The Chief Justice has made the following orders admitting new lawyers to practise.
In-person admissions adjourned
In March 2020, the Court suspended in-person admission ceremonies due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
A process was developed to allow admissions to occur ‘on the papers’ by order of the Chief Justice. Pursuant to this process, the Chief Justice makes orders (located at the bottom of this page) admitting the applicants named in the Schedule of each order to practise as Australian lawyers and officers of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The signatures of the named applicants are then entered on the Supreme Court roll.
The Court will resume in-person admission ceremonies in April 2022. However, new lawyers seeking admission will continue to have the option to be admitted ‘on the papers’.
Chief Justice's video message
In December 2021 , the Chief Justice, the Hon. Anne Ferguson, released a special video message to acknowledge all lawyers who were admitted to practise ‘on the papers’ during the pandemic.
“Although there has been no formal ceremony, the significance of your admission is undiminished," her Honour said. "This video is a way of marking the milestone you have reached."
Hello. My name is Anne Ferguson, and I'm the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we had to suspend in-person admission ceremonies. That was a difficult decision. We didn't know how long it would be before we could resume those ceremonies.
I was very keen to ensure that new lawyers would still be admitted throughout this time of change. We devised a way of doing this.
New lawyers in Victoria have been admitted to practise on the papers. This was one of the many changes we made as a result of the pandemic.
Restrictions have eased in Victoria and we're actively looking and what we can do. Any changes will be made progressively. In the meantime, you've been admitted on the papers.
Never forget that you are part of history making. Although there has been no formal ceremony, the significance of your admission is undiminished. This video is a way of marking the milestone you have reached.
Late last year, I recorded a similar video to this for the lawyers who had been admitted to practise without coming into court. Being admitted to practise is the culmination of many years of dedicated study and hard work. It marks the beginning of your journeys as Australian lawyers and officers of the Supreme Court.
So, to you, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the people who have supported you - family, friends, teachers, colleagues and the profession - and I am sure you are grateful for the encouragement they have offered you over the years.
During admission ceremonies, I like to offer some guidance to the newly admitted lawyers. I would like to do the same for you.
First, try to embody the right qualities. Be proactive, diligent and responsive. Be a team player. Always look to improve. Conduct yourself with integrity, courtesy and respect. Focus on the real contribution you are making, rather than just on the hours or days you are working. And when problems happen, and they will, focus on finding solutions.
At the same time, ensure you look after your wellbeing as best you can. Wellbeing is an essential part of a successful and sustainable career. Where possible, try your best to prioritise things outside work that are meaningful to you. And if there are ever times where things are proving difficult or becoming overwhelming, don't be afraid to ask for help.
Seek out mentors. Mentors can be a sounding board to help you find your way. They can help you to make career decisions and overcome challenges. But don't assume your mentor is someone in your field or from the same background as you. Sometimes, the best mentors are those whose experiences are completely different from our own.
Your admission comes at a time of change in the community. It is also a time of change for the courts. Last year, we accelerated projects to modernise what we do and how we do it. Now, the evolution and refinement of what we learnt during that time continues.
The face of the legal profession itself is changing too. We are becoming better at promoting diversity and building workplace cultures of respect, fairness and inclusion. We want to build cultures where people can thrive. I encourage you to embrace these changes and treat them as opportunities.
What you do from here will help to shape the future of the profession. What it will look like in ten or even fifty years' time is up to you.
So, once again, congratulations to each of you as the newest Australian lawyers. I wish you the very best for all that lies ahead of you.
Download each of the orders admitting new lawyers 'on the papers' from the following list: