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:

Further advice

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.