Still haven’t got around to using that law degree you spent three to five years earning? Waiting until the time is right before making your debut as a solicitor? Well, your time to act is running out. As of 1 January 2015, a stale learning clause will come into effect across Australia, requiring all would-be lawyers to have completed their academic and practical legal training requirements within the previous five years of their application for admission as a lawyer.
According to the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board, “applicants who have completed their academic and/or practical legal training courses more than 5 years prior to the time they would normally apply for admission will need to have their qualifications assessed”, with further information to be gazetted by the NSW Board and its interstate counterparts later this year.
The College of Law encourages law graduates to consider undertaking the requirements for admission to practice within the five year timeframe. These days career paths are not linear and while a law graduate may not feel that legal practice is right for them just now, to have the option to practise gives them more flexibility in their career choice in the future. Additionally, undertaking a practical legal training program close to graduation is usually easier than doing it further "down the track" as it builds on their academic studies.