What’s the first thing you would advice travellers wanting a job in the legal sector?
I would advise travellers to have a great CV prepared tailored to the legal industry and to do their homework and find an agency like Legal Eagles who specialise in legal recruitment.
What do you primarily look for in a candidate?
Well, apart from legal experience/qualifications, I look for a professional yet flexible and committed attitude.
What qualifications are needed?
To work with our agency, the qualifications needed are a minimum of six months’ legalexperience or a law degree, Australian or New Zealand citizenship permanent residency or a valid Working Holiday Visa and Australian Tax File Number.
Do the qualifications vary between states?
No, it’s pretty much Australia wide.
How does the legal sector look like at the moment? Are there lots of jobs?
With the unemployment rate so low and the skills shortage across the legal industry, there has been great demand for legal temps in all States.
Is it hard getting a job in the legal sector without knowing all Australian laws?
Not at all. The majority of the roles are administrative or paralegal in nature, so as long as you have a solid legal background and great administrative skills, you can be trained.
What are the rates of pay? And what are the variables?
The rates of pay do vary and are anywhere between say $18 to $28 + Super per hour dependent on the firm, the duties and the temp’s experience.
Do you offer any training?
We do offer training in various packages, as well as interview techniques and tips on CVs.
What sort of jobs do you recruit for?
Most of our temporary assignments are with leading Australian law firms and include pretty much anything and everything, including reception, legal secretarial, paralegal, support paralegal, solicitors and law clerks.
Are there any sponsorship opportunities?
In the past there have not been a lot of opportunities for sponsorship. However, now there is a change in the sector, and with the permanent salaries for legal staff in Australia increasing, more opportunities are being presented.
What are the benefits of getting some Oz work experience?
Work experience from Australia shows your ability to be versatile and adaptable and also gives you the opportunity to work in a jurisdiction based on English law. It’s also a great lifestyle, and there is no more going to work and coming home in the dark! There’s also lots of great morning teas with sausage rolls, cakes and mini pies etc.
Thanks to Sherri Hodson, Senior Consultant, Legal Eagles Recruitment,
Interview With A Law Temp
Anna Mcgrath, 28, From England
So, what’s your new job?
I’m a temp with Law Staff. I’m currently on my second placement with a mid-tier firm in Sydney CBD. I’m in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa so temping is ideal for me.
Why legal matters in Australia?
I really wanted to get a broad overview of the law and legal practice over here. I practised law in England and wanted to get an idea of the differences between here and there. My boyfriend is Australian and we may potentially settle over here. I wanted to find out first hand what it would be like.
How did you land this job?
I saw an advert for Law Staff, in TNT Magazine in fact, and contacted them. They did the rest! Most temporary positions are advertised through agencies, so it made sense to contact one. I chose Law Staff as I specifically wanted legal work. Within hours of my appointment with Law Staff I had a placement.
How’s the pay?
The pay is very good. It’s comparable with salaries for legal secretaries in England.
Best points about your job?
For me, apart from the legal experience, it’s great to meet so many new people. That is important to me, being new to the country and the Sydney area. There is also the added flexibility of temping- working when you want to.
Any bad points?
It can be a little nerve-wracking starting a new placement, as with starting any new job. Having said that, everyone I have met has been so friendly and welcoming, the nerves soon go.
What was your job back home?
I was a Legal Executive. I practised in family/ matrimonial law in a small firm in Birmingham, West Midlands.
And how does it compare to working in Australia?
For a start, working in Sydney is amazing. It’s such a vibrant city and I love it. The work is obviously very different and varied. Day to day office life is quite similar though. The transition hasn’t been difficult at all. It’s also extremely nice to actually see sunshine in your lunch hour rather than rain!
How long have you been in Australia?
Nearly four months. I will be here 12 months in total.
Is sponsorship an option?
Potentially, yes. One of my current colleagues has been sponsored following a temporary contract, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Any advice for travellers considering your job?
Make the most of time with your new colleagues. Ask them about places to visit, they will know the best places to go and see, as they are locals. Always say yes to after work drinks, you will get to know people much better. Be nice, they may ask you back!