All lawyers wishing to practise on their own account, whether alone or in partnership or in an incorporated practice, and some in-house counsel, will be required to complete the course. To complete Stepping Up you must do approximately 50 hours of self-directed distance learning and workshop preparation and then attend a two and a half day workshop. Please note that before you attend the workshop you must sign an undertaking that you have completed all the distance learning and preparatory work. There are five courses offered in 2023. However, there is no guarantee of acceptance to any particular course as maximum numbers apply to each session.
Stepping Up - due diligence
Stepping Up is the first step in qualifying to practise on your own account. After the course, you will need to apply to NZLS for approval and meet the application criteria. The NZLS website explains the application process and criteria, see Practising on own account as a barrister and solicitor and Starting practice as a barrister.
Many graduates of Stepping Up wish they had considered the implications of practising on own account, before they did Stepping Up. We’ve got something to help you with that – our own series of videos called So you are thinking of practising on own account? There is also a free recording and book about Practising on own account available.
Topping Up Stepping Up
Topping Up Stepping Up is a revision course for practitioners who have previously completed Stepping Up satisfactorily, but who have not commenced practice on their own account within the required two years of the expiry date. More information
The course will comprise:
The learning modules include background information, examples, practice exercises and questions, and preparatory work for the workshop. You must work through each module at your own pace – read, and then answer questions and/or carry out practice exercises as required. As a guide, we estimate that all pre-course work will take about 50 hours.
All your written work for each module must be handed in to the course manager before the course begins.
The people dimension
Managing the business
Managing client’s instructions
Managing clients’ funds
NOTE: In the background booklet there is a chapter on how to manage the practical aspects of running an office, for example managing the physical assets, client files, administration systems and technology.
There will be concurrent workshop sessions according to the candidate’s intended career path:
Stepping Up is a major building block in the New Zealand Law Society’s competence and professional development programme.
Those lawyers who wish to practise on their own and run a trust account will also have to complete the Trust Account Supervisors’ course.
The booklet and the workfolder will be couriered to registrants. These materials will be available approximately three months before each workshop begins.
Before participants attend the workshop, they must sign and hand to the course manager a declaration that they have completed all background reading and pre-course work to the required standard.
Stepping Up candidates for practice on own account will be required to give NZLS CLE and the Course Director written authority to disclose to the New Zealand Law Society and NZLS CLE anything they consider relevant to the candidate’s application to practise on own account.
The course assessment will be based on:
In the event of failure of any assessed part of the course, there is a process for reassessment.
Stepping Up is a compulsory prerequisite for lawyers applying to be barristers sole.
Stepping Up is the first step in the process towards qualifying to practise on your own account. If you do not commence practice on own account within two years from the date you completed Stepping Up, the qualification lapses. When you intend to practise on your own account you should make a formal application to your local NZLS branch. The relevant information is available on the NZLS website.
The process of application to practise on own account takes six to eight weeks. This is to allow time for your name to be advertised to the profession, for you to attend an interview (if required) and for reference checks to be made.
Pre-course work and undertaking
|Auckland 1||9 - 11 March 2023|
|Christchurch||11 - 13 May 2023|
|Live Online||20 - 22 July 2023|
|Wellington||21 - 23 September 2023|
|Auckland 2||23 - 25 November 2023|
|Auckland 1||7 - 9 March 2024|
|Christchurch||16 - 18 May 2024|
|Live Online||25 - 27 July 2024|
|Wellington||19 - 21 September 2024|
|Auckland 2||21 - 23 November 2024|
This workshop has a ‘No transfer policy’. Therefore, if you are unable to attend the workshop you must cancel your registration. If you cancel your registration at least 15 working days before the workshop begins, you will receive a refund of $1,100. No refunds will be given for any cancellations made less than 15 working days prior to the course.
Development funded by: