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Britlaw

English Solicitor

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Hi all! It's my first time to PIO and have enjoyed reading all of the great views and opinions that you have all posted.

 

I cannot seem to find any English Solicitor's on here as yet... Has anyone managed to secure a job in Oz? Or began the conversion? Please do let me know how you are getting on...

Incase anyone is curious, our timeline is currently "awaiting a CO" :SLEEP:

 

Would love to hear from someone!!

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Hi all! It's my first time to PIO and have enjoyed reading all of the great views and opinions that you have all posted.

 

I cannot seem to find any English Solicitor's on here as yet... Has anyone managed to secure a job in Oz? Or began the conversion? Please do let me know how you are getting on...

Incase anyone is curious, our timeline is currently "awaiting a CO" :SLEEP:

 

Would love to hear from someone!!

 

Hi Britlaw

 

I'm an E&W qualified solicitor who has been working for a top tier firm in Brisbane for the last four years. Depending on your skill set, you should be able to find work. If you have expertise in construction, energy, resources, corporate, finance or banking you should be able to find work. I was lucky enough to be sponsored over from the UK by my current employers and they paid a substantial part of the relocation expenses.

 

It took me a year to get admitted as a lawyer in Australia but, again, I was lucky as I undertook the process before the admissions process was overhauled in late 2009 when they substantially increased the number of exams that foreign lawyers have to sit. I only had to do Australian Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility and Solicitors Accounts. Depending on what subjects you covered in your law degree in the UK, you are probably looking at sitting at least five exams, some of which will be core law subjects rather than practical subjects. :arghh:

 

I enjoy working here as the Australian law firms are less penny pinching and there is less of a hierarchy. I am not sure how long this will last as we are being invaded by UK firms merging with top tier and mid tiers here.

 

Personally, I have had a great variety of work for top notch clients and have the added advantage of being able to live somewhere pleasant. I worked in Birmingham in the UK which was OK and probably not as bad as London....

 

All the best with your job quest. If you are awaiting a CO, are you coming over on a partner visa?

 

Cheers

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Hi Britlaw

 

I'm an E&W qualified solicitor who has been working for a top tier firm in Brisbane for the last four years. Depending on your skill set, you should be able to find work. If you have expertise in construction, energy, resources, corporate, finance or banking you should be able to find work. I was lucky enough to be sponsored over from the UK by my current employers and they paid a substantial part of the relocation expenses.

 

It took me a year to get admitted as a lawyer in Australia but, again, I was lucky as I undertook the process before the admissions process was overhauled in late 2009 when they substantially increased the number of exams that foreign lawyers have to sit. I only had to do Australian Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility and Solicitors Accounts. Depending on what subjects you covered in your law degree in the UK, you are probably looking at sitting at least five exams, some of which will be core law subjects rather than practical subjects. :arghh:

 

I enjoy working here as the Australian law firms are less penny pinching and there is less of a hierarchy. I am not sure how long this will last as we are being invaded by UK firms merging with top tier and mid tiers here.

 

 

Cheers

 

Thats really useful. I moved Brisbane a few months ago while on mat leave (from an in-house job with a bank) I haven't started looking for work yet as getting settled and my son into nursery has taken a while. You said it took you a year to get qualified in Australia, is it essential to do so? I'm thinking of all the Australian and New Zealand qualified lawyers I worked with in London.

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My OH looked into qualifying in WA, might be slightly different as he wasn't admitted in the UK (did law degree and LPC but not the training contract). The WA Law Society said he had to sit six exams - going back to University, the cost was going to be $13k and then also sit the college of law PLT course, at another cost of $8k. Only then would he be admitted to practice.

 

We decided that this was too much considering we were still paying for the £20k loan for the LPC!

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Thats really useful. I moved Brisbane a few months ago while on mat leave (from an in-house job with a bank) I haven't started looking for work yet as getting settled and my son into nursery has taken a while. You said it took you a year to get qualified in Australia, is it essential to do so? I'm thinking of all the Australian and New Zealand qualified lawyers I worked with in London.

