Law & Legal Graduate Jobs

Find the best Law & Legal Graduate Jobs

Law & Legal Graduate Jobs overview

Law and legal graduates can work in a wide variety of organisations including government departments, small and large legal firms, large corporations, or as solo contractors.

Since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the law and legal industry has faced challenging business conditions, including a decline in demand for services, a lack of new product development and fewer mergers and acquisitions. However, this appears to be changing, with new statistics released by the Australian government predicting strong job growth for law and legal professions and a rise in employment levels.

Competition

Unfortunately, there are still more law and legal graduates than there are jobs in these fields, which means competition for graduate and summer clerk positions is very intense.

Those with double degrees are favoured for graduate positions, as are those who have managed to gain part-time legal experience.

To be considered for a position at a large, corporate law firm, graduates need to have something that makes them stand out from other applicants, such as excellent grades, extracurricular activities or work experience.

Finding a graduate job

Many large firms hire law and legal graduates through vacation clerkships, which involves students in their second last year of study spending a summer or winter break interning at an organisation. The expectation is that, if a student performs well, they will be offered a graduate position at the end of their clerkship.

Large firms in capital cities, such as Melbourne and Sydney, each accept around 20 clerks per year out of an estimated 1,200 applicants.

Major employers

The industries that are major employers of law and legal graduates are:

  • Large corporate/commercial firms
  • Media and Communications
  • Energy and Resources
  • Financial Institutions
  • Management Consultancies
  • Small Businesses
  • Local, state and federal governments
  • Large NGOs or community groups such as World Vision, United Nations and Red Cross

A law or legal degree is considered an asset by many companies and the majority of law and legal graduates find work outside the legal sector in jobs including:

  • Journalism
  • Legal Publishing
  • Academia
  • Marketing
  • Recruitment
  • Consulting

Advice for Law & Legal Graduate Jobs

Graduate Advice

GradAustralia surveyed recent graduates at Clayton Utz to bring you the top five tips for applying to the Clayton Utz law graduate program.

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Graduate Advice

Allens is an international commercial law firm and one of Australia’s ‘Big Six’ law firms. Since its founding in 1822, Allens has produced multiple High and Supreme Court Justices, a Prime Minister, and various influential executives.

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Employer Insight

With its headquarters in Hong Kong, and 27 offices across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, King & Wood Mallesons is a truly global law firm, and the sixth largest in the world.

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Graduate Stories

King & Wood Mallesons
Amber Hu studied a Juris Doctor degree at University of New South Wales after obtaining degrees in commerce and arts from the University of Sydney.
Clayton Utz
Alana Hudson studied Masters of Law (Juris Doctor) at Monash University
DLA Piper
Jessie Buchan studied Bachelor of Communications at University of Newcastle followed by a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) at the University of Sydney.