About IPLS

About IPLS

The Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) has provided the stepping-stone between university and practice in the legal profession, in the form of the Professional Legal Studies Course (PLSC), to more than 15,000 students since 1987. IPLS is a private training establishment that has been granted registration by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under Part 18 of the Education Act 1989.

The benefits of studying with IPLS:

  • We were the first PLSC provider in New Zealand and have trained many of New Zealand’s top legal minds
  • We ensure you are well-prepared to be a valuable and contributing team member from day one of your legal career
  • IPLS graduates demonstrate initiative, are confident, team players who are also able to work autonomously
  • Our highly qualified and experienced instructors are vitally interested in your success on the course and are readily approachable and accessible
  • We offer transferability between courses if your circumstances change and you need to switch from one to the other
  • Choose one of five locations for the onsite components of the course
  • Our low ratio of trainees to each instructor increases the personal support and feedback you receive
  • Both IPLS courses are approved for loans and allowances with StudyLink
  • Our superior quality training in oral skills provides a real confidence booster for budding litigators.
      • All lawyers require effective oral communication skills, whether as advocates before the courts or other tribunals, as agents for clients they represent in commercial and general negotiation, or as presenters of information and/or argument to their clients and others. We recognise many trainees feel some degree of nervousness about being required to speak in public. Our course provides opportunities for everyone to develop and practise these oral skills in a relaxed supportive environment where understanding and confidence are nurtured. By the end of the course, trainees will have conducted two trials as sole advocate for one side and several negotiations for settlement of civil disputes. Moreover, they will have acquired confidence in public speaking. Once gained, this is an asset for life
  • Extensive training in problem solving skills as used by commercial lawyers and litigators.
    • All lawyers require effective analytical skills. Every day, they are called upon to analyse mixed issues of law and fact, provide sound advice as to their clients’ rights and obligations and how their clients might best proceed in the circumstances. Our course provides opportunities to develop and practise these analytical and problem solving skills in both litigation and commercial law contexts. In the litigation context, trainees learn how to analyse the elements of civil claims and criminal charges and prepare documents and strategies for the conduct of cases. In the commercial context, trainees learn how to unravel a complex multi-party, multi-document, multi-issue scenario, to identify the various parties’ rights and obligations. The documents and relationships examined typify the building blocks of many commercial transactions and the lessons learned are excellent preparation for commercial practice

NZQA Highly Confident rating

In September 2017 the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) rated IPLS Highly Confident in educational performance. The NZQA evaluation found clear and comprehensive evidence IPLS is consistently delivering learning opportunities that meet the most important needs of trainees (learners) and other stakeholders, in a highly effective manner.

The report went on to say: “IPLS has a consistently high level of achievement that is validated by robust moderation. There is no significant difference in achievement by Māori, Pasifika and under 25-year-old learners when compared with other domestic learners. International student completion rates have consistently been 100 per cent. The high achievement levels confirm that almost all trainees are gaining the skills and core competencies necessary to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. This is a valuable outcome for trainees and the profession.

“The programme provided by IPLS develops the key skills trainees need to bridge from academic study to practice and improves their productivity when they enter the workplace. The needs of learners are systematically identified and addressed. The programme is delivered by experienced instructors who engage learners and draw on their experience in the profession. Components of the programme are intentionally constructed to involve trainees in their learning effectively. Multiple sites and modes of delivery are offered in response to the differing needs of various learners and employers.

“Although the training scheme is prescribed by NZCLE, the provider uses information from stakeholders to inform how it offers the programme and to ensure that content is current and relevant. Self-assessment is well developed and used to improve educational performance. This is evident, for example, through a structured course design and improvement process that draws on a wide range of information to make significant improvements to the programme. External moderation results are used effectively to improve assessment and relevance to the profession. The results are shared with staff.”