 

Hi Nerak

 

It's not essential to get qualified in Australia, but you can't use job titles that imply that you are a qualified lawyer in Oz so I had to call myself an Overseas Legal Consultant for the first year. Where I work they seem to encourage you to get the qualifications and, in my case, they paid all the fees so my only inconvenience was finding the time to do the study and the stress of sitting exams after 15 years since the last exam! I think it is worth doing the study as you do learn alot about the legal system here in the process. For example, I think you might struggle if you didn't have a grasp of how Cth and State law interact.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi all! It's my first time to PIO and have enjoyed reading all of the great views and opinions that you have all posted.

 

I cannot seem to find any English Solicitor's on here as yet... Has anyone managed to secure a job in Oz? Or began the conversion? Please do let me know how you are getting on...

Incase anyone is curious, our timeline is currently "awaiting a CO" :SLEEP:

 

Would love to hear from someone!!

 

Hi Britlaw

 

I'm a English qualified solicitor, 10PQE, moving to Perth at some point in the next 3 to 6 months (house sale dependent).

 

I've looked into this a fair bit, talked to firms and recruitment agents and have concluded that yes - I need to requalify. As other posters have indicated its not compulsory to do so to work in the legal profession but you won't be able to call yourself a solicitor unless you do. I've also been told by recruitment agents that it would be expected for someone of my PQE to requalify. It also demonstrates to employers that you are committed to staying in the area.

 

What I've worked out so far is you have to complete a very long and very complicated set of forms and submit them to the WA Law Soc (presumably the Law Society of the state you are moving to if you're not going to WA). Those forms detail who you are and what experience you have, from that the Law Soc determines which courses you have to sit to requalify - basically its some modules from an Australian law degree. From what I can work out there are about 4 compulsories - it doesn't matter what experience your have - then it depends on what the assessor thinks you need to do. Personally I'm looking forward to going back to uni for a bit, its going to be another way of meeting people and settling in.

 

If you want to PM me I'm happy to let you know how I get on with the move, the job hunt and the re-qualification. So far I have the big scary forms (have had them for about a year) just can't quite bring myself to fill them in yet. Step 1 for me is to contact the WA Law Soc again to check if the forms have changed since they sent them to me last year.

 

Hope this helps, Ammosaph.


Jan09 started TRA. Oct09 TRA granted. Feb10 175 app. Dec10 WA SS app. Jan11 WA SS granted. 10.02.11 175 changed to 176. 15.02.11 CO allocated. 09.03.11 Police Certs done. 11.03.11 Meds done. 25.03.11 Meds Finalised. 13.04.11 Visa granted. 1 way flight booked 12.08.13 :biggrin:

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Hi Britlaw

 

I'm a English qualified solicitor, 10PQE, moving to Perth at some point in the next 3 to 6 months (house sale dependent).

 

I've looked into this a fair bit, talked to firms and recruitment agents and have concluded that yes - I need to requalify. As other posters have indicated its not compulsory to do so to work in the legal profession but you won't be able to call yourself a solicitor unless you do. I've also been told by recruitment agents that it would be expected for someone of my PQE to requalify. It also demonstrates to employers that you are committed to staying in the area.

 

What I've worked out so far is you have to complete a very long and very complicated set of forms and submit them to the WA Law Soc (presumably the Law Society of the state you are moving to if you're not going to WA). Those forms detail who you are and what experience you have, from that the Law Soc determines which courses you have to sit to requalify - basically its some modules from an Australian law degree. From what I can work out there are about 4 compulsories - it doesn't matter what experience your have - then it depends on what the assessor thinks you need to do. Personally I'm looking forward to going back to uni for a bit, its going to be another way of meeting people and settling in.

 

If you want to PM me I'm happy to let you know how I get on with the move, the job hunt and the re-qualification. So far I have the big scary forms (have had them for about a year) just can't quite bring myself to fill them in yet. Step 1 for me is to contact the WA Law Soc again to check if the forms have changed since they sent them to me last year.

 

Hope this helps, Ammosaph.

 

Hi Ammosaph

 

Your analysis of the process is spot on. The forms are a real pain but a necessary evil. Have you thought about working straightaway and studying in your spare time? It's what most people do. However, if you are 10yrs PQE you may fancy a bit of a sabbatical. I wouldn't have minded doing that but with a family to support I couldn't afford the luxury of revisiting my student days. What area of law do you specialise in?

