We are hiring! First Nations Solicitor

Last Updated on 15/03/2023 by National Justice Project


The NJP is offering a fixed-term paid training opportunity for a lawyer who identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. The successful candidate will be offered a 12-month contract, to be based in Sydney, NSW.

Key responsibilities:

  • Contribute to direct legal casework and strategic litigation.
  • Liaise with clients and our partners.
  • Provide high quality advice, assistance and casework service to the clients of the NJP.
  • Undertake administrative and case management activities.
  • Be involved in a wide range of legal and policy issues and cases within our practice.
  • Maintain an effective and ethical legal practice including compliance with NJP policies and legislative requirements and practice management standards.

Key candidate considerations:

  • The position is only open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants.
  • The position is open to solicitors with 2 years or more post admission experience (PAE).
  • Candidates must be comfortable working with confronting subject matter and with traumatised and at-times highly distressed clients.
  • Some travel may be required.
  • The successful candidate will apply their legal training, together with lived experience and knowledge, to practical and administrative tasks to seek justice and accountability for our clients and the wider community.
  • You will be required to provide reflective reports over the course of the year.


Personal Responsibilities, including:

  • Undertaking your work and other activities with integrity whilst upholding the organisation’s

values and in particular, ensuring a people-first approach across our staff, volunteers and clients;

  • Supporting team cohesion in a flexible and friendly manner;
  • Protecting and enhancing the reputation of the organisation;
  • Executing the tasks that are assigned to you to a high standard;
  • Collecting data to evaluate your work and regularly reporting on it;
  • Meet objectives and deliverables in a timely manner; and
  • Maintaining positive relationships with NJP’s partner organisations and the wider community.

Legal Assistance and Services, including:

  • Working on or contributing to a wide range of legal matters under the direction of the Senior Solicitors, Legal Practice Manager (LPM) or Principal Solicitor such as civil litigation, coronial inquests, medical negligence claims, constitutional and administrative law cases, and complaints to the Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission. This may include contributing to the drafting of pleadings, affidavits or other documents;
  • Assisting the Senior Solicitors and Principal Solicitor with all administrative aspects of their work;
  • File management, including case planning and maintaining spreadsheets;
  • Making FOI or equivalent applications and liaising with recipient organisations;
  • Reviewing medical and other records and preparing briefs to counsel and medical experts;
  • Developing and maintaining a strong and sensitive working relationship with clients, and taking accurate and clear instructions;
  • Maintaining strong professional relationships with Counsel, partner/defendant firms and clients;
  • Preparing advice, legal research and time recording; and
  • Answering phones, directing calls, doing intakes and referrals.

Supervising Junior Staff and Volunteers:

  • While you will have no direct reports, it is expected that you will provide day to day guidance to any team member that is allocated to assist you in your matters (or is otherwise assisting you) with their duties and responsibilities, including volunteers and junior staff;
  • NJP is involved in various University clinical placements throughout the year. NJP staff may be required to represent NJP and participate in the clinics, including in the allocation of work, provision of training and providing supervision to the students; and
  • As you become more experienced, you may provide guidance and training to other paralegals and new solicitors.


You will report to your allocated Team Leader/Senior Solicitor on a daily basis in relation to your caseload, leave requests and other matters. You may also receive instruction from time to time from other members of the NJP Executive Team, legal team or Principal Solicitor.


All questions and applications should be sent to hr@justice.org.au by 24 March 2023. Early applications will be considered. The start dates of the positions are flexible for the right candidate, but we are hoping to have the successful applicant commence in April 2023.

In your application, please send your CV along with a statement with your response to the below selection criteria:

  • A current practising certificate (NSW);
  • A passion for human rights and social justice, in particular in relation to Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people and refugees/asylum seekers; and
  • An understanding of culturally safe and trauma informed practice.

The successful candidate will be required to be competent in the following core skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • An ability to manage multiple competing priorities under tight deadlines;
  • Excellent administrative and organisational skills; and
  • Experience working both independently with minimal supervision and as a part of a team.

Desirable experience:

  • Experience working with vulnerable clients is highly regarded.
  • Experience working in a legal office is highly regarded.
  • Strong community relationships are highly regarded.
  • Experience working in a not-for-profit organisation is highly regarded.

These positions are open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants only.

Being an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is a genuine occupational requirement for these positions under s 14 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). The filling of this position is intended to constitute an affirmative measure under section 8 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (CTH).