How to apply

How to apply

Please note that applications for 2019 are now closed.

Applications for 2020 are likely to open in late 2019. Please refrain from making your application until we have opened the application process in late 2019. A call for applications will be sent out, but should particularly be disseminated by Barristers’ Clerks. If you are interested in making an application for the program in future, we recommend flagging this with your Clerk so that they can be sure to notify you when there is a call for applications announced.

What to address in your expression of interest

You need to outline your experience as a criminal law advocate, addressing each of the key selection criteria. Please keep your response to the key selection criteria to a 1000-word limit in total. You will also need to attach your current curriculum vitae.


  • You do not need to have an established trial practice to apply for this program. That said, substantial experience in criminal advocacy is necessary. Counsel applying should be those approaching readiness to commence a trial practice.
  • You must provide a nomination letter from a senior member of the Bar or another respected senior member of the profession, such as a senior solicitor, magistrate or judge. This requirement will help the selection panel to assess your readiness for the program. As there are limited places, why you should be offered a place in the program should also be addressed. Please note – failure to provide a written letter of recommendation will be a significant disadvantage, and we cannot guarantee that we will be a position to approach referees for a recommendation by telephone.
  • Short-listed applicants will be required to complete a short written advocacy exercise followed by an oral advocacy exercise before a panel.

Key selection criteria

You must address the following key selection criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest in developing a career as a criminal law advocate, particularly as defence counsel promoting social justice and the protection of human rights, by providing expert advice, opinions and representation in complex criminal proceedings.
  • Thorough knowledge and experience in the court practice of criminal law, including as an advocate in the Magistrates’ Court and with some experience in indictable and contested matters, under both state and federal legislation.
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the laws of evidence and criminal procedure.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to liaise and negotiate with prosecutorial authorities, police, welfare and other agencies along with the ability to communicate effectively with clients from culturally diverse backgrounds and those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
  • Commitment to develop your legal and advocacy skills through active participation in criminal trials and a willingness to engage in an effective mentoring relationship with senior counsel.


You are welcome to apply with a new application if you have been unsuccessful with an application in previous years.

Contact us

For more information, please email or contact:

  • Jessie Taylor, Associate Director, Chambers on (03) 9269 0358
  • Damien Farnfield, Briefing Manager on (03) 9269 0468.

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