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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.

AGS delivers services through three national legal practices:

The Legal Practice stream is a 12-month development opportunity with rotations across a number of the practices, a client placement and a part-time pro bono placement. You will receive extensive support from supervisors and access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete your practical legal training to be admitted to practice.

We invite applications from graduates who have completed a Bachelor of Laws or a Juris Doctor within the past 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. You must have completed, or will complete, your degree with strong academic results (distinction average).

Legal practice graduates are based in Canberra with the possibility of one or more positions being located in Sydney and Melbourne. Financial assistance may be offered where graduates are relocating from their home state.

Your role

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

During the program you will rotate across our three practice areas where you will get the opportunity to 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 (or be completing your degree by December 2020) a Bachelor of Laws or a Juris Doctor within the past four years (on or after December 2016) with strong academic results (distinction average).
  • be 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.

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
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