Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP)

Field of Law

Criminal

Stage of Career

Graduates; Practising Lawyers

Contact details

Address: 565 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 1800 641 927
Visit the OPP website
Contact person: Recruitment Consultant, Ph 9603 2418.
Email: recruit.info@opp.vic.gov.au

Description of Organisation

The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) is Victoria's largest criminal legal practice. Together with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Crown Prosecutors the OPP prosecutes serious offences in Victoria's County and Supreme Courts and conducts criminal appeals in the County Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia.

The OPP is the independent statutory authority responsible for preparing and conducting criminal prosecutions for serious indictable offences in Victoria on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The OPP employs more than 300 staff. A key strategic goal of the OPP is to ensure that the prosecutorial system gives appropriate consideration to the victims of crime in accordance with the State's Victims Charter.

The DPP is responsible for prosecuting indictable offences on behalf of the State of Victoria in the High Court, the Supreme Court of Victoria and the County Court of Victoria.

Number of legal positions within organisation:  Approximately 200.

Does your organisation have a human rights officer?

Not specifically. The OPP has an HR team who would look after such matters.

Information for university students/graduates

Do you have a graduate clerkship program? (involving practical legal training and admission to practice)

Yes. There is a Seasonal clerkship programs and The Legal Traineeship Program. The Legal Traineeship Program meets the requirements of the Supervised Workplace Traineeship, offering both supervised workplace training and training in the defined competency standards for entry-level lawyers.

Information for both the Seasonal clerkship program and the Legal Traineeship Program is available on their website.

What are you looking for in a graduate?

Successful applicants will demonstrate intellectual ability, integrity, academic success, a commitment to serving the community, strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively as part of a team.

Qualifications/skills required

For the OPP's Legal Traineeships, candidates must have completed study – Bachelor of Laws/ Juris Doctor - by the end of the year they apply, but must not be admitted to practice.

For the Seasonal clerkship, they must be in their penultimate year.

What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?

Nothing is favourable, but Criminal Law, and volunteer work in this area will assist candidates knowledge of what the OPP does, and potentially assist with their written application.

What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?

As above.

How many graduates do you take a year?

Nothing is favourable, but Criminal Law, and volunteer work in this area will assist candidates knowledge of what the OPP does, and potentially assist with their written application.

How does one apply

The consists of three components:

  • curriculum vitae/resume
  • certified extract of academic record
  • a covering letter, including written responses to key selection criteria. Responses to each of these questions should be limited to no more than 200 words.
  • Application form to complete before you submit
  • Applications must be submitted online at the Careers page on the Victorian Government website

Dates for application

As per the LiV guidelines. The Legal traineeship applications are open now until 11:59pm Sunday 21 August. The Seasonal clerkship applications are also open now until 11:59pm Sunday 14 August.

Do you require your applicants to be recent law graduates? If so, how recent?

Applicants must be in their final year of study.

Interview process

    Legal traineeship:

  • All submitted applications will be assessed and if you are short-listed you will be advised via email that you have progressed to the phone interview stage.  Following the phone interview, applicants will be reassessed and may progress to the Assessment Centre.
  • Applicants who are short-listed for the Assessment Centre will be notified by phone during business hours on Wednesday 31 August.
  • All candidates must be available in person for an assessment centre selection process on Wednesday 7 September 2016 to be eligible for consideration. This is not negotiable.
  • Successful applicants at this stage will be invited to potentially attend a final behavioural interview with the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions.
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate intellectual ability, integrity, academic success, a commitment to serving the community, strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively as part of a team.
  • In line with the LIV Traineeship Guidelines 2016, offers will be made after 10am on Monday 26 September 2016.
  • Seasonal clerkship:

  • All submitted applications will be assessed and if you are short-listed you will be advised via email that you have progressed to the phone interview stage.  Following the phone interview, applicants will be reassessed and may progress to an interview.
  • Applicants who are short-listed for interview will be notified by phone during business hours on Monday 19 September.
  • All candidates must be available for an interview between Tuesday 27 September to Thursday 29 September 2016 to be eligible for consideration. This is not negotiable.
  • Successful applicants will demonstrate intellectual ability, integrity, academic success, a commitment to serving the community, strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively as part of
  • a team.
  • In line with the LIV Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines 2016, offers will be made after 10am on Tuesday 11 October 2016.

How many law graduates do you employ outside your graduate program, and what sort of roles do they fill?

Don’t employ law graduates outside the graduate program. However, Junior Solicitor positions for those with work experience may be available.

Do you have a minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant's academic record?

Credit average and above.

If there are any fails on a candidate's academic record how will they affect the recruitment process?

As long as they graduate it is not necessarily a concern.

Information for practising lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

The Key Selection Criteria for each role is the indicator of skills. If you can answer, then you probably meet the criteria

What prior work is viewed favourably?

The OPP accepts applications from suitably qualified candidates whatever their experience may be within the legal profession. The OPP has employed many solicitors who have previously worked in defence criminal law practices.

On average, how many positions become available per year?

Every year is different. As above, please refer and register with Careers Victoria Website

How many applications do you receive for these?

For each role 10-60 dependent on how niche.

Where do you advertise your positions?

Careers Victoria Website

Do you use a recruitment agency?

Only for temporary administrative or Corporate Services work.

Advice for applicants

  • Take exceptional care with your written application.
  • Only apply to roles that you meet the criteria for.
  • Think about why you want to work at the OPP before you come to interview.

Castan Centre logoProgressive Law Network logo

Victoria Law Foundation Grants logo