Admission to Practice

Admission to Practice

What is PLSC?

A requirement for admission as a lawyer in New Zealand

The Professional Legal Studies Course (PLSC) is a structured training programme designed to help you develop the practical, day-to-day skills you will need as a new lawyer.  

After completing your PLSC, you will be eligible to apply for admission as a legal practitioner in New Zealand. 

Completion of a Professional Legal Studies Course (PLSC) is a requirement for admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. The course provides you with practical legal training on matters with which, in addition to your law degree, the public interest requires you to have sufficient familiarity, before you are admitted to the profession and commence practice as a barrister and solicitor.

Aside from preparing you for  legal practice, the skills you will learn are readily transferable. Many employers seeking law graduates outside the traditional law sector (for example in-house roles, private firms, NGOs, government departments, local authorities or from the commercial sector) value College of Law graduates for the practical legal skills they learn in our course.

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Welcome to New Zealand’s most in-demand Profs course

Choosing your PLSC provider should be given considered thought. You need to know exactly what you’re paying for. And you want maximum return on your investment.

The College's Profs Course is the most flexible, convenient and engaging Profs course in New Zealand.

11 reasons to choose The College of Law PLSC


1. No Exams

The assessment style provides students with the ideal structure to demonstrate all of their varied skills be becoming a lawyer.


2. Elective Choices

We offer our course with the election option to suit the legal future you want. 


3. The leading provider

The College of Law course is the first choice for most students and employers. This means you are able to network with peers from various types of and sizes of firms and can assess the options available to you for your career in law.

4. The career College for lawyers

The College is the only Profs provider to offer ongoing education in the form of bespoke in-house and onsite-based, CPD eligible skills training.  The College of Law is part of The College of Law Group and the PLSC is benchmarked against its Australian equivalent.

Upon enrolment, students automatically receive the College Careers email which provides a monthly update of available employment opportunities from around the globe.

5. Preferred by employers

9 out of 10 of New Zealand’s large national law firms and all 4 of the 'Big 4' accounting firms, plus many other employers use the College to train their law graduates. The legal profession is involved in the course’s development and review, ensuring that it equips you for legal practice in a way that meets their needs as employers.

6. Flexible options

Only the College course offers a range of study options to suit your individual needs. We strive to offer you flexibility in terms of your online and onsite commitments, elective choices and numerous intakes throughout the year.


7. Highly experienced instructors

You’ll learn from experienced lawyers as you work through the course and benefit from their extensive expertise in one or more practice areas. 


8. The right mix of online and onsite learning

Our course is delivered through the combination of an online programme, via the College's, Canvas based, Learning Portal, and an onsite programme. We pioneered online learning for PLSC and developed our programme specifically for online delivery. We have a range of courses with various combinations of onilne and onsite commitments.


9. Helpful staff

We know that circumstances often change. Our staff are pleased to help you when this happens and our administrative policies are designed to be flexible and helpful to students.


10. The College of Law Practice Papers

College of Law students receive a comprehensive set of hard copy Practice Papers included in the course fee. These are an invaluable asset to take with you into practice.


11. Supporting your law school

The College provides assistance to all New Zealand University Student Law Societies and a range of Pacific and Asian Law Societies. We work with both the Wellington and Auckland Young Lawyers Committees to offer support to young lawyers following admission. 


The onsites were really enjoyable. The lecturers provided a comfortable and non-threatening environment that helped you feel comfortable in asking questions. Onsites were an excellent confidence booster and a good insight in to applying all of the legal theory, in a practical situation. Would definitely recommend College of Law.

Sue Scutter

Former PLSC Student

Course Structure

The content of the PLSC is covered in eight subjects within three broad areas. 

Core Practice Areas

  • Civil Litigation Practice
  • Commercial Practice
  • Property Practice

Professional Areas

  • Professional Responsibility
  • Professional Skills
  • Office and Personal Management

Elective Practice Areas - Choose 1 Area*

  • Corporate Client
  • Private Client 

Further information about elective practice areas.

Professional Legal Studies Course
Professional Legal Studies Course
Professional Legal Studies Course


There are three course types to choose from:

  1. Modular Course
  2. 13 Week Full-time
  3. Extended Onsite 

Modular Course - 18 weeks
2 x 9 weeks of part-time online study + choice of onsite attendance mode

The course is undertaken in two components which can be taken in either order i.e. A > B or B > A

  • PROFS A - 6 days onsite, remainder online
  • PROFS B - 7 days onsite, remainder online

You can even take your Profs A in a different location to your Profs B and in some cases you can overlap them to shorten the course to a minimum of 13 weeks. 

