Admission to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 provides for the existence of the Council of Legal Education (CLE). The Council is required to define and prescribe the papers of study for the examinations in general knowledge and law required of candidates for admission as barristers and solicitors in New Zealand. A candidate for admission as a barrister or solicitor is normally required to have qualified for admission to the degree of LLB or LLB(Hons) at a university in New Zealand. Regulations also require that:

  1. The university degree as a whole has been approved by the Council of Legal Education, and
  2. The following subjects have been included in the degree and successfully completed by the candidate:
    • The Legal System
    • The Law of Contracts
    • The Law of Torts
    • Criminal Law
    • Public Law
    • Property Law
    • Legal Ethics; and
  3. A candidate for admission has passed a programme of professional legal studies as specified by the Council of Legal Education.

Te Piringa – Faculty of Law of the University of Waikato has been approved by the CLE to award the LLB and LLB(Hons) degrees that render our graduates eligible for admission upon successful completion of professional legal studies. There are currently two providers of the Professional Legal Studies course: The Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) and the College of Law New Zealand.

The IPLS provides training by way of a 13-week full-time course or a 19-week part distance course. Both offerings of the course involve instruction in the skills practised by the barristers and solicitors in New Zealand, and examination is by way of assessment of the practical application of these skills. For further information on the IPLS programme, please see

“The College’s Professional Legal Studies Course (PLSC) is designed to help prepare you for supervised legal practice as a newly admitted lawyer. The PLSC is written and taught by senior members of the legal profession. It provides you with the opportunity to learn practical legal skills according to a chosen elective. They have a variety of course structures, including weekend and evenings, that range from 13 to 18 weeks. The course is run in all major cities with a mixture of online and onsite learning methods and a variety of assessment styles.” For further information contact 0800 COLLAW (265529) or visit

Students seeking a place on either the IPLS or the PLSC course must have satisfied the requirements for the LLB degree before beginning the course. Candidates for admission as barristers and solicitors must also satisfy all other criteria specified by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

Admission to the New Zealand Bar

Persons seeking information about admission to the New Zealand Bar should contact:

NZ Council of Legal Education
PO Box 5671, Lambton Quay
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone 64 4 471 1161, Fax 64 4 471 1951
Email: [email protected]

Please note: If you have completed an overseas law degree and wish to practice law in New Zealand, please contact The Council of Legal Education for assessment. The assessment can take six weeks or more to be completed. The CLE has exclusive authority to decide what overseas law graduates will be required to undertake to be eligible for admission. It is solely the responsibility of the candidate to communicate with the Council of Legal Education.

If you have an uncompleted overseas law degree, please contact the Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato.