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Frequently asked questions


Why are there two streams?

Our policy and program and legal practice streams are a great start if you are looking to excel in a policy, program delivery, corporate or legal career. As our department is widely diverse in the programs and policies we deliver, we encourage graduates from all disciplines to apply.

In the policy and program stream, you will have the opportunity to strengthen your skills in the areas of legal policy development  as well as manage programs and services to help us achieve our mission of achieving a just and secure society. In the legal practice stream, you will have the opportunity to utilise and strengthen your legal skills through practising law and giving legal advice within the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) group of the department.

How are the placements within each rotation decided?

In the policy and program stream, graduate placements for rotations are decided according to business needs, required development, and graduate preference. This ensures the department can meet strategic and operational requirements and provides our graduates with opportunities across diverse work areas.

In the legal practice stream, graduates rotate through practice rotations, a client placement and a pro bono placement.

What training is offered?

Graduates will participate in a range of learning and development opportunities including specific activities for graduates who are working in a public service environment.

If I don't live in Canberra, is relocation assistance available?

Relocation assistance may be available for candidates who are relocating.

I graduated a while ago, am I eligible for the Graduate Program?

To be eligible for our Graduate Program, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have completed your qualification with a minimum of a credit average (for the legal practice stream, this must be a minimum credit average in your law subjects)
  • have completed your degree or post-graduate qualification no more than four years before the program starts
  • provide evidence of your completed qualification.

All successful candidates are required to meet health, security and character clearances.

Do you have age limits for applicants?

No. All graduates are selected on their capabilities and demonstrated competence against the selection criteria.

I'm not an Australian citizen yet but will be soon. Can I apply?

If you are currently a permanent resident, you will need to provide evidence of your citizenship six months prior to your commencement. To start the program, you must be an Australian citizen and meet all required character and security clearances.

Do you only accept applications from particular disciplines?

No. We encourage applications from all disciplines including but not limited to: law, arts, business, commerce, economics, international studies, humanities, technology, human resources and science.

We also encourage and support graduates that come through Australian Government Indigenous Recruitment Program, managed by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

Do you screen applications based on the level of qualification, for example only those with Masters or above?

Whilst your qualifications are important to us, we are seeking high potential graduates who have the right skills, attributes, attitude and passion for the work that we do at the Attorney-General's Department. We are seeking graduates who have achieved a credit average result or above in their degree. For the legal practice stream, this is applies to your law subjects only.

Can I apply for the 2019 graduate program?

At this stage we're not accepting applications for 2019, but stay tuned to our Facebook page and this website for more details as they become available.

Can I defer my offer of a placement on the Attorney-General's Department Graduate Program until the following year?

No. The merit pool created from the graduate recruitment process will only remain valid for 12 months from the date of advertisement. You will need to reapply to be considered for the following  program.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Attorney-General's Department Graduate Program must be submitted through our online application system. You will need to register your details in order to complete your application.

Can I apply for both the policy and program stream and the legal practice stream?

Yes. The application process allows you to select one stream or both.

How will I be notified about the progress of my application?

Once you have submitted your application, you will be notified of updates through the email address you have supplied. We recommend that you regularly check your profile in our online recruitment system as some firewall systems can block system notifications. You can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook.

What do the assessment centres involve?

If your application is shortlisted in the policy and program stream, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre in Canberra, which generally runs for a half day. It consists of a variety of activities that measure your competency levels against set criteria. Feedback is provided to all candidates who attend an assessment centre.

If your application is shortlisted in the legal practice stream, you will be invited to attend a face to face interview in Canberra.

What does a security clearance involve?

Candidates who accept a position in the Graduate Program must undergo a security clearance. It is a condition of employment that graduates obtain and maintain a security clearance. You will be asked to provide comprehensive information about yourself and your dependants and to give the department the right to check any of the information you provide with relevant authorities such as the Australian Federal Police and financial institutions.

Which interstate offices can I work in?

Positions in the policy and program stream are Canberra based.

For the legal practice stream, AGS has offices in every capital city. Most graduate positions are based in Canberra, which is the largest office. All of the offices have dispute resolution practices and most have commercial practices, but the Office of General Counsel is situated in Canberra. The placement of graduates interstate is based on business needs.


For information on the department’s employment conditions, refer to our Enterprise Agreement available on our Careers page.

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