Okay, so you might be spending a while, a long while, cruising around the planet. But that doesn’t mean your career has to suffer.
Indeed, as long as you have the right skills and some experience, there are plenty of opportunities to be had in the Aussie economy to help beef up your travel fund and your CV at the same time. The legal sector is one such area with opportunities.
The money on offer is definitely worth your trouble. Before superannuation, legal secretaries can expect to earn $24-30/hour, admin and litigation support should get $18-25/hour while legal contractors could get anything from $50-150/hour.
But are there actually any jobs at the moment, we hear you ask? Well, we put that question to Rosemary Galic, Law Staff’s senior consultant for temporary recruitment in Sydney.
“We are certainly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the global financial crisis,” she said. “More roles in the legal profession are becoming available.”
However, she added, the Australian legal market is relatively small, meaning sponsorship opportunities do remain limited and experience is important, with at least two years in the sector being preferable.
People looking for secretarial or admin roles need to have strong communication skills as well as the ability to type 60+ words per minute.
Solicitors, paralegals, legal assistants and legal researchers need to show advisory, drafting, research and litigation support experience in the relevant area of practice.
Flexibility is key, said Rosemary. “A traveller with an open-minded, flexible approach will always do best in our market.”
In other words, being flexible about the type of work you’re prepared to do, being willing to take on short, urgent assignments plus being able to commit to the duration of an assignment are all valuable attributes.
For solicitors wanting to practice in Oz, you must be admitted to practice in the relevant Australian jurisdiction and have a current practising certificate.
However, If you are happy to assume a role that is not advisory and does not require you to appear in court, then your legal qualifications and experience will suffice.
There can be issues when moving around the country, but as Kelly Tangney, Law Staff’s Melbourne consultant said: “The requirements to practice vary between states, however under the Mutual Recognition Agreement a person admitted to practise in one state of Australia will be able to practise in another.”
The biggest potential hurdle surrounds your knowledge of Australian law. However, as Kelly explained: “Some areas of practice are more jurisdiction specific than others – such as property law and personal injury law – so it is more difficult to get up to speed in those areas.
“Practice areas with the most transferable skill sets are corporate, plus banking and financial services,” she added.
Still not convinced? Well how about this. “Working in Oz allows you to gain first class experience in a quality legal market that is also friendly and down-to-earth.
“You will be encouraged to work hard, then enjoy all the spoils that this great country has to offer!”