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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there one category of enrolment or membership for everyone, and who can join?

There are many levels of enrolment with the Institute. Students and those starting a legal career can join, as well as more senior persons. All Applications are ratified by the Council, each being treated on its merits. The Council reserves the right to refuse enrolment to any Applicant, determine the appropriate category of enrolment or membership, admit a person who has not enrolled in a recognised course to any category of enrolment or membership, and to vary enrolment and/or membership requirements from time to time.  Your academic completion will be taken into account, and also any legal (or related) employment whether this be as a Receptionist, Legal Secretary, Personal Assistant, Law Clerk, Court Clerk, Paralegal, and so on.

The highest level is that of Fellow of the Institute. A Fellow can administer Oaths and take Statutory Declarations in Victoria pursuant to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 (Victoria), and only Fellows have Institute voting rights. The Institute only recognises use of the term "Legal ExecutiveTM"(or 'Fellow'); by a Fellow of the Institute. Many enrol with the Institute when starting their legal career, and work their way up to become Fellows.

We need to note here that whilst we use the generic terms ‘members’ and ‘membership’ on this website, in the terms of our Memorandum and Articles of Association, ‘member’ means a person admitted to Fellowship; with those in the categories of Provisional, Associate, Affiliate and Accountancy being enrolled in those categories.

Persons in all categories of enrolment or membership are required to comply with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Institute, and with the Institute's Code of Conduct. The Continuing Professional Development guidelines also apply to all categories of enrolment or membership.

If I want to join the Institute, what forms do I need to download?

You need to download the following documents from the link on this website 'Applications, Institute information, Code of Conduct and CPD guidelines':

  1. the Application form; and
  2. the Statutory Declaration applicable to your jurisdiction.

You also need to download or view, from the same link:

  1. Information about the Institute;
  2. the Code of Conduct;
  3. the Continuing Professional Development guidelines; and
  4. the Institute's Constitution.

What other information do I need to send you in addition to my Statutory Declaration, Application and application fee?

If you are a full-time student, you will need to include proof of your enrolment in a course of formal legal study as well as one written character reference.

If you are employed in the legal (or a related) profession you should provide proof of completion of any post-secondary formal studies, as well as two written references from Legal Practitioners. A Duty Statement and Employment History is also required.

  • If you are an independent Conveyancer you will also need to provide a copy of your Licence.
  • If you have been employed in the legal profession for some time reference letters specifying any time served at Senior Law Clerk level should also be provided.
  • Whilst the Statutory Declaration and Application must be original documents, you may exhibit certified copies of academic transcripts and reference letters.
  • A number of courses have already been considered by the Council as satisfying the Institute's internal requirements for enrolment/membership purposes, however the Council is most happy to consider other courses. If the Council has not previously considered a course it may ask you to provide additional course details.
  • If you have completed the Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice (or predecessors) then you only need to provide a certified copy of the Award itself, and not a transcript of results.

Can I apply for a particular category of enrolment or Fellowship?

Not as such - the Council individually assesses each Application on its merits. The first question which needs to be addressed is whether you are eligible to join the Institute, and then the Council can consider the category of enrolment which is to be offered depending upon your experience and academic achievement. However, you can request that the Council consider you for Fellowship, if you feel you satisfy most of the criteria, and/or advise you of the requirements you would need to satisfy for Fellowship in the future.

How will joining the Institute help me in my existing or future employment?

You will have the opportunity to improve your legal education through our publications and events. Additionally, you will find that many employers are aware of the Institute as a relevant professional association, and encourage their employees to join.

Enrolees and members also find our regular Salary Survey statistics to be of benefit to them in the workplace.

When you attain Fellowship, the privilege of being able to witness Statutory Declarations and take Affidavits in Victoria, pursuant to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958, and being able to certify certain copy documents, will be of great assistance to you and your employer.

If you are seeking a change in employment, Employment Notices frequently appear in The Legal Executive.

Please also see the link on this website 'How to achieve a legal career?'.

What does the Institute do?

For members

For the community

All members receive our publications -
The Legal Executive (bimonthly), and austilex (available on our website bimonthly).

