Colin Biggers & Paisley was founded in 1900 and is one of the most established legal practices in the country. Operating out of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane it focusses on delivering a full range of legal services to the insurance, construction, property and business services sectors in Australia and abroad.
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If you’re interested in working at Colin Biggers & Paisley, understanding when they have opened up applications for their graduate programs, graduate jobs and internships is helpful knowledge to have so you know when you might need to apply. Use the below information to see when Colin Biggers & Paisley hires graduates, but more importantly what graduate degree’s and other student attributes they target for their jobs.
Choosing which legal practice to join is a big decision. Here, you’ll find a legal practice that is at the very forefront of the law. You’ll also see a diverse group of people who are passionate about the law and who enjoy working together.
We foster talent and encourage growth
We understand that delivering great results for our clients depends on having great people. In addition to tuition reimbursement for approved work-related courses, we offer up to five days study/ exam leave per academic year and amazing opportunities for both career progression and personal growth.
We work smart and play hard
We believe in a workplace that inspires our people. Our offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney CBD locations encourage creativity, collaboration and productivity.
We understand the importance of building and maintaining relationships with our colleagues, and we like to have fun doing so. Whether it’s relaxing with a drink on a Friday night, joining our all-star netball team or enjoying a complimentary massage, Colin Biggers & Paisley offers a suite of unique employee benefits.
At Colin Biggers & Paisley, we’re here to make a difference. We are a unique legal practice that believes in what we do. This applies to the solutions we create for our clients, the contribution we make to our communities and the careers we build for our people.
Our people are given every opportunity - for both career progression and personal growth. We have many partners and managers who commenced their careers here as junior lawyers. We give everyone the opportunities and support to grow and establish quality careers with us.
We truly believe that being a mid-size legal practice is an advantage. Our structure allows us to offer a more holistic service to our clients and a better place to work for our people. Our size allows us to remain personable and well connected with our colleagues and to our clients. It is rewarding to see our clients continue to succeed and benefit through working with us.
Here, you’ll find a legal practice that is at the very forefront of the law. You’ll also see a diverse group of people who are motivated to make a difference and who enjoy working together.
Our Graduate Program runs for 15 months. During this time, you complete three different rotations, spending five months in each rotation. This will give you great exposure to work and teams across our practice areas. The rotation experience will help you decide where you will be best suited for a thriving career at Colin Biggers & Paisley.
One of the other benefits of our program is that you don’t work for one partner – you will work with different people, across the business. During the program you are individually supported by a supervising partner, mentor and buddy. We recognise that it’s early in your career and we aim to give you as much support, guidance and mentoring as possible.
Our Mentoring Program facilitates mentoring relationships whereby mentors share advice, knowledge and experiences with their mentees to unleash your highest potential to help you achieve your career goals. The program provides you with a spectrum of learning opportunities and fosters supportive relationships and open communication between employees of all levels. Not only will you be supported, but we want you to be inspired by a mentor during your career development at Colin Biggers & Paisley.
You will also receive the prescribed training necessary for admission in your state. This will be the Practical Legal Training course through College of Law in New South Wales and Queensland and through Supervised Workplace Training through Leo Cussen in Victoria.
I studied a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws at UNSW Sydney and joined Colin Biggers & Paisley as a Graduate in March 2021. My first rotation was in the Pro Bono team and I'm currently in the Property and Development team.
The application process
COVID lockdowns meant the application process to join the Graduate program was entirely remote, but I still felt like I got a feel for the firm.
After sending in my cover letter, CV and transcript, I had an interview with two of our Human Resources consultants. The interview was friendly and conversational, and it gave me an opportunity to ask questions about Colin Biggers & Paisley. At the second round interview, I spoke with a couple of the partners and our Director of Human Resources. I shared my journey through law school, my intentions for my career and what I like to do outside of work.
CBP's impact on my career
During my first rotation with the Pro Bono team, I was on secondment with Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) three days per week and working on internal pro bono matters at our office two days per week.
At MLC, I worked with diverse clients across a range of legal issues. We worked at Burwood Court as part of the Duty Lawyer Service and ran the Youth Legal Service evening clinic. The team at MLC were fantastic and I am grateful to have spent five months working with clients who may otherwise not have access to legal advice.
