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Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • #9 in Government & public services
  • 500 - 1,000 employees

About Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • Government & Public Service
  • Law

About our program

As a graduate, you will work on a variety of interesting and important policy and program issues and legal matters, often in unique and precedent-setting work of importance to Australia. You will interact with real clients, the Australian community, key stakeholders and other government jurisdictions to help achieve the Australian Government's policy, program and legal objectives.
In 12 months, you can:

  • gain diverse experience through a number of rotations
  • 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.
  • 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, social events, and contribute to our network initiatives 
  • 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 (required for the legal streams)

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

Networks and groups

We provide the opportunity for graduates to form strong networks through activities such as the AGD Social Club, lunchtime sports and a diverse range of networks including the Women's Network, the Green Group, Indigenous Employee Network, Celebrating Ability Network and the Pride Network.

Flexible working arrangements

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.

Our graduate employer ranking

We are proud to be ranked as one of Australia's Top Graduate Employers List (eight years running)!

We have also been placed as one of the Grad Australia Top 100 Graduate Employers!

For the past two years, we have also been nominated for the Australian Financial Review and GradConnection Best Law Graduate Employer.

Our graduate streams

Opportunities exist for eligible candidates to apply for the graduate program through our affirmative measures: Indigenous and Disability recruitment processes.  

The Affirmative Measures – Indigenous recruitment process is open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons only. In addition to the essential requirements of either the Legal Practice (AGS) or Policy and Program stream you are applying for, you will need to provide evidence that you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. 

The Affirmative Measures – Disability recruitment process is open only to people with disability. In addition to meeting the essential requirements of the Policy and Program stream, you will need to provide evidence of disability. 

Policy and Program Stream 

As a policy and program graduate, you can expect to work on a variety of thought-provoking and challenging work, such as improving the family law system's response to domestic violence, working to better protect children or older Australians from abuse and collaborating with the private sector, states and territories and international partners to improve community safety, legal services and national security.

Placement rotations

Policy and program graduates 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 policy

You may also rotate through our corporate areas including:

  • human resources
  • strategy and governance
  • finance

You may also have the opportunity to experience a rotation in one of our portfolio agencies.
As part of your role you may:

  • help to develop and implement legislation, policies and programs
  • undertake analysis, research and critical thinking
  • prepare written briefs, submissions, reports and ministerial correspondence
  • manage events including ministerial and council meetings.

You will also:

  • participate in development activities including a major project, which you will present to senior leadership
  • contribute to a range of cultural and social activities including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives
  • receive ongoing support, coaching and on the job development from supervisors
  • have access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete further study.

We invite applications from graduates of all university disciplines including arts, business, commerce, communications, economics, humanities, international studies, law, management and science.

To be eligible for the policy and program stream you must:

  • have completed a minimum qualification equivalent to a three-year Australian undergraduate degree.
  • have completed your undergraduate degree, or postgraduate qualification within the four year period (December 2017 to December 2021).
  • have achieved a credit average or above at the time of applying in the qualification you completed within the last four years.

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.

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

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

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 that 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 5 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.

To be eligible for the Legal Practice stream you must

  • 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) completed in the last four years.

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 take part 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

  • You must 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.
  • You must have completed your qualifications within the four year period between December 2017 to December 2021.
  • You must have achieved a distinction average or above at the time of applying, for the relevant qualifications (law degree).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.

You will also

  • participate in development activities including a major project, which you will present to senior leadership
  • contribute to a range of cultural and social activities including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives
  • receive support from supervisors
  • get access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete further study

As an economics graduate, you will also have the opportunity to work across government with one of your 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.

To be eligible as an economics graduate you must

  • have completed a minimum qualification equivalent to a three-year Australian undergraduate degree relevant to Economics or related fields.
  • have completed (or will be completing) your undergraduate degree, or postgraduate qualification within the four year period (December 2017 to December 2021).
  • have achieved a credit average or above at the time of applying, in the qualification you completed within the last four years.
  •  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.

All economics graduate positions are based in Canberra. Financial assistance may be offered where graduates are relocating from their home state.

How to apply

Applicants must be Australian Citizens to apply.

Applications open at 9:00 AM (AEST) on Thursday 18 March 2021 and close at 11.55 PM (AEST) Thursday 15 April 2021. 

As part of your application you will need to:  

  • respond to all of the relevant question/s in the application form 
  • provide current academic transcripts
  • provide a current CV.

For further information about the application process please review our candidate information guide located on our departmental website.
Our selection process involves:

  1. Online application and assessments
  2. Online video interview
  3. Virtual assessment centre 

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

Recruitment Process

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 of disability recruitment process.

Jobs & Opportunities

Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
  • Canberra
Hiring candidates with qualifications in
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 Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
You get to develop a nuanced understanding of issues that you see in the news every day, and realise the complexity that may not always be visible on the surface. It is very rewarding and exciting to problem-solve and respond to these challenges.

Karen Zhang

  • Graduate stories
You get to develop a nuanced understanding of issues that you see in the news every day, and realise the complexity that may not always be visible on the surface. It is very rewarding and exciting to problem-solve and respond to these challenges.

Karen Zhang

  • 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

  • Graduate stories
You get to develop a nuanced understanding of issues that you see in the news every day, and realise the complexity that may not always be visible on the surface. It is very rewarding and exciting to problem-solve and respond to these challenges.

Karen Zhang

  • Graduate stories
You get to develop a nuanced understanding of issues that you see in the news every day, and realise the complexity that may not always be visible on the surface. It is very rewarding and exciting to problem-solve and respond to these challenges.

Karen Zhang

  • 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


A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Kirsty

Kirsty is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Kirsty

Kirsty is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Charlie Light

Charlie Light studied Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor or Arts (History/American Studies) and is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Charlie Light

Charlie Light studied Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor or Arts (History/American Studies) and is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Kirsty

Kirsty is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Kirsty

Kirsty is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Charlie Light

Charlie Light studied Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor or Arts (History/American Studies) and is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).
  • Day in the life

Charlie Light

Charlie Light studied Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor or Arts (History/American Studies) and is a Lawyer at Attorney-General's Department (AGD).