Becoming a lawyer

To become a lawyer in New South Wales it is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB).
The study path for entry to the legal profession begins with undertaking either the LPAB examinations, or a law degree from an accredited law school. Then, in either case, in order to be eligible for admission to practice, it is necessary to complete an accredited program of practical legal training.

From 1848, before Australian universities offered law degrees, the Supreme Court set examinations for admission to the profession. This tradition has been continued by the LPAB (and its predecessors the Solicitors Admission Board [SAB] and the Barristers Admission Board [BAB]), allowing people to study law, in the country as well as the city, and to become legal practitioners in circumstances where it might not have been possible otherwise.

Successful completion of the LPAB examinations leads to the award of the Diploma in Law. The LPAB is not a degree granting body; however for the purpose of admission as a lawyer, the Diploma and a degree from an accredited law school are equivalent qualifications.

Status of the Diploma in Law

There is no consensus on the best preparation for legal practice. Many eminent practitioners, including judges, senior partners and senior counsel, have entered law by taking the LPAB examinations. The LPAB, as the admitting authority in New South Wales, regards both its own examinations and university law degrees equally as a professional qualification.