The practice of law in the 21st Century is complex. It is not possible for one lawyer to be an expert in all areas therefore, to assist the public in selecting the right lawyer, the Law Society of NSW established the Specialist Accreditation Scheme.
For the Law Society to accredit a solicitor as a specialist, the solicitor is required to prove their expertise in their area of specialisation. In Peter Murphy’s case it is criminal law.
Solicitors must have at least five years professional experience, and demonstrate a substantial involvement in the area of specialisation. Then, having met the Society’s eligibility standards, they must pass a rigorous accreditation process. This includes a written examination and other tests to demonstrate that the solicitor has extensive knowledge and experience together with a sound, practical approach to the area of speciality.
To remain accredited, the solicitor must maintain a minimum percentage of their practise in their area of specialisation and undertake yearly legal education in addition to the continuing legal education obligations imposed generally. The Law Society thereby ensures that a specialist is continuously up-to-date with developments and changes to their area of specialisation to ensure that a high standard is maintained.