Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Supreme Court
Field of Law
Stage of career
Description of Court/Tribunal
The Supreme Court of Victoria is the superior court in Victoria. Founded in 1852, it is a superior court of common law and equity, with unlimited jurisdiction within the State.
The Supreme Court is divided into the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division.
The Court of Appeal hears appeals from Criminal and Civil trials heard by Judges of the Supreme Court and the County Court. It also hears appeals from proceedings which have come before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and other Tribunals.
The Trial Division is divided into three Divisions, the Commercial and Equity Division, the Common Law Division and the Criminal Division. The types of cases heard and determined by the Trial Division include:
- Cases of treason, murder, attempted murder and other major criminal matters
- Civil cases unlimited in the amount of money that may be claimed
- Civil cases involving complex legal issues
- Some appeals from the Magistrates' Court and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
- Cases involving judicial review
- Corporations matters
Procedural matters, including applications for bail, probate business and urgent applications for injuctions.
Information for secondary schools
Do you have work experience placements for secondary school students?
Yes, please contact the Courts Engagement Officer, Supreme Court of Victoria, 9603 9011
Do you host school trips or send speakers to schools?
Host school trips via the Education Program organised via the Law Institute of Victoria
Contact person for school trip and/or speakers
Law Institute of Victoria
Education Liaison Officer
Phone: 9607 9311
Information for university students/graduates/lawyers
What sorts of positions are available at the Court?
- Administrative Assistant
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator
- Associate (Junior and Senior)
- Class Actions Coordinator
- Judicial Services Coordinator
- Jury Officers
- Legal & Policy Officers
- Listings and Legal Support Officer
- Registry Lawyers
- Registry Officers
- Secretary/Personal Assistant
What qualifications are required for the different positions?
Administrative Assistant - appropriate qualifications or general administration experience
Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator - Certificate IV in Government (Court Services) is desirable
Associate (Junior and Senior) - requires Bachelor of Laws
Class Actions Coordinator - legal qualification is highly desirable
Judicial Services Coordinator - appropriate qualification is desirable
Jury Officers - appropriate qualification is desirable
Legal & Policy Officers - requires tertiary qualifications in Law, preferably admitted to practice
Listings and Legal Support Officer - appropriate qualification is desirable
Registrars - must be Barrister or Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria
Registry Lawyers - tertiary qualifications in Law and admitted to practice
Registry Officers - relevant Certificate IV (minimum) is desirable but not mandatory
Researchers - requires Bachelor of Laws and Admission to Practice (preferred)
Secretary/Personal Assistant - appropriate qualifications or previous experience
Tipstaff - appropriate qualification or similar experience is desirable
On average, how many positions become available per year?
How many applications do you receive for these?
20 - 100+
Where do you advertise your positions?
Do you use a recruitment agency?
What sort of volunteer opportunities are available?
Volunteering is an interesting, satisfying and fun way for people to become involved in their community.
There are a number of ways that people can volunteer within the Court:
Each year over 5,000 students undertaking law-related studies throughout Victoria participate in the Supreme Court's Education Program. The Education Program supports schools in the delivery of VCE Legal Studies, and increases the community's understanding of justice and the people who administer it.
The Education Team delivers the program and is comprised of volunteers. The team members bring a wealth of life experience to the program, from backgrounds working in the law, the courts, teaching, administration and business.
To express your interest in volunteering for the Education Program please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Court Network operates on-site in the Supreme, County, Coroner's, Family, Children's and Magistrates' Courts. Court Network is a voluntary, non-legal support service that provides information, support and referral services for all individuals, families and friends going to court.
On a daily basis Network volunteers provide information (non-legal) about going to court, including how the courts and legal system operate and what to expect on the day.
Networkers come from a diverse range of backgrounds, but all share a common goal - helping the individual and his/her family on their day in court.
To express your interest in volunteering for Court Network please visit www.courtnetwork.com.au
Do you have recruitment or training opportunities for Indigenous applicants?
Contact person for Indigenous applicants
General advice for applicants:
Prior to applying for a job with the Supreme Court, you are encouraged to read the position description to gain an understanding of the position requirements and consider whether you are able to meet the inherent requirements of the role and any mandatory qualifications.
The primary function of your application is to provide sufficient relevant information about your previous experience to allow the Selection Panel to determine whether you should be offered an interview. Your application should include:
- Completed application form, where available (including responding to the two questions based on the Key Capabilities as detailed in the Position Description)
- Cover letter, and
All selection decisions are based on the Key Capabilities as detailed in the Position Description. Therefore your application should demonstrate how you meet the Key Capabilities. You are not required to address the Key Capabilities in a separate document, but the information you provide should be precise to allow the Selection Panel to assess your application.
To work at the Supreme Court you will need to demonstrate a legal right to work in Australia as either:
- An Australian citizen,
- A permanent resident of Australia,
- A New Zealand citizen who has entered Australia on a valid passport, or
- A non-Australian citizen with a valid working visa.
All appointments are subject to reference checks and a criminal record check.