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Legal practice - Australian Government Solicitor

Graduate program stream

As a legal practice graduate, you will have the opportunity to work within the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) with some of Australia's foremost legal minds on matters of national significance.

About the Australian Government Solicitor

Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is the Australian Government’s central legal practice and is part of the department. We help Commonwealth clients to manage legal issues, navigate new challenges and find solutions which deliver the best outcomes for Australia. We are a self-funded legal practice and compete for our work.

  • AGS IS UNIQUE. AGS is dedicated to the national interest and is a trusted adviser to Government.
  • AGS IS INNOVATIVE. Drawing on an exceptional depth of experience and expertise, we assist the Australian Government in the development and implementation of solutions to legal issues that have national importance.
  • AGS IS DIVERSE. With offices in every capital city and a team of 650 staff, including 370 lawyers, we work in more than 40 different areas of law related to government.

Working with AGS provides the perfect pathway to a dynamic career in Australian law.

The graduate program is a 12-month development opportunity with rotations across our 3 practice areas where you will work with many of Australia’s best government lawyers, including our 5 in-house Queen’s Counsel.

You will have the opportunity to work with an in-house legal team within a Commonwealth agency and with a community legal centre/charitable organisation as part of our pro bono program. You will be mentored and have access to a variety of learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete your practical legal training to be admitted to practice.

AGS delivers services through three national legal practices:

The practices work together on complex matters that require expertise across several areas of law:

  • Public law (Administrative law; FOI, privacy and public interest disclosure; human rights and discrimination; debt recovery)
  • Legislative development
  • Statutory interpretation
  • Corporate and commercial law (general contract law; procurement and tendering; governance and probity; financial services and consumer credit; insurance; IP; media; ICT; insolvency and bankruptcy)
  • Property and environment (general property; transactional property; construction and infrastructure; environment)
  • Litigation specialisation, including large-scale and sensitive litigation
  • Taxation
  • Competition and consumer law
  • Workplace, industrial relations and compensation (Employment and IR; workers’ compensation; WH&S; compensation, damages and PI)
  • Tied work (Constitutional law; Cabinet work; national security; Public International law).

Your role

During the program you will rotate across our three practice areas where you will work with many of Australia’s best government lawyers, including our two in-house Queen’s Counsel.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the legal practice stream you must:

  • be an Australian citizen.
  • have completed a minimum of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor and be eligible to enrol in a practical legal training course that leads to admission in Australia, be eligible to be admitted in Australia, or be admitted to practice in Australia.
  • have completed your qualifications within the four year period between December 2017 to December 2021.
  • have achieved a distinction average or above at the time of applying, for the relevant qualifications (law degree).

Police checks and security clearances

If we offer you a position on the program, you will also need to:

  • pass a police record check
  • get and keep a security clearance at the appropriate security level.

Interstate relocation

All legal practice graduate positions are based in Canberra. The Legal Practice (Australian Government Solicitor) Stream may offer limited roles in other states.

Financial assistance may be offered where graduates are relocating from their home state.

Get more information

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

Legal practice stream - Nicola

I am really enjoying the variety and the fundamental nature of the work that I am doing in my AGS Commercial rotation. There is so much to learn, and so many people willing to help you.
Link to Nicola's graduate profile page

Legal practice stream - Alexander

I have experienced some amazing days in my first rotation with the Canberra Dispute Resolution team. It has been both intellectually stimulating and engaging from a professional development perspective.
Link to Alexander's graduate profile page

Legal practice stream - Laura

The diversity of the AGS graduate program was fantastic. It offers a range of training opportunities including internal seminars on legal practice, public events and workshops focusing on career development.
Link to Laura' graduate profile page

Legal practice stream - David

It was great to be able to work in each of AGS’s practice groups, with a focus on government and the national interest There is also a real focus on the year being about learning and growth, rather than strict billable targets.
Link to David's graduate profile page

Legal practice stream – Olivia

After a few short weeks in the Office of General Counsel (OGC), I can safely say that every day in the life of a grad is different. I have been exposed to an eye-opening variety of tasks and matters.
Link to Olivia's graduate profile page