Admission to practice - steps

Admission to practice

To be admitted as a lawyer in Australia you must complete a:

  1. Tertiary academic program involving 11 areas of legal knowledge (Priestley 11) specified in the Uniform Admission Rules (eg. LLB, LLBHons or JD), and
  2. Practical legal training program (PLT) Eg. Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice or Master of Legal Practice.

The GDLP/MLP offered by the ANU School of Legal Practice is an online program which allows you to be ready for admission to practice in as little as 6 months. It allows you to apply for direct admission to all states and territories except South Australia*.

Steps to apply for admission to practice

1. Meet admission requirements and contact the Admitting Authority
In order to be admitted to practice you must meet the admission requirements above and make an application in the form specified by the Supreme Court in the State or Territory in which you are seeking to being admitted. Please contact the admitting authority for the state/territory you wish to be admitted in:

2. Apply for a completion letter

ANU School of Legal Practice is required to provide a 'Completion Letter' which is used by Admitting Authorities as evidence of satisfactory completion of professional legal training. You are eligible for a Completion Letter once you have finished all the Admission to Practice courses.

Please check the completion letter and admission to practice schedule.

Once you know when and where you wish to be admitted please complete the PDF icon Application for completion letter (190.56 KB) (130.22 KB) and email it to courtadmission.law@anu.edu.au.. 

It is at this point you can choose to exit with the award of Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice or continue on to a Master of Legal Practice. You do not have to have your GDLP or MLP conferred (awarded) to be admitted to practice.

When to contact ANU School of Legal Practice

Please complete the Application for completion letter as soon as you know when you wish to be admitted - which should be at least 4 weeks prior to the admission ceremony filing date. Do not leave it until the last minute. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that we may not be able to support your preferred admission date. Do not wait until you have completed all your courses to submit this form.

Dean's certificate

Also referred to as a Dean's Letter.

Depending on the juristiction you are seeking admission to, you may need to apply for a Dean’s Certificate from the Law School where you undertook your Law degree. The Dean's Certificate verifies that you have completed the Priestley 11. The Priestley 11 are eleven law subjects required to be successfully completed for candidate status for admission into practice as a legal practitioner in Australia.

ANU students can request a Dean's Certificate by emailing courtadmission.law@anu.edu.au. Specify the jurisdiction in which you plan to be admitted. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for the certificate to be prepared.

Please check with the Admitting Authority to find out if you require a Dean's Certificate.

Admission ceremony – moving counsel

Admission ceremonies are held regularly throughout the year; you will be required to organise your own legal counsel to be present in court to ‘move’ your admission.

However, if you are being admitted in the ACT, NSW or VIC a member of the ANU School of Legal Practice may be able to move your admission.

Time limits

As of 1 January 2015 a 'stale learning' requirement comes into effect. This means that you need to apply for admission to practice within five years of completing your LLB, LLBHons or JD. Please contact the admitting authority in the state you wish to be admitted if your degree precedes the five year ruling.

Practising certificate

Once you gain employment in a legal field you may apply for a practising certificate from the Law Society or Institute in the relevant jurisdiction. You may also apply for reciprocal admission in other jurisdictions should you end up working in a different State/Territory.

*SA - you may still complete ANU School of Legal Practice's GDLP or MLP  if you wish to be admitted in South Australia. However, you would need to be admitted into another state first and then transfer to South Australia under reciprocal arrangements. Law Society of South Australia

Early start & admission to practice

Do you wish to commence your practical legal training (GDLP/MLP) whilst you are still finishing off your LLB or JD?

If so, you need to obtain approval from the Admitting Authority. Please do this before you apply to the GDLP/MLP.  Failure to apply for permission to commence your PLT early could result in you not being eligible for Admission to Practice at the end of your GDLP/MLP.  For more information please go to Early Start.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, GDLP/Page Contact:  Program Coordinator, GDLP