New Zealand Law Society - Membership


The Law Society is the national voice, and representative for the legal profession in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our members have access to our national branch network and sections for specialist areas of practice, a range of wellbeing support and advice, education and the latest in legal news.

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As a membership organisation the Law Society seeks to advocate on behalf of the profession, promote collegiality, communicate with the profession on issues of importance, and provide continuing professional development.

Find out more about what we offer our members:

We are working on a new Representative Strategy that will strengthen our offer and be financially sustainable. Currently members receive many of these services at no cost. The majority of lawyers annual practicing certificate pays for registration and regulation.

Quality education and connection

NZLS CLE offers a range of professional development training to New Zealand lawyers.  

Find out more about Continuing Professional Development including rules and requirements. And access a CPD toolkit to help lawyers maximise the benefits of their CPD.

Our branches, sections and groups offer events, specialist advice and expertise and opportunities to network.

Find out more about our branches, sections and groups.

View all events


Advocacy and voice of the profession

As the largest national body representing New Zealand lawyers, with branches across the country, the Law Society is a strong and respected advocate, and the voice of the profession.

That Law Society has a dedicated in-house team that works with 17 volunteer law reform committees, and the Family Law and Property Law Sections, to make submissions – in the public interest – on law reform proposals. We engage regularly with officials, Ministers, select committees, the judiciary, and the Law Commission on reform initiatives, and advocate in the interests of the rule of law, access to justice and the administration of the justice system.

Alongside local branches and the Sections, the in-house team and law reform committees identify issues affecting lawyers and their practices, and work with the judiciary and officials for improvement.

The Law Society also undertakes research into issues that impact on the profession, such as the 2021 Access to Justice Survey and the upcoming Costs of Practice research.

Pay rise for duty lawyers
Advocacy by the Law Society resulted in a 17 percent increase in for duty lawyers – the first significant rise in 25 years. As well as the pay rise, the Legal Aid Services Commissioner is also undertaking a broad review of the duty lawyer scheme. As well as taking part in the review, the Law Society is also working understand the current costs of practice for lawyers in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more

New public law committee
The Rule of Law is the number one focus for the new Public Law Committee reflecting the importance of this issue. The new committee is a combination of The Public and Administrative Law Committee and the Rule of Law Committee and is one of several changes following a recent review. Read more.

Wellbeing concerns
Concerns about wellbeing of lawyers is one of the society’s key focus areas. The society supports Chief High Court Judge Justice Susan Thomas and Chief District Court Judge Heemi Taumaunu who wrote to all judges expressing their worries over workload, stress, and mental health.  The society is particularly concerned about family and criminal lawyers where there is a growing shortage. Read more.

Read about our successes: Advocacy in Action 
Read our recent law reform submissions


Technical advice and information

The Law Society offers technical advice and information in a variety of ways.

NZLS CLE has a range of books and guides New Zealand lawyers can access.

Sections provide guidance and tools for Family, Property and In-house lawyers

Law Points is a weekly email roundup of news and information to keep the New Zealand legal profession up to date. It includes legal news, law reform, case law, general news, and professional development. Email to subscribe.

Law Talk is our flagship publication published quarterly. It is both the voice of the Law Society, and the voice of the profession in New Zealand, and it is widely read. View the latest issue.

You can visit our newsroom to read our latest news and read our statements.

Branches and sections

The Law Society sections are specialist representative groups for lawyers who practise in family law, property law or practise in-house.

Lawyers practicing in each these areas can join the relevant sections or sections.

Sections provide specialist guidance and tools in each of these three areas. This includes events, publications, resources and guidance. The sections also share topic law information relevant to lawyers operating in these areas.

In addition, for family and property lawyers, the section maintains a lawyer database to help members of the public easily find property and family lawyers throughout New Zealand.

ILANZ runs an annual conference for its members and has a job hub.

Support and advice

The Law Society encourages and supports lawyers to look after their mental health. Through our ‘Practising Well’ initiative members can access free counselling and mentoring support.

Lawyers who are subject to a complaint can obtain confidential advice from a National Friends Panel or a Complaints Advisory Panel. Find out more

Other support is also available through branches, sections and groups.

The society also offers a range of diversity and inclusion tools for members to use.

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