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This page will provide you with the key information you need to know to make an application for Accredited Specialisation.

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Explore the 16 areas of law where you can make your mark on the legal profession as an LIV Accredited Specialist.

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Access the rules, applications, forms and other key resources to support your application to become an Accredited Specialist.

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Is the time right for you to become a recognised expert?

LIV Accredited Specialisation is a nationally recognised certification to improve both your professional standing and career opportunities while setting you apart as an expert in your field. It is a definitive and recognisable mark of excellence for your peers and clients.

The LIV has accredited more than 1100 lawyers to date and offers advanced professional development programs for its Accredited Specialist members to help them to maintain their high standards.

Benefits of specialisation include:

  • Have your expertise recognised by an independent peer-led accreditation program
  • Take the time to further your expertise in a particular practice area by immersing yourself to develop the depth and breadth of your expertise
  • Nationally recognised program leading to mutual recognition of your Specialist status in other states
  • Be supported by the LIV with a range of study materials and activities – including access to past assessment materials, related legislation and regulations, relevant LIJ articles, discussion groups and mentoring
  • Free access to the CCH Pinpoint platform – providing comprehensive matrix of legal information and practical tools
  • Access to a series of webinars designed and led by Accredited Specialists
  • Listing in the LIV’s Accredited Specialists directory
  • Increase referral work from the public and peers.


Watch the video (below) of our 2021 Accredited Specialisation Information Night to learn more about the program, the application and assessment process, and to hear from past participants.

These pages contain information on the following:



  • Upcoming Accredited Specialisation Events

    Learn about upcoming Accredited Specialisation information sessions, professional development and other programs and events specifically designed for Accredited Specialists.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do I find forms and policies that relate to Accredited Specialisation?
  • How do I apply for Accredited Specialisation?
  • What do I need to include in my application?

    Your application should include the following:

    • completed application form
    • three references in the prescribed format
    • a short CV or resume of practice
    • other supporting documentation particular to your application
    • application payment – either in the form of a cheque, credit card or EFT remittance.
  • What are the application close dates?

    Application close dates for the 2020 program are as follows:

    • Friday 29 April 2021, 4pm – Applications requesting Board discretion (for those who do not meet the eligibility criteria) or exemption from the Written Examination
    • Friday 14 May 2021, 4pm – All other applications
  • What happens if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria? Can I still apply?

    The Board may, in exceptional circumstances, exercise its discretion to accept an application in the form prescribed by the Board from a practitioner who is unable to fully satisfy the conditions of entry to the program.

    If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or would like to seek an exemption from the written examination, you will need to submit an accompanying letter with your application. The letter should make reference to the Specialisation Scheme Rule that you seek relief on, and must demonstrate to the Board that the experience gained in legal work, paralegal work, judicial, quasi-judicial work, legal research, teaching, or part-time legal work which in aggregate, is sufficient to satisfy the Board that the requirements of entry to the program. This is called a Special Consideration Application and is due by 30 April 2021.

    Please note.  A fee of $220 will be charged for applications that require discretion. This amount will be deducted from the application fee if the application is successful.

  • How is the five years' post admission experience calculated?

    Applicants are required to have the equivalent of five years full-time work experience following the date of their admission by 30 June in the year of the application. For example, if you are applying for the 2021 program, you meet this requirement if you commenced working full time on, or before, 31 December 2016. How is substantial involvement in the area of practice calculated? For the purposes of the Accredited Specialisation application, substantial involvement equates to a minimum of 25 per cent equivalent to full-time work in the area of practice. In other words, at least 1.25 days per week in the area of law.

  • What are the reference requirements?

    Three references who have known you for 3+ years, with at least one being a legal practitioner with 5+ years’ experience significantly involved in your area of practice. A referee who is not a legal practitioner must have appropriate experience in a field closely related to the area of practice. None of the following is eligible to act as a referee; partner, associate, employer, employee of your firm, relative, Specialisation Board member, advisory committee member in the area of practice, current applicant in the same law area or LIV staff member.

    The LIV provides a form on which these references can be submitted as part of the Application Form.

  • Which tertiary institutions offer credit pathways for specialists commencing an LLM?

    The following tertiary institutions offer credit pathways for accredited specialists commencing a Master of Laws. For further information, please contact the institution directly.

    • Applicants for the College of Law LLM who are Accredited Specialists in an area in which The College has a major can apply to receive up to two subjects credit towards the Master of Laws (Applied Law) or Master of Applied Law (Family Law) depending on the major and the practice area in which the applicant is an Accredited Specialist.

