Lawyers are being issued with electronic practising certificates by the New Zealand Law Society.
The change means all lawyers will be able to download an electronic practising certificate as they renew their practising certificate for the year to 30 June 2018. The renewal process begins shortly and will end on 30 June.
The New Zealand Law Society regulates over 13,000 practising lawyers.
“Many of you will be used to receiving a hard copy edition of your annual practising certificate, however the Law Society is keeping pace with the modern technologically-driven era and it’s innovative and efficient,” says Law Society Vice President (Auckland) Tim Jones.
The Law Society acknowledges that many lawyers will want to keep with the tradition of hanging a hard copy certificate to their law office wall.
But as Mr Jones explains, there are many advantages to making the change to electronic.
“They’re [electronic practising certificates] extremely efficient, environmentally friendly and transportable to virtually anywhere including to meetings being held outside your normal office.
“There is no requirement to print out your certificate although you should check that it is available for download so you know that you have completed the process. A colour copy can easily be printed at a local Law Society branch if the lawyer is not able to do so,” Mr Jones says.
The move to electronic issue of practising certificates is not unique to just the legal sector. The Medical Council offers electronic copies of their practising certificates for doctors and both the Dental Council and Education Council have plans to do the same.