Your trusted CPD partner

Duty Lawyer Training Programme 2021

Duty Lawyer Training Programme 2021
Add to CPD Planner


In accordance with the COVID-19 protection framework we require everyone attending our in-person events to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Find out more

Learning objectives  l  Ministry of Justice Requirements  l  Times & locations  l  Transfer & Cancellation policy

Duty lawyers are critical to the smooth running of a District Court list. This course gives you the basic knowledge and skills you need to apply to join this important group.

You will:
  • Undertake self-directed pre-course reading and preparation.
  • Arrange to observe experienced duty lawyers for a minimum of five half days.
  • Attend an introductory session in the area in which you intend to practise (introductory session).
  • Work through realistic scenarios with an experienced duty lawyer (advising session)
  • Sit an open book exam (exam session).
  • Make critiqued practice appearances (practice court session).
  • Be observed and assessed while making your first real appearance as a duty lawyer (final assessed appearance).

Ministry of Justice requirements 

As well as completion of the programme, you will need to meet Ministry of Justice listing criteria for duty lawyers. Note that being listed as a duty lawyer does not guarantee a place on any roster. See the MOJ website for more information.


The introductory, advising, exam and practice court sessions are all run in five main centres. Introductory sessions are also held in a number of smaller centres.

Your introductory session and final assessed appearance must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise.

All participants are required to attend the advising, exam, and practice court sessions in one of the main centres. These sessions are held on a Friday afternoon and the following Saturday morning.

If you are from a town which is not shown, we may be able to help you organise a separate introductory session.

Learning objectives

At the completion of this programme you will be able to:

  • Recognise what information is required to advise list court defendants.
  • Advise defendants as to their best course of action.
  • Recognise when to seek advice from a more experienced duty lawyer.
  • Recognise the limits of the duty lawyer role.
  • Make appropriate applications/submissions for a defendant.
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to ethical issues which may arise.
  • Know how to interact appropriately with the Community Probation Service, Police, the Forensic Nurse and other services assisting in the list court.

Who should attend 

This course is for practitioners who intend to apply to be listed as a duty lawyer.

Note: It is possible to register and complete the majority of the course without a practising certificate, but you must hold a practising certificate by the time of your final assessed appearance.


Materials are couriered a month prior to the introductory session (providing you have registered and paid in full). You will need to read all instructions, requirements and assessment procedures to ensure you are fully prepared for each component of the course.

We suggest that you register at least three weeks before the introductory session you wish to attend so that you can start your observations and prepare for the introductory session.

Fee (incl GST)

Entry Level Workshop

  • $505
Fee includes all materials and catering

Timing & Locations

  • Introductory session: 2.00pm - 5.30pm
  • Advising & exam session: 1.00pm - 6.00pm
  • Practice court session: 8.30am - 1.30pm 
Dates in red below differ from those originally advertised
The introduction and final assessed appearance must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise. Your final assessed appearance must take place within two years of your practice court session.
  Introductory Session Advising & Exam Practice Court
Christchurch 12 February 9 April 10 April
Timaru 19 February 9 April (in Chch) 10 April (in Chch)
Wellington 1 5 March 30 April 1 May
Nelson 5 March 30 April (in Wgtn) 1 May (in Wgtn)
Auckland 9 April 28 May 29 May
Gisborne 9 April 28 May (in Akl) 29 May (in Akl)
Hamilton 18 June 23 July 24 July
Tauranga 18 June 23 July (in Ham) 24 July (in Ham)
Rotorua 18 June 23 July (in Ham) 24 July (in Ham)
Dunedin 25 June 8 October 9 October
Invercargill 25 June 8 October (in Dun) 9 October (in Dun)
Manukau 6 August 11 February 2022 12 February 2022
Whangarei 6 August 11 February 2022 (in Man) 12 February 2022 (in Man)
Wellington 2 13 August TBC 2022 TBC 2022
Whanganui 13 August TBC 2022 (in Wgtn) TBC 2022 (in Wgtn)
Hawkes Bay 13 August TBC 2022(in Wgtn) TBC 2022 (in Wgtn)
New Plymouth 13 August TBC 2022 (in Wgtn) TBC 2022 (in Wgtn)
Palmerston North 13 August TBC 2022 (in Wgtn) TBC 2022 (in Wgtn)

Transfer Policy

Note: transfer is available only within this calendar year.
Auckland and Manukau are separate centres and require a formal transfer.

Introductory session
No transfer is possible for the introductory session as it must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise.
Advising & exam session and/or practice court session
Transfer to another centre
Notice given Fee payable
10+ working days $100
5-9 working days $150
0-4 working days Transfer not possible, treated as cancellation. See cancellation below.

Cancellation Policy

Note: materials must be returned unused before refund will be processed.

Before Introductory session
Notice given Refund
10+ working days $405 (fee – $100 administration)
0-9 working days $355 (fee – $150 administration)
Before advising & exam session and/or practice court session
Notice given Refund
10+ working days $150
0-9 working days No refund

Developed with the support of:
75px The Law Foundation Logo blue

freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111

[email protected]

04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand