Admission to Practice

 

Application Cut-Off Date *

Board Of Examiners Meeting

Local Admission Hearing In Supreme Court

17 January 2020

28 January 2020

17 February 2020

14 February 2020

25 February 2020

16 March 2020

20 March 2020

31 March 2020

20 April 2020

17 April 2020

28 April 2020

18 May 2020

15 May 2020

26 May 2020

15 June 2020

19 June 2020

30 June 2020

20 July 2020

17 July 2020

28 July 2020

17 August 2020

14 August 2020

25 August 2020

21 September 2020

18 September 2020

29 September 2020

19 October 2020

16 October 2020

27 October 2020

16 November 2020

13 November 2020

24 November 2020

14 December 2020



*Applications should be submitted for pre-assessment well before the cut-off date to ensure there is time to rectify any issues with the application.

Introduction

Pursuant to section 15 of the Legal Practitioners Act 1981, if you have completed the requirements for admission prescribed in Part 2 of the Rules of the Legal Practitioners and Admissions Council (2018 LPEAC Rules) and Part 7 of the Uniform Civil Rules 2020, and have satisfied the Court that you are a fit and proper person to practise the profession of the law, you are entitled to be admitted and enrolled as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

Admission Process and Forms

The admission process is prescribed in Part 7 of the Uniform Civil Rules 2020 and in the Prescribed Forms.

Rule 257.2 provides that if you have not previously been admitted as a lawyer in Australia or New Zealand your application for admission must be instituted by filing an Originating Application in accordance with rule 82.1 (Form 7A) and an affidavit in accordance with rule 82.1(2) (Form 12A) and Form 14 Exhibit front sheet to affidavit or Statutory Declaration.

Disclosure

As part of your affidavit you need to disclose matters that are relevant to your fitness to practice. For information about what you need to address here go to the LACC Disclosure Guidelines for Applicants for Admission to the Legal Profession at Appendix D of the 2018 LPEAC Rules.

Form 12A clause 8 provides that, “Full details must be given in relation to each offence or alleged offence in a separate statement, which is to be exhibited to the affidavit in a sealed envelope”. If you have disclosures to make pursuant to clause 8 of Form 12A, you will need to refer to the exhibit in the usual manner in the Affidavit but not include it with the documents you file via CourtSA. Instead, you will need to place the exhibit in a sealed envelope addressed to “The Secretary Board of Examiners” and marked with your name and contact details and cause it to be delivered to the Society at Level 10, 178 North Terrace Adelaide by the applicable cut-off date for applications to the Board of Examiners (see above). The exhibit will be viewed only by the Secretary and Administrative Assistant to the Board of Examiners and the members of the Board of Examiners.

Submission of Documents for Checking

Before filing your documents with the Court, you will need to submit them to the Society for pre-assessment via the Admissions Portal along with a Payment Authority Form for the $27.50 notification fee.

Generally applicants are responded to within 1-2 business days after an application is received for pre-assessment. It is recommended that you submit your application for the pre-assessment as soon as practical to ensure you do not miss the application cut off date in the event changes are required to your application. Applications received on the cut-off date for pre-assessment are processed with high priority, however there is no guarantee that applications received in this day will considered by the Board of Examiners at the next relevant meeting.

The Society will charge the notification fee when your documents are approved for filing. Once the Society has approved your forms you can file your application via CourtSA and pay the admission fee to the Court. This process must be completed prior to the application cut-off date in order for your application to be considered by the Board of Examiners at the next relevant meeting. If you require assistance in lodging your application please go to the CourtSA Help Centre for information about using CourtSA.

Board of Examiners and Hearing

Pursuant to Rule 257.5 the Society will refer your filed application and affidavit to the Board of Examiners for its report and recommendation.

