The stages of becoming a lawyer

Some people are destined to be lawyers from a very young age. They show all the signs that law is the career for them. They love a well thought through argument. They have A grade communication skills. They are hardworking and well-liked by all they meet, and they are resilient, stopping at nothing to achieve what they want to do. They have always liked law since they can remember, always choosing the crime dramas on TV, the true crime podcasts and the books about criminals and their crimes. This was the only thing they truly loved so following a career in law was the thing that they were going to do. When someone wants to hire one of criminal lawyers based in Sydney, you can be one of the top picks if you’re good with your chosen career.

However, as they reached the age when they had to decide what course they wanted to do in university, they realised they weren’t sure how to actually go about having the career they wanted. They had worked hard all the way through school, knowing that was the first part of the battle but they weren’t sure what came next, after picking a university course to do with law. They wanted to do something involved with criminal law and needed to find out how to maximise their chances of finding themselves in this field.


If this sounds like this could be you in a few months or years read on and you will learn the pathway to becoming a lawyer.

First things first, complete a law degree. Easy, right? Do well enough at school first and you should find yourself with a place in a law course with minimum of fuss. When you get there, you will need to pass modules in 11 key areas including administrative law, company law, evidence, torts, professional conduct and property both real and personal.

The subjects you do can range from law school to law school as you will be required to do different elective courses in each one. Having completed the degree, with ease most probably, you will have 5 years to complete the next stage of your development which will be practical legal training, or PLT.

You will need to do your PLT at the end of your university course, whether it be a Bachelor of Law or something equivalent. The Law Admissions Consultative Committee (LACC) have set in place qualifying procedures whereby prospective lawyers must complete another set of exams, as they see undergraduate courses as purely as a means to gain a theoretical understanding of the law.

According to Papa Hughes, the PLT aspect of learning develops practical knowhow for students which they will be able to put into practice in real situations as a lawyer. Students will learn a combination of different skills from a variety of sources including studying different subjects, working in a firm or organisation while also being shown the ropes by an approved senior practitioner.

The final part of the test may be the hardest for some. Having completed the other two sections doesn’t exactly guarantee that you should pass the final test, that of being a fit and proper person. There is a bit of a grey area when it comes to this section of the testing as if you weren’t a fit or proper person it may give you a better chance of passing it. It is all to test a candidate’s ethics and whether they have good moral character, a subjective test if ever there was one. What shows good morality can differ from person to person. You do have a duty to disclose any instances in the past when you may not have performed under the right conduct, and which therefore may show you as someone who is not a fit and proper person.

The road to qualification will not be easy, but it will be worth it.