Coming to the bar



There are five prerequisites for practising at the New South Wales Bar:

If an Australian lawyer wishes to  return to practise at the bar, certain requirements must be met.

a career at the bar open day

The New South Wales Bar Association will host a Career at the Bar Open Day for law students on Thursday, 26 October 2017. Learn more  here. Register here.

Best Practice Guidelines

The New South Wales Bar Association considers that achieving best practice in professional conduct and compliance with New South Wales and Commonwealth laws in the area of equality and diversity should be encouraged among its members and their chambers/floors. To this end, on 19 June 2014 the Bar Council approved the  Best Practice Guidelines (BPG)

continuing PROFESSIONAL development

Barristers practising in New South Wales, with some exceptions, are required to earn at least ten CPD points in a practising year. For a calendar of upcoming CPD events, as well as streamed seminars and information about Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Barristers) Rules 2015,  visit the CPD page.

court attire

A brief guide for practitioners on where to buy court attire and an  outline of attire to be worn by barristers in the various courts, commissions and tribunals in the federal and New South Wales jurisdictions. 

Diversity and equality

The New South Wales Bar Association is committed to fostering  diversity and equality in a manner that reflects the social and cultural diversity within the legal profession and the communities we serve.

Guide to Becoming a Barrister

The Bar Association publishes the  Guide to Becoming a Barrister to assist you in finding out whether the Bar is a career path for you.

The Bar Association on request will publish its practising members' contact and admission details on the 'Find a barrister' database

Practising certificates

All New South Wales barristers' practising certificates (PCs) expire each year on 30 June. Renewal applications should be lodged by 7 June in each year. Learn more about professional indemnity insurance (PII), PC and membership fees, accreditation of mediators and more  here.


The Bar Association's Professional Conduct Department facilitates the investigation and reporting to Bar Council of conduct complaints. For information about professional conduct, the complaints process, relevant legislation, ethical guidance and disciplinary cases, visit the  Professional Conduct page.


A lawyer, when issued with an initial practising certificate with reader conditions, is termed a 'reader'. The reader embarks on the Reading Program, which has two major elements, the Bar Practice Course & reading with a tutor.

Readers Rooms

In order to assist new readers, the Bar Association publishes  Readers Rooms, a page with all the relevant information regarding chambers, such as fees, application dates, selection criteria and contact details.

Information for Indigenous practitioners

For over a decade, the Association has worked to improve the educational path for Aboriginal law students studying at NSW universities and to assist in providing career development opportunities and career prospects for Aboriginal lawyers through the Indigenous Barristers Trust The Mum Shirl Fund. Our primary goal is to increase the number of Aboriginal barristers practising at the NSW Bar. For more information see  here.


Tutors provide a supervisory and mentoring role for new barristers. The Bar Association has replaced the Statutory List of Tutors with the Current Tutor List and the Potential Tutor List. The Bar Association recommends that arrangements for seeking a tutor should be initiated between six months to a year before coming to the bar. Learn more  here.

Uniform  Law

The  Legal Profession Uniform Law came into operation in NSW and Victoria on 1 July 2015, creating a common legal services market across NSW and Victoria. The Uniform Law aims to harmonise regulatory obligations while retaining local performance of regulatory functions. It regulates the legal profession across the two jurisdictions, governing matters such as practising certificates, cost disclosure and billing arrangements, complaint handling processes and professional discipline issues and continuing professional development requirements.