Information for Foreign Graduates

Information for foreign graduates

Foreign Graduates who hold an academic qualification in law (LLB or equivalent) but have not been admitted to practice in a foreign jurisdiction may proceed to obtain a skills assessment from the Board.

You may apply to the Board for a direction under rule 11 of the Rules as to whether or not your existing academic qualifications and practical legal training are sufficient to be admitted to the legal profession in Victoria. You may only apply for such a direction if you already hold an academic qualification recognised in your home jurisdiction as meeting the requirements for admission in that jurisdiction (for example, an LL.B. degree or equivalent). You may also have competed any other formal practical legal training required for admission in that jurisdiction, such as a Legal Practice Course.

You can learn more about how the Board will assess your academic qualifications and practical legal training from the

Uniform Principles for Assessing the Qualifications of Overseas Applicants for Admission to the Australian Legal Profession (Uniform Principles)

Academic Requirements

The Board will almost invariably direct a foreign graduate to undertake further academic study in Australia before applying for admission. In many cases, graduates will be required to undertake further studies in Australia in each of the areas mentioned in item 3 and Schedule 1 of the Uniform Principles. In almost all cases, graduates will be required to study Federal and State Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. The additional academic studies commonly required of graduates from different countries are set out in Schedule 2 of the Uniform Principles.

Practical Legal Training

You must also have acquired and demonstrated an appropriate understanding of, and competence in, certain skills, practice areas and values required of all who apply for admission in Victoria. These Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers are set out in Item 5 and Schedule 4 of the Uniform Principles.

Although you are fully-qualified, as you have not yet been admitted to legal practice in your home jurisdiction you will be required to acquire and demonstrate in Australia an appropriate understanding of, and competence in, each of the Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers, in the same way as an Australian applicant

English Language Proficiency

You must satisfy the Board that you have sufficient knowledge of written and spoken English to engage in legal practice in Australia.

To do this, you must comply with the English Language Proficiency requirement set out in the Uniform Principles. Unless you qualify for an exemption, you will be required to satisfy the Board that you have completed the IELTS academic module test of English language proficiency, obtaining minimum scores of 8.0 for writing, 7.5 for speaking and 7.0 for reading and 7.0 for listening within the two years before the date on which you apply for admission.

How to Make an Application

All applications for a direction about your academic qualifications and practical legal training must be made to the Board using the online client portal.  The Board will only accept a paper version in circumstances where you are unable to use the portal in the form of a statutory declaration. 

For all persons with foreign enquiries or who wish to lodge an application for assessment, an appointment must be made with the Board before attending our offices. Please see our contacts page (External link) for details

Fees

Contact the Board (External link)for further information.

Migration Matters

The Board has no powers relating to migration and cannot give advice on such matters. Such information can be obtained from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. However, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has advised the Board that it treats determinations made by the Board as "skills assessments" for the purpose of migration applications.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have further advised the Board that an Admissions Order the Supreme Court of Victoria supersedes the requirement for a skills assessment. On the other hand, if the Board makes a determination about your qualifications this does not mean that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is also satisfied that your skills meet the requirements for a migration application.