Junior Counsel

Junior Counsel

Selection process

Junior advocates are shortlisted on the basis of an application comprising their curriculum vitae, a statement of interest and a letter of nomination by a senior member of the profession.

Shortlisted applicants are then asked to undergo a written advocacy task, and an oral advocacy exercise before a panel.

How are lead counsel and junior counsel partnered?

Lead counsel and junior counsel are invited to a welcome/meet-and-greet event at the outset of the program each year.

The usual briefing process is that instructing solicitors will identify which lead counsel they would like to brief. Once that decision is made, the Advocates’ Clerks will make inquiries of the juniors to ascertain their availability for the trial dates. A list of the available juniors will be provided to the instructor, with a preference urged for any junior who has not yet reached their full complement of trials.

Consultation with solicitors on their preferences is another important part of the partnering process. Every attempt is made to ensure that the best combination of advocates is available to solicitors’ clients.

If there is a preferred combination of senior and junior counsel expressed by a senior, a junior or an instructor, we will do our best to accommodate that preference.

Do junior counsel work with one or several lead counsel?

Junior counsel ideally work with different Lead Counsel over a 12–18 month period. This ensures that they gain a variety of experience. To promote and encourage joint preparation and opportunities for feedback, lead counsel and junior counsel receive an additional three hours of funded conference time per trial.


All junior counsel receive brief fees consistent with Table M in the VLA Handbook for lawyers. However, junior counsel are also entitled to an additional three hours' conferencing fee to account for time spent in conference with lead counsel throughout the trial.

Formal training

Junior Counsel are invited to participate in training opportunities throughout the year, including practical skills-based advocacy workshops and other relevant subject matters such as forensic medicine, forensic psychiatry, motor vehicle accident reconstruction and investigation, DNA evidence.


The program runs over a period of approximately 12 months for each cohort of junior counsel. If junior counsel have not had the opportunity to run an appropriate number of trials, they may be invited to remain in the program until they have done so.

Junior counsel from the 2019 intake

The six junior advocates currently participating in the 2019 intake of the Trial Counsel Development Program are:

  • Veronika Drago
  • Stephanie Joosten
  • Julia Kretzenbacher
  • Sarah Lenthall
  • Jonathan Manning
  • Abbie Roodenburg
  • Angela Sharpley.

Junior counsel from the 2020 intake

  • Emma Strugnell
  • Felicity Fox
  • Jessica Willard
  • Ashleigh Harrold
  • Rose Cameron
  • Kat Ljubicic
  • Hugo Moodie
  • Julie Buxton
  • William Blake
  • Chris Edwards
  • Carly Marcs

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