      Accredited Specialists in a particular area of law may apply for Credit on the basis of their specialist accreditation as follows:

      (i) one Subject specified Credit towards a Capstone Project in the practice area in which the applicant is an Accredited Specialist and one subject specified Credit for a foundation subject in the practice area in which the student is an Accredited Specialist; or
      (ii)one subject unspecified credit if the accredited specialisation is not in the same area as the Major.
    • The Deakin School of Law will grant accredited specialists a credit of one, and up to two, units of credit towards a Deakin LLM.
    • The La Trobe School of Law will grant practitioners who have attained their LIV specialist accreditation within the last three years a one subject credit towards an LLM degree.
  • What is required for my resume of practice/CV?

    This should include a history of your practice to date, details of the roles you have held, the areas of law that you have worked in and any major projects/file types you have worked on. Your resume of practice should be approximately 1–2 pages long.

  • What are the application costs and how can I make payment?

    The application fee is $1100 (including GST). This includes entry into the assessment process and covers the costs
    associated with undertaking the program. This fee does not include access to past assessment papers or interviews.

    Special consideration applications (applications that request the Board exercise its discretion) will incur an assessment fee of $220. This amount will be deducted from the application fee if the application is successful.

    Payment can be made by the following methods:

    • Cheque made payable to the Law Institute of Victoria
    • Credit card details; or
    • EFT payment (remittance advice enclosed)

    Account Name: Law Institute of Victoria
    BSB: 033 000
    Account Number: 567470
    Reference: Include your name and member number

  • Are there any additional fees or charges?

    If you successfully gain your accreditation, there is an annual fee of $420 (GST incl), which is included in your membership renewal notice. You may seek to apply for a leave of absence if your circumstances change once you have gained accreditation. This is an annual fee of $110 (GST incl) payable at membership renewal time.

  • Is the application fee refundable if I withdraw from the program?

    A refund of $880 will be made if a candidate withdraws prior to 30 June in the year of the application. After this date, no refund is available. The application and enrolment fee will not be transferred to a future program or year.

  • Is the application fee tax deductible?

    Yes, we believe that the application fee would be tax deductible under Tax Ruling 98/9. Further information can be provided here if necessary.

  • Can I practise in another state as an accredited specialist if I am a specialist in a nationally acc

    The mutual recognition policy provides a framework for Accredited Specialisation in one state to be recognised in other states. The outcome of recognition is that legal practitioners may, subject to conditions, be eligible to hold Accredited Specialisation in more than one state. On an ongoing basis, renewal of each Accredited Specialisation is the responsibility of each state in which Accredited Specialisation is held. Please review the Mutual Recognition Fact Sheet or contact our office or 03 9607 9460 for further details.

  • Does the LIV recognise prior learning?

    Yes, the LIV does recognise prior learning and will provide advanced standing through the exemption to the written examination on a case by case basis. Applicants may apply in advance for an exemption from the written examination if they have recently studied subjects relating to the area of practice in a postgraduate course at a tertiary institution. Policy and eligibility requirements for this exemption can be viewed at Policy: Applications for Exemptions from Assessment Components (PDF)

    Any such exemption is entirely at the discretion of the Specialisation Board and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • How do I apply for mutual recognition with the LIV?

    To gain mutual recognition, you need to submit a formal request seeking mutual recognition. Your request will then be considered by the Advisory Committee and the Specialisation Board. The request may be drafted around your background, the area of specialisation you are seeking mutual recognition, evidence of your current specialisation, work undertaken in the area of specialisation in Victoria and your reason for requesting mutual recognition. Your request should be addressed to the Secretary to the Specialisation Board and sent to the below address:

    Accredited Specialisation
    Law Institute of Victoria
    Level 13, 140 William Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Can I order past assessments before I enrol for the program?

    Yes, prospective candidates are able to access past assessment materials before they enrol for the program. These include past examination papers as well as simulated interviews. Past assessments help prospective candidates understand the standard and the format of the assessments. Complete and submit an Assessment Material Order Form to access past assessment materials.

  • What are the key functions of the learning management system (Moodle)?

    The key functionalities of Moodle include:

    • access to key program information including assessment details and dates
    • discussion forums on topics listed in the subject guidelines
    • moderated chat sessions lead by topic experts at scheduled periods
    • ability to view, add to and create blogs and wikis on topics covered in the subject guidelines
    • access to specialisation resources and policies
    • ability to exchange files and study notes
    • ability to submit take-home assessments during the assessment period.
  • How can I get access to Moodle?

    Moodle access is granted to candidates who are accepted into the assessment program. Candidates will be issued with their login information as part of their enrolment confirmation.

  • What should I do to join a study group?

    Prospective candidates who wish to join a study group should submit a Study Group Application Form to This information will then be circulated to others interested in forming a study group.

  • Are we allowed to discuss assessment details with other candidates or mentors?

    Candidates are not allowed to discuss details about assessments with other candidates or mentors. However, you are allowed to discuss the topics of assessments outlined in the subject guidelines and prepare materials and study notes ahead of assessments.