Queensland Law Society

Practising certificates

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

We allow up to 10 working days for processing before your practising certificate is sent to you.

A lawyer may apply for a practising certificate and membership of Queensland Law Society (QLS) at any time, as long as their name remains on the Roll of Legal Practitioners.

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

Practising certificates are issued at principal and employee levels under s.52 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 be covered by professional indemnity insurance in accordance with the Indemnity Rule.

Restricted principal practising certificates are issued to those principals who haven't yet completed the required period of supervised legal practice. A restricted principal practising certificate can't 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 do not hold themselves out as principals in private practice. Lawyers employed by government departments aren't required to hold practising certificates.

Restricted employee practising certificates are issued to solicitors who haven't completed the required period of supervised legal practice. Conditions are set out in Rule 15 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule and the specific conditions for supervised legal practice are set out in s.59 of the Legal Profession Act . This certificate is 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.