 

Cheers

 

Loopylu

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Yikes - 20k for the LPC. What's he doing now?

 

Currently he's a Company Secretary. We decided that doing the CSA qualification out here, 4 exams at $1,900 a pop was a better idea than the lawyer thing.

 

And that £20k was the fees and the living allowance loan, it's down at £5k now, hoping to pay it off very soon!

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Hi Ammosaph

 

Your analysis of the process is spot on. The forms are a real pain but a necessary evil. Have you thought about working straightaway and studying in your spare time? It's what most people do. However, if you are 10yrs PQE you may fancy a bit of a sabbatical. I wouldn't have minded doing that but with a family to support I couldn't afford the luxury of revisiting my student days. What area of law do you specialise in?

 

Cheers

 

Loopylu

 

Hi Loopylu

 

I would love to take time out to study full time but its not going to happen. I'll have to work and do evening classes/day release. I know it will take me longer to do it that way but sadly we don't have the funds for me to be out of work.

 

I'm a general commercial lawyer - mainly commercial contracts - I can turn my hand to most things that hit the commercial world but have literally no experience of construction/mining etc which seems to be the area that most people work in. I'm a quick learner so give me time and I'm sure I'll catch up! That said, if everyone else is doing construction and mining that means the roles that require a general commercial lawyer may be overlooked by many - so perhaps I can continue as I am.....? Basically I'm just going to wait and see. This whole thing is an adventure and I see my career and where it will end up as just part of the ride!

 

Ammosaph


Jan09 started TRA. Oct09 TRA granted. Feb10 175 app. Dec10 WA SS app. Jan11 WA SS granted. 10.02.11 175 changed to 176. 15.02.11 CO allocated. 09.03.11 Police Certs done. 11.03.11 Meds done. 25.03.11 Meds Finalised. 13.04.11 Visa granted. 1 way flight booked 12.08.13 :biggrin:

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Hi Loopylu

 

I would love to take time out to study full time but its not going to happen. I'll have to work and do evening classes/day release. I know it will take me longer to do it that way but sadly we don't have the funds for me to be out of work.

 

I'm a general commercial lawyer - mainly commercial contracts - I can turn my hand to most things that hit the commercial world but have literally no experience of construction/mining etc which seems to be the area that most people work in. I'm a quick learner so give me time and I'm sure I'll catch up! That said, if everyone else is doing construction and mining that means the roles that require a general commercial lawyer may be overlooked by many - so perhaps I can continue as I am.....? Basically I'm just going to wait and see. This whole thing is an adventure and I see my career and where it will end up as just part of the ride!

 

Ammosaph

 

I'm sure you'll find something. Are you interested in in-house as that would probably suit a more general commercial lawyer? If you have strong academics and come from a largish UK firm then the large firms will probably give you a chance to retrain in resources or construction. Are you dead-set on Perth or would you go to the East Coast if you were offered a job?

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I'm sure you'll find something. Are you interested in in-house as that would probably suit a more general commercial lawyer? If you have strong academics and come from a largish UK firm then the large firms will probably give you a chance to retrain in resources or construction. Are you dead-set on Perth or would you go to the East Coast if you were offered a job?

 

Hi Loopylu

 

Perth is the place for us at the moment, we've got SS so are obliged to settle there to begin with and its actually where we'd like to be. That said we're not ruling out other parts of Australia if something came up.

 

I'd love to work in-house; 8 out of my 10 qualified working years have been in-house so my ideal would be to stay there. I understand in-house roles are bit like hens teeth though so I have resigned myself to going back into private practice for a while - either way I'm sure I'll find a role that I like with a firm or company that I like and that likes me back. Its all just part of the big adventure : )

 

Ammosaph


Jan09 started TRA. Oct09 TRA granted. Feb10 175 app. Dec10 WA SS app. Jan11 WA SS granted. 10.02.11 175 changed to 176. 15.02.11 CO allocated. 09.03.11 Police Certs done. 11.03.11 Meds done. 25.03.11 Meds Finalised. 13.04.11 Visa granted. 1 way flight booked 12.08.13 :biggrin:

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Hi Britlaw

 

I'm an E&W qualified solicitor who has been working for a top tier firm in Brisbane for the last four years. Depending on your skill set, you should be able to find work. If you have expertise in construction, energy, resources, corporate, finance or banking you should be able to find work. I was lucky enough to be sponsored over from the UK by my current employers and they paid a substantial part of the relocation expenses.

