Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Law Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Law Program

We invite applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates who have completed their LLB (or equivalent) and are eligible to enroll in a practical legal training course.

Graduates are exposed to a range of activities including:

  • practical legal training course run by Leo Cussen Centre for Law
  • constant one-on-one guidance from experienced lawyers
  • assisting lawyers in the administration, conduct and management of cases for clients
  • liaising with internal and external stakeholders
  • conducting legal research and drafting of documents
  • professional legal education and law reform activities
  • working with a diverse client base
  • providing information and referrals to the general public, legal practitioners and community agencies about VLA and external services
  • leading graduates to their admission to the legal profession as Australian lawyers.

Our Graduate Program provides the ideal pathway into our New Lawyers Program.


Applications for the January 2020 intake will open in March of 2019.

What people say about our program 

'I am thrilled to be a part of the first intake to undertake and complete the program. I found the program to be supportive of my development and needs as it provided a pathway from Indigenous law student to Indigenous lawyer. I am proud to work for an organisation that supports Indigenous lawyers and law students to become leaders within their own community.' – New lawyer and graduate program participant John Cattanach 

Declan Fry and John Cattanach
(L–R) Declan Fry and John Cattanach

'The excellence of the graduate program is hard to overstate. The program provides lots of insight into all of Victoria Legal Aid’s practice areas, including Civil, Criminal, Youth and Family Law. There are a host of mentors in different areas happy to provide advice and tips as you navigate the world of legal representation for disadvantaged Victorians. The opportunities to attend different courts and tribunals around Victoria and to practice advocacy through appearances gives you the chance to build stronger foundations for the provision of legal aid in future and further social justice. 

'It is chastening to think of how many inevitably fall through the cracks of the justice system, but to have the support of so many people in tackling the myriad legal problems ordinary Victorians encounter everyday was wonderful. 

'My first rotation was in the Migration team. I was unfamiliar with much of the law, particularly as it worked in practice, but working with clients was a great incentive to take advantage of the steep learning curve and learn how to frame issues with clients who have complex vulnerabilities. You are entrusted with the responsibility of client files, which is challenging, but you are well supported and supervised and given many opportunities to grow and learn.

'The program also provides the opportunity to see Victoria Legal Aid from the inside out, which is an immense help if you are considering the New Lawyers Program.' – New lawyer and graduate program participant Declan Fry.

Contact us

For more information contact Coordinator, Projects, Kerryn O’Sullivan on kerryn.osullivan@vla.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 9269 0602.

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