New Lawyers Program

New Lawyers Program

The New Lawyers Program is offered to first and second-year lawyers over two years. Applications for the 2017 intake will open on Friday 17 March and close on Sunday 2 April, with an anticipated start date of 28 August 2017. Up to 12 positions are available, including two positions for applicants who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

It is a unique opportunity to:

  • undertake regular appearance work in courts and tribunals
  • undertake casework and conduct advice clinics
  • work with diverse clients on a daily basis
  • receive hands-on experience through rotating metropolitan and regional placements
  • learn from expert lawyers from our criminal, civil and family law programs
  • participate in our professional legal education activities
  • assist with law reform and community legal education.

About the program

You will complete comprehensive induction and training while learning on the job through up to four six-month placements. Throughout the program you will build on your experience and skills in our offices across Victoria.

You will spend at least one six-month placement practising in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Shepparton, Warrnambool or Morwell. This placement will expose you to a diverse range of legal issues in a fast-paced environment, and help develop the breadth of your legal skills. It is an excellent opportunity to experience life in regional Victoria and the different range of legal issues experienced there.

The comprehensive training and development covers a broad range of professional skills to best prepare you for practise as a lawyer with us. These include:

  • negotiation and alternative dispute resolution
  • client communication
  • advocacy
  • cross-cultural awareness and communication
  • mental health first aid
  • safe and effective client interactions.

You will be supported throughout the New Lawyers Program by an in-house practice that includes over 60 lawyers who are Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialists.

Prerequisites

The New Lawyers Program is designed specifically for first and second-year lawyers. On commencement applicants are allowed up to two years post-admission experience in a role requiring a practicing certificate.

Upon commencing the program you must be admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Victoria or eligible for admission in Victoria under the Mutual Recognition Principle.

Application and interview process

Details on the application and interview process will be outlined on our careers page when the positions are advertised.

What some of our new lawyers say about the program

New Lawyer Ozgur Celik
New Lawyer Ozgur Celik

'My journey in the New Lawyers Program has been one of personal and professional growth. On a daily basis I am challenged, encouraged and supported by a passionate and talented team to obtain positive outcomes for disadvantaged clients as well as agitate broader change to achieve social justice and equality. 

The NLP is a flexible program that provides the opportunity to rotate through Victoria Legal Aid’s Civil, Criminal, Youth and Family Law program areas and practice in various courts and tribunals throughout the state, while ensuring adequate learning and development is provided through a comprehensive training program.' – New Lawyer Ozgur Celik

New Lawyer Nadeesha Mapa
New Lawyer Nadeesha Mapa

'The New Lawyer’s Program is an inspiring and unique opportunity for young practitioners interested in the area of social justice. Each day Victoria Legal Aid represents the interests of hundreds of voiceless and disadvantaged Victorians by ensuring the actions of government agencies are held to account and by providing advice and representation to those who need it the most. 

Some days have been long and challenging but it’s by far been the most rewarding and fulfilling role I’ve had in my career. It’s a special feeling working for an immensely influential organisation focused on not only resolving immediate legal problems but dedicated to building strong foundations to make lasting positive changes in the community. 

In addition to this, the structured training and mentoring from experienced and passionate practitioners has been remarkable. It’s an enormous learning curve, but the skills and knowledge you build is invaluable. It’s been a truly extraordinary experience so far!'  – New Lawyer Nadeesha Mapa

New Lawyer Clare Moss
New Lawyer Clare Moss

'Before I was aware of the New Lawyers program I completed a six month internship at Victoria Legal Aid in the family law department. This experience introduced me to the Legal Aid client base and gave me an opportunity to develop my interest in working in the social justice sector. Once I completed the internship I knew that I wanted to work at Legal Aid in the future as I found the work challenging and rewarding. The clients are grateful and often would not be eligible to receive assistance elsewhere in the community. 

Each day since commencing my first rotation in the New Lawyers program in the family law team I have been pushed to learn unfamiliar areas of law and how to engage with clients who have complex vulnerabilities. In the Family Law division I have worked in the Intervention Order list, and in the Family Court of Australia. I have had the opportunity to run my own files under the supervision of a managing lawyer and have enjoyed working within a supportive team.

After a challenging day working with intervention order clients I am grateful for the collegiality at Victoria Legal Aid and the support that I receive both from within my team and at Victoria Legal Aid.'  – New Lawyer Clare Moss

Contact us

For more information contact:

Lauren Steers, Resourcing and Recruitment Advisor
Email: newlawyers@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9269 0463