 

It took me a year to get admitted as a lawyer in Australia but, again, I was lucky as I undertook the process before the admissions process was overhauled in late 2009 when they substantially increased the number of exams that foreign lawyers have to sit. I only had to do Australian Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility and Solicitors Accounts. Depending on what subjects you covered in your law degree in the UK, you are probably looking at sitting at least five exams, some of which will be core law subjects rather than practical subjects. :arghh:

 

I enjoy working here as the Australian law firms are less penny pinching and there is less of a hierarchy. I am not sure how long this will last as we are being invaded by UK firms merging with top tier and mid tiers here.

 

Personally, I have had a great variety of work for top notch clients and have the added advantage of being able to live somewhere pleasant. I worked in Birmingham in the UK which was OK and probably not as bad as London....

 

All the best with your job quest. If you are awaiting a CO, are you coming over on a partner visa?

 

Cheers

 

 

Hi Loopylu, thank you, that's really interesting but slightly daunting as I qualified 7 years ago, the thought of exams is not enticing at all! By the looks of it, it's something I will need to do though!

 

We are currently awaiting a CO on a 175 Skilled Migration Visa, my other half is the main applicant as skills assessment seemed a very long-winded process for a solicitor.

 

Funnily enough, the practice I qualified at was in Birmingham too but I now run their branch office on the outskirts!

I am so used to private practice and mostly personal injury and clinical negligence matters that I wonder whether requalification out in oz will be the best way forward...it's all mining and construction so I have heard.

 

We are looking at Melbourne and hoping to not be too far from the CBD!

 

Good to hear from you!

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Hi Britlaw

 

I'm a English qualified solicitor, 10PQE, moving to Perth at some point in the next 3 to 6 months (house sale dependent).

 

I've looked into this a fair bit, talked to firms and recruitment agents and have concluded that yes - I need to requalify. As other posters have indicated its not compulsory to do so to work in the legal profession but you won't be able to call yourself a solicitor unless you do. I've also been told by recruitment agents that it would be expected for someone of my PQE to requalify. It also demonstrates to employers that you are committed to staying in the area.

 

What I've worked out so far is you have to complete a very long and very complicated set of forms and submit them to the WA Law Soc (presumably the Law Society of the state you are moving to if you're not going to WA). Those forms detail who you are and what experience you have, from that the Law Soc determines which courses you have to sit to requalify - basically its some modules from an Australian law degree. From what I can work out there are about 4 compulsories - it doesn't matter what experience your have - then it depends on what the assessor thinks you need to do. Personally I'm looking forward to going back to uni for a bit, its going to be another way of meeting people and settling in.

 

If you want to PM me I'm happy to let you know how I get on with the move, the job hunt and the re-qualification. So far I have the big scary forms (have had them for about a year) just can't quite bring myself to fill them in yet. Step 1 for me is to contact the WA Law Soc again to check if the forms have changed since they sent them to me last year.

 

Hope this helps, Ammosaph.

 

 

Hi Ammosaph, that's great, will PM you, it's nice to see I'm not alone!

 

I agree, the forms really are long and the stat decs maybe slightly tricky as you need a reference and details of all of the modules you have ever sat etc etc... It's complex, I had to contact my university for a full transcript as well as the LPC modules.

The senior partner is unaware of my plans of emigration so I am treading carefully at the moment, I don't think he will be happy to give me a reference! Oops!

 

We are looking to move o Melbourne, law institute of Victoria is pretty tough so I have heard, you will have to let me know how it compares to WA once you get started!

 

Thanks for getting in touch!

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Hi Loopylu, thank you, that's really interesting but slightly daunting as I qualified 7 years ago, the thought of exams is not enticing at all! By the looks of it, it's something I will need to do though!

 

We are currently awaiting a CO on a 175 Skilled Migration Visa, my other half is the main applicant as skills assessment seemed a very long-winded process for a solicitor.

