Qualifications to Practice
Lawyers practising in Tasmania must have a university law degree. Generally most students now complete combined degrees in Arts/Law, Economics/Law, Commerce/Law and Science/Law over five years. Completing a law degree in three years is notoriously difficult and labour intensive. To practise as lawyers graduates must then complete a six month ‘legal practice’ course. If this is completed in a state other than Tasmania, a would-be lawyer can apply for recognition of this training. The 12 month apprenticeship to a practising lawyer previously required after that training has been abolished.
To be admitted as a lawyer a person must be ‘a fit and proper person’. Admission as a practising lawyer involves taking oaths. These oaths are taken before a judge of the Supreme Court. Once admitted a lawyer’s name is entered onto ‘the roll’ in the Supreme Court. A lawyer can be struck off the roll by the Supreme Court for serious malpractice.
A lawyer who practises without being admitted or not having a practising certificate commits offences. Lawyers must also be insured against professional negligence claims. A more detailed summary is available at the Supreme Court of Tasmania website.