Becoming a Lawyer

What is a solicitor and what do they do?
A solicitor is usually the first point of contact for a person seeking legal advice and assistance.

Some common tasks undertaken by solicitors 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

What is a barrister and what do they do?
A barrister generally receives work by referral from a solicitor. The barrister is the person who will represent 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.

Solicitors are generally required to work long hours. Income varies depending on:

  • The nature of the work.
  • The ability of the solicitor.
  • The seniority of the solicitor.
  • Their place of employment.

Becoming a Lawyer in Tasmania

 Year 12
There are no pre-tertiary required subjects for entry to the law degree.

Undergradutate law at the University of Tasmania
The University of Tasmania offers the straight law degree (4 years full-time) and six combined law degrees with the courses Arts, Business, Economics, Information Systems, Science and Computing (5 years full-time).

To be eligible to apply for a place in the law degree an applicant must satisfy one of the three criteria below:

  1. to be qualified for University entry with a TER score of 90 or above (limited places available in this entry category); or
  2. a first year in another faculty, which includes the units LAW121 Introduction to Law and LAW122 Legal Systems (or the academic equivalent) and achieve the Grade Point Average cut-off score; or
  3. a bachelor degree, and achieve the Grade Point Average cut-off score.

Faculty of Law Website – University of Tasmania

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Tasmania
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.

Centre for Legal Studies Website