Legal Career Pathway

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The Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s (DESE) legal area is a career pathway for talented and motivated law graduates.

Graduates will have the opportunity to work on a broad range of legal work in an Australian Government department and gain exposure to Australian Government policies and programs.

Legal graduates will undertake two placements within the legal practice to gain skills and experience. Legal graduates will also have access to a blended learning program offering a combination of structured training, networking opportunities and on the job experience. Support may also be offered towards completion of a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and admission as a Legal Practitioner if required.

What our legal graduates do

The department’s in-house legal practice offers a wide range of services. Our lawyers provide legal advice across the range of the department’s responsibilities (including in relation to the development of legislation and the conduct of litigation).

Graduates are involved in the full range of work undertaken by our legal teams. Areas include government and administrative law, corporate and commercial law, insolvency law, intellectual property, litigation (including some advocacy work), social security, information law, workers’ compensation, workplace relations, and work health and safety law and legislation development.

‘Every day in the DESE Corporate Legal Team is different, but the core focus of my work involves working to provide legal advice, research and other support to my team. This includes processing freedom of information (FOI) requests, providing advice on a range of privacy and probity issues, as well as commercial advice for matters such as variations of departmental contracts. To do this, I need to be across various legislation, such as the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. My team is in contact with many different line areas within the department, meaning that no two days are the same. Working as an in-house legal graduate has exposed me to a massive array of different and complex legal matters, and I learn new things on the job every day.’ - Damon, Legal Graduate (2020)

‘In my role, our team supports the Skills area – and I’ve had the chance to work on legislative drafting, drafting legal advice, and have had a few opportunities to work with my supervisor on contract variations. The coolest thing about my job is the breadth of work that I have had the chance to be exposed to. Our team is always busy, and have many different types of work going on at once. This has given me a chance to try many different things and every day is always different!’ - Tanya, Legal Graduate (2020)

Who we are looking for

Are you a legal graduate with a strong academic record, great interpersonal skills and a ‘can do’ attitude? Do you want to work with friendly and high calibre colleagues who are committed to each other’s success? Do you want to deal with matters that are crucial to the well-being of every Australian and the prosperity of the nation? If so, then the department’s legal area would like you to apply for a role with us!- Melanie McIntyre, Principal Government Lawyer and Practice Manager

We offer a career pathway for highly talented and motivated graduates. In addition to the eligibility criteria for graduates in the generalist stream, we are looking for graduates who have:

  • a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice or a commitment to complete the qualification and gain admission as a Legal Practitioner.

Additionally graduates should:

  • have excellent legal and analytical capabilities
  • have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
  • have personal drive and enthusiasm
  • show initiative and flexibility
  • possess leadership qualities.

Grad Australia Top 100 Graduate Employers 2020

The department has consistently featured in the Top 100 Graduate Employer rankings over the past few years. This achievement highlights our active commitment to supporting talented graduates, helping them to expand their skills and experience, and reach their full potential.

Last modified on [190|2300]