The number of applications to practise law in New Zealand from overseas graduates hit a record high in 2017, far exceeding expectations.
The New Zealand Council of Legal Education has published its annual report for the 2017 calendar year and it has been tabled in Parliament.
The Council sets the qualification and educational requirements for candidates for admission as barristers and solicitors of the High Court.
The report shows the number of overseas applications last year was 149 – beating the high of 135 in 2008. In 2016, 126 applications were received; in both 2015 and 2014 it was 95.
The Council’s estimate was that only 100 applications from overseas would be received.
The applications came from 26 different countries across all continents: Europe 7 countries, Africa 3, the Americas 5, Asia 9 and Oceania 2.
The report notes that the number of women completing the Insitute of Professional Legal Studies (‘Profs’) in 2017 was 63% - the same as 2016. The proportion of Māori trainees completing the course increased by just 1%, and for Pacific people it rose by 4%. The increase in NZ European students completing the course was 6%, and for Asians 2%.
The cost for law graduates for the Council to assess their applications is now $1375; for overseas practising lawyers it is $1640, both figures being exculsive of GST.