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Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

About Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • Government & Public Service
  • Law

Are you part of future Australian Government policy making and program delivery? Can you see yourself working alongside Australia's foremost legal minds, advising on significant national and international matters?

About us

The Attorney-General's Department delivers programs and policies to maintain and improve Australia's law and justice framework, and to facilitate jobs growth through policies that promote fair, productive, flexible and safe workplaces. Through the Australian Government Solicitor, we also provide legal services to the Commonwealth, including legal advice and representation.

We are the central policy and coordinating element of the Attorney-General’s Portfolio. We are structured into five groups:

  • Australian Government Solicitor
  • Enabling Services
  • Industrial Relations
  • Integrity and International
  • Legal Services and Families

Our graduate program

Our Graduate Program allows you to interact with real clients and key stakeholders to help achieve the Australian Government's policy, program and legal objectives. You will have exposure to and experience a range of challenging and exciting opportunities to develop your career through one of our four streams:

  • Policy and Program Stream (Including both Affirmative Measures: Disability and Indigenous recruitment processes)
  • Legal Practice Stream (Australian Government Solicitor)
  • Industrial Relations Legal Stream
  • Economics Stream (Industrial Relations)  

In 12 months, you can:

  • gain diverse experience through a number of rotations
  • explore potential career paths
  • learn from mentors
  • build valuable networks with previous graduates, supervisors and senior leaders
  • contribute to our workplace culture by managing fundraising activities, cultural activities  and social events 
  • develop new skills and knowledge through an engaging orientation program and extensive development program
  • access further studies, including the opportunity to complete your practical legal training leading to your admission 
  • work on a variety of interesting and important policy issues, program delivery and legal matters, often in unique and precedent-setting work of importance to Australia.

Our flexible work environment allows you to balance your work and personal responsibilities. We promote a healthy work-life balance, have generous employment conditions and offer a competitive salary. Our workplace embraces technology to support flexible working arrangements.

On successful completion of the program, you will be offered a permanent placement with the department.

Our graduate streams

Policy and Program Stream: 

(Includes Affirmative Measures Disability and/ or Indigenous recruitment processes)

As a policy and program graduate, you can expect to work on a variety of thought-provoking work, including:

  • contributing to the development and implementation of legislation, policies or programs 
  • undertaking analysis, research and critical thinking
  • collaborating with the private sector, states and territories and international partners to improve employment standards, community safety and national security. 
  • managing events including ministerial and council meetings.
  • preparing written briefs, submissions, reports and ministerial correspondence

You will participate in rotations across the department, working on policy and programs in areas that may include:

  • civil justice
  • family law and legal assistance
  • criminal justice
  • law enforcement
  • crime prevention
  • national and protective security
  • international law
  • human rights
  • native title
  • constitutional law
  • protective security and integrity
  • Industrial relations programmes
  • Industrial relations policy

You may also rotate through the department’s corporate areas including human resources, strategy and governance and finance. You may also have the opportunity to experience a rotation in one of our portfolio agencies.

During the graduate program you will participate in development activities including a major project, where you will have an opportunity to present to the department, including our senior executives. You will also contribute to a range of cultural and social activities, including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives. You will receive support from supervisors and access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete further study.

Graduates from all university disciplines are encouraged to apply.

As a policy and program graduate you must: 

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have completed your degree no more than four years before the program commences (on or after December 2016) with a credit average or higher

All policy and program positions are based in Canberra. Financial assistance may be offered where you are relocating from your home state.

Opportunities exist for eligible candidates to apply for additional Policy and Program positions through our affirmative measures: Indigenous and Disability recruitment processes.  

The Policy and Program Stream (Affirmative Measures – Indigenous) is open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons only. In addition to the essential requirements of the Policy and Program Stream, you will be need to provide evidence that you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. 

The Policy and Program Stream (Affirmative Measures – Disability) is open only to people with disability.  In addition to the essential requirements of the Policy and Program Stream, you will be need to provide further evidence of disability. 

 

Legal Practice Stream (Australian Government Solicitor):

Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is the Australian Government’s central legal practice and part of the Attorney-General’s Department. AGS helps 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.

Who we are

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.

Work with the top legal minds

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 get the opportunity to work with many of Australia’s best government lawyers, including our 2 in-house Queen’s Counsel. 

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.

AGS delivers services through three national legal practices:

  • Commercial (corporate and commercial law)
  • Dispute Resolution (dispute resolution and litigation)
  • Office of General Counsel (OGC) (government and administrative law).

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).

How we make a meaningful contribution to the wider community

AGS understands that while everyone needs help from time-to-time, not everyone can afford quality legal representation. We have an extensive pro bono program, and won the 2019 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Pro Bono Award. 

Our graduates take part in our pro bono program, which has helped many clients both nationally and internationally.

Helping you be the best lawyer you can be

We are a supportive organisation that embraces diversity in all forms. We understand that work is only part of your life and while our workplace can be demanding at times, we also provide access to a range of flexible working options, generous leave entitlements and wellbeing benefits to support your diverse needs throughout your career.

 

Industrial Relations Legal Stream:

Industrial Relations (IR) legal stream offers career opportunities for talented and motivated law graduates.

As an IR graduate lawyer, you will be in the full range of work undertaken by our legal teams, including in the areas of 

  • government and administrative law 
  • legislation development (including drafting of legislative instruments) and litigation 
  • workplace relations law 
  • workers’ compensation and work health and safety law

You will provide legal advice and services (including in relation to the development of legislation and the conduct of litigation) across the range of the department’s responsibilities.

During your graduate program you will also participate in development activities including a major project, where you will have an opportunity to present to the department, including our senior executives. You will also contribute to a range of cultural and social activities including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives. You will receive support from supervisors and access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete further study.

