How to become a Lawyer

Lawyers inform clients about their legal rights and obligations. Lawyer can refer to either Solicitors, who work in more of a consultancy role and provide legal advice to clients, or Barristers, who will represent clients in court. Solicitors and Barristers will usually work together to support a client if necessary.

If you’re passionate about the law and using your knowledge to help others, and are competitive and committed to working tirelessly for the benefit of your clients from all walks of life, this career could be an option to research further.

About you:

  • Highly intelligent with an analytical mind
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong advocacy and problem-solving skills, adaptable to any case

The job:

  • Meet with and counsel clients
  • Perform legal research and prepare legal documents
  • Represent clients in criminal and civil court proceedings

Lifestyle Impact: Moderate

  • Part Time opportunities: Low – only around 16% of Lawyers work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 48 hours a week, which is above average (source:
  • Lawyers’ salary (median) $98,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Very strong (source:
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors, either in offices or courthouses.
  • There is a huge variety of roles and responsibilities depending on which type of law you would like to specialise in.

Lawyers are most in demand in these locations:

This is a very large occupation, with around 89,300 people working as Solicitors and 10,100 working as Barristers in Australia in 2021 (source: Demand for Lawyers is spread evenly across Australia, with a higher-than-average demand in New South Wales. Most Lawyers work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry.

How to become a Lawyer in Australia

It can take as little as 4 years from leaving Year 12 to becoming a fully qualified, practising Lawyer.

Step 1 – Finish Year 12, focusing on English and Maths at high school.

Step 2 – Complete your university qualifications in Law, most commonly a Bachelor of Laws.

Step 3 – Undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT) to develop the practical skills and knowledge you’ll need by:

  • completing a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) in 6-12 months, or
  • undertaking supervised workplace training for at least 12 months (only in QLD & VIC), or
  • do a minimum 12 months in a clerkship position (only if you are already working in the legal profession).

Step 4 – Apply for a certificate of practice to work as a legal practitioner in your state or territory:

Step 5 – If you want to work as a Barrister, you may have to do further training and applications.

Find out more here –

Similar Careers to Lawyer




Legal Executive

Legal Secretary




Court Clerk

Find out more about alternative careers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to become a Lawyer?

It takes a minimum of 4 years to qualify as a Lawyer, but it can be longer depending on your pathway.

What do Lawyers do?

Lawyers give advice, write legal reports and documentation, and conduct negotiations on legal matters. They represent clients in court and tribunal proceedings.

What’s the difference between a Lawyer, Solicitor and Barrister?

Lawyer is a general term. Solicitors and Barristers are called accordingly depending on the work they do (e.g. Barristers might take on court cases only) and in which state or territory they’re practising in.

Where do Lawyers work?

Typically based in an office environment, Lawyers may also work in courts and conduct their business meetings in homes, hospital, prisons, and business settings.

Do I need to go to university to become a Lawyer?

Yes, you’ll need to complete a relevant degree, get the practical work experience, and register to practice with the relevant body before you can start working.

What other jobs can I do with a law degree?

Non-legal career options for law graduates and established lawyers include: accounting, journalism, politics, recruitment, management consulting, Judge’s associate, human resources, investment banking, policing, and advocacy.


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