While on secondment, I stayed connected to Colin Biggers & Paisley by working on our internal pro bono matters. I assisted on a range of high impact cases, ranging from debt recovery to family court orders.
In the Property and Development team, I've worked for a variety of people at all stages of their career and seen different leadership styles in action. The team have invested in my training and are always happy to explain a task thoroughly. I've slowly been able to take on more responsibilities, but always have people to seek guidance from.
Gaining exposure to these different teams has clarified the direction I want to take my career. Often you need to experience the law in practice to work out whether a particular area is for you, so the chance to spend five months in three different teams really sets you up to discover where you'll thrive.
Advice for graduates who are thinking about applying for the program
If our values align with the kind of firm you would like to work at then go for it. Colin Biggers & Paisley genuinely lives up to its values. To give you an idea of my experience with this:
Colin Biggers & Paisley has a real commitment to diversity and improving outcomes on this front. This stood out my induction week when people from the firm shared their personal experiences of how Colin Biggers & Paisley has created an inclusive culture.
There is a true emphasis on creating work/life balance at Colin Biggers & Paisley. In my first three months, I was allowed to work flexibly to pursue another opportunity alongside the Graduate program.
Colin Biggers & Paisley cares about the people who work here. I experienced this when our Human Resources team supported me when a situation in my apartment building made working from home difficult.
I have not had my ethics challenged by a situation at work. If they were, I know there are people at Colin Biggers & Paisley who I could reach out to for advice.
One last thing I'd say to future graduates is that Colin Biggers & Paisley is incredibly welcoming! I've shared dinners and events with young professionals in the firm, and even during lockdown, the Graduates came together to do Pinot and Picasso on Zoom. We have a lot of fun outside work and this ensures you feel connected to the firm.
My experience as a Graduate at CBP
I started at Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) as a Legal Assistant in the Pro Bono & Responsible Business team. CBP has an incredibly inclusive and supportive culture, and as I got towards the end of my studies I knew I wanted to apply for the graduate program and take the next step in my career with the firm.
I commenced as a graduate in August 2021, and stayed in the Pro Bono team for my first rotation. During this five-month rotation, I was seconded three days a week to Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) working as part of their Youth Legal Service and spent the other two days working on pro bono matters across the practice. Whilst seconded to MLC I was able to work in a range of areas of law generally affecting young people in NSW including victims support, employment, criminal and traffic law. A highlight was working with solicitors and clients to navigate the revolving door of legal issues resulting from the changes to the Public Health Orders, and developing case law surrounding employment and vaccine mandates. This secondment helped me gain important communication and problem solving skills, with lots of opportunities to engage with clients and draft multiple advices a day. In addition to professional experience, it was incredibly fulfilling being able to make a small contribution to MLC's crucial work providing access to justice to our community.
On my off days from MLC, I was able to work on pro bono matters within the firm, ranging from small debt claims to research for not-for-profits, and even regularly volunteering with Refugee Legal on the their clinic dedicated to supporting Afghani refugees. These two days allowed me to get a taste of different practice groups, and develop my research and time-management skills. On a whole this rotation offers graduates great exposure to clients and the opportunity to learn from many different lawyers in different contexts. The Pro Bono team and the Foundation's are integral to who is CBP are as a legal practice, and I cannot recommend this rotation enough.
I am now in the midst of my second rotation, working in the Property & Development team in Sydney. So far, I am learning a great deal about commercial leasing, and property acquisitions and sales. The team has been incredibly welcoming, and always willing to answer my questions. In this rotation, I feel that I am getting thorough training and the type of hands on experience that truly prepares graduates for practice. The support I have received so far has been amazing, and I am excited to continue learning and growing in this space.
Advice I would give to graduates who are thinking about applying for the program
If you are looking for a graduate experience that is engaging and provides good training with a focus on work/life balance, the CBP graduate program offers it all.
If you're thinking about applying or going through the process, I recommend showing your personality and sharing what you're passionate about.
Our recruitment process is designed to give you the opportunity to learn more about our practice, our people, and what makes us unlike any other legal practice in Australia. It is a chance to give you an insight into our culture, meet some of our people and to decide whether we're the right fit for you.