 

Funnily enough, the practice I qualified at was in Birmingham too but I now run their branch office on the outskirts!

I am so used to private practice and mostly personal injury and clinical negligence matters that I wonder whether requalification out in oz will be the best way forward...it's all mining and construction so I have heard.

 

We are looking at Melbourne and hoping to not be too far from the CBD!

 

Good to hear from you!

 

Hi Britlaw

 

There are plenty of PI firms out here and I am sure they would be interested in a UK qualified lawyer with good experience. I know that Shine lawyers take on UK qualified PI specialists. My firm has a MedMal and insurance practice and has taken on a UK qualified lawyer in this area. I think you'll be OK. What does your other half do?

 

Cheers

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Hi there! My other half is Head of IT Systems so he went down the ACS route for his skills assessment, which was also fun and games but not as long-winded as it would have been for me. He is looking for work too and understands that he may have to do some exams etc too!

 

I may give shine lawyers a shout and see what they have or another firm in Melbourne, to be honest I would rather work and study as I always think practice is so different to the academics, I always tell my trainees this.

 

What are the salary bands out there like out of interest. What would special counsel look to earn in comparison with an Australian solicitor? Also what is the work/life/family balance like?

 

Cheers!

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hello friends,

this is an interesting thread for me. i have similar circumstance as mentioned in the thread but i would still appreciate a direct advice from you all.

 

i have done LLB from Pakistan in 2011. i have been employed in police department since 2002 and i have had considerable legal experience as i have been doing legal prosecution work in my service.

i am looking for immigration prospects for Australia, on basis of my police experience and if that is not a viable option i am considering to go for further studies to Australia in the field of law.

can you advise me on this on what would be a better option for me to apply for and also how can i make a future for myself in Australia as a lawyer.

should i come on a student visa or apply for my immigration as a police officer.

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Hi there! My other half is Head of IT Systems so he went down the ACS route for his skills assessment, which was also fun and games but not as long-winded as it would have been for me. He is looking for work too and understands that he may have to do some exams etc too!

 

I may give shine lawyers a shout and see what they have or another firm in Melbourne, to be honest I would rather work and study as I always think practice is so different to the academics, I always tell my trainees this.

 

What are the salary bands out there like out of interest. What would special counsel look to earn in comparison with an Australian solicitor? Also what is the work/life/family balance like?

 

Cheers!

 

In my experience, the salary offered to me was equivalent to what an Aussie solicitor doing the same job would earn. I asked the recruitment agent what the going rate was for my level of PQE and used that as a guide when negotiating salary.

 

Work/life balance is about the same as the UK for me. I think lawyers work hard wherever they are! The only difference is that the weather is more reliable so you are able to do more outside on the weekends. If you are in Melbourne then they have daylight saving in the summer so you should be able to do stuff after work. Unfortunately, Qld doesn't have daylight saving so I only see my house/garden in daylight at the weekends!

 

Cheers

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Hi Abeer

 

I would definitely apply on the basis of your police experience and try to get sponsored by an Australian police force. There are a lot of people from the Indian sub-continent studying in Australia now and they find it hard to find jobs after qualifying. I often catch taxis home when I work late and I am always running into highly qualified young men from India and Pakistan who are driving taxis as they cannot find work in the area in which they are qualified. Australia is not very good at recognising overseas qualifications and, in my opinion, Australians are very prejudiced against people from India and Pakistan. If you can get into a police force and hone your English language skills you can then study law part time and apply for a graduate placement with a law firm. I suspect that you would have to do a complete law degree here in Australia so it would be like starting again. Excuse my ignorance, but is Pakistan a common law country? If so, this may make it easier for you.

 

All the best

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Guest Heather953

I moved to Perth at NQ last year. I have been assessed to take 7 topics (Admin, Constitution, Corp (a joke), Tort, Evidence, Procedure, and 1 other which I have forgotten). I have had little luck getting into a firm. One firm gave me a clerkship off the back of temping as a legal secretary when I first arrived, but it did not work out. I now work for a university in a non-qualified legal role and earn more than I would have as a London NQ. Not what I want to do but it pays the bills.

