First Nations Legal & Research Services Ltd (formerly Native Title Services Victoria)
Field of Law
Indigenous; Native Title Law / Aboriginal Land Rights
Stage of Career
Address: 12-14 Leveson St North Melbourne 3051
Phone: 9321 5300
Visit the First Nations Legal and Research Services Ltd website
Contact person: Drew Berick
Description of Organisation
In the wake of the 2002 High Court decision in Yorta Yorta v Victoria there was a common view that native title as a doctrine would have little application in Southern Australia. Since its creation in 2003, First Nations Legal & Research Services (previously Native Title Services Victoria) has proved this view wrong. Victoria now has four successful determinations of native title covering much of the crown land of the State and a settlement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic).
Number of legal positions within organisation: Approximately 9
Information for secondary schools
Do you have work experience placements for secondary school students?
Nothing specifically though we have facilitated placements in the past.
Contact person for work experience placements:
Information for university students/graduates
Do you have a graduate program?
We do not have a formal graduate clerkship program. However we host interns, primarily through the Aurora program and Melbourne University. Interns can use their internship experience to count towards their PLT. We do not have a formal graduate program, but take on graduates on an as-needed basis which is subject to funding.
What are you looking for in a graduate?
Empathetic, eager to learn, and adaptable Strong communication skills with demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.
Appropriate law degree. Native title experience/experience working with Traditional Owner clients is desirable.
What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?
Native title/human rights law subjects, as well as a strong record in corporation and property law.
What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?
Native title experience/experience working with Traditional Owner clients is desirable. Otherwise, experience working in CLCs and/or working with vulnerable clients is desirable. A strong background in corporate or property law is also looked on favourably.
How many graduates do you take a year?
Variable and subject to funding
How does one apply
Apply to advertised positions
Dates for application:
Do you require your applicants to be recent law graduates?
We are open to recent law graduates or junior lawyers, depending on the right candidate
Usually meet with supervising lawyer, HR and Principal Legal Officer.
How many law graduates do you employ outside your graduate program, and what sort of roles do they fill?
As above, we do not have a formal graduate program, but take on graduates on an as-needed basis which is subject to funding.
Do you have a minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant's academic record?
No, each candidate will be considered on their range of experience, skills and attributes in conjunction with their academic record.
If there are any fails on a candidate’s academic record how will they affect the recruitment process?
Each candidate will be considered on their range of experience, skills and attributes in conjunction with their academic record.
What sort of volunteer/internship opportunities are available?
We host interns, primarily through the Aurora program and Melbourne University.
Contact person for volunteers:
Drew Berick/ Ally McAlpine
Information for practising lawyers
What are you looking for in a permanent employee?
Candidates must be empathetic, adaptable, eager to learn new and emerging areas of law, and have strong organisational and communication skills. Candidates must have a demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team and a willingness to think creatively and problem-solve.
What prior work is viewed favourably?
Native title law, experience working with Traditional Owner clients, and corporate law experience.
On average, how many positions become available per year?
This is variable depending on funding. We suspect that positions are likely to become less available in the current funding environment.
How many applications do you receive for these?
20 - 30
Where do you advertise your positions?
Seek, Ethical Jobs, and on our website and through our networks.
Advice for applicants:
First Nations welcomes expressions of interest outside of any formal recruitment process.