We have extensive experience recruiting lawyers from overseas into Australia. The professional requirements when moving jurisdiction can be complex and it is imperative that lawyers are aware of what they need to do to be able to practice in a different jurisdiction from that in which they qualified. We are also able to provide advice regarding practical relocation issues, such as the cost of living, and renting/buying a home. Of course, we specialise in providing market information and in guiding overseas lawyers about the right opportunities in each state.
We are familiar with the requirements in each individual State in Australia. We can advise you about the relevant bodies you will need to liaise with, and can offer assistance in that respect. Most states have similar practices they adopt. For example, in Victoria you would deal with the Council of Legal Education and the Supreme Court Board of Examiners.
You would need to write to the Council of Legal Education in Affidavit format. They assess your individual application, and will prescribe the amount of time you may need to spend working as a “law clerk”. This will depend on the amount of time you have been admitted overseas, but is typically one year or six months. The Council will also prescribe your further study requirements.
We can also provide broad advice as to the nature of any study that you may be required to undertake to become locally qualified and can suggest appropriate universities and institutions. For example, many foreign qualified lawyers seeking to practice in Victoria are required to study at least Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Legal Ethics. This study can usually be done part-time while working. We may also advise some lawyers – particularly corporate/commercial lawyers – that they need not requalify immediately. These lawyers can sometimes practice as “foreign qualified lawyers” prior to undertaking any study.