Want to be a solicitor in Australia?

With its burgeoning economy, Australia has become a haven for expats. It also has become the top destination for those individuals seeking employment for services that are in demand in the country. One of the skilled workers that have been frequently seeking employment in Australia is a solicitor in the United Kingdom or a lawyer in some other legal systems. An individual can only be allowed to practice after a three tier qualification process. In order to have your law degree requalified in Australia, the following matters need to be addressed before you are able to practice your profession.

Skilled worker visas

A certain way to obtain permission to enter Australia is by being qualified as one of the individuals in the "skilled worker list". Once you are considered as a "skilled worker", your visa application would certainly be fast tracked to be able to fill the vacancy in the Australian job market. Solicitors have become one of those skilled workers that ranks high on the list and many have benefited from this avenue for immigration.

Requalifying in Australia

Australian immigration policies and procedures differ from other countries. Solicitor training, be it in the United Kingdom or elsewhere may be the same, as the fine print of the studies would be different in each country. Thus even if you are qualified as a solicitor in the United Kingdom, you will only be able to work at the same level in Australia after completing three other qualifications in Australia to become well aware of the Australian legal procedure and system.

Working as a solicitor in Australia, even with your degree from your home country, would be a highly important position as decisions and actions as one can affect other's lives and property. Also, Australian firms would not engage the services of an individual purely on the basis of their learned expertise from their home country without certifications that the solicitor is fully qualified to practice their profession in Australia.

The process of requalifying as a solicitor

The process of requalification as a solicitor in Australia differs from one state to another. A common requirement to be allowed to practice as a solicitor is to apply in person at the Supreme Court to get your official stamp. This may not be attractive to those who seek to be in Australia for a short while and cannot afford to personally appear in the Australian Supreme Court to receive their stamp. This requirement though is essential and you would need the assistance of a qualified Australian solicitor during the process. The solicitor would be there to provide the expertise on the intricacies of the requalification process.

Long distance learning

The method of obtaining the three certifications to become an expat solicitor in Australia is somewhat unclear. One avenue that is being pursued by many expats is long distance learning though some may require actual attendance in a duly accredited Australian university in order to be accredited for certification.

Another aspect of qualification that a would be expat solicitor needs to be well aware of the ever changing requirements for accreditation. Subjects are regularly withdrawn and new ones introduced in its place. The key here is that some solicitor training, such as that provided in the United Kingdom can be exempted from future classes in Australia. This though can easily be altered as the curriculum for the qualification process is changed regularly to be attuned to the changing legal landscape.

Securing employment before traveling to Australia

The common mistake that solicitors do is move to Australia without securing employment. Many though have been able to find employment after some time but in order to avoid the stress of finding a livelihood during your qualification period for it is best that you find employment prior to immigration to Australia. This can also be a good source of knowledge and information on the Australian legal system as well as finding out what subjects and requirements are needed to complete your qualification.

The Internet is replete with descriptions and information about the Australian legal system but the best education still comes from being hands on with an expert on the system, with knowledge of the country and understands the requirements to complete your qualification. It is best that you undergo each step of the process as short cuts may jeopardize your employment and eventually your permanent residency in Australia. Since you would be practicing law, it is best that you stay within the bounds of the law before obtaining the privilege to practice it.

Doing your homework

Many discussion forums have discussed the qualification process where many solicitors from both Australia and the United Kingdom providing insight to the process. In general, the advisories provided give prospective expat solicitor information that can be helpful in your journey to become a qualified solicitor in Australia.

Always be aware of the goings on as well as the expectations for the quest you are undertaking. You need to admit your limitations and your shortcomings as this can be a reflection on your capacity to become a viable resource in the Australian marketplace. Find individuals that you can rely on for advice as well as assistance in your qualification process but you need to remain on top of things to be sure that you are on the right path to qualification.


The vibrant Australian way of life has become one of the major attractions for expats to come to the country even in the difficult financial climate. Many solicitors and lawyers from different countries have immigrated to Australia and have been able to practice their expertise in the Australian legal system. Though solicitors from the United Kingdom may have a faster track to obtaining qualification in Australia, there is still a need to learn the Australian legal system lock stock and barrel in order to fulfill the requirements for qualification.

Thus in fine, the skilled workers list with the solicitor as one of the skilled workers identified, can only serve to benefit your application as it would fast track your application for a visa and start your new life in Australia.