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Getting legally qualified in NZ

Getting legally qualified in NZ

Old May 16th 2010, 3:11 pm
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Question Getting legally qualified in NZ

After several changes of plan, we've decided that we're moving to NZ in 2-3 years time (hubby is a kiwi).

We've just got back from a month out there and have decided on the Bay of Plenty - possibly Bethlehem.

I figure if I'm going to move to the other side of the world, I may as well go for a complete change and have a whole new career! I've been working in marketing for the last 14 years, but do actually have a law degree. I'm now thinking about furthering my legal studies in NZ to work in that field.

Are there any ex-pats in NZ who have info on getting legally qualified to work in NZ (post-grad) and also what it's like finding work and actually working as a solicitor in NZ compared to the UK?

I'm shorty going to get my degree assessed and then take it from there, as I may be able to complete some of the studies whilst still in the UK. I sense that there is no point in doing my LPC here, as I'd rather just learn NZ law to avoid any confusion.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 17th 2010, 3:04 am
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Default Re: Getting legally qualified in NZ

Originally Posted by Chick-a-dee View Post
After several changes of plan, we've decided that we're moving to NZ in 2-3 years time (hubby is a kiwi).

We've just got back from a month out there and have decided on the Bay of Plenty - possibly Bethlehem.

I figure if I'm going to move to the other side of the world, I may as well go for a complete change and have a whole new career! I've been working in marketing for the last 14 years, but do actually have a law degree. I'm now thinking about furthering my legal studies in NZ to work in that field.

Are there any ex-pats in NZ who have info on getting legally qualified to work in NZ (post-grad) and also what it's like finding work and actually working as a solicitor in NZ compared to the UK?

I'm shorty going to get my degree assessed and then take it from there, as I may be able to complete some of the studies whilst still in the UK. I sense that there is no point in doing my LPC here, as I'd rather just learn NZ law to avoid any confusion.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
I would not bother doing your LPC in the Uk as you will basically just have to do it again when you get here so there is no point. If you want to be a Lawyer in NZ and are not qualified elsewhere, you will have to do what they call "PROFS" which are like the LPC, I had to do the conversion exams total torture.

I would contact the Auckland District Law Society who will give you all the information you need. Working as a lawyer over here, well it depends where you work I worked in the UK and loved it but alas that is not my experience here. Expect to be paid a whole lot less than you would in the UK but i suppose that is the same for every job in NZ.

Good Luck

Last edited by debsnotdebbie; May 17th 2010 at 3:06 am. Reason: Spelling
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Old May 17th 2010, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Getting legally qualified in NZ

Originally Posted by debsnotdebbie View Post
Working as a lawyer over here, well it depends where you work I worked in the UK and loved it but alas that is not my experience here. Expect to be paid a whole lot less than you would in the UK but i suppose that is the same for every job in NZ.

Good Luck
May I asked why you don't enjoy working as a lawyer in NZ? What is the difference between the UK and NZ (except, of course, the payment). I am a lawyer too. That's why I am asking.
Thanks
Ann
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Old May 17th 2010, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Getting legally qualified in NZ

Originally Posted by debsnotdebbie View Post
I would not bother doing your LPC in the Uk as you will basically just have to do it again when you get here so there is no point. If you want to be a Lawyer in NZ and are not qualified elsewhere, you will have to do what they call "PROFS" which are like the LPC, I had to do the conversion exams total torture.

I would contact the Auckland District Law Society who will give you all the information you need. Working as a lawyer over here, well it depends where you work I worked in the UK and loved it but alas that is not my experience here. Expect to be paid a whole lot less than you would in the UK but i suppose that is the same for every job in NZ.

Good Luck
Thanks for the info - I'll send them an e-mail this week.
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Old May 17th 2010, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting legally qualified in NZ

Originally Posted by Chick-a-dee View Post
After several changes of plan, we've decided that we're moving to NZ in 2-3 years time (hubby is a kiwi).

We've just got back from a month out there and have decided on the Bay of Plenty - possibly Bethlehem.

I figure if I'm going to move to the other side of the world, I may as well go for a complete change and have a whole new career! I've been working in marketing for the last 14 years, but do actually have a law degree. I'm now thinking about furthering my legal studies in NZ to work in that field.

Are there any ex-pats in NZ who have info on getting legally qualified to work in NZ (post-grad) and also what it's like finding work and actually working as a solicitor in NZ compared to the UK?

I'm shorty going to get my degree assessed and then take it from there, as I may be able to complete some of the studies whilst still in the UK. I sense that there is no point in doing my LPC here, as I'd rather just learn NZ law to avoid any confusion.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Good for you and I hope it all works out for you. Seize the day etc.

I moved to NZ in 2003 having had my law degrees (both scottish and english qualified) assessed by NZLS and paid them the fees for them to tell me I had to sit 6 exams to be admitted as a Solicitor and Barrister in NZ. When I got to NZ and did the exams there I was told by lots of others mainly english lawyers that they too had to do 5/6 exams to be admitted.

On the one hand I was quite annoyed I had to do so many exams however it is a fantastic way of getting up to speed very quickly with a new jurisdiction and be on top of current case law in those areas. Although I do think it is money for old rope by NZLS to extract a handsome sum of money for new immigrant lawyers having to pay fees to sit these exams and get course materials etc. My understanding, as I looked into it, is NZ lawyers coming to the Uk do not have to face the raft of exams to be admitted here nor the same cost! How does that work?

I was lucky in that I got most of my costs for the materials and exams paid for by my NZ employer. I did not work in AKL or Wellington but rather in a provincial town where I think especially at that time it was easier to get work albeit as someone has mentioned expect to be paid less than here in the Uk but that is NZ. It is all relative. The reason it is easier is no one wants to work in smaller towns and perhaps you will be paid less than in the cities - same as here really.

I am unsure how the work market is fairing at the moment but I think it will depend on where you are intending being based on how easy/difficult it will be to get work. Check the local jobsites for information on jobs and email them for information. Also some of the bigger law firms based in AKL and Wellington do look to take on foreign lawyers, Uk is a fav, and they may even may help with the costs however I dont know how long you have to work yourself into the bone to pay it back if you get what I mean!

Once you are there too it is easier to look for a job from a job as they say and my experience was very positive and I loved working in NZ as a lawyer much better than here in UK. I think because I was in a smaller town you get to know hte other lawyers and the people very quickly and it also helps with settling etc.

I am now back in the Uk and wish every other day I was back in NZ!

Goodluck
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Old May 17th 2010, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Getting legally qualified in NZ

Originally Posted by Assanah View Post
May I asked why you don't enjoy working as a lawyer in NZ? What is the difference between the UK and NZ (except, of course, the payment). I am a lawyer too. That's why I am asking.
Thanks
Ann
Hi Assanah

Basically I find it all a bit tame I do not get the same calibre of work and I am just not impressed really. That said its all about your own personal experience/opinion some British lawyers I know love it here so you have to make up your own mind. I just want to get back to the City and that's not Auckland.
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