FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply?

How are places allocated?

How do I apply?

Can I start Profs while finishing my final paper?

I have an overseas law degree – can I do Profs with IPLS?

What fees are involved?

How are my fees protected?

Can I obtain a student loan and allowances?

What happens once I have enrolled?

What if I need to withdraw?

Can I transfer between courses?

Will I need to work weekends?

Can I work in Australia?

Does IPLS cater for trainees with health conditions?

Do I need to bring my own computer?

What pre-requisites exist for doing the course?

If I am accepted on one form of the course and my circumstances change, can I switch to the other?

How does IPLS cater for International Trainees?

What are ‘stale’ qualifications?

How long does my Certificate of Completion last?

 

When should I apply?

The answer is now! You can apply for a course at any time but they do fill up very quickly, so don’t delay. There is a particularly heavy demand for summer school. You should apply for your preferred course before you finish your law papers – six months before your preferred start date is not too soon! You can apply for a place on the course before you have completed your LLB degree. You must choose a course that starts after the date of your final LLB exam, or if you have a law degree from a country other than New Zealand, the expected completion date of any requirements of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education.

How are places allocated?

First come, first served. When you apply you are required to select a first and second choice. If the course you have requested has available spaces we will send you an offer of a place. This offer is conditional upon:

  • Receipt of a certified copy of your transcript, or other document showing you are eligible to graduate with a New Zealand law degree (LLB).
  • Receipt of a certified copy of your birth certificate or passport to prove your New Zealand citizenship or residency. (Students from outside New Zealand should read the Eligibility criteria listed on the Enrolment Form)

How do I apply?

Use the online Enrolment Application Form on this website under the Enrolment section.

Can I start Profs while finishing my final paper?

Sorry, but no. The Regulations state: No person is eligible to undertake the Course unless, before the commencement of the intake of the Course to which the person seeks entry, the person has furnished the Provider with a transcript or other document from the university which that person is attending or has attended, confirming that the person has completed (or will by the commencement date have completed) all the requirements of the university so that the person is or will be (as the case may be) eligible for an LLB by the commencement date.

I have an overseas law degree – can I do Profs with IPLS?

Yes you may, however Regulations state: A person with overseas qualifications will not be eligible to undertake the Course unless, before the commencement of the intake of the Course to which the person seeks entry, the person provides evidence to the Provider in the form of a letter from the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education confirming that the person has completed all other requirements (if any) which the New Zealand Council of Legal Education imposed upon that person.

What fees are involved?

The New Zealand Council of Legal Education sets the IPLS course fee which is due, without exception, prior to the first day of the course. The IPLS receives government funding and as such is subject to regulated fees which are reviewed annually. The current fees are detailed here.

Student Fee Protection

IPLS uses the Public Trust Fee Protect service to provide an independent ‘trust account’ for the protection of trainee fees.  This ensures sufficient monies are available at all times to refund the ‘unexpired’ portion of fees in the unlikely event we are not able to deliver your complete course. Public Trust is a government owned Trustee Company which has been in existence for more than 130 years. More information about Fee Protect is available on its website, www.publictrust.co.nz. Once you have enrolled at IPLS you will be sent a Student Fee Protection Application Form to complete and return to us. Your fees, including those paid by StudyLink or your employer, are deposited directly into the trust account. In the unlikely event of a course closure you may be required to attend a meeting arranged by the trustee or by NZQA. For more information on Student Fee Protection, refer to the NZQA website: www.nzqa.govt.nz.

Can I obtain a student loan and allowances?

The IPLS course qualifies for student loans and allowances. To apply, contact StudyLink on 0800 88 99 00, or log onto www.studylink.govt.nz to pay your course fee by student loan or to apply for a student allowance.Please note: changes to student loans and allowances came into effect on January 1, 2012 so make sure you check the StudyLink website. Please enter the following in the application form:

  • Enter ‘yes’ in the ‘Will you be studying full time’ field (this applies to 13 week and 18 week courses)
  • Enter ‘Institute of Professional Legal Studies, [location]’, including the location of your study in the ‘Provider/Campus’ field, ie ‘Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin’.
  • Your student ID is your application number shown on the letter emailed to you.
  • Enter ‘Extramural’ ‘yes’ if you are studying with the 18 week course. This includes the 18 days of onsite study that is part of the 18 week course. Enter ‘Extramural’ ‘no’ if you are studying with the 13 week course.
  • Enter ‘yes’ in the ‘Do you need the student loan to pay the fees for this course’ field if you do want your course fee paid by student loan. Entering ‘no’ in this field may delay the payment of your fees.

StudyLink will pay your course fee directly into the Public Trust Fee Protect bank account.

What happens once I have enrolled?

Within 10 days of receipt of your Enrolment Application Form, you will be emailed with either an offer of a place on your preferred course, or, if it is full, on your second choice of course. You can also be placed on a waiting list for your first preference and will be contacted either by phone or email if a place becomes available. Once that is done you will need to post us a certified copy of your academic transcript or other document showing you are eligible to graduate with a New Zealand law degree (LLB), proof of your New Zealand citizenship or residency and your signed ‘Student Fee Protection Application’ form. You will be contacted by email one week before the commencement date of your course giving you more detailed information pertinent to the start of your course.

