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About the College of Law New Zealand

About the College of Law New Zealand

The College of Law
New Zealand

Part of an Australasian group

The College of Law New Zealand  is part of The College of Law Group which provides legal education and training programmes across Australasia.   

The College of Law was founded in 1973 by the Law Society of New South Wales as a charitable education trust for professional legal education purposes and is governed by a membership body that draws on legal communities and College alumni throughout Australia and New Zealand.  

The College of Law New Zealand opened in 2003, in response to an employer initiative by a consortium of New Zealand law and accounting firms, which collectively employs more than a quarter of all law graduates each year. 


Leading provider of Profs

It was accredited by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE)[1] in 2003 as a provider of its Professional Legal Studies Course (PLSC) and began offering its Professional Legal Studies Course Online (PLSCO) in January 2004. The College today offers many course variations based on its 18-week modular PLSC course. 

These variations offer a course completion time of between 13 and 18 weeks utilising a blended learning (online and onsite) modular approach.  

The College is the leading provider of the PLSC in New Zealand and of the equivalent programme in Australia. 


Innovative continuing legal education programmes

In 2013, with the introduction of mandatory Continuing Legal Education in New  Zealand, the College developed a range of short programmes designed to equip legal practitioners with a range of skills needed in the legal workplace. As well an innovative series called Working With was launched aimed at bringing the profession together with major agencies, for example Working With the Financial Markets Authority. This series has expanded to include representatives of key countries such as China, Korea and Japan. 

The College has also established a range of programmes in the area of resilience and these have been enthusiastically received by a range of firms as part of their annual  in-house training. 

The New Zealand College also offers the preparation course for the New Zealand Law and Practice Examinations which is designed for international lawyers wishing to gain admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

The College maintains its close links with employers and the legal profession through an independent board of company directors that includes three current and former partners in major national law firms and a former president of the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS).  


[1] The NZCLE is constituted under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, part 8. It has a statutory obligation to regulate the education and training required for admission to practise as a lawyer. 


The College of Law is the school of professional practice for lawyers in Australia and New Zealand. We are also the largest provider of Practical Legal Education in 

Our Difference

The College of Law has been at the forefront of practical legal education since 1974. More than 60,000 of our graduates work across all facets of the industry – and we’re one of the most trusted names in legal training in New Zealand and Australia.

But what sets us apart is our focus on the practical side of law and the true relevance of our education programmes. 

With over 400 staff across New Zealand and Australia– most of whom are practising lawyers – we work from the profession, for the profession. We also engage a range of legal professionals (including judges, barristers, solicitors and in-house counsel) to contribute to the College through our:

  • Boards, subcommittees and subject advisory committees
  • Chapter boards
  • Alumni associations
  • Membership and honorary fellow programmes

In Australia, the College is one of the few non-universities to achieve status as a Self-Accrediting Authority from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.  

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The legal profession constantly faces profound change – affecting how, when and where lawyers practise.

To recognise and embrace this challenge, the College of Law launched the Centre for Legal Innovation in 2016 – a collaborative initiative designed to:

  • Act as an incubator for research, discourse and discussion on the impact and practical application of the changes taking place  
  • Help develop new courses and programmes to support the profession 
  • Better equip lawyers to capitalise on the opportunities created by these changes