About Government solicitors
Government solicitors both at a state and commonwealth level make up about 10 per cent of the profession practising in New South Wales. We recognise the important role of a government solicitor in upholding the rule of law and administering justice for all. The government solicitors segment is broad and diverse in practise areas. At the Law Society of New South Wales we endeavour to be relevant to all government solicitors at all levels of their career, across all practice areas in both state and federal governments.
Latest policy submissions
The Law Society's 18 policy and practice committees bring together solicitors from all areas of practice to examine legislative and law reform proposals, court practice and procedure and general practice issues.
The Legal Professionals Capability Set
The Legal Professionals Capability Set describes specialist capabilities that are required by NSW public sector employees working in legal roles, in addition to core capabilities that employees must show and develop to progress along the career pathway.
Tools and resources for government solicitors
GOT A QUESTION?
CHECK OUT OUR FAQS
Which of the following categories best describes your circumstances?
(a) You were not admitted as an Australian lawyer as at 1 July 2015; AND
(b) you became a government lawyer in the 12 months before 1 July 2015. Click here https://www.lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/practisinglawinnsw/yourpractisingcertificate/GovernmentLawyersTransitionalExemption/Category1government/index.htm.
(a) You were not admitted as an Australian lawyer when you became a government lawyer; AND
(b) you became a government lawyer after 1 July 2015. Click here. https://www.lawsociety.com.au/ForSolictors/practisinglawinnsw/yourpractisingcertificate/GovernmentLawyersTransitionalExemption/Category2government/index.htm
If you were (a) employed as a government lawyer but (b) you are not a person to whom category 1 or 2 applies you will need a practising certificate from 1 July 2017. Click here.
If you engage in legal practice, you must hold a Practising Certificate. The definition of ‘engage in legal practice’ in the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) includes to practise law or provide legal services but does not include to engage in policy work (which, without limitation, includes developing and commenting on legal policy). Please contact our Professional Standard team for further assistance.
Attached is a detailed matrix on what you can and cannot do when you hold a Government Practising Certificate.
Please note it is a statutory condition of all practising certificates that the holder must, in this jurisdiction engage in supervised legal practice (SLP) only, until the holder has completed the period of supervised legal practice required unless otherwise exempted.
Your particular circumstances may entitle you to be granted a reduction of, or an exemption from, the SLP requirements as at 1 July 2017 depending upon the nature and length of your legal experience to date.
You may be able to:
(a) Claim your period of SLP; and/or
(b) Claim a period of legal practice as a government lawyer before 1 July 2015 or under the transitional exemption provisions; or
(c) Make an application, in writing, to the Licensing Committee to reduce the period of Supervised Legal Practice or grant you an exemption. Please ensure that your application addresses the length and nature of your legal practice to date, your current role and whether you intend to remain in your current role.