Careers in law
Discover the legal careers available to you as an Auckland Law School graduate.
About half of our graduates begin their careers in law firms. These firms are both large and small, located in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.
The Auckland LLB is also highly regarded by overseas employers. You will find our graduates in firms, companies and organisations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and numerous other countries.
As an LLB graduate, you’ll be well-placed to become a qualified and practising barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and beyond.*
*Additional training and qualifications are required to become a practising lawyer. Please see ‘Becoming a lawyer’ section on this page.
Barristers and solicitors
There are three main groups of barristers and solicitors in New Zealand:
- Those working in private practice including:
- Employed solicitors
- Solicitors managing their own practice
- Partners in a larger firm
- Directors of an incorporated law firm
- Professionals employed by a government department, corporate body, or professional association.
- Practicing barristers working independently or as an employee.
What does a barrister do?
Barristers mainly work in courts and tribunals. They perform duties such as:
- Presenting evidence
- Making submissions on behalf of clients
- Representing parties in criminal trials
- Handling domestic disputes in Family Courts
- Dealing with civil claims for damages and compensation
What does a solicitor do?
Solicitors generally work with clients in the private sector. Their work often involves:
- General advisory work
- Property transactions
- Estate administration and drafting wills
- Tax advisory
- Arranging finance
- Commercial work such as forming companies
Becoming a lawyer
There are several steps and qualifications required to practise as a lawyer in New Zealand:
- You must graduate with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
- You must complete a course from the Institute of Professional Legal Studies or the College of Law New Zealand.
- You must be admitted to the roll of Barristers and Solicitors of the High Court of New Zealand.
- You have completed and hold a current practising certificate from the New Zealand Law Society.
For more advice on starting your legal career, including how to get in touch with our careers adviser and accessing the University’s Career Development and Employment Services (CDES) office, visit our Careers advice page.
Additional resources about legal careers in New Zealand and summer clerkships are available at Prospectuses and handbooks.