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I moved to Perth at NQ last year. I have been assessed to take 7 topics (Admin, Constitution, Corp (a joke), Tort, Evidence, Procedure, and 1 other which I have forgotten). I have had little luck getting into a firm. One firm gave me a clerkship off the back of temping as a legal secretary when I first arrived, but it did not work out. I now work for a university in a non-qualified legal role and earn more than I would have as a London NQ. Not what I want to do but it pays the bills.

 

I'm sorry to hear you have had trouble finding work in private practice. Unfortunately, Australian law firms are generally looking to recruit UK lawyers with 3 years or more PQE and don't usually consider NQs. Have you tried getting assessed in another state? I know they are all supposed to apply the same criteria now for assessment but it would be interesting to see if you got told to do less subjects in another state.

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I moved to Perth at NQ last year. I have been assessed to take 7 topics (Admin, Constitution, Corp (a joke), Tort, Evidence, Procedure, and 1 other which I have forgotten). I have had little luck getting into a firm. One firm gave me a clerkship off the back of temping as a legal secretary when I first arrived, but it did not work out. I now work for a university in a non-qualified legal role and earn more than I would have as a London NQ. Not what I want to do but it pays the bills.

 

Sorry to hear that Heather - the number of topics you need to retake seems a bit harsh! Best of luck with getting through them, hopefully once you are dual qualified more doors will open for you. Ammosaph


Jan09 started TRA. Oct09 TRA granted. Feb10 175 app. Dec10 WA SS app. Jan11 WA SS granted. 10.02.11 175 changed to 176. 15.02.11 CO allocated. 09.03.11 Police Certs done. 11.03.11 Meds done. 25.03.11 Meds Finalised. 13.04.11 Visa granted. 1 way flight booked 12.08.13 :biggrin:

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In my experience, the salary offered to me was equivalent to what an Aussie solicitor doing the same job would earn. I asked the recruitment agent what the going rate was for my level of PQE and used that as a guide when negotiating salary.

 

Work/life balance is about the same as the UK for me. I think lawyers work hard whereverrse they are! The only difference is that the weather is more reliable so you are able to do more outside on the weekends. If you are in Melbourne then they have daylight saving in the summer so you should be able to do stuff after work. Unfortunately, Qld doesn't have daylight saving so I only see my house/garden in daylight at the weekends!

 

Cheers

 

 

Hi there!

Its interesting to hear that although we don't gain the title immediately, we still have a shot at the salary, with a bit of luck of luck of course!

After the day I have had, agreed, hard workers! Haha! But seriously what is "daylight saving?"

 

Also are you there on a working visa or a migrant?

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hello friends,

this is an interesting thread for me. i have similar circumstance as mentioned in the thread but i would still appreciate a direct advice from you all.

 

i have done LLB from Pakistan in 2011. i have been employed in police department since 2002 and i have had considerable legal experience as i have been doing legal prosecution work in my service.

i am looking for immigration prospects for Australia, on basis of my police experience and if that is not a viable option i am considering to go for further studies to Australia in the field of law.

can you advise me on this on what would be a better option for me to apply for and also how can i make a future for myself in Australia as a lawyer.

should i come on a student visa or apply for my immigration as a police officer.

 

 

Eitherway Abeer, if you apply to the police, you have experience and the money will sure help whilst you are studying the extra subjects. The alternative of course is to go to oz on a working visa and see how you find work, from what I have read, people are doing paralegal work and or solicitor assistant type work whilst they study. Nothing matches practice and studying, the perfect compliment.

Hope this helps!

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I moved to Perth at NQ last year. I have been assessed to take 7 topics (Admin, Constitution, Corp (a joke), Tort, Evidence, Procedure, and 1 other which I have forgotten). I have had little luck getting into a firm. One firm gave me a clerkship off the back of temping as a legal secretary when I first arrived, but it did not work out. I now work for a university in a non-qualified legal role and earn more than I would have as a London NQ. Not what I want to do but it pays the bills.

 

 

Good for you heather, it's great that at least you are earning better than you would in London, even if not the position you wanted! I am sure something will come up for you!

It seems quite unfair that you have to qualify and then re-qualify right? But it will be worth it, let me know how you get on with your subjects, I may need some help and advice with the same when we come over!

All the very best!

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