Becoming a Lawyer
To join the Society or apply for a practising certificate see here.
A lawyer (solicitor) is usually the first point of contact for a person seeking legal advice and assistance.
Some common tasks undertaken by lawyers include:
- Drafting documents including wills, contracts and conveyancing
- Legal advice – business
- Resolving legal disputes
- Advising clients facing criminal charges
- Advising clients involved in a lawsuit
Lawyers are generally required to work long hours. Income varies depending on:
- The nature of the work.
- The ability of the lawyer.
- The seniority of the lawyer.
- Their place of employment.
A barrister generally receives work by referral from a lawyer, and who represents a client in court. Barristers:
- Have a sound knowledge of the rules of evidence and procedure.
- Are able to determine the appropriate strategy and arguments to be presented in court.
- Question witnesses.
- Can “lead” evidence and cross-examine witnesses called by the other side.
- Make submissions on points of law during the course of a trial.
- Prepare draft pleadings in non-criminal cases.
- Negotiate settlements to discontinue legal proceedings.
Bachelor of Laws at the University of Tasmania – this degree is an accredited qualification and the course for students interested in practising law professionally (noting Law graduates will need to complete the six-month Tasmanian Legal Practice Course to be admitted to professional practice). This degree explores essential legal fields including criminal, corporations, public, contract, and property law. Through your choice of law electives you can also explore specialist areas you are interested in including Antarctic, Marine, and Climate law, Family, Media Law and Biotechnology and the Law. Following the recommended course structure, a student can complete a Bachelor of Laws in 3.5 years. And, in the second half of the fourth year, a student can undertake the legal practice course and be admitted to practise.
Combined degrees – Many students choose to study a Bachelor of Laws within another Bachelor degree and the university’s new course architecture makes it possible to study law with a broader range of options, including arts, science, IT and many more. A student can complete both degrees in 5 years, with some options to accelerate based on performance.
Eligibility – There are no pre-tertiary (Year 12) required subjects for entry to a law degree. To be eligible for an offer, one must have an ATAR of 65 or above. This is the minimum ATAR needed for an application to be considered. Applicants with an ATAR of 90+ are guaranteed progression to second year upon successful completion of 100 credit points of university study (except Foundation and Enabling units) including LAW121 Introduction to Law and LAW122 Legal Systems.
Legal Practice Training – A 6 month practical legal training course is then required to be eligible for admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania. See the Centre for Legal Studies here for more information.