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Law - Department of Human Services National Graduate Program 2018

Professional pathway—Law

The Professional pathway offers you the opportunity to focus your career in a particular area.

To apply for this pathway you should have a comprehensive understanding of contemporary issues and practices related to your area of expertise or technical discipline. We are seeking graduates with a law degree or equivalent who have completed or are willing to complete a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) or equivalent. The Legal Services Division is comprised of six distinct branches responsible for different subject matter.

Legal projects and tasks:

  • interpret and apply the law in a range of contexts
  • provide advice on legal issues which affect our customers
  • advise on privacy and freedom of information claims for customer compensation, Freedom of Information requests, information release, Ombudsman liaison and privacy
  • deliver legal services to the department


Law graduates will complete a rotation in four of the six branches within the Legal Services Division. Each rotation will be six months in duration and will provide exposure and skills development in the wide range of law practiced in- house by government departments.

This rotation process is supplemented by a training program that uses external providers and internal staff to provide subject matter expertise to graduates. This will ensure you continue to develop your capabilities across a broad range of legal practice areas with the support of experienced colleagues.

It should be noted that the NGP itself is a ten month program and following successful completion you will advance to an APS5 classification in December 2018. You will have the option of continuing the specialised rotation and training opportunities within the Legal Services Division following completion of the NGP.

Placement locations

The majority of our NGP positions are located in Canberra. Opportunities to undertake the NGP in areas outside Canberra are limited and vary each year. Being willing to relocate for a position is one of our eligibility criteria.

Development activities

We have a range of formal and informal training and development opportunities to help you grow and create a career with unlimited opportunities. During our 10 month program you will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of learning including:

  • Australian Public Service Commission events
  • attending Senate Estimates and Question Time during parliamentary sittings
  • organising and participating in department wide and graduate specific development activities
  • on the job experiences
  • the chance to grow with the support of a Senior Executive Service mentor

These opportunities will:

  • strengthen your networking skills
  • develop your career
  • expose you to our business
  • broaden your understanding of the APS and the Australian Parliamentary process

There are a number of compulsory elements you’ll need to take part in to successfully graduate from our program.

These include:

  • a two week orientation
  • an accredited training course
  • a graduate presentation to our senior executive. You will work with others in the program to develop innovative solutions to issues and present your ideas to our executive
  • a one week Outbound Journey
  • graduation ceremony

Accredited learning

Previous intakes have participated in the Diploma of Government, an accredited course which addresses the function and operation of the Australian Government, as well as rules and guidelines to help you transition into the APS.


We also know how important it is to feel supported throughout your time on the program. We have a dedicated team in place to support you from your initial offer and relocation, right through to your graduation ceremony.

We work hard to ensure you settle into the program and make the most of the unlimited opportunities our department has to offer!

For more information about the National Graduate Program go to or like us on Facebook.

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