PC AND MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

If you can renew as soon as possible after 7 April, please do so.

Practising certificate and membership renewals are now open

If you can renew as soon as possible after 7 April, please do so. 

Last year, 98 per cent of practitioners renewed online. For those who did not renew online last year, we really encourage you to try and do so this year.  Our registry team members are happy to walk you through the process over the telephone on 02 9926 0156 if you are a first-timer. 

Please note that if you submit your application after 30 June, your PC will be expired and you will be unable to practise from 1 July 2020. In those circumstances, you would need to apply for the grant of a practising certificate (rather than a renewal of your existing certificate). 

Like the majority of you, the Law Society’s staff are working remotely to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Because of this, we will be unable to print your practising certificate within last year’s timeframes. 

Please be assured, however, that provided you have lodged a valid application before 5pm on 30 June 2020 you are entitled to engage in legal practice from 1 July 2020, subject of course to holding PII from 1 July, and in accordance with any conditions of practice applicable to you. 

The disruption associated with responding to COVID-19 means it will take longer to process 35,000 practitioners’ renewal applications. If we haven’t responded to your application, please be patient. 

Like you, we are doing our best for each other during these shared and difficult circumstances.

Please note that while membership fees for 2020/21 have been reduced to $10 (plus GST) by the Law Society, the membership fee is separate to fees/costs associated with your entitlement to practise, such as your practising certificate fee.

The practising certificate issued by the Law Society will reflect the conditions to which you are subject and the style of practice you choose for the year. The practising certificate/membership year is from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

 

CATEGORY OF PRACTICE PRACTISING FEE FIDELITY FUND CONTRIBUTION MEMBERSHIP FEE* TOTAL FEE
Law Practice Principal or Employee $410.00 $80.00 $11.00 $501.00
Corporate Legal Practitioner $410.00 Nil $11.00 $421.00
Government Legal Practitioner $410.00 Nil $11.00 $421.00
Volunteer Nil Nil $11.00 $11.00

*The Membership Fee includes GST (when practising within Australia).
 

SOLICITOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE LAW SOCIETY
Membership is optional. Payment of the Membership fee will be regarded by the Law Society as an application to be a Solicitor Member of the Law Society and your Membership will be administered in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Society. Please note that information you have previously provided to the Law Society will be utilised to effect and administer your membership of the Law Society. As a Solicitor Member of the Law Society you will be able to access a wide range of services and benefits including the Law Society Journal, full access to the Law Society’s website and discounts on an exclusive range of commercial products (go to lawsociety.com.au/memberconnexions).

Critical step before renewing your PC 

It would greatly assist the successful delivery of this year’s PC renewals process for all legal practitioners to ensure they have registered for a LawID before 7 April 2020. Activating your LawID does not take long: click the activation link, submit your details, and check your inbox for instructions to complete the process. Support is available at 02 9926 0185 or support@lawid.com.au.

The 2020-21 PC renewal application form will accommodate solicitors who complete their CPD online because of COVID-19

From 7 April 2020, solicitors will be invited to submit their practising certificate (PC) renewal application for the 2020-21 year. As in previous years, the application includes certification of compliance with the CPD rules. 

For this year only, solicitors can tick the ‘Yes’ box even if, due to the special circumstances arising from COVID-19, they have exceeded the five-unit cap on private study of audio/visual material to complete their CPD points. The PC renewal process will then proceed as normal. 

Supervision of legal practitioners who are subject to supervised legal practice (condition 2)

The requirement to complete supervised legal practice (SLP) is a statutory condition imposed under s. 49 the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW). 

Due to the unprecedented office closures and remote working arrangements that have arisen as a direct result of the current COVID-19 situation, the Licensing Committee of the Law Society has resolved as follows:

  1. That legal practitioners who are subject to the statutory condition of supervised legal practice (condition 2) may, until further direction by the Council of the Law Society, be supervised on a remote basis in the following circumstances:
    1. where the need for remote supervision of a legal practitioner has arisen as a direct result of COVID-19; and
    2. the supervision provided by legal practitioners is in accordance with the remote supervision guidelines contained on the Law Society’s website.
  2. For those legal practitioners and their supervisors who, having regard to their exceptional circumstances, are already subject to, and recorded as having, specific supervision arrangements, please ensure that the previously approved arrangements continue to be adhered to. 

The Law Society will keep the profession informed of any changes to the above guidelines.

Please contact our Licensing Department regarding any SLP questions at registry@lawsociety.com.au with the subject ‘Supervision COVID-19’.
 

Remote supervision guidelines

Remote supervision guidelines are threefold in purpose. They are provided to:

  1. Accommodate those situations where the supervising legal practitioner and the supervised legal practitioner are unable to work in the same location due to exceptional circumstances, and to do so without compromising the consumer protection objectives of the Uniform Law or the professional standards of legal practitioners.
  2. Inform legal practitioners whose practising certificates are subject to the statutory condition of supervised legal practice (condition 2) (SLP) as to the manner in which they are required to be supervised, so as to ensure that at the end of their period of SLP and following the removal of condition 2, they will be:
    1. sufficiently competent to have the carriage and conduct of legal matters without supervision; and
    2. sufficiently competent to supervise the practice of other solicitors subject to the SLP condition; and
  3. Inform those legal practitioners, who are properly authorised under the terms of their practising certificate, of their obligations in respect of supervising practitioners who are subject to the SLP condition.

In order to be satisfied that the statutory condition of SLP has been met, particularly when the period of SLP (or part thereof) is proposed to be completed pursuant to a remote supervision arrangement, the proposed SLP arrangements must be appropriately comprehensive. To assist and protect both supervised and supervising practitioners, please accommodate the following key elements when formulating a remote supervision arrangement:

  • How risk management strategies will be affected (i.e. confidentially, conflicts of interest, client retainers/cost disclosure, complaint procedures, onboarding of clients, file opening/closing procedures, etc.);
  • How regular meetings between the supervisor and supervised practitioner will be effected (i.e. by way of teleconference or an online video platform);
  • How the supervisor will be available for contact at all other times with an ‘open door policy’ (i.e. by way of daily contact, email, telephone, an online video and message platform, etc.);
  • How the supervisor will effect workflow management and have authority over and be aware of all legal work/instructions/critical dates (i.e. by way of cc’ing the supervisor on legal work, shared calendar system, etc.);
  • How the supervisor will review and approve or provide feedback for all legal work prior to emission, and may include dialling into meetings where advice may be furnished;
  • How file and document sharing logistics will be managed (i.e. email, shared system, post, safe custody, file notes, etc.); and
  • How the supervisor will conduct regular file reviews.

Further information regarding SLP can be found on the Law Society website.