Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Australian Security and Investments Commission

Field of Law

Corporate and Government Accountability

Stage of Career

Graduates; Practising lawyers

Contact Details

Address: Level 24, 120 Collins St, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9280 3200
Visit the ASIC website
Contact person: Natasha Reddrop, Phone (02) 9911 5264
Email: graduateprogram@asic.gov.au

Description of Organisation

ASIC is Australia's corporate, markets and financial services regulator.

We contribute to Australia's economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia's financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.

We are an independent Commonwealth Government body. We are set up under and administer the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act), and we carry out most of our work under the Corporations Act.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 requires us to:

  • maintain, facilitate and improve the performance of the financial system and entities in it
  • promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system
  • administer the law effectively and with minimal procedural requirements
  • enforce and give effect to the law
  • receive, process and store, efficiently and quickly, information that is given to us
  • make information about companies and other bodies available to the public as soon as practicable.

Information for university students/graduates

The ASIC Graduate Program has continually evolved over the last 15 years and is specifically designed to make the most of your strengths and skills. ASIC is looking for graduates in many disciplines:

  • Accounting
  • Business & Commerce
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Information Technology (Sydney & Traralgon)

The program includes:

  • Three 4-month rotations
  • An opportunity for placement in one of our six offices across Australia
  • Financial assistance towards further study
  • A graduate development program
  • Starting salary of $62,867 plus 15.4% superannuation
  • Flexible working hours and flextime
  • Graduates can apply to any one of our Sydney, Melbourne, Traralgon, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide offices and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are especially encouraged to apply.

Do you have a graduate clerkship program that involved practical legal training and admission to practise?

Not yet but one may commence in winter 2014.

What are you looking for in a graduate?

Motivated high achievers who are interested in the work that ASIC does.

Qualifications/skills required

 You must have completed an undergraduate degree within the three years prior to the graduate program commencing. 

What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?

 Corporations Law.

What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?

Any prior work experience (paid, volunteer, internship etc) will be viewed favourably. 

How many graduates do you take a year?

Usually 20, with 6 of those in Melbourne. 10-12 will be law graduates.

How does one apply

 1. Online application form

You'll be required to submit your personal details, the subjects you studied along with your results and any relevant work experience.

To apply for the ASIC Graduate Program, you must have completed an undergraduate degree in 2013, 2012 or 2011. You must complete your degree before the Graduate Program commences in January 2014.

2. Online assessment

If you move onto the next stage, you'll be asked to do a psychometric assessment at home.

3. Video interview

We'll then invite you to conduct a self managed video interview - this is where we get to know you and learn why you applied for the ASIC Graduate Program.

4. Assessment centre

At our assessment centre you will demonstrate how you would behave in different situations and within a team. There will be various activities involved and this usually takes up to half a day.

5. Face-to-face interview

At this interview, we will ask you questions about specific times you have had to demonstrate certain behaviours. We're looking for good, in-depth responses that allow us an insight into how you might behave in work situations.

6. Offer

Dates for application

 Applications for the 2014 ASIC Graduate Program open February 25 and close March 21, 2013

Other key dates to note are:

2 April: psychometric assessment commences.
9 April: video interviews commence.
22 April - 17 May: assessment centres conducted.
End May: offers made.
22 Jan 2014: ASIC graduate program commences

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

Yes - you must have completed an undergraduate degree within the three years prior to the program commencing. 

Interview process

See above for full graduate recruitment process.  Interview is the final stage, and involves some behavioural questions, as well as questions to test your interest in working for ASIC.  The interview panel consists of the graduate program manager and one other staff member.

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

We have entry-level positions available for legal and other graduates.  These are at ASIC 3 or ASIC 4 level and there is a wide variety of different types of roles you can apply for.  They are advertised on our careers site as they become available.

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

Usually, due to the competitive nature of the process, minimum Credit average is required.  We do consider all GPAs though.

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

If you have more than four fails on your record, you are unlikely to make it past the online application stage.  Fewer than four is not a problem if your GPA ends up being good (credit or above). 

Information for practising lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

This varies greatly depending on the role and the team recruiting, as ASIC has a large number of specialist teams doing quite different work.  Position descriptions are the best source of this information.

What prior work is viewed favourably?

Legal industry experience and/or financial services experience are beneficial.

On average, how many positions become available per year?

About 100-150 (this number includes roles at all levels and in all states).

How many applications do you receive for these?

About 20-30 per role.

Where do you advertise your positions?

Always ASIC's career page and the Australian Public Service website. Sometimes Seek, Linked In, and Lawyers weekly.

Graduate applications are managed at the graduates page on the ASIC website.

Do you use a recruitment agency?

Not usually for legal roles.

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