 

What if I need to withdraw?

If you withdraw from the course at any time up until 5pm on the tenth course day, you are entitled to a full refund of the course fee, less an administration fee of 10%. If you withdraw after 5pm on the tenth course day, the course fee is non-refundable, but may be transferred to another intake of your choice with the approval of the National Director. Please see Trainee Transfer and Withdrawal Policy and Procedures for more information.

Can I transfer between courses?

You may transfer from one intake to another up until and including the day before the commencement date of the course you are enrolled in. You will not be charged a transfer fee. If you request a transfer to a later intake, before 5pm on the tenth course day, you may only do so if the National Director consents to such a transfer. There is no transfer fee payable. If you request a transfer to a later intake, after 5pm on the tenth course day, you may only do so if the National Director consents to such a transfer. Where consent is granted a transfer fee is payable. Transfers are subject to spaces being available in the subsequent course. Please see the Trainee Transfer, Withdrawal and Refund Policy for more information.

Is there a requirement for weekend work?

The onsite modules within both IPLS courses run from Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.00pm. There may be the occasional online assessment required to be completed over a weekend.

Can I use my PLSC qualification to work in Australia?

On the successful completion of your IPLS course, you may apply to the Registrar of the Supreme Court in the Australian State in which you wish to work, under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 2003. You will need to provide both your academic qualifications and IPLS Completion Certificate along with other prescribed documentation.  The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board considers whether you should be granted registration, with or without condition, or whether registration should be postponed or refused. For more information on working in: New South Walesclick here Queensland click here Victoria click here Western Australiaclick here South Australiaclick here

Does IPLS cater for trainees with health conditions?

IPLS has a policy and practical guidelines for applicants with health conditions. You can download a copy of the Trainee Health Policy and Procedures here.  Any information concerning a health condition you provide to IPLS is confidential. Your private and personal information will not be shared with anyone who is not authorised by you in writing, which includes other trainees, the Law Society and individual members of the legal profession. If you wish to apply for reasonable accommodation to assist you with a disability during the course, send your RATD form and supporting medical evidence to the National Director. If you suffer from a medical condition during the course, the National Director will also assist you.

Do I need to bring my own computer?

Yes – Please bring your own device. Each centre has wifi internet available for your studies as well as some printing facilities. There may be some limited onsite computers available, but you should not rely on this.

You will need Microsoft Word and Excel as well as a PDF reader (we suggest adobe reader) installed on your device.

What pre-requisites exist for doing the course?

It is a prerequisite for enrolment on the professional legal studies course (PLSC) you are eligible for the award of an LLB degree. The relevant university can advise IPLS on your eligibility. If you are completing an LLB (Honours) degree, a conjoint LLB or a combined LLB and wish to enrol for the PLSC, you must have completed law credits equivalent to an LLB (so if you withdrew from your current course of study you would be eligible for the award of an LLB degree). If you have overseas qualifications, you may have to meet requirements specified by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education before you are eligible to attend the course. Visit www.nzcle.org.nz

If I am accepted on one form of the course and my circumstances change, can I switch to the other?

Sometimes trainees will find their circumstances change and their initial choice of course format may no longer suit them.  Because IPLS offers the course in two formats, it may be possible to accommodate a switch from the 13-week course option to the 18-week course option or vice versa. If you have enrolled with IPLS and at any stage during your course you wish to switch to the other course format, you should contact IPLS to discuss your options.

How does IPLS cater for International Trainees?

IPLS has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Trainees published by the Ministry of Education. Copies of the Code are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at www.minedu.govt.nz

Immigration: Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on their website at www.immigration.govt.nz 

Eligibility for health services: Most international trainees are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website at www.moh.govt.nz

Accident insurance: The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website at www.acc.co.nz

Medical and travel insurance: International trainees must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand.

What are stale qualifications? – Expiry of Qualifications

The New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE) has imposed restrictions on the currency of qualifications and certificates. In any case where a “qualification for admission” is more than 10 years old at the time when a candidate for admission applies to the NZCLE for a Certificate, the NZCLE may, in its discretion, assess the qualification, and may impose further study or training on the candidate. In the case of a New Zealand degree holder, a “qualification for admission” includes an LLB or LLB (Honours) degree, a core subject studied in your first, second or third year of your LLB, Legal Ethics, and the Professional Legal Studies Course. qualifications may have become ‘stale’ prior to application for a completion certificate, and in such cases, the NZCLE has a discretion to impose further degree courses, or to require passing of an examination in the law and practice of New Zealand, or a legal ethics course, or the Professional Legal Studies Course.

How long does my Certificate of Completion last?

During 2008 the New Zealand Council of Legal Education (NZCLE) moved to a system where a global certificate (ie showing successful completion of the LLB and the Legal Ethics course (if applicable) and the Professional Legal Studies Course ) is issued by the Chief Executive. The global completion certificate is the document which is required for admission evidencing completion of all educational requirements. This global completion certificate remains valid for three years from the date of issue. Thereafter, the certificate will have to be renewed. The NZCLE has a discretion to assess the candidate’s qualification for admission and may impose further study requirements as in cases of staleness. Therefore candidates for admission should ensure that once they have obtained the completion certificate, they proceed to apply to the High Court for admission within the three-year period.