Appendix: Admission to Practice Requirements
Requirements for admission to practice are governed by the Council of Legal Education and the Board of Examiners. There are three major requirements for admission to practice: academic; practical training; and suitability, which includes character and behaviour (see Admission Procedure) For the last of these, it is necessary for the applicant to satisfy the Board of Examiners that he/she is a fit and proper person to be admitted to practice (s 15 Legal Profession Uniform Law, Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.
The Victorian Legal Admission Board's Guide for Applicants: Compliance Certificate advises that the assessment of an applicant's fitness and propriety for admission to practice will generally rely on:
- Reports on the applicant's conduct as a law student
- Police reports from Australia and from foreign jurisdictions (where applicable)
- Character statements
- Capacity statement and
- Information about the applicant obtained from other admitting authorities
Student Conduct Reports
The Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) requires all applicants to provide student conduct reports from each Australian academic institution where they have undertaken the areas required to attain their academic qualification for admission and completed the practical legal training prerequisite. Pursuant to the Guide for Applicants: Compliance Certificate, the report should disclose any incident of misconduct in respect of which the academic institution holds a record and must disclose academic and general misconduct whether or not found proven as a result of formal proceedings. Academic misconduct is defined as including, but not being limited "to plagiarism, impermissible collusion, cheating and any other conduct whereby the applicant has sought to obtain an impermissible academic advantage or other breach of the educational institution's rules." General misconduct is defined as including but not being limited "to offensive behaviour, property damage, sexual harassment, racial vilification or other breach of the rules of conduct of the educational institution." An applicant's duty of disclosure to the Board is not limited to matters which appear on the Student Conduct Report.
Each applicant for admission must provide an original National Police Certificate which has been issued in Australia. If an applicant has ever lived in a foreign jurisdiction for more than two years over the age of eighteen or has been admitted to practice in a foreign jurisdiction, a foreign police report from each of these jurisdictions must be provided.
Applicants must provide two character statements and, for applicants who have been admitted to practice in foreign jurisdictions, two foreign character statements.
Applicants must make full disclosure of any matters which may be relevant to their fitness and propriety to be admitted to the Australian legal profession and/or a reasonable applicant would regard as not being favourable to an assessment of whether they are a fit and proper person to be admitted to practice. To assist applicants in determining what matters should be disclosed in the Capacity Statement, the Victorian Legal Admissions Board advises that applicants must read the Disclosure Guidelines for Applicants for Admission to the Legal Profession.