You have a choice of how you undertake the onsites as follows:





Standard onsite

Onsite held in one block at the end of each module. Profs A usually starts with orientation. 
Weekdays – Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

All locations – Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin

Segmented onsite

Onsite days are spread throughout the course.             
Weekdays – Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Auckland and Wellington

Evening onsite

Onsite days are spread throughout the course.             
Onsites are held on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 5:30pm.

Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington

Weekend onsite

Onsite days are spread throughout the course.             
Onsites are held on Saturdays from 9am.

Auckland and Wellington

Full-Time Course - 13 weeks 
9 weeks full-time online study + 4 weeks segmented onsite

An alternative to the 18 week part-time option, this more intensive course offers the flexibility of online study combined with segmented onsite attendance i.e. the onsite days are spread through the course. 

Elective choices are available for this course. 


Extended Onsite Course -13 weeks
8 weeks full-time online study + 5 weeks standard onsite

This is a full-time course starting with an online orientation followed by 8 weeks of online study and culminating in a 5 week standard onsite.

Note that elective choices do not apply for this course. 

How will i learn?

You’ll learn by doing

You will learn key areas of competence through everyday scenarios that parallel real-life practice. 

With no academic essay writing, you will focus on solving problems and completing tasks using resources available. Whether it’s drafting an affidavit or preparing a Statement of Claim, you’ll learn by doing – not just by reading.

You will undertake the online component through the College’s web-based interactive learning portal called Canvas. Canvas provides you with a personalised calendar to guide you through the course.  It makes it easy for you to know what needs to be done when.

 Activities will include :

  • Reading – practice papers and other selected online material
  • Interactive online tutorials
  • Quizzes and practice exercises
  • Submitting work online  for review and reviewing feedback from your instructor
  • Submitting work online  for assessment
  • Undertaking an online, face-to-face  performance assessments.

Active Learning Online

The online programme is more than just interaction with the web-based training. You will be part of a group of online students with an instructor, with whom you will be in regular contact during the course. 

Your online instructor is an experienced practitioner who will act as your mentor and facilitator throughout the course. You will be able to seek advice or direction from your online instructor. Timetabled coursework activities are submitted through Canvas and in turn your online instructor will provide individual feedback. Your assessment work is also submitted online.

How will i be assessed

No formal written exams

We believe that performance assessments are the best way to determine your understanding of the content and your ability to analyse and solve a problem. 

Performance assessments also offer you the opportunity to practise thinking on your feet – just like a lawyer does.

When Can I Start Profs?

Choose from multiple start dates

You can commence your Profs and choose from a range of start dates once you have completed the requirements for your law degree. You are not required to have your final grades or have formally graduated to commence Profs. 

If you have a law degree from outside New Zealand, please see the information for international students and lawyers.

 International students and lawyers

Fees and payment

PLSC fees effective 1 November 2017

Our all-inclusive course fees include:

  • Tuition costs
  • Online learning resources and materials including access to online libraries
  • A set of practice papers
  • Printed materials provided at orientation and onsite sessions



New Zealand Citizens & Permanent Residents

$5,570  including GST

International Students

$7,252 including GST

Student Loans
The PLSC is approved for student loans and allowances. For more information about student loans go to The  course is classified as full time for the purposes of student loans and is 0.4 EFTS.

Note: International students are not eligible for student loans. 



You may transfer your enrolment to another course, without any further fee, up to 28 days after the commencement date of the course. Any transfer made after 28 days will incur a transfer fee of $200 (including GST). Subsequent transfers incur a $200 transfer fee.

For the 13 week full-time and the extended onsite options, no transfers are permissible after the commencement date.

Withdrawals and Refunds

 You may withdraw your enrolment from the course subject to the following conditions:

  • If you withdraw 14 days or more before the commencement date, you will receive a full refund of the course fee.
  •  If you withdraw 7 days or less after the commencement date , you will receive a refund of the course fee, less 10%
  • If you withdraw more than 7 days after the commencement date of the course, you will not be entitled to any refund. Any refund will be at the College’s discretion and will depend on individual circumstances.

 Other Fees

All other fees associated with the PLSC are prescribed in the Course Manual which defines the circumstances under which they become payable. Examples of these fees, which range from $100 - $250 (including GST), are the fees for undertaking additional assessments after achieving a Not Yet Competent grade and the fee for an appeal to the Assessment Appeals Committee. 


Student Fees and Protection

Student fees are protected under a Student Fee Protection Trust, which has the Public Trust as trustee. The Trust requires you to sign an acknowledgment form showing that you understand what happens to any refund. This form is sent upon acceptance into the Professional Legal Studies Course. The College’s Student Fee Protection Trust information is available at