Legal graduate placement applications open

Department of Justice

An opportunity exists for public sector officers who have completed a law degree—or are in the process of doing so—to apply for a legal graduate placement at the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO).

SSO will host two to four placements, for up to 80 days, each year. Candidates will have undertaken, or are undertaking a Practical Legal Training program, and for that purpose require a placement of up to 80 days to qualify for admission as a practitioner.

Placements will be timed so as not to interfere with SSO’s core recruitment periods for summer and winter vacation clerks (generally this will mean March to June and August to November). Candidates must be fully supported by the host agency and be cost-free to the SSO.

Candidates will be required to go through the same assessment procedure as SSO’s vacation clerks, with some modifications, taking into account:

  • the reasons for undertaking the training and subsequent placement, and whether the candidate is likely to remain with the public sector in the medium to long-term
  • whether there is any need for the department or agency for a candidate to be admitted as a legal practitioner
  • the level of support from the agency for the candidate’s legal career
  • the importance of building relationships with that department or agency in relation to the provision of legal services by or through the SSO.

Importantly, the State Solicitor notes that a placement does not imply the prospect of ongoing employment at the SSO. It also does not provide the basis for the satisfaction of any subsequent, post admission, requirements in relation to the undertaking of restricted practice or the satisfaction of other conditions that may be imposed by the Legal Practice Board in relation to any ongoing undertaking of a career in the legal profession.

However, it does provide a limited number (two to four) of public sector officers with a unique opportunity to gain essential work experience required for individuals to qualify as a legal practitioner.

Agencies are encouraged to promote this opportunity to their staff.

Applications

SSO will be accepting applications for the 2018/19 financial year during January 2018.

Applications are to be directed to Ms Jenette Schoch, Workforce Coordinator at SSO, accompanied by:

  • a letter of support from the sponsoring Department or agency
  • a brief statement by the candidate as to their interest in undertaking a career in public sector law
  • an academic transcript and curriculum vitae
  • the names and contact details of at least two professional referees.

All queries regarding this scheme are to be directed to Ms Jenette Schoch on (08) 9264-1005 or via J.Schoch@sso.wa.gov.au