Few Essential Guidelines for Indian Lawyers in New Zealand

Few Essential Guidelines for Indian Lawyers in New Zealand

The scope for lawyers to work outside traditional practice has been increasing of late. The demand of a corporate lawyer working for private companies is on an increase in New Zealand. There are options available for them to work for the government, pubic companies, state-owned enterprises or even work as a lecturer. There are mainly two types of lawyers in New Zealand. Barristers give legal advice and represent clients in civil, family, and criminal cases in courts and tribunals. Solicitors give legal advice, prepare legal documents, and study the details of legal arguments.  

There are career opportunities in New Zealand which include legal executives, court registry officers, and judges. Legal executives help lawyers prepare and file legal documents, research and prepare for cases, give legal advice, and can also help with house sales. There is a steady demand for legal execs. There is an excellent demand for court registry officers due to more job numbers and fewer people available for these jobs. There is, however, limited demand for judges due to the small size of the occupation and intense competition for new jobs.

If you want to get into the law profession in New Zealand, there are a few mandatory requirements that you have to fulfill. Enabled with a double degree, the scope of job opportunities will be definitely brighter. To practice law in New Zealand, Indian Lawyers in Wellington shall need to pass a bar exam. If you have an overseas law degree, you will need to apply to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education for accreditation of your LLB.

Requirements to Practice Law in New Zealand

New Zealand's legal system is based on the Common Law system and the process to become a lawyer is similar to several other Common Law nations. The difference is that the level of recognition given to foreign-trained lawyers and undergraduate law degrees gained outside of New Zealand is higher than in other countries. Trainee lawyers shall work for a firm of solicitors initially and the process to become a qualified lawyer shall be guided by the firm you work for.

Various Stages involved in becoming a Lawyer in New Zealand have been described below:

 

Bachelor of Laws Degree

 

To become a lawyer in New Zealand aspiring candidates must first complete an undergraduate degree at a university in Law, known as an LLB. The majority of the students choose to undertake this as their first degree, however, if you already have a degree then you can often skip the first year, known as Part I.

Foreign-Trained Lawyers

Some foreign-trained lawyers can practice law in New Zealand under certain circumstances. For instance, a foreign-trained lawyer can appear in a New Zealand court if their expertise in another country's law is required or they can practice in that country's law in New Zealand. Otherwise, unless their Law degree is recognized by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education, foreign-trained lawyers have to complete parts of the New Zealand LLB course and then continue to membership of the Law Society of New Zealand. The portions of the LLB that need to be completed are decided on an assessment by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education.

Complete Professional Legal Studies Course

There are 2 institutions that run the Professional Legal Studies Course in New Zealand: the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and the College of Law. This course requires 13 weeks to complete on a full-time basis and it builds on the legal knowledge gained during the LLB and gives students the additional knowledge to practice law.

Obtain a Certificate of Completion from the New Zealand Council of Legal Education

After you have completed the Professional Legal Studies Course you must then apply to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education to have your legal education certified. Along with your application, you should attach your results from law school, so you will need to have your grade transcripts ready for assessment.

Obtain a Certificate of Character from the Law Society

The next step is to gain a Certificate of Character from the Law Society of New Zealand. To do this one must apply to a local Law Society with a form and disclose any criminal convictions. You shall also need to include referee reports and your local Law Society will advertise your name in the local media. This implies that anyone with an objection to your admission to the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court in New Zealand will have time to place their objections.

Be Admitted to the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand

This stage is largely ceremonial and usually involves a group admission to the High Court of New Zealand. It takes approximately 16 weeks from application for Certificate of Character from the Law Society to admission to the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court in New Zealand. To become a barrister you must have significant experience practicing as a solicitor already.

Hold a Current Practising Certificate Issued by the Law Society

The final stage of becoming a lawyer in New Zealand for Indian Lawyers in Christchurch is to apply and obtain a Practising Certificate by the Law Society of New Zealand. This is a simple form and if there are no objections or additional information needed, it takes few weeks to process and should be done within 3 months of admission to the Roll of Barristers and Solicitors in the New Zealand High Court.

The admission and enrolment of solicitors and barristers in New Zealand is governed by Part 3 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. People without current practicing certificates cannot describe themselves as lawyers under the LCA.

Expected Salary

You can expect a salary between NZ$ 42,000 – NZ$ 45,000 for a trainee lawyer and if you gain 5 years or more in experience then you can demand anything between NZ$ 71,000 – NZ$ 87,000.

Source: New Zealand Law Society

Final Note

Law is a competitive and respected industry with high earning potential, also known for being intellectually challenging and offering high salaries. Being a lawyer involves advising clients on criminal and civil law and representing them in legal proceedings. New Zealand provides ample opportunities for budding overseas lawyers who want to make big in the law arena.

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