Queensland Law Society

Practising Certificate and regulatory advice

Before you can practise as a solicitor, you must first be admitted to the legal profession as a lawyer and hold a current practising certificate. To apply for a practising certificate you must:

  1. complete the approved application form
  2. collect all required documents
  3. submit the above to QLS’ Records department along with your payment.

Please allow up to 10 working days for processing of your application and your practising certificate will be posted to you.

A lawyer may apply for a practising certificate and membership of QLS at any time, providing their name remains on the Roll of Legal Practitioners (including rolls maintained in other Australian jurisdictions).

Information on the study and training requirements for becoming a lawyer is available.

Practising certificates are issued at principal and employee levels pursuant to s52 of the Legal Profession Act 2007.

Principal level practising certificates

Unrestricted principal practising certificates are issued to all principals in law practices. Principals must satisfy the Practice Management Course requirements and must be covered by professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the Indemnity Rule.

Restricted principal practising certificates are issued to those principals who have not 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 (for example, the principal solicitor in a community legal service).

Employee level practising certificates

Unrestricted employee practising certificates are issued to all solicitors who have completed supervised legal practice and who are not principals in private practice. However, lawyers employed by government departments are not required to hold practising certificates.

Restricted employee practising certificates are issued to solicitors who have not completed the required period of supervised legal practice. Conditions are set out in Rule 15 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule and specific conditions in respect of supervised legal practice are set out in s59 of the Legal Profession Act. This certificate will be upgraded to an unrestricted certificate when the solicitor is able to supply the required statutory declaration that he or she has completed the necessary 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.