New Zealand Law Society - Associate membership

Associate membership

Associate membership of the Law Society is designed for people who have close links to the legal profession. Only practising lawyers may be full members.

Associate membership does not carry any entitlement to practise.

Who may be an associate member?

You may be eligible for appointment as an associate member if you are:

  • a retired lawyer
  • an experienced legal executive, legal office manager or the like employed in any field of law
  • a New Zealand lawyer practising overseas not holding a New Zealand practising certificate
  • an overseas lawyer with significant association with the New Zealand profession
  • a present or former member of the judiciary in New Zealand or elsewhere
  • a lecturer in law
  • anybody else claiming a significant association with the legal profession

Note: Lawyers who have been suspended or struck off the roll are ineligible.

How do you apply?

Read the Rules for Associate Membership to confirm your eligibility. 

There are two routes to associate membership.

  • Full members of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives (NZILE) can obtain an application form from NZILE (Contact: NZILE, PO Box 64 232, Botany, Auckland, email
  • For others, applications for appointment as an associate member should be made on the prescribed form.

The Law Society Board must be satisfied that the applicant is eligible according to the Rules and has a significant association with the legal profession.

Please note that if you are providing legal services to the public outside the confines of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 (eg tax consultants, insolvency practitioners, employment advocates) you may not be eligible for membership. While there is nothing wrong with non-lawyers providing legal services outside the reserved areas of work, associate membership could blur the line between lawyer/non-lawyer and cause confusion.

The Board will retain an absolute discretion over appointments.

What is the cost?

The Law Society Board has set a fee of $101.00 for the period 1 July to June.

See the Application for Associate Membership form for full details on the fees and option memberships and subscriptions.

Full members of NZILE who are seeking associate membership through the Institute should obtain fee details from that organisation.

Benefits, optional memberships and subscriptions


Associate membership allows people who have given service to, or been closely connected with, the legal profession to participate in its work.

While they will not be eligible for appointment or election as NZLS officers or Council or Board members, associate members are eligible for appointment to special committees as the Board may decide.

Communication and information

Associate members may purchase a subscription to LawTalk, the Law Society monthly publication. LawTalk contains news of Law Society regulatory activities and information of direct and immediate benefit to members and associate members. It is the main advertising vehicle for the profession and is sent to all lawyers who hold practising certificates.

Continuing education

NZLS CLE Limited runs an extensive continuing education programme. Each year seminars on a wide range of topics are presented at various venues throughout the country. These seminars, together with specialist workshops, are often of particular interest to people who may not be practising lawyers. 

Library services

Access to Law Society library services is available at a cost of $632.50 ($550.00 + GST) per year. Conditions apply. For information about the conditions of access, please contact

Associate members, like lawyers, are charged for any research, photocopying and delivery costs.

Membership of law society sections

Associate members of the Law Society may join one or both of the Property Law Section and the Family Law Section.


For any queries about associate membership, please email

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