If you wish to practise as a lawyer, you must complete a Practical Legal Training (PLT) program that is recognised and certified by the South Australian Legal Practitioners Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC).
The following page provides information and options for current students looking to undertake their PLT.
Admission of law graduates to practice as legal practitioners in South Australia is a matter for the Supreme Court of South Australia, and is governed by the Supreme Court Admission Rules and the LPEAC Rules. These are available on the Courts SA website.
Successful completion of the Bachelor of Laws does not guarantee the right to practise law. Rather it makes students eligible to seek admission on the basis of having satisfied academic and practical requirements.
Upon completion of a law degree, law graduates must complete a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) in order to satisfy the requirements for admission. Information about the process and timelines for admission is set out below. Students should note that there are several steps that must be followed, each with firm deadlines, and the entire process will take some time to complete.
Please be aware that this is a guide to admission procedures in South Australia only. Students who wish to apply for admission interstate must check the relevant requirements and procedures in the state in which they will be applying for admission.
There is a strict procedure that must be followed. The Law Society of South Australia has a very useful brochure on its website with details about admission procedures. Visit 'First Admission - Local Applicants' on the Law Society of SA website to find out more. The 'Guide to Admission Procedures' and 'Pro forma Admission Documents' are useful templates for you to use and complete.
An essential requirement for admission to practice is for applicants to satisfy the Supreme Court that they are fit and proper persons to be admitted as legal practitioners. The Supreme Court, in making its determinations, relies upon (but is not bound by) reports prepared by the Board of Examiners, of which the Legal Practitioners Registry is the Secretariat. It is a consequence of the fit and proper person requirement that applicants are required to disclose certain matters to the Board of Examiners.
Applicants are expected to act with the utmost frankness and candour in making their disclosures and any matters likely to affect their good fame and character or otherwise affect their fitness to be admitted must be disclosed. This includes, but is not limited to, convictions of or charges with criminal offences. It also includes disclosure of academic dishonesty or plagiarism matters.
There is an admission ceremony in the first week of each month (with the exception of January). The Supreme Court of South Australia publishes a schedule of the admission dates each year. Students will need to file the admission documents and pay the filing fee by the dates specified.
Prior to making commitments to employers, family members or others in relation to dates of admission to practice, students should take all of the above into account, and in particular should check with the School of Law and the GDLP provider as to exactly when their academic and practical degree requirements will be officially satisfied and completed.
The Law Society of SA has delivered its GDLP for over a decade. The program offers practical training, networking while you learn, recognition for admission as a barrister and solicitor to practice in South Australia, and direct local admission. In addition, you will complete real legal tasks and get the opportunity to practice your advocacy skills.
Places are limited. Further information and applications can be made by visiting the Law Society of SA website.
The College of Law now offers a PLT program in Adelaide. The program allows direct admission as a Lawyer of the Supreme Courts of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
You can apply online or by using the form in the PLT Handbook.
By completing some or your entire PLT in regional, rural and remote Australia, you have the chance to make a positive contribution to important community based legal services. Benefits include exposure to a diversity of practice areas, gaining an understanding of the ethics driving community legal practice and the opportunity to be involved in legal education projects, law reform and policy work.
Visit the National Association of Community Legal Centres for further information.