Pursuant to Rule 257.8, where the Board has provided a report recommending admission, the Court will list the application for hearing. The Registrar of the Supreme Court will provide you with notice of the hearing and information on the process. You must attend the hearing in person unless exempted by the Court. If you wish to apply for exemption from attending the hearing you must file a request to the Registrar in accordance with Rule 13.2(5) (Form 76) at least 14 days before the hearing or on the Court’s own initiative.

Signing the Roll

If the Court orders that an applicant be admitted, the applicant will be enrolled as a solicitor and barrister of the Court upon signing the Roll of Practitioners. If you are present at the admission hearing you will sign the Roll then. Otherwise, you will be sent a Supplementary Roll of Practitioners sheet for swearing and execution and return to the Court.

Practising Certificate

When the order for admission is made and the Roll signed you are a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia but before you can engage in legal practice in South Australia you need to hold a South Australian practising certificate. Click here for information about how to apply to the Society for a practising certificate. 

 

Pursuant to the Mutual Recognition (South Australia) Act 1993 and the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (Cth), practitioners who have been admitted to practice interstate or in New Zealand can apply to the Supreme Court of South Australia for recognition of their right to practice in the other jurisdiction/s and admission to the Supreme Court of South Australia.

The processes are provided for in Part 8 of the Uniform Civil Rules 2020 and in the Prescribed Forms.

Rule 258.3 provides that applications under the Mutual Recognition Legislation must be instituted by filing an Originating Application in accordance with rule 82.1 (Form 7B), and a supporting statutory declaration (Form 13A). The application must be accompanied by copies, certified by the attesting witness to the statutory declaration, of an instrument evidencing the applicant’s existing registration in the first jurisdiction, plus a certificate of fitness or good standing in the applicant’s first jurisdiction and any other jurisdiction in which the applicant is admitted or registered under the Mutual Recognition Legislation, plus a driver’s licence, passport or birth certificate as evidence of identity.

The application and supporting documents must be filed electronically through CourtSA. Go to the CourtSA Help Centre for information about using CourtSA.

The filed application will then be transmitted by the Court to the Society for referral to the Board of Examiners for its determination under rule 258.4(1) and rule 258.4(2).

If the application is for recognition of both admission and a current practising certificate the Board will determine whether admission and a practising certificate (and the appropriate category) are granted. The Society will then issue a practising certificate in accordance with the Board’s determination after receipt of an application in the standard form and payment of the relevant fee.

If the applicant does not hold a current practising certificate interstate or in New Zealand the Board will only determine whether admission is to be granted. The applicant will need to apply to the Society for a practising certificate in the usual way before being entitled to practise in South Australia. On payment of the relevant fee the applicant will be issued with a Category C (restricted) practising certificate subject to the supervised practice requirements in the 2018 LPEAC Rules. Applicants who have completed the required period of supervised practice can then apply separately to the Board for this restriction to be lifted. 

Click here for information about how to apply to the Society for a practising certificate and information about supervised practice and having that restriction lifted.

When the Board of Examiners has determined that an applicant be registered, the applicant will be admitted and enrolled as a solicitor and barrister of the Court upon signing the Roll of Practitioners in accordance with rule 257.10. If an applicant fails to sign the Roll of Practitioners within 12 months after the order for admission, the order lapses. 

Certificates of Admission are issued by the Supreme Court and not kept by the Society. Please contact the Supreme Court Civil Registry on (08) 8204 0289 if you wish to obtain a copy. 
For practitioners who have obtained registration to SA via Mutual Recognition, Certificates of Admission or Registration are not issued. If you wish to obtain some evidence of registration, please contact the Supreme Court Civil Registry on (08) 8204 0289 and request a 'Registrar's Certificate'.
To obtain an Evidentiary Certificate please email ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au with the following information: 
Your full name and date of birth.

The name of the authority and email address of department requesting the certificate. Originals will be emailed to the authority and you will be cc'd.
The reason for the certificate ie: to obtain a practising certificate in XXX.
Your best contact number.

Fees are $80 for Law Society Members or $100 non-Law Society Members, payable up front either by telephone or return email (Visa or Mastercard, Amex not accepted).

Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19)


As the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) widens we ask that you please do not attend the Law Society office.


Practitioners who have been admitted overseas, or who have not been admitted overseas but hold qualifications obtained outside Australia which are recognised as qualifying them to be admitted in an overseas jurisdiction, may apply to the Board of Examiners (Board) pursuant to Part 4 of the Rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admissions Council 2018 (2018 LPEAC Rules) for a direction as to what additional (if any) academic, practical and English language requirements must be complied with in order to satisfy the requirements for admission in South Australia.

To view the 2018 LPEAC Rules please go to the Courts Admission Authority website by clicking here.

The procedure for applications pursuant to Part 4 of the 2018 LPEAC Rules involves the following three-step process:

  1. Assessment of overseas qualifications and experience.
  2. Preparation of an application to the Board of Examiners.
  3. Submission of application to Board of Examiners.


Assessment of Overseas Qualifications and Experience

Assessments for South Australian applicants are provided by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) in accordance with the Law Admissions Consultative Committee’s Uniform Principles for Assessing Overseas Qualifications which are here.

Applications for assessment are made by applicants direct to VLAB.

To make the application to VLAB you will need to create an account for a foreign lawyer (if admitted overseas) OR foreign graduate assessment (if not admitted overseas) through the VLAB portal at https://www.lawadmissions.vic.gov.au/online-applications

The portal will tell you what documents you need to upload for the purpose of the assessment. You will need to obtain certified copies of original documents such as official transcripts and graduation certificates for this purpose. Please do not provide any documents at this stage to the Society.

Payment of the application fee of AU$200 is to be made directly to the Society by cheque made out to The Law Society of South Australia, or by credit card via the Payment Authority found here. VLAB will only commence the assessment process when it has received confirmation from the Society that the fee has been received.

It can take up to 14 weeks for VLAB to complete its assessment. When it has done so it will email the assessment to the Society. We will inform you as soon as we have received the assessment report from VLAB so you can commence on the next step of the process.

Preparation of Application to the Board of Examiners

The LPEAC Rule 4 application must include the content required by LPEAC Rule 4.

The application comprises:

  • Your Statutory Declaration.
  • Annexures.

If you have not been admitted to practise in an overseas jurisdiction, your statutory declaration needs to refer to the following:

  • The nature and details of your academic and practical qualifications and experience.
  • Evidence that you have the academic and practical qualifications relied on (you will need to annex authenticated documentary evidence of this).
  • Whether you have applied for admission in any other Australian jurisdiction and the result of any such application.

If you have been admitted to practise overseas your statutory declaration needs to refer to the following:

  • The nature and details of your academic qualifications and practical qualifications and experience.
  • Evidence that you have the academic and practical qualifications relied on (you will need to annex authenticated documentary evidence of this).
  • Evidence of your admission in the overseas jurisdiction.
  • That you are currently admitted and entitled to practise in the overseas jurisdiction, have not at any stage been struck off the roll of practitioners or otherwise suspended from practice and are not presently subject to disciplinary inquiry or proceedings.
  • The nature, range, duration and character of your practice in the overseas jurisdiction.
  • Whether you have applied for such a direction or for admission in any other Australian jurisdiction and the result of any such application.

All statutory declarations also need to include reference to the following:

  • Evidence of identity.
  • Independent evidence that you are the person who has obtained the qualifications relied upon. A notarised certification from the tertiary institution or professional body which has awarded or conferred the qualification, which identifies you by reference to your passport (including the passport number and country of issue) will comply with this requirement.
  • If admitted overseas, two statutory declarations (or the overseas equivalent), from legal practitioners in that jurisdiction who have known you for at least two years and who have been admitted in that jurisdiction for not less than 5 years, attesting to your good character and fitness to be admitted.
  • If not admitted overseas, two statutory declarations (or the overseas equivalent) from persons of good repute who have known you for at least 5 years, attesting to your good character.
  • A syllabus or other document describing course details and coverage issued by the body which has awarded the qualifications relied on.
  • A record of the academic and practical subjects completed showing the year in which they were completed and the grade achieved by you for each subject.
  • Whether your first language is English.

