Admissions

Those wishing to practise law in Western Australia must meet the educational and practice requirements set by the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia. This process is referred to as being "admitted" to the legal profession and involves a hearing before the Supreme Court (full bench).

The Legal Practice Board is responsible for the admission of lawyers in Western Australia. Its website has more detailed information about the admission process; however, a simple guide follows.

Procedure for Admissions

Applicants seeking admission in Western Australia should refer to Part 4 of the Legal Profession Act 2008 (WA), the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2009 (WA), Order 75A of the Rules of the Supreme Court 1971 (WA) and Practice Direction 10.1.2.

An application is made by way of an originating motion for admission and must be made at least 2 months before the proposed date of admission (O 75A r 2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and r 11 of the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2009). The Court's admission dates and the deadlines for filing motion papers are listed below.

Date of admission ceremony Last day to file motion paper with the Court
Friday, 7 February 2020 Friday, 6 December 2019
Friday, 6 March 2020 Monday, 6 January 2020
Friday, 3 April 2020 Monday, 3 February 2020
Friday, 1 May 2020 Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Friday, 5 June 2020 Monday, 6 April 2020
Friday, 3 July 2020 Monday, 4 May 2020
Friday, 7 August 2020 Monday, 8 June 2020
Friday, 4 September 2020 Friday, 3 July 2020
Friday, 2 October 2020 Monday, 3 August 2020
Friday, 6 November 2020 Monday, 7 September 2020
Friday, 18 December 2020 Monday, 19 October 2020

You should use the current electronic template for the originating motion for admission. The template is colour coded to assist applicants complete it accurately. Any <red> writing needs to be replaced by the applicant with information relating to them and their admission. Use the same formatting provided in the template, but you are required to complete and file your motion paper in black font.

You must nominate counsel to move your admission at the ceremony. The Court cannot assist you in locating a legal practitioner.

Applicants are required to refer to the "Find a Practitioner" page of the Legal Practice Board's website to locate the admission date of moving counsel for local (Western Australian) practitioners. For lawyers admitted in other Australian jurisdictions, applicants will have to check with their moving counsel.   

Applicants should read the FAQs and common mistakes on filing.

Once complete, the application plus an additional copy, should be presented for filing at the Supreme Court on level 11, David Malcolm Justice Centre, 28 Barrack Street, along with payment of the application fee.

If you cannot file your originating motion using the Court’s electronic case management system (ECMS) and subject to the Rules of the Supreme Court 1971 (WA); you may present it to the Court by email, delivery or post (see: O 67A r 3(2)(a); r 3(2)(b); and r 3(2)(c) respectively; and see also Practice Direction 1.2.2.). You must not fax your motion paper to the Court unless the Principal Registrar has granted permission for you to do so (see O 67A r 3(2)(d); O 67A r 7(1); and Practice Direction 1.1.4 pars 17 and 18).

When your application is accepted for filing, a sealed copy of the motion paper will be returned to you for service on the Legal Practice Board. You are required to serve a notice of application for admission, including the copy of the motion paper, on the Legal Practice Board within 2 days (r 11 Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2009). If any of the information provided in the motion paper is incorrect (for example, there may be spelling or typographical errors), you will be contacted and asked to file an amended originating motion for admission. This amended originating motion for admission also needs to be served on the Legal Practice Board within 2 days.

Approximately 14 days after the deadline for filing motion papers has closed (or longer if you are to be admitted in the busier November or December sittings; or around the time of the Court’s summer or winter vacations), the Court will write to all applicants confirming the date, sitting number and commencement time you are scheduled for admission. The Court will also provide more detailed information regarding the admission day ceremony.

If the Legal Practice Board is satisfied that you are eligible and suitable for admission, it will notify you by providing you a copy of the compliance certificate that it is required to file at the Court at least 7 days before the proposed admission date (see r 13 of the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2009 in relation to compliance certificates).

If you need to change your moving counsel, you must email Supreme Court admissions: Admissions@justice.wa.gov.au no later than the deadline provided in your letter from the Court.

You must attend the Court’s admission ceremony unless you are being admitted under the Mutual Recognition (Western Australia) Act 2010 (WA). If you are seeking admission under this Act, you should consult the Court’s Mutual Recognition page.

At the ceremony, you may either swear or affirm your oath. A copy of your oath will be given to you on the day to read aloud. If you wish to affirm your oath, you must email Supreme Court admissions before the cut off time noted in the Court’s letter. If the Court does not receive your request to affirm your oath, you will be taken to have elected to swear on the Bible.

You should also email the Court if you have special requirements for your admission so that arrangements can be made prior to the admission day; for instance, you may wish to use your own religious text.

Both you and the counsel who will be moving your admission should arrive at Court at least 20 minutes prior to the admission ceremony commencing. This will allow the procedure for your admission to be explained prior to the ceremony commencing.

Taking photographs inside the Court is not permitted. Photographs can be taken outside the Court or in the gardens. Admission ceremonies are live-streamed from the Court’s website. The recorded ceremony will also be available for download from the website for a limited time

It is important you are aware that the certificate you receive on your admission day cannot be replaced unless it is destroyed by fire, flood or theft. If you need a replacement, you must make an application to the Court supported by affidavit evidence (pertaining to the destruction by fire, flood or theft). You will be required to pay the relevant fee for a replacement to be issued.

Once you are admitted, if you need to establish that you remain on the roll of practitioners, you should write to the Court and request a 'Certificate of Good Standing'. You must provide the Court with your full name, date of admission and current address. You should refer to the Court's General Division Fees for the fee payable for the provision of a certificate.


Last updated: 29-Jul-2020

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