Legal Stream

We offer a specialist graduate career pathway for talented and motivated law graduates through the Australian Government Graduate Program Legal Stream.

On this page:

Our program

Our legal 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;
  • have access to a specific legal blended learning program offering a combination of structured training and on the job experience.

Our department supports its legal graduates, who are not already admitted, to complete a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and gain admission as a Legal Practitioner. This may also include financial assistance.

I was drawn to the DEWR Legal Graduate Program due to the fantastic culture of the department’s Legal Division. The Division strongly supports the learning and development of staff which results in a very supportive and open-minded working environment. During my time in the program, I have been exposed to a diverse range of legal work which has allowed me to develop great skills as a young lawyer. – Clare, Legal Graduate, Legal and Assurance Division (2022)

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).

Legal graduates have the opportunity to rotate through various legal teams in the Legal and Assurance Division and the Workplace Relations Legal Division. Legal graduates are involved in the full range of work undertaken by our legal teams. Areas include:

  • government and administrative law
  • corporate and commercial law
  • intellectual property
  • litigation (including some advocacy work)
  • social security
  • information law
  • workplace relations law
  • workers’ compensation and work health and safety law
  • legislation development (including drafting of legislative instruments).

Working as a legal graduate in the Workplace Legal Division, particularly during legislation delivery projects, has been a great experience and opportunity to start in the APS as a government lawyer. The workplace culture is wonderful, and the legal work and analysis is varied and always engaging. Be it through working directly on the Fair Work Act’s framework of employee and employer relations, or navigating and coordinating Australia’s harmonised WHS scheme and international obligations, this is work that is consequential to the lives of Australian, making it also a very humbling and purposeful place to work in. – Louy, Workplace Relations Legal Graduate (2023)

Who are we looking for?

We offer career opportunities for highly talented and motivated law graduates. We are looking for graduates who have:

  • completed a Bachelor of Laws from an Australian university or will have completed a Bachelor of Laws from an Australian university by the commencement of the graduate program.
  • a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) or who are eligible and committed to completing the qualification and gaining admission as a Legal Practitioner. The department supports its legal graduates to complete their GDLP and gain admission if they have not already done so.
  • a strong academic record.

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.

Joining the department as a generalist graduate, I undertook two rotations across different areas in the department which allowed me to learn about the wide scope of work the department is responsible for and provided many opportunities for training and professional development. Working at DEWR has allowed me to do work that truly makes a difference. As I studied law at university, I was lucky to complete my second rotation in the Workplace Relations Legal Division which allowed me to work on key legislative reform and undertake my practical legal training. A highlight of my graduate program was being able to attend parliament house to watch the introduction of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 in the House of Representatives. – Rachel, Generalist Graduate (2023)

Legal Stream FAQ

For more information, check out our Legal Stream Frequently Asked Questions.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, you will be required to:

  • be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship before you commence and be able to provide evidence of this
  • have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within the five years prior to the start date of the Graduate Program. You will be required to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program
  • obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government Baseline security clearance
  • relocate to Canberra for the commencement of the program if the position requires you to.
  • satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

How to apply

We are a participating agency in the Australian Government Graduate Program Legal Stream which is part of the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP). Applications for the AGGP streams are now closed.

For further information, check out the AGGP Legal Stream Kit and the AGGP Legal Stream Kit – Affirmative Measures.

If you have any questions, please email entrylevel@dewr.gov.au.

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