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Legal Profession - Working as a Solicitor


lem

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Hi,

 

I am in my final year of a Scots law degree and keen to move to Aus and work as a solicitor once qualified. I have a few questions:-

 

What is the market like in Australia for solicitors, especially those newly qualified? Is it saturated?

 

Do I have to completely retrain to qualify or complete additional modules? Is this costly and how long does it take approximately?

 

Am I better going over freshly qualified or having a few years experience?

 

Any information would be gratefully received.

 

Thanks.

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Guest guest30085

Hi there

 

To obtain a substantial visa, you'll need your LPC and completed your training period and then maybe some years PQE may be required. Even qualified solicitors who manage to obtain a permanent residency visa, usually have to complete several additional modules once in Australia before they can practice.

 

Ill try try to dig out the link for you to have a read

 

 

http://www.immi.gov.au/asri/occupations/s/solicitor.htm#SKIL

 

Each state has it's own authority (law society) but the links are on the above.

Edited by guest30085
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Hi, I'm not sure if qualifying as a solicitor in Scotland works the same as in England but if it does then I think you need to have completed your training contract (post degree etc) if you want to apply to Australia via the SOL route. You then will likely need to do additional units to be able to practise in Australia, these are dependant on which state you want to practice in. All feedback I've had suggests experience post qualification is definitely a bonus. You might find some useful info in the link below :)

 

http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/201891-immigration-advice-please-gentle.html

Edited by louisella
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Hi Louisella, thanks for replying. Yeah I wouldn't be moving over until I am qualified, so would complete LLB (degree), Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC in England), and 2 year traineeship.

 

I just wasn't sure if having worked as a qualified solicitor for a few years first in Scotland would put me in a better position or if I could move as soon as I qualified!

 

As per my post above, do you have any idea what the market is like at the moment for solicitors?

 

I will have a look at your previous posts also, thanks :)

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Guest guest30085
Thanks for the info.

 

Adonna, do you know what the market is like currently? Is there a need for more solicitors?

 

 

No idea sorry, I don't work in the industry and I'm not in Oz yet, I've only looked into the qualifying process before for someone I know who is 10 years PQE, but found it would mean several more modules before they could practice in Oz, even if successful with the visa. Do a search and a few other threads should turn up

Edited by guest30085
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As per my post above, do you have any idea what the market is like at the moment for solicitors?

 

I will have a look at your previous posts also, thanks :)

 

Hi Lem, I only started my research quite recently so there may be others actually in Australia who may be able to offer a better insight than me. The research I've done so far suggests there is a big influx of law grads already so positions for NQ's are in demand. (Plus there seems to be a big focus on local experience). At the moment we're planning on my other half getting a couple of years experience post qualification to hopefully give him an advantage, it may be that we end up waiting for him to have 3 years so he can get the points. The flip side of course (and our biggest worry) is that in that time, solicitors could be taken off the SOL.

 

Where there's a will there's a way though so I'm staying optimistic! :)

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Not that good in Melbourne, how do I know, my friend's daughter is a solicitor for one of the big four banks and she is looking for a job as she reckons her department will disappear. She will have no problem as she is senior and has years of experience.

 

Law has always been a bit insular and who you know is a good thing, word of mouth.

 

Right about graduates there was an article in the law society mag when I was working which is 10 years ago now and it said that at that time there were more law students studying law than all the jobs available at that time.

 

That is not to say people cannot be lucky and walk into something, it really depends on the person, how they present and what experience they have.

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My daughter has a law degree.How much is a LPC?

 

I did my LPC in Guildford in 2006/07 and the fees were over £9,500. Looks like it's gone up to over £11k now - http://www.law.ac.uk/postgraduate/postgraduate-course-fees/

Depends a lot on the course and the location, but wherever you go it won't be cheap.

 

Just to weigh in on the solicitor point - you would need to send full details of everything you studied as part of your degree and LPC (including course outlines etc) to the law society equivalent of whichever state you're looking at. They assess where there are gaps in your local knowledge and send you a list of subjects that you need to study before you're allowed to practice as a solicitor in that state.

An alternative you may want to look into is whether you could satisfy the criteria for the "judicial or other legal professionals nec" occupation on the CSOL. That's what my 457 has been granted under, but I work in-house as a legal officer rather than practicing as a solicitor. You would need a bit of relevant experience under your belt, but when I asked my MA if it had to be a full 5 years (I was a few months short) she said having a law degree and the LPC meant I probably wouldn't need the same level of experience.

Not sure what the market is like for in-house and similar sorts of non-practicing legal roles is though, I'm lucky as transferring within my current company so haven't had to look at the job market generally.

Edited by movingtoaussieland
typo
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Guest guest73691

In terms of the market here, I wouldnt say Australia 'needs' solicitors - There certainly doesn't appear to be any shortage of lawyers! As in the UK there are more grads coming out of law school every year than there are jobs available, so it is quite competitive at that level. Once you have some experience it probably becomes a bit easier (subject to being able to get a visa). If you have a decent CV and some experience under your belt then you probably stand a decent chance of finding a job - assuming there is a market for the type of law you practice in the area you are looking to relocate to. Some areas of law will be much more transferrable across jurisdictions than others.

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