To be eligible for the IR legal stream you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have completed your degree no more than four years before the program commences (on or after December 2016), 
  • 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. 
  • have completed, or will complete, your degree with strong academic results (distinction average).

All IR legal positions are based in Canberra. Financial assistance may be offered where you are relocating from your home state.

 

Economics Stream (Industrial Relations):

As an economics graduate you can expect to:

  • Examine economic issues relating to the labour market and industrial relations, and provide analysis and advice on topics including wages growth, minimum wages, methods of setting pay, trends in enterprise bargaining, forms of work, productivity, and industrial disputation.
  • Provide briefings to senior leaders and ministers on key trends in economic data.  
  • Contribute to the Australian Government’s submission to the Annual Wage Review, the process in which minimum wages are set in Australia.
  • Contribute to industrial relations policy development through the provision of economic and labour market evidence and data.
  • Conduct research and statistical analysis (including econometric modelling) on industrial relations issues in the domestic and international contexts. e

As an economics graduate you will also have the opportunity to work across government with one of the three rotations being in the Department of Education, Skills and Employment where you will see first-hand how government departments work in collaboration to deliver better outcomes for the Australia community.

During the graduate program, you will also participate in development activities including a major project, where you will have an opportunity to present to the department, including our senior executives. You will also contribute to a range of cultural and social activities including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives. You will receive support from supervisors and access to learning and development activities.

As an economics graduate you must: 

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have completed your degree no more than four years before the program commences (on or after December 2016)
  • have a Bachelor degree in economics or related field.

Eligibility requirements

Do you have what we’re looking for? We want graduates who:

  • think critically and are curious
  • respond positively to change and feedback
  • build relationships with people 
  • find solutions to challenges 
  • use sound judgement 
  • communicate and engage professionally with people

If we offer you position on our program, you will need to:

  • pass an employment screen which includes a police record check
  • get and keep a security clearance at the appropriate security level

Our performance expectations explain what we expect from our people. They encourage consistent performance and help us achieve our goals. 

How to apply

Applications open on Thursday 12 March 2020 and close 11.55pm (AEST) Friday 17 April 2020. 

As part of your application you will need to provide:  

  • A response to the question/s in the application form 
  • current academic transcripts

For further information about the application process please review our candidate information guide located on our website.

Our selection process involves:

  1. Online application and assessments
  2. Online video Interview
  3. Assessment Centre 

If you meet the eligibility requirements for one or more of our streams, please press Apply

RecruitAbility  

The Attorney-General's Department is committed to supporting the employment and career development of people with disability. For more information on the RecruitAbility scheme, refer to the Australian Public Service Commission's RecruitAbility Applicants Guide. The RecruitAbility scheme does not apply to the affirmative measures disability recruitment process.

Contacts

If you are experiencing difficulties lodging your application please contact us by email: HR.Assist@ag.gov.au or call 02 6141 6111 (option #2). We are contactable during business hours 8.30am to 5pm (AEST).

Keep up to date with our recruitment process via our social media.

Opportunities

  • Canberra
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
H
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I
IT & Computer Science
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
M
Medical & Health Sciences
P
Property & Built Environment
S
Sciences
T
Teaching & Education

Graduate Job

12 month full-time position with AGS for a law graduate or junior lawyer to work on secondment at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney.

Graduate Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
The best thing about working in AGS Dispute Resolution is that no day is ‘typical’ – though I do always start my day with a coffee run with other junior lawyers in the office!

Gabriella Imperial

  • Graduate stories
The best thing about working in AGS Dispute Resolution is that no day is ‘typical’ – though I do always start my day with a coffee run with other junior lawyers in the office!

Gabriella Imperial

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Engage with your lecturers, tutors and peers regarding what careers you can pursue following your degree. I discovered entire new fields and organisations I never knew existed simply through talking to people at university!

Martin Campbell

  • Graduate stories
Engage with your lecturers, tutors and peers regarding what careers you can pursue following your degree. I discovered entire new fields and organisations I never knew existed simply through talking to people at university!

Martin Campbell

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
The best thing about working in AGS Dispute Resolution is that no day is ‘typical’ – though I do always start my day with a coffee run with other junior lawyers in the office!

Gabriella Imperial

  • Graduate stories
The best thing about working in AGS Dispute Resolution is that no day is ‘typical’ – though I do always start my day with a coffee run with other junior lawyers in the office!

Gabriella Imperial

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
Engage with your lecturers, tutors and peers regarding what careers you can pursue following your degree. I discovered entire new fields and organisations I never knew existed simply through talking to people at university!

Martin Campbell

  • Graduate stories
Engage with your lecturers, tutors and peers regarding what careers you can pursue following your degree. I discovered entire new fields and organisations I never knew existed simply through talking to people at university!

Martin Campbell

Read full story

A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Steven

Steven Connolly studied Bachelor of Arts (BA), Politics and International Studies and is a Policy Officer at Attorney-General's Department.
  • Day in the life

Steven

Steven Connolly studied Bachelor of Arts (BA), Politics and International Studies and is a Policy Officer at Attorney-General's Department.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Rosie Cham

Rosie Cham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne in 2018 and is now working as a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Rosie Cham

Rosie Cham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne in 2018 and is now working as a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Steven

Steven Connolly studied Bachelor of Arts (BA), Politics and International Studies and is a Policy Officer at Attorney-General's Department.
  • Day in the life

Steven

Steven Connolly studied Bachelor of Arts (BA), Politics and International Studies and is a Policy Officer at Attorney-General's Department.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Rosie Cham

Rosie Cham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne in 2018 and is now working as a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Rosie Cham

Rosie Cham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne in 2018 and is now working as a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
Read full story