How to become a Lawyer
Law is an interesting field with many different layers and specialty areas. Some lawyers may become experts in commercial law, whilst others may focus on criminal law. Given what is at stake, becoming a lawyer is a long and complex process, but the rewards of this profession are worth the effort. This guide will provide an overview of the steps you need to take to become a lawyer in Australia.
Step 1: Complete a law degree
The first step to becoming a lawyer in Australia is to obtain an undergraduate degree from a university or college in any discipline. Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you must undertake further study in law at either an accredited law school or university. At these higher education institutions, you will learn about legal principles, court procedures, and other essential topics related to the practice of law. You may also be required to complete practical experience placements as part of your law degree.
Step 2: Professional Admissions exam
Once you have met the above requirements, you will need to apply to your local state Professional Admissions Exam (PAE). The PAE is administered by each state's legal admissions board and tests prospective lawyers on their knowledge of local laws and regulations. For example, in NSW, it is known as Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB), and in Victoria, the Victorian Legal Admissions Board. Once accepted, this will give you the permission to practice law in that State. This Admissions exam involves completing an online application and attending an interview. You will also need to provide certified copies of your academic transcripts and proof of identity.
Step 3: Get Practical Legal Training
After passing the PAE, aspiring lawyers must then complete their Practical Legal Training (PLT). PLT typically consists of two parts—an online course that covers essential topics such as legal ethics and civil procedure; and an internship with a law firm or government agency where applicants gain practical experience working on actual cases under supervision from experienced attorneys. Upon successful completion of PLT, applicants will be eligible for admission into the legal profession on a permanent basis.
Step 4: Attend your admission ceremony
The final step in becoming a lawyer is attending an official admission ceremony at your local courthouse. At this ceremony, new lawyers take an oath and pledge their commitment to uphold the ethical standards of their profession before being formally admitted as members of the bar association. After completing the first four steps outlined, you can finally call yourself a "lawyer".
Step 5: Maintain your registration
Once you are registered as a lawyer in Australia, you will need to maintain your registration by paying the annual practicing certificate fee and undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD is mandatory for all lawyers in Australia and must be undertaken on an ongoing basis. You must complete 10 CPD units each year, and there are different topics and focus areas that you need to cover.
Step 6: Invoice your clients
Now that you are a lawyer, you will be dealing with clients and earning income. As a lawyer, you’ll most likely get paid via invoices that you issue to clients. Thriday is a great tool for quoting and invoicing, as it’s easy to use, and you can send invoices via web and app. Thriday also provides other services such as bookkeeping, accounting and tax, allowing you to take care of all your financial admin in one place. Thriday makes it easy to stay compliant with your taxes, whilst freeing you up to invest more time with your clients. If you want to learn about how much money you could save with Thriday, take this quick tax quiz.
Becoming a lawyer takes time and dedication; however, following these six steps can help make it easier for anyone interested in entering this top notch profession. From obtaining an undergraduate degree to completing Practical Legal Training and attending an official admission ceremony at your local courthouse – there's no denying that becoming a lawyer requires hard work and perseverance. But if you're willing to put in the effort, then there's no limit to how far your career can grow.