To become a lawyer you must first gain the necessary approved academic qualifications. For example, at the University of Tasmania you can undertake a Bachelor of Laws (4 years) or a Bachelor of Laws combined with another degree such a Bachelor of Arts (5 years). You must then satisfy a practical legal training component. The University of Tasmania offers a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Centre for Legal Studies, which is a six-month, full time course. Other jurisdictions offer alternative practical legal training, such as Articles.
Admission to the Legal Profession
The next step is to become admitted to the legal profession, which provides the authority to work as a lawyer and then gain a practising certificate. This requires an application to the Supreme Court which is provided for in the Legal Profession Act 2007 (“The Act”). To be admitted, a potential candidate must satisfy both the Eligibility requirement (the academic courses above) and Suitability requirements. To be suitable you must be able to demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession. For more information see Part 2.2 of the Act.
Supervised Legal Practise
In order to obtain a barrister practising certificate, a lawyer must first have completed their requirements for unsupervised practice. The general rule is that your first two years of practice must be supervised, which means, working under the supervision of more senior lawyers, post admission. There are slightly variations on this in section 59 of the Act.
In order to start practising as a barrister in Tasmania, you must apply to the Law Society of Tasmania for a barrister practising certificate. In most cases, a first time applicant for a barrister practicing certificate in Tasmania will be required to comply with certain conditions, such as completing a two-year pupillage. There are some exceptions, for example, senior lawyers with over ten years experience. There are a number of conditions that cover pupillage, as set out in Part 2 of the Legal Profession (Barristers) Rules 2016, perhaps most importantly, you must have two Pupil Masters, who will supervise your time at the Bar during Pupillage.