Our focus isn’t just on people with strong university marks. We’re looking for people that will add to our culture, aspire to contribute to the community through the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation, and be challenged in the work they do.
If you are thinking of joining Colin Biggers & Paisley, this is how you can apply
Nothing motivates lawyers more than the ability to make an impact - on the law, legal systems and people’s lives.
Making an impact is at the very core of why we do what we do. We have the ability to help disenfranchised and disadvantaged people in our community.
We fulfil our role as global citizens through our Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation which brings together our entire community offering and is comprised of three streams - pro bono legal services, volunteering and charitable contributions. The Foundation’s core strategy is to promote and protect the rights of women and children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As a signatory to the Australian Pro Bono Centre’s National Pro Bono Target, we encourage our people across all areas and levels of the firm to proactively undertake pro bono work and participate in community assistance initiatives. We use our skills and our expertise to help address unmet legal need and to provide resources and opportunities for the benefit of communities. We work with individuals and not-for-profit organisations that work on behalf of low income or disadvantaged members of the community.
The graduate program offers our graduates an opportunity to do a rotation in the Pro Bono and Responsible Business team offering interesting work, professional development and the opportunity to contribute to the community. For a look at the unique experience of past graduates rotation in the Pro Bono and Responsible Business team our most recent graduates Andrea Buritica Toro and Alannah Milton provide insights into the work and experience.
For more information on the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation and our initiatives visit our
Our goal is to create a company as diverse as the world around us.
“Diversity” to us means ensuring representation across gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and ability, and “inclusion” for us means inclusion for all. We are committed to fostering a truly diverse workforce that is inclusive of everyone. Our aim is to be recognised as a leading provider of inclusion and diversity in the legal profession.
We believe in equality and provide all our people with opportunities to build and advance their careers in a way that is meaningful and fair. Our core values of balance, respect, loyalty and integrity underpin everything we do. We foster a diverse culture that’s inclusive of everyone, and celebrate each race, religion, ability, gender and sexuality that makes up our workforce.
Our people reflect the variety of backgrounds that characterise the Australian population. We believe new ideas stem from diverse perspectives. It’s these differences that help us acquire and retain top talent, build the best teams for our clients and deliver service of the highest calibre.
Our Inclusion and Diversity strategy focuses on the following resource streams:
- Gender and Flexibility
- Age and Generation
- People with Disabilities
- Culture and Religion
We have partnered with a number of leading organisations to assist us on our Inclusion and Diversity journey:
- Diversity Council Australia
- Pride in Diversity
- CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program
- Australian Network on Disability
- JobSupport - achieving employment for people with an intellectual disability
- Parents at Work - creating a family friendly future
Kate Craig, Partner and Head of Commercial and Dispute Resolution
“With ongoing support from my colleagues and Colin Biggers & Paisley, I have never felt like I have had to choose between my family and my career”
I joined Colin Biggers & Paisley as a Solicitor in 2006. I had my daughter in 2012 when I was a Senior Associate, I was promoted to Partner in 2016 when I was eight months pregnant with my son, and I became Head of Group in 2020.
I have always worked flexibly. After each birth I took six months parental leave and I worked flexibly when I came back to work. I began returning to the office gradually, initially spending three days in the office and two at home, and over time increased that to four days a week in the office.
I have been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by Partners who have supported me throughout my career and have created a culture within our practice where people, both men and women, can work flexibly. There have been times when I have needed to be present at home and other partners have stepped in and helped. There is an understanding that yes, my career is important to me but also that my family life is important to me too, and I don’t have to hide that.
Flexible working practices extend to everyone in my team. We understand that people are pulled in a number of different directions for different reasons. Family life can be stressful and what that looks like is different for everyone. They may have children or caring responsibilities. Having an awareness and an understanding of people’s circumstances, how they work and their family life, helps me understand how I can best support them. In turn, my team understands what is important to me. For example, on Monday afternoons I’m at school doing pick up and then we head to ballet class and soccer training."
We fight for the fair representation of women.
