To practise as a solicitor in NSW, you must hold either an Australian practising certificate issued by the Law Society's Council or a practising certificate issued by the designated regulatory authority in another Australian jurisdiction.
Categories of practising certificate
Find out which category of practising certificate you can hold, according to the categories specified in the Uniform Law.
Conditions on your practising certificate
Know the conditions on your practising certificate to ensure you are compliant. Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action.
Continuing professional development
Practising Certificate holders must comply with the Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Solicitors) Rules 2015 and complete ten CPD units each year.
and Foreign Practice
If you are the holder of a current NSW practising certificate and you intend to engage in legal practise in another Australian jurisdiction, please contact the designated local regulatory authority (DLRA) in that jurisdiction prior to engaging in legal practice in that jurisdiction. It is important that you make prior contact as there may be a requirement for you to provide the DLRA with prior written notice of your intention. You should also contact your professional indemnity insurer.
Learn more about interstate practice here.
If you intend to engage in legal practice principally in an Australian jurisdiction other than NSW, or become a barrister or notary public, the Law Society may supply you with a ‘Certificate of Fitness and Good Standing'.
The Certificate of Fitness and Good Standing provides details of:
- your admission to the legal profession; and
- your current practising certificate or if you do not hold a current practising certificate, your most recent practising certificate; and
- any conduct issues.
Certificates are provided free of charge except when the Certificate of Fitness is required for an:
- overseas jurisdiction and you are not a current member of the Law Society; or
- interstate jurisdiction and you are not a current member of the Law Society.
To request a Certificate of Fitness and Good Standing, complete your application and please return it to the Law Society Registry.
To practise in a Federal Court, or a court exercising federal jurisdiction in NSW, you need to be:
- admitted to the Australian legal profession; and
- on the Register of Practitioners kept in the High Court of Australia in accordance with the provisions of s 55 of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth).
Further information and an application form can be found on the High Court website.
A foreign lawyer is an individual who is properly registered or authorised to engage in legal practice in a foreign country by the foreign registration authority for the country (s 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW). Foreign law means law of a foreign country.
A foreign lawyer is not entitled to practise Australian law.
Find out more about practising foreign law in NSW here.