If you have not been admitted overseas please click here for a template Statutory Declaration for Not Admitted Applicants.

If you have been admitted overseas please click here for a template Statutory Declaration for Admitted Applicants.

When you have completed the relevant documents, we advise that you can email them (and all annexures) to ethicsandpractice@lawsocierysa.asn.au for checking before you have the statutory declaration executed.

 

The Board’s Decision

When it has considered your application, the Board will make directions about what academic, practical and English language qualifications you will need to complete before being entitled to apply for admission in South Australia. The Board takes into consideration the assessment advice provided by VLAB for this purpose but is not bound to follow that advice.

All overseas applicants should expect to complete some academic and/or practical qualifications before being entitled to apply for admission. Many overseas applicants, especially those from countries with very different legal systems to Australia’s, will be required to complete academic subjects in all areas of knowledge referred to in Appendix A of the LPEAC Rules, and practical subjects in all areas of knowledge referred to in Appendix B of the LPEAC Rules.     

All overseas applicants whose first language is not English should expect to be required to complete IELTS testing to the required level of competency.

The Board will tell you the time period within which you need to complete the requirements and apply for admission. You will need to apply to the Board for an extension of time if you will not be able to complete the requirements within that time period.

 

Application for Admission

When you have completed all the academic, practical and English language requirements you can apply for admission in South Australia as a local or original applicant.

Compliance with the direction of the Board pursuant to LPEAC Rule 4 does not guarantee that you will be admitted. The admission process requires you to demonstrate that you are fit to practice and are of good fame and character. If the Board or the Court decides that you are not fit to practice you will not be admitted. 

 

Contact details

If you have any questions please send an email to ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au at first instance. Your query will be responded to by email or phone usually within 32 hours of its receipt.

LPEAC Rules 2018

7              Academic requirements

 

(1)          The academic requirement for admission is the successful completion of a tertiary academic course in Australia, whether or not leading to a degree in law–

(a)          which includes the equivalent of at least 3 years full-time study in law; and

(b)          which, in the opinion of LPEAC, requires a satisfactory level of understanding and knowledge in the areas of knowledge referred to in Appendix A.

(2)          The following academic qualifications are taken to satisfy the requirements of this rule:

(a)          Bachelor of Laws of the University of Adelaide;

(b)          Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice or the Juris Doctor of the Flinders University;

(c)           Bachelor of Laws of the University of South Australia.

(3)          Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to a particular qualification if LPEAC determines that the qualification no longer provides a satisfactory level of understanding and competence in the areas of knowledge referred to in Appendix A.

(4)          If an applicant has completed a requirement under a preceding subrule more than 5 years before applying for admission, LPEAC may, after assessing the applicant’s academic qualifications, require the applicant either or both to undertake further academic studies and to pass such further examinations as LPEAC may determine.


If you have an interstate academic degree you will need to apply to the Board of Examiners for a determination that it satisfies the academic requirements for admission in South Australia. Your application will include the following:

·         A covering letter addressed to the Board of Examiners requesting approval of your interstate qualification.

·         A certified copy of your official academic transcript.

·         A letter(s) from the Dean of the Law School at which you obtained your degree confirming that the degree:

o   requires completion of all of the compulsory academic subjects required for admission in Australia (the “Priestley 11); and

o   satisfies the academic requirements for admission in that State.

The application can be scanned and emailed to ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au

If the Board grants approval you will be sent an email confirmation that can be provided to your Practical Legal Training (PLT) institution. You must also retain a copy of the email to annex to your Local Admission application.

Further Enquiries

If you have any further queries, contact the Ethics and Practice Unit at ethicsandpractice@lawsocietysa.asn.au or (08) 8229 0200.