Careers materials are freely available.

The Institute maintains an Employment Register for members seeking employment.

Speakers are usually available (at no charge), presently only within Victoria (depending on locality and availability).


Those interested in a legal career can call the Institute during business hours.

Annual functions, workshops/seminars, networking opportunities.

The Institute is represented on a number of Educational Committees in regard to legal courses. Some of the seminars supported by the Institute are conducted in conjunction with other organisations, on a range of issues, and are available to the general public.

The Institute also makes a number of Submissions to Government on an ongoing basis.  Some are to ensure the continued recognition of the Institute and its members, whilst others are made for the benefit of the wider community.

What fees are payable?

There is a 'once off' application fee. If you are accepted to join the Institute then we will send you a Subscription Notice in respect to the pro rata subscription to the end of the then current subscription period (30 June). Thereafter your subscription will be payable annually. The application fee is presently $60.00, or $30.00 for full-time students. Subscriptions vary depending upon the category of enrolment (or membership) offered. All amounts are GST inclusive (except in respect to persons located out of Australia, who should deduct 1/11th from any payment). You are welcome to email the CEO at for current subscription amounts. 

If I join and then apply for Fellowship later, is there an additional fee?

There is currently no additional fee applicable to existing enrolees applying for Fellowship. Once an enrolee has been accepted for Fellowship, then a pro rata Fellow Subscription Notice will be issued for the remainder of the applicable subscription period, taking into account the subscription already paid in the applicable enrolment category for that period. 
Who is a 'member', and what are the descriptions used by those who join the Institute?  What can I call myself if I join the Institute? If my employer wants to put my name on letterhead or in advertising materials, how should I be described? 
As noted above, for ease of use, in many of our website materials we generically refer to 'members', although pursuant to the Institute's Constitution only a Fellow (Legal Executive™) is a ‘member’ and others are enrolees.

As far as the Institute is concerned, the Code of Conduct contains guidance notes relating to descriptions of enrolees and members. Any description must also comply with the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic.) (or successor, or equivalent in the relevant jurisdiction). In Victoria, the Law Institute of Victoria Ethics Department is happy to assist firms in respect to compliance issues. 

What are the main differences between enrolees and members/Fellows?

All current enrolees and members receive our publications (or can access them on our website in the ‘members only’ area), can participate in Institute surveys, such as our annual Salary Survey, can attend seminars or other functions at 'member' rates, receive the advantage of any discounts the Institute can arrange, may attend the Annual General Meeting and Annual Christmas Party, can make suggestions to Council, and so on.
However, only Fellows –

  • have the right to vote at the AGM,
  • are authorised under the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 (Vic.) to witness Statutory Declarations2 and take Affidavits in Victoria,
  • can certify copy documents for Land Registry Victoria use, as provided in the Land Registry Lodging Book,
  • can, pursuant to the Constitution and Code of Conduct, describe him or herself as a 'Legal ExecutiveTM'.

All enrolees and members must observe the Code of Conduct and Constitution, and comply with the Institute's Continuing Professional Development guidelines.

I am a Legal Executive/member of another Institute of Legal Executives and am thinking of moving to Australia. I know the practices and procedures will be different, but are there any particular restrictions I need to be aware of in relation to working in the legal profession in Australia?

Yes, most definitely. Please see the 'Overseas Enquiries' link on this website.

Our Philosophy:

Everyone employed in the legal profession is important;
every task done well, whether it be mundane or carried out at a high level of responsibility, contributes to a better profession.
Experientia Docet Sapientiam: Experience Teaches Wisdom.

1 Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice and others
2 paid-up, in accordance with the Institute’s Code of Conduct
3 with certain exceptions such as Fellows of our sister Institutes, or as authorised by those Institutes
4 The Institute is not an Employment Agency - the Register is maintained only in order to facilitate contact between enrolees/members seeking employment and potential employers contacting the Institute. There is presently no charge to either potential employer or employee.
5 this only applies to 'paid-up' Fellows
6 and pursuant to the Code of Conduct must be paid-up to exercise these privileges