Practising Law in New Zealand
We help students and lawyers from around the world realise their ambition to practise law in New Zealand.
If you have a law degree from outside New Zealand
The requirements for admission to practise law in New Zealand vary according to where your law degree was obtained, whether you have already been admitted to practise and where you are living.
If you are an overseas practitioner (i.e. a person who is admitted as a barrister, solicitor, advocate or attorney of a superior court) or an overseas graduate (a person holding a legal qualification, but who is not admitted to practise as a barrister, solicitor, advocate or attorney of a superior court), then you must have your qualification assessed by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE). The NZCLE will then advise you as to which examinations you will need to sit. Please go to the NZCLE website to have your qualification assessed.
Once you are aware of which examination(s) you will need to sit, you may then enrol in the College’s support programme which acts as a guide to overseas lawyers sitting the NZLPE.
How to Apply for the NZLPE Preparation Course
Important Note: Please note that the NZLPE Preparation Course is merely a preparation course to assist candidates who are sitting the NZLPE examinations. The actual administration of the NZLPE Examinations is conducted by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education.
Another option for those who wish to complete the preparatory subjects for the NZLPE Examinations as part of a full award program is The College of Law’s Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Common Law Practice (NZ). The College now offers this programme to overseas practitioners wishing to undertake the NZLPE Preparation Course but also gain additional skills and an LLM qualification at the completion of your studies.
Masters subjects and standalone NZLPE subjects have different pricing structures, please contact us if you have any enquiries about their respective costs. Additionally, completion of a standalone NZLPE subject cannot be transferred as course credit for the LLM programme.
If you have a Current Practising Certificate from Australia
If you hold a current practising certificate in an Australian jurisdiction, the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 allows you to use that occupational registration as the basis for registration for the equivalent New Zealand occupation.
The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 provides for applications for admission as a barrister and solicitor, made pursuant to section 19 of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997, to be made direct to the High Court.
After admission, you will need to obtain a practising certificate from the NZLS in order to practise in New Zealand. All fees are at publication date.
Information For International Students Undertaking Profs
Code of Practice for the Pastoral
Care of International Students
The College of Law New Zealand has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the Ministry of Education. Copies of the Code are available on request from the College or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at www.minedu.govt.nz
Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on its website at www.immigration.govt.nz
Eligibility for Health Services
International students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable for the full costs for that treatment.
Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website at www.moh.govt.nz
The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website at www.acc.co.nz
Medical and Travel Insurance
International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while in New Zealand. Evidence must be produced on arrival in New Zealand.