Life / Life after law school

How to become a practising lawyer after law school

The following is an extract from the Law Careers Guide 2017

To become a practising lawyer in New Zealand, you must meet
the following requirements:

Step One

Complete your LLB/LLB (Hons) degree.

Step Two

Complete a Professional Legal Studies (Profs) course.
Your LLB may be the intellectual foundation of a legal education,
but Profs is a competency based skills course, focusing on
the practical side of being a lawyer. The completion of Profs is
necessary if you wish to become a practising lawyer. Profs assists
you to transition to the workplace. It equips you with the skills
and knowledge required for practice in New Zealand irrespective
of the area of law in which you might be engaged.

You will learn how to take effective client instructions and
provide sound and pragmatic advice. Areas covered by Profs
include preparation for court appearances, legal drafting skills
and interactions with clients and other lawyers. As an LLB is a
prerequisite for beginning Profs, many people work while taking
the course. Legal employers are encouraged to accommodate
this by providing time off during the process, and some cover the
costs of the course.

There are two providers for Profs in New Zealand:
The College of Law: The College has a mixture of online and
oral assessments, all based on the type of work graduates will
perform in the profession. All assessments are spread over the
duration of the course and students have the opportunity to gain
feedback prior to submitting. Students are assessed in a range
of skills and competencies with elements in the student’s chosen

The Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS):
IPLS offers a choice of four courses including a combination of
onsite and online learning, online seminars with weekend and
evening onsites and full-time onsite options. IPLS assesses your
competency in a wide range of transferrable skills rather than
focussing on specific transactions.

Step Three

Acquire a certificate of completion from the NZ Council of Legal
Education. This is a document recognising the completion of a
law degree and Profs.
Obtain a Certificate of Character from NZLS ahead of admission.

Step Four

Admission to the roll of Barristers and Solicitors of the High
Court of New Zealand (applicants must hold a current practising
certificate issued by the New Zealand Law Society). This can
be achieved by following the completion of all previous

To view the full guide click the link below
2017 Law Careers Guide