Career Options: Law
SCU Law courses
- Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies)
- Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies
- Bachelor of Laws Undergraduate entry
- Bachelor of Laws Graduate entry
See Course Options for all related Law courses.
- Professional recognition
- Employment prospects and starting salaries
- Where do SCU Law graduates go?
- Graduate and vacation programs
- Law graduate programs and clerkships
- Targeting potential employers
- Specialist job vacancy websites
- General job vacancy websites
- International job vacancy websites
- Professional associations
- Other useful links
Law graduates typically work as barristers, solicitors and in private, corporate or government legal departments. During their careers they can further develop a specialisation in many fields of law such as family law, wills and estate planning, criminal law, corporate law, property and conveyancing law, town planning and environmental law, employment and industrial relations, commercial law, compensation, entertainment law and sporting law.
Tasks lawyers typically perform include:
- Providing legal advice
- Mediation and negotiation
- Representing clients at court and tribunal hearings.
All graduates develop valuable transferable skills such as teamwork and interpersonal skills that will appeal to many employers. Law graduates are sought after for their clear and rigorous thinking, highly developed communications skills, ability to present written and verbal cases, strong problem solving, negotiation and ability to synthesise relevant information. Graduates are able to work under pressure, to deadline and with people from diverse backgrounds.
See the Bachelor of Laws course page for the most up-to-date information on professional recognition.
Employment prospects and starting salaries
Weekly average earnings in 2014
Image source: U & Your Future SCU.
Job openings in 2014
Image source: U & Your Future SCU.
Where do SCU Law graduates go?
Below is a sample of recent employers and position titles for our Law graduates. Note that employers and positions are sorted separately in alphabetical order below - they are not matched lists.
|Sample of employers||Sample of position titles|
|Australian Customs and Border Protection Service||Advocate|
|Australian Government||Assistant Case Manager|
|Baker Love Lawyers||Assistant Director Aged Care Quality and Compliance|
|BHP Billiton Iron Ore||Associate|
|Bickfords Lawyers||Assistant Adviser|
|Buckworth Keady Lawyers||Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Graduate|
|Charter Group||Claims Officer|
|City of Sydney Council||Contestable Works Officer|
|Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Veterans' Affairs)||Finance Manager|
|Coolamon Shire Council||Graduate at Law|
|DC Legal Pty Ltd||Law Clerk|
|Department of Health And Ageing||Lawyer|
|Department of Attorney-General and Justice||Legal Assistant|
|Elliot Lawyers||Legal Secretary|
|Environmental Defender's Office Ltd (NSW)||Mineral Consultant|
|Essential Energy||National Employee Relations Manager|
|Fair Work Australia||Outreach Officer|
|Fair Work Building And Construction||Paralegal|
|Family Law Solutions||Property Valuer|
|Ferrier & Co Solicitors||Registrar|
|Fox and Thomas Business Lawyers||Senior Policy Officer|
|Friedlieb Byrne Solicitors||Solicitor|
|Gun Lawyers||Student Adviser|
|Hoy and McCormack Solicitors||Tenders and Contract Manager|
|Johnson and Sendall Solicitors|
|Logan Basketball Inc|
|Longman Hill Solicitors|
|Macgregor O'Reilly Solicitors|
|North Shore Hospital|
|Northey Legal and Conveyancing|
|QBE Workers Compensation|
|Smith & Nephew|
|Somerville Laundry Lomax|
|Southern Cross University|
Graduate and vacation programs
Graduate programs are formal programs, usually offered by government departments and large companies. They are designed to attract new graduates and feature structured on-the-job training and development. Graduate program applications often close almost 12 months prior to the job starting. This means you may need to apply for these roles as early as March in your final year of study.
Vacation programs are usually paid, short-term contracts of 6-8 weeks. They are typically offered to students in their penultimate year of study. Peak advertising times are July and August of each year and most vacation programs take place in the summer vacation period (December-February). Undertaking a vacation program may improve your chances of being short-listed for graduate programs or roles.
Bookmark the following sites for centralised listings of vacation, internship and graduate programs.
Also monitor relevant company websites for additional information and opportunities.
You can connect with other students and search for questions and answers on a number of graduate programs at the Graduate Programs Whirlpool Forums.
Law graduate programs and clerkships
In addition to the above graduate and vacation programs, law students should also look out for specialised law graduate employment and summer clerkship programs which are usually advertised centrally by state law societies. Ensure you are aware of relevant timelines for your preferred state and employers. See specialist job vacancy websites below.
Targeting potential employers
General and specialist job search websites are listed below. These can be used to source currently advertised roles and can also be used to create your personal database of potential employers and job titles. Being a proactive jobseeker and creating a living database early on in your studies can help you to research potential opportunities and learn more about your preferred industries.
For more job search help, make sure you access the Graduate Careers and Internship Preparation resources on Blackboard in the online SCU Career Development Program (in MySCU select the 'MyCareer' link).
