There are rules to practicing law in Australia. Knowing how to become a Lawyer in Australia, as this article will show you, will make your journey smoother because you will be equipped with knowledge of what is required of you.
Law practice requires rigorous education and on-the-job training, seeing that a lawyer holds the key to the freedom or otherwise of a client. Every country has rules that determines the path a person must tow to become a fully licensed Lawyer in order to practice law in the jurisdiction. Australia is no different.
This article details the steps a person must take towards the dream of becoming a Lawyer in Australia, the education, mentorship and licensing requirements of lawyers in the country. Stay on to know more.
How to become a lawyer in Australia
To become a full-fledged lawyer in Australia, there are exactly five steps that you will need to follow. It starts with education and ends with licensing by the local law society.
1. Law education
Lawyers are expected to be knowledgeable of the law and up to date on changes, repeals and additions made by the relevant law-making bodies. Not only that, but case laws are also essential part of a lawyer’s arsenal. To know all these, prospective lawyers must be educated on the laws.
To satisfy the educational requirements of becoming a Lawyer in Australia, a high school graduate must study 4 years to acquire the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree (Also known as Juris Doctor). Students who possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than law, can gain admission to second year of the LLB program and complete in 3 years instead of four.
2. Practical Legal Training Australia
After successfully graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree, the next item on how to become a Lawyer in Australia checklist, is the completion of the mandatory practical training (PLT).
The Practical Legal Training (PLT) is a training program designed to assist prospective lawyers in Australia hone their skills in law practice. This helps in bridging the gap between law theory studied in law school and real-world law practice.
As a new lawyer, law practice training will come in handy, as the training is highly localized by focusing on the local legal practice rules, court practices and processes which constitute a chunk of the day-to-day activities of being a lawyer.
Upon completion, participants of the PLT program are awarded a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP). For full-time participants, the PLT can be completed within 15 weeks. Students with work or other commitments can opt to study part-time, which they can complete within 30 weeks.
3. Admission to practice law in Australia
To gain admission to practice law in Australia, you must be approved by the relevant state or Territories admissions authority. The admission to practice law in Australia criteria include:
- Completion of a Bachelor of law degree
- Completion of the Practical legal training (PLT) within the last 5 years
- Be fit in character and in person.
- Apply for admission.
In most states, the application process includes providing evidence that you have fulfilled the academic requirements and any other evidence that speaks to your conduct or character. States like Queensland requires that you advertise in the local newspaper, your intention to apply for admission to practice law.
The Legal Practitioners board in your jurisdiction is the admissions authority, while the state or Territories supreme court is the court you get admitted to as a lawyer in Australia. Following approval, you’ll be required to attend an admission ceremony where you swear an oath of office, sign the supreme court roll and be handed your admission Certificate.
4. Apply for Practicing Certificate
Next on how to become a lawyer in Australia, is the acquisition of a practicing Certificate from the Law Society in your local jurisdiction. The practice certificate you’re issued will be conditional, requiring you to practice for 18-24 months under the supervision of an established Lawyer in what is also known as tutelage.
As intimated above, being issued a practicing license places a condition that you understudy a lawyer for a minimum of 18 months. After this period of tutelage, you become a lawyer who can practice on their own.
It is advisable that the tutelage is in a law firm or under a lawyer who specializes in your area of specialization. The benefit of this is obvious. Even though lawyers in Australia are admitted to specific states, they’re able to practice in other states directly without needing additional certification.
Lawyer Salary Australia
Even though the choice to become a lawyer may be based purely on passion, the money factor can never be discounted. Law practice is a noble profession that pays quite well, comparing favorably with other professions.
The average salary for an entry level lawyer in Australia is $102,348. The city of Sydney has the highest average salary for Australian lawyers with an annual salary of $127,269. This is as reported by indeed.
This article has elaborated on how to become a lawyer in Australia, detailing the specific requirements to achieving the dream. The information herein will serve as guide as you navigate your way towards becoming a Lawyer in Australia.
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