Queensland Law Society

QLS Graduate Program

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the expected graduate date to be eligible to participate in the QLS graduate program?
    Students will need to graduate December 2019 to be eligible to apply for the positions.
      
  2. What is the salary for the graduate program?
    The salary for this position is $55K for full time or $44K for part time (4 days).
      
  3. Is the graduate position full time or part time?
    QLS will support either full time or part time (4 days).
      
  4. Will QLS cover the cost of Practical Legal Training (PLT)?
    QLS does not cover the cost of PLT but offers paid study leave for the period of PLT.
      
  5. When do applications open?
    Applications open early August 2019 for a February 2020 start.
      
  6. How long is the graduate program?
    The graduate program is 12 months—two six-month rotations with our QLS Ethics and Practice Centre and Legal Policy teams. The program will run from February 2020 to January 2021.
      
  7. What is different about your program / what will you get out of it?
    The QLS graduate program offers great networking opportunities with exposure to our external law committees along with our Ethics Committee. We have niche areas of law along with offering exposure to different aspects of law including professional development sessions, parliamentary hearings and media sessions. It is a great opportunity to work for the profession rather than in the profession.
      
  8. Do you have anyone at QLS who can move admissions?
    Stafford Shepherd, Director of QLS Ethics and Practice Centre is eligible to move admissions. He has previously moved a number of admissions for our Ethics Clerks.

 

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Testimonials

What's it like working at QLS? Hear what others have said about their experience: 

Nick Knowlman

Lawyer | Thynne + Macartney

What did you like about QLS and the Clerk position?

QLS is a great place to start your career because it provides such a broad and varied introduction to all areas of law—whether it is sitting on one of the 29 policy committees or talking to practitioners from right across Queensland in the Ethics Centre, you deal with issues that you would otherwise not be exposed to until much later in your career.

What did you get out of it?

In addition the broad and unique introduction to the profession, I was able to build a fantastic network of contacts which certainly assisted me in my transition to private practice.

What interesting opportunities did it provide you?

I was able to travel and work with practitioners across the country to assist in developing resources for the profession like the Australian Solicitors' Conduct Rules.

Why would you recommend QLS to other law students or to graduates to participate in our graduate program?

The varied experience and mentoring you receive as a clerk in the Ethics and Practice Centre is truly exceptional. I think there is a real benefit to being exposed to such a wide practice area early in your career so that you know what you are interested in when you do decide to take the next step.

Nick Knowlman


Jessie Pomare

Acting Senior Lawyer | Crown Law Queensland

What did you like about QLS and the Clerk position?

My first contact with QLS, and indeed with Stafford Shepherd, was through the QUT Advanced Legal Clinic Program. I was placed with the QLS Ethics and PracticeCentre for a semester, which I enjoyed immensely. Throughout my placement I was given research tasks and provided with the opportunity to observe and assist in external CPD presentations.

As good fortune would have it, following the completion of my QUT clinical placement, I was subsequently offered a temporary administrative position within the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre. I later accepted an ethics clerk position under Stafford’s supervision and guidance. I loved the exposure to what was previously an unknown plethora of professional and ethical conundrums. Some of these were more nuanced then others, but from that I gained an understanding of looking at both the big and the little picture. I also loved how supportive, knowledgeable and encouraging Stafford and QLS were of me. Stafford essentially gave me my very first job as a part of the legal profession, and for that I will be forever thankful. I am pleased and proud to say that Stafford is still a very dear mentor of mine, and certainly an important role model to me as my career continues to progress.

During my time at QLS I was also able to engage with the senior practitioners and staff who were also more than willing to share their knowledge and experience with me, which was simply invaluable.

What did you get out of it?

Throughout my time at QLS, I gained an appreciation of the nuts, bolts and realities of practising law. I realised that ethical dilemmas are unfortunately more common than tertiary students are generally able to appreciate, and that the existence of support networks and educational resources is vital to the proper and efficient function of the legal profession. I was also fortunate to have gained a lot of experience in research, legal writing and verbal communication skills, all of which put me in good stead for my subsequent positions as a judge’s associate, a solicitor in private practice and most recently as a government legal officer.

What opportunities and network exposure did it provide you?

Stafford provided me with many valuable lessons and opportunities throughout my time at QLS. For example, I was encouraged to participate in the Modern Advocate Lecture Series (an event which I still fondly attend) and to grasp each opportunity as a chance to further my professional and personal development, generally. I wrote discipline updates, research memoranda and a variety of general correspondence. I also become involved in the research, development and delivery of CPD presentations, which allowed me to get an understanding of the work environment and demographic of various firms, organisations and tertiary institutions.

Why would you recommend QLS to other law students or to graduates to participate in our graduate program?

I cannot thank QLS, the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre and Stafford Shepherd enough for all it provided me with. I would highly recommend students and graduates take the opportunity to engage with QLS as early as possible, be it through the graduate program or through one of their learning and development initiatives. The networking, learning, personal and professional development available from the QLS, its staff and its programs is nothing short of exceptional.

Jessie Pomare


Liam O'Shaughnessy

Ethics Clerk | Queensland Law Society

What do you like about QLS and the Clerk position?

One of my favourite aspects of working at QLS is the extensive community engagement I am involved with. On a daily basis I speak with a range of practitioners from private practice, in-house and government roles. I also have the opportunity visit a range of practices, organisations and government departments to assist the Solicitors in the delivery of Bespoke Ethics Sessions. The Clerk position can really be seen as a full time networking experience.

Another great aspect of the role is being able to work with likeminded people who help to create an amazing and inclusive culture that really makes the job enjoyable. There are constant morning and afternoon teas in celebration of events and on the first Friday of every month the Society puts on a social event for all the staff.

What are you getting out of it?

Throughout my time in the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre I have gained an in-depth understanding of lawyers’ ethical duties and the principles and practices that underling legal practice management. This has provided me with a solid basis for practice as a lawyer in the future.

The position has helped me to develop a vast array of legal research skills and has helped to refine my writing abilities. The work given to me varies greatly and makes the job extremely interesting.

Has it opened up any opportunities for you?

Working as a Clerk in the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre I have been presented with many opportunities. For instance, through the Modern Advocate Lecture Series, I have had the chance to hear from and to converse with distinguished members of the judiciary as they talk about advocacy issues relevant to junior members of the profession.

I have also had the opportunity to volunteer my time with various charity organisations that QLS supports and to give back to the community in various ways.

Why would you recommend QLS to other law students or to participate in our graduate program?

I would recommended QLS as a future employer to other law students as the Society offers a fantastic opportunity for young professionals to gain an insight and understanding into the legal profession and it offers exposure to a broad range of opportunities. Employment with the Society is a great way to kick-start a career in law as it provides a solid basis for practise as a lawyer in the future.

Liam O'Shaughnessy

 

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