Colin Biggers & Paisley is committed to fostering a culture of genuine equality and opportunity for women. We work hard to maximise opportunities for women to succeed and excel in their careers. This means deliberate inclusion initiatives and pay equity for similar roles and performance, regardless of gender.
Our Managing Partner, Nick Crennan, is a Pay Equity Ambassador through the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Pay Equity Ambassadors take WGEA's Pay Equity Pledge to commit to analysing talent data and taking action to ensure equal pay within their organisation. Gender pay equity is about ensuring women and men performing the same role are paid the same amount, and women and men performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid equitably.
Colin Biggers & Paisley is also a signatory to the Advancement of Women Charter, a Law Society of New South Wales initiative and the LIV Charter for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession.
We are committed to promoting diversity, equality, respect and inclusion consistent with the principles of justice, integrity, equity and the pursuit of excellence in the legal profession.
Balance is at the heart of our business.
We focus on excellence without losing sight of balance. We understand that as people go through different phases of life, the amount of time they are able to dedicate to their career can vary. To retain top talent, we adapt to our people's changing needs. We offer many flexible work arrangements, including part-time work, paid parental leave and non-primary caregiver leave, study leave, carer’s leave and options to work from home. The majority of our people some kind of flexible working arrangement. This includes working less than full-time, adjusting core working hours, working from home, or any combination or tailored approach. We support our people throughout all the phases of their lives.
We partner with CareerTrackers to provide internship opportunities for Indigenous students at university. Our cadetship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students offers students a paid opportunity to build skills and gain valuable practical experience. The program is part of Colin Biggers & Paisley's Indigenous Engagement Strategy, which seeks to increase the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the law.
A legal cadet at Colin Biggers & Paisley will be a part-time employee for the duration of their law degree. Cadets will work one or two days per week in our Sydney office, with flexibility around their availability each semester.
Cadets will be given the opportunity to work in multiple practice areas and gain practical on the job training and skills development. Cadets will be supported to participate in training and professional development opportunities including attendances at courses and conferences. Cadets will be mentored and supported through their law degree.
We believe in acceptance, equality, understanding, respect, human rights and the power of our community.
We are committed to fostering a safe and supportive culture, where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or gender diverse and Queer (LGBTQ) employees feel respected, valued and are able to bring their whole selves to work every day. Being able to bring your whole self to work is an important aspect of employee wellbeing, performance, innovation and satisfaction.
We established [email protected], a network to support and promote LGBTQ inclusion within our practice. [email protected] includes allies who listen, learn and strive to create an inclusive space for everyone at Colin Biggers & Paisley. We are proud of our respectful, inclusive and supportive practice and will continue to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all of our LGBTQ employees.
Our partnership with Pride in Diversity, is integral to our overarching Inclusion and Diversity strategy. Pride in Diversity are Australia's first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed to assist Australian employers with people of diverse sexualities and genders. They provide our practice with support on workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change, workplace diversity, resources and networking opportunities on all aspects of LGBTQ.
Our practice participates in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), along with hundreds of other organisations from different industries. The AWEI is an internationally recognised, gold standard, national benchmark for LGBTQ workplace inclusion in Australia, administered by Pride in Diversity. Colin Biggers & Paisley won the Gold award in 2021 for our dedication to ensuring we foster a safe and supportive culture for all.
We are also a member of Pride in Law who are based in Brisbane. Pride in Law is a legal networking association for the LGBTIQ+ community and their allies.
Our practice acknowledges and supports the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), Wear it Purple Day, World AIDS Day, along with other key LGBTQ calendar events.
Advancing inclusion for people with disability.
We believe that people with disability are skilled and capable social and economic contributors, who are entitled to equitable opportunities within our society and our workplace.
With around one in every five people experiencing disability in their lifetime, we know it's very important to reflect the diversity of the communities we live in.
We have partnered work with JobSupport who are an organisation who help people with an intellectual disability into paid employment. We currently have employed part-time employees through JobSupport who work in our Corporate Services Teams. We are incredibly proud of our partnership with JobSupport which enables us to create an inclusive environment for all.
We are also a bronze member of the Australian Network on Disability (AND), this shows our commitment to advancing the inclusion for people with disability. Our membership provides us with networks, resources and advice.