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New Zealand Law and Practice Examinations

New Zealand Law and Practice Examinations

What is the NZLPE?

The New Zealand Law and Practice Examination (NZLPE) is administered by the New Zealand Council of Legal Education. If you hold an overseas law degree of similar scope, duration and subject matter to a New Zealand Bachelor of Laws, you can apply to undertake the examination which will test you on key areas of New Zealand law which differ from the laws of your original jurisdiction. 

The examination is the pathway to a career as a practising lawyer in New Zealand, and through mutual recognition laws, in Australia.

My enrolment in The College of Law was such a great help. It facilitated my understanding of the difficult legal concepts. It enabled me to avail online various resources like the past examinations which I tried to answer on my own according to the "guide on how to answer various kinds of exam questions" posted on the website of the College and in line with the recent rulings found in the various cases accessible through the College website and Lexis Nexis.

Neferteri Cristobal

Former NZLPE Student

Exam Structure

The NZLPE comprises six parts:

  • Part I – The New Zealand Legal System
  • Part II – Law of Contract
  • Part III – Criminal Law
  • Part IV – Property
  • Part V – Law of Torts
  • Part VI – Equity

You can view the Conduct of the New Zealand Law and Practice Regulations 1996 which govern the conduct of the examination, on the Council’s website at www.nzcle.org.nz under About Us. 

The NZLPE Preparation Course

The College of Law provides the only preparation course designed to assist NZLPE candidates to study the course prescription.

The NZLPE should not be attempted relying solely on the College’s materials. You must also consult the recommended texts, articles and legislation as well as undertaking further research where you think it is necessary.

Our online course provides you with access to:

  • A unit by unit study guide
  • Quizzes that test your knowledge and understanding
  • All relevant cases and statutes
  • Online libraries from the major publishers
  • All past NZLPE exam papers since 2004
  • A session with an industry professional to cover course content
New Zealand Law and Practice Examination
New Zealand Law and Practice Examination
New Zealand Law and Practice Examination


While the NZLPE Preparation Course is designed as a self-study course, for each unit you enrol in, you are able to access a 30 minute online meeting with a College specialist in the particular area of law.

The meeting allows the student and specialist to ask questions, demonstrating that the material has been understood, as well as providing an opportunity to discuss any relevant programme matters.

Course Fees

The course fee is NZ$2,500 excluding GST per part (GST is payable if you reside in New Zealand)

The fee includes

  • Access to an online course for one semester
  • 30 minute online feedback session
  • Transfer (at no cost) to another semester in the event of unsuccessful completion of the relevant examination due to deferral, non-registration, withdrawal, not sitting or not passing. Note any subsequent transfers will attract a fee.

Start Dates

The courses run in two semesters.

  • Semester 1: 1 February to 31 July (for July examinations)
  • Semester 2: 1 August to 28 February (for February examinations)

*Please check the NZCLE website for updates regarding exam timetables


There is no prescribed timetable. You will determine your own study pace according to your circumstances, the number of exams you have chosen to sit and when you sit them (February or July).

If you pace your work to one unit per week, you will need to allow 10 to 15 weeks depending on the number of units in a Part.

If you devote yourself to full-time study then you should allow at least four weeks of intensive study for each Part. 

It may be better to spread your exams over both February and July or over more than one year, depending on your individual circumstances.