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Australian Government Solicitor and Office of International Law (legal practice) graduates

As a legal practice graduate, you will work on matters of public interest and strengthen your professional legal skills by practicing law within Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) and/or the Office of International Law (OIL). You will have the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s foremost legal minds on matters of national significance.

You will rotate through two or more of our legal practice areas and have an opportunity to be involved in a client placement, pro bono and community initiatives.

Office of General Counsel

Office of General Counsel advises all Commonwealth entities on constitutional law, statutory interpretation and legislative development relating to the full range of government activity and represents the Commonwealth in constitutional litigation.

You could find yourself assisting with:

  • development of new legislation or changes to existing legislation
  • legislative implementation in Australia of an international treaty or covenant
  • high-profile environmental and water management issues
  • Commonwealth financial matters
  • native title issues including Indigenous land use agreements
  • significant government initiatives, such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme or the national energy reforms
  • defending the constitutional validity of Commonwealth legislation.

AGS Dispute Resolution

AGS Dispute Resolution advises and represents Commonwealth entities in courts and tribunals in every jurisdiction across Australia, right up to the High Court.

This is in the context of the wide range of litigation in which AGS is the solicitor, including high-profile national security matters, Australia’s largest class actions, and litigation relating to competition, employment law, information protection, tax and administrative law.

As a graduate lawyer, you might:

  • attend client meetings
  • be involved in large-scale litigation and learn about e-litigation in the process
  • go to court to watch counsel, including AGS counsel
  • undertake legal research
  • prepare court documents
  • participate in AGS client training
  • draft advice to clients with senior dispute resolution lawyers
  • prepare research notes for other lawyers and counsel
  • attend witness conferences.

AGS Commercial

AGS Commercial advises more than 100 Commonwealth entities on a number of the Australian Government’s most high-profile, interesting and complex projects covering:

  • procurement and contracting
  • property
  • intellectual property
  • information and communications technology
  • corporate governance
  • funding arrangements.

You could find yourself assisting the Australian Government to build the second Sydney airport or procuring new submarines, life-saving drugs or high-tech facial recognition systems, advising on national security matters or establishing new Commonwealth entities, such as the Regional Investment Corporation. You might also assist with the delivery of Commonwealth events, like G20 summits or the roll-out of national programs like the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Partners in the Community grant program.

Office of International Law

Office of International Law advises the Australian Government on international law. This includes advice across government on issues involving public international law, and domestic and international litigation involving public international law. OIL also develops and implements international law projects and assists in treaty negotiations.

As a legal practice graduate, you may be involved in matters including:

  • general international law such as air and space law (eg jurisdiction on aircraft, international aviation standards), border protection issues including refugee law and asylum seekers and international environmental law (eg climate change, conservation, fisheries)
  • international security law such as legal constraints on the use of military force, international humanitarian law (eg rules of engagement, means and methods of warfare, detention of persons during armed conflict) and international law related to aviation, maritime, space and cyber security, (eg air security officer arrangements, piracy)
  • international trade law such as investment law and intellectual property
  • international human rights law such as compatibility of Australian legislation with Australia's international human rights obligations, other civil and political rights (eg freedom of expression or religion, right to life, freedom from torture and cruel) and children’s rights.

Visit our Graduate profiles to find out more from our most recent graduates.

Eligibility requirements

Legal practice graduates must meet the requirements of each stage of the selection process and be:

  1. an Australian citizen
  2. completing your final year of study or have completed at minimum a Bachelor of Laws or a Juris Doctor in the last four years and are
    • eligible to enrol in a practical legal training course that leads to admission in Australia
    • eligible for admission in Australia or
    • admitted to practice in Australia
  3. tracking towards a distinction average at the time of application and complete your degree with a distinction average
  4. willing to undergo a security assessment and medical health check
  5. prepared to relocate to Canberra.

Relocation assistance will be available for candidates who are moving to Canberra.