You will need this certificate to practise as a solicitor. A solicitor is a person who is qualified and approved for admittance to legal practice in an Australian jurisdiction. Practising certificates are issued at principal and employee levels. There are different requirements for each level:
- Unrestricted principal practising certificates are issued to all principals in law practices. Principals must satisfy the Practice Management Course requirements and be covered by professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the Indemnity Rule.
- Restricted principal practising certificates are issued to those principals who have not yet completed the required period of supervised legal practice. A restricted principal practising certificate cannot be issued to a sole practitioner.
- Limited principal practising certificates are issued to some classes of principals with certain conditions attached (e.g. the principal solicitor in a community legal service).
- Unrestricted employee practising certificates are issued to all solicitors who have completed supervised legal practice and who do not hold themselves out as principals in private practice.
- Restricted employee practising certificates are issued to solicitors who have not completed the required period of supervised legal practice.
- Volunteer practising certificates are issued to those solicitors who are not employed but who volunteer at a community legal centre.
Government lawyers are eligible to obtain a certificate. They are not required to hold a certificate so long as they are only engaged in government work.
Solicitors who are employed as in house Counsel by a corporation obtain an employee level certificate subject to a condition to provide only in-house legal services to the corporation or a related body corporate.
Local practising certificates can only be issued to an Australian lawyer. All new local legal practitioners must engage in supervised legal practice for a prescribed period of time.