Reviewing company websites is the key to ensuring a good 'job fit' for you and the potential employer. It can help you identify links between your strengths and qualities (skills, experience, interests and qualifications) and an employer's needs, which will increase your chances of success in the recruitment process.
It is estimated the majority of jobs (approximately 80 per cent) are filled through word-of-mouth or networking, known as the 'hidden job market'. Developing your personal and professional networks (professional associations and university memberships, social networking, attending workshops and conferences and undertaking extracurricular activities) are all valuable ways to tap into hidden job opportunities.
LinkedIn is the largest online professional network with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories; 6 million of those in Australia.
With 60% of LinkedIn revenue coming from talent solutions (recruitment), building your presence and becoming active on LinkedIn can increase the number of job opportunities available to you.
LinkedIn has fast become an effective tool for students and graduates to:
- Present a professional online image
- Showcase their skills, qualifications, qualities and achievements
- Build their network of connections
- Research potential career paths
- Follow and engage with targeted companies
- Connect with fellow professionals in industry and specific interest groups
- Source national and international job vacancies
- Be headhunted by recruiters searching for new talent
Find out how to get started and make the use of LinkedIn at LinkedIn Student Jobs 101.
Specialist job vacancy websites
- Dolman Legal Search and Recruitment Services
- Lawyers Weekly
- Mahlab Recruitment (legal recruitment)
- Adzuna legal vacancies
- Naiman Clarke (legal recruitment)
- Seek legal vacancies
- Survive Law (for Clerkships)
- The Law Society of NSW (for graduate employment and summer clerkship programs)
- Queensland Law Society (for graduate employment and vacation clerkship programs)
- Beyond Law
General job vacancy websites
Don't forget to visit SCU's CareerHub for job vacancies, events and resources. Use your MySCU details to login
- APS Jobs (gateway to the Australian public service with links to state and territory jobs)
- Australia CareerMine
- Brisbane City Council vacancies
- Byron Employment
- Defence Jobs Australia
- Drake International
- GradConnection (major directory of graduate and internship programs worldwide)
- Graduate Opportunities (major directory of graduate recruitment in Australia)
- Gumtree (search 'jobs' from 'all categories')
- Hays (Australia)
- Jobs for Students
- Job Search Australia
- ProBono Australia (skilled professionals voluntary positions in not for profit organisations)
- Seek - Graduate/entry level jobs
- Unigrad (major directory of graduate recruitment in Australia)
- UniJobs (vacancies in Australian universities)
International job vacancy websites
|Worldwide (and Australia)||Australian Volunteers International|
|Worldwide||Career Jet (use keyword: graduate)|
|Worldwide||United Nations Careers|
|Worldwide||The World Bank|
|Europe||European Union job opportunities for graduates|
|Hong Kong||JobStreet Hong Kong|
|Indonesia||JobStreet Campus Indonesia|
|Malaysia||JobStreet Campus Malaysia|
|Philippines||JobStreet Campus Philippines|
|Singapore||JobStreet Campus Singapore|
|United Kingdom||All About Law|
|United Kingdom||Prospects UK|
|United States||Quintessential Careers|
If you are interested in furthering your career, joining a professional association is a good start. There are associations for nearly every profession or area of interest and many have national, state and regional chapters you can join. Students are often eligible for significant membership discounts. Some benefits of joining an association include:
- Updated information on industry-relevant trends and developments
- Access to a range of resources, including publications, newsletters, webinars, conferences and training opportunities
- Enhancing your network
So, whether you are looking to learn about career opportunities in your field, network in your professional community, access current events in your industry sector, or just have some fun while meeting new people, joining a professional association is a step in the right direction!
- Australian Corporate Lawyers Association
- Australian and New Zealand Association Of Psychiatry, Psychology And Law
- Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society
- Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association
- Australian Institute of Judicial Administration
- Australian Insurance Law Association
- Australian Law Teachers Association
- Australian Lawyers Alliance
- Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
- Bar Association of Queensland
- Commercial Law Association of Australia
- Communications & Media Law Association
- Environment & Planning Law Association
- Institute of Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia
- The Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Inter-Pacific Bar Association
- International Legal Professional Associations
- Justice Action
- National Environmental Law Association
- Women Lawyers Association
- Queensland Environmental Law Association
- Queensland Law Society
- Resources and Energy Law Association
Other useful links
- Anti-discrimination & human rights agencies in Australia & overseas
- Australia On Net
- Federal Court of Australia
- Graduate Careers Australia (research and careers information)
- Job Outlook (careers and labour market resource)
- LinkedIn (use to research organisations and jobs)
- My Future (Australia's career information and exploration service)
- National Association of Community Legal Centres
- National Legal Aid
- NSWYL Practitioner's Guide - How to Survive and Thrive in your First Year of Law (2010)
- Patent offices worldwide