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.
Refer to the Guide for Applicants for Overseas Assessments before you make an application for assessment.
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)
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
If as a foreign graduate you have completed any practical legal training in your home country, in order for it to be recognised by VLAB it must be an approved PLT course that leads to admission in that jurisdiction and which enables you to acquire, or obtain, practical legal training qualifications which are substantially equivalent to those required of an Australian-trained applicant (see Schedule 3 of the Uniform Principles).
If you have completed an approved PLT program and are yet to be admitted to practise law, you can apply for your PLT to be assessed. The cost for assessment of your PLT is $320.
Any paid or voluntary work experience or supplementary legal study will rarely be considered as equivalent to any of the skills, values and practice areas contained in Schedule 3. It is not required that you make application for an assessment of your PLT unless you can show that you 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. The Competency Standards for Entry-Level Lawyers are set out in Schedule 3 of the Uniform Principles.
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 inquiries, please see our contacts page (External link) for details
Section 72A of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 provides for the Victorian Legal Admissions Board to charge a fee for undertaking an assessment of foreign qualifications and training.
The following categories of applications are eligible to have qualifications assessed to determine the requirements for applicants to be eligible for admission to practise in Victoria.
- Foreign Graduates who hold an academic qualification in law (LLB or equivalent).
- Application for review of decision of previous assessment will require the assessment to be set aside and a new assessment to be completed.
Fees are set at $320 per academic/PLT assessment or $640 for both.
The Board has no powers relating to migration and cannot give advice on such matters. Such information can be obtained from the Department of Home Affairs. However, The Department of Home Affairs has advised the Board that it treats determinations made by the Board as "skills assessments" for the purpose of migration applications.
The Department of Home Affairs has further advised the Board that an Admissions Order from 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 Home Affairs is also satisfied that your skills meet the requirements for a migration application.