New Zealand Law Society - Calls for volunteer lawyers to interview practising on own account candidates

Calls for volunteer lawyers to interview practising on own account candidates

Calls for volunteer lawyers to interview practising on own account candidates

To carry out our regulatory functions, the New Zealand Law Society | The Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa occasionally looks for voluntary support from legal practitioners. We are now calling for volunteers to interview lawyers who apply to practise on their own account.

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

Approving a lawyer to practice on their own account is one of the most significant milestones in any lawyer’s career. It certifies they have obtained the necessary experience and judgment to operate independently, without the supervision and support that is available to an employee of a practice.

As part of our roles to maintain the legal profession’s reputation and protect consumers of legal services, the Law Society considers it essential that the process for approving lawyers to practise on their own account is thorough.  We also recognise it is an opportunity to celebrate the experience and hard work when practitioners take this noteworthy step.

One of the key components of the process for securing approval to practise on own account is an interview with legal practitioners who are already approved to practice at this level. The interview is an opportunity to ensure each candidate is prepared for the step they are taking. It also allows interviewers to share valuable insights into what is involved.

In the past the Law Society has selected interviewers from local regions where the candidate applied or with the assistance of the local Branch Council. We’re now establishing a national panel of interviewers to supplement this local support. Interviews would take place via suitable online platforms, such as Zoom. Training and guidance will be provided to practitioners selected to join the interview panel. Interviews generally take around 1 hour and are conducted in pairs, with two interviewers for every interviewee.

To be eligible for selection you must have:

  • at least 5 years’ experience practising on your own account in New Zealand as either a barrister or barrister and solicitor
  • an acceptable disciplinary history.

It may also be an advantage to be a Trust Account Supervisor and/or have experience with:

  • employment law
  • family law (including relationship property)
  • property law
  • civil litigation
  • trusts and estates

Expressions of interest are accepted from existing local interviewers and those new to the role.

The Law Society is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion and to recognising the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. We wish to ensure our interview panel represents the society the legal profession serves and we strongly encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. We welcome applications from candidates who are fluent in a second language particularly te Reo Māori, Sāmoan and Mandarin.

For more information about joining the interview panel email or to be considered for an appointment email your expression of interest and up-to-date CV.  

Applications must be received by 5:00pm Friday 14 May 2021.  All applications will be assessed for suitability and matched against the particular areas of practice and needs of the panel.