality is that there is very little demand for this. Australia is a mature legal market, with a large oversupply of law graduates. Unless you have a US JD and are sent to Australia by one of the US firms that maintain Australian offices (Skadden, Shearman & Sterling, White & Case, Sidley Austin and Jones Day), it is unlikely that you will find a job in a law firm. There may be some limited openings for Chinese (PRC), Japanese and Korean qualified lawyers in some Australian businesses involved in trade and investment with those countries. Apart from that, I'm afraid it's extremely unlikely that you'll find a job.

I hope that the above is not too disheartening for anyone and that it will be of assistance if you are contemplating practising in Australia.
quote
notheless
hi buddy thanks for your post, where did you get it? Are thoese principles applied in the whole country? I heard that the english requirement(ielts writing 8.0) has been canceled in some states, is that true?? Moreover i'm undergoing the legal traning now, if i'm qualified as a lawyer in my home country(civil law system),is that necessary to obtain a LLB/JD degree prior to get the AU lawyer licence?? In addition, what does "some limited openings for Chinese (PRC), Japanese and Korean qualified lawyers in some Australian businesses involved in trade and investment with those countries" mean ?? and why?? aren't they advantage over thoese local lawyers(at least they have a better undetstanding of their own culture.besides this,they are bilingual)??
hi buddy thanks for your post, where did you get it? Are thoese principles applied in the whole country? I heard that the english requirement(ielts writing 8.0) has been canceled in some states, is that true?? Moreover i'm undergoing the legal traning now, if i'm qualified as a lawyer in my home country(civil law system),is that necessary to obtain a LLB/JD degree prior to get the AU lawyer licence?? In addition, what does "some limited openings for Chinese (PRC), Japanese and Korean qualified lawyers in some Australian businesses involved in trade and investment with those countries" mean ?? and why?? aren't they advantage over thoese local lawyers(at least they have a better undetstanding of their own culture.besides this,they are bilingual)??
quote

Reply to Post