The practising certificate (PC) renewal for 2021 will move to an online-only model, the Law Society Council has decided.
The unanimous decision was made at the council meeting on 13 November.
All PC applications and payments for 2021 will only be accepted via the Law Society’s website.
This includes applications for practising certificates, qualifying certificates, memberships, certificates of good standing, and applications by solicitors in the full-time service of the State.
No paper applications
No paper applications will be made available and payment methods are limited to debit/credit card or bank transfer, with physical methods of payment (cheque, bank draft, postal order or cash) not accepted.
This switch to a fully online renewal process is necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to ensure a timely and efficient PC renewal process.
Solicitors need to provide the Law Society with a unique direct email address (not a generic firm email) to ensure they can log in and submit their PC form online.
The Law Society will provide detailed information on all steps required to complete an online application, with additional training offered to firm administrators (if required).
Assistance will also be provided to those solicitors who are having difficulty with the process.
In 2020, a total of 66% of all PC applications were completed online.
It was the Law Society’s strategic operational objective to move to a fully online model by 2023.
The many difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated this process, which is necessary to ensure that the PC renewal process for 2021 runs smoothly and that members are issued their practising certificates in a prompt and orderly manner.
The online application process will also offer considerable savings over the cost of manual administration.
Members requiring assistance with specific issues can contact the Law Society through firstname.lastname@example.org.