Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Department of Human Services

Field of Law

Victorian Government

Stage of Career

Secondary; undergraduates; Graduates; Practising lawyers

Contact details

Address: 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000
Phone: (03) 9096 0000
Visit the DHS website
Contact person:  Arthur Pittis

Contact person for Indigenous applicants:

Aboriginal Employment Unit
Phone: 1300 092 406

Southern Metro Region
Contact person: Prue Stewart
Aboriginal Employment and Recruitment Advisor
Phone: (03) 9213 2689

Description of Organisation

The Department of Human Services plans, funds and delivers community and housing services in line with the government's vision for making Victoria a stronger, more caring and innovative state.

The department's size and variety means lots of opportunities to grow your career without the hassle of moving employers. Many people who work for us have careers across child protection, disability and housing for example and then moved into policy or program development roles or vice versa. The possibilities are endless.

Number of legal positions within organisation:  45

Information for secondary schools

Do you have work experience placements for secondary school students?

Work experience placements can be arranged for secondary school students depending on their requirements.

Information for university students/graduates

Do you have a graduate clerkship program?

DHS recruits graduates via the GRADS program.

What are you looking for in a graduate?

People with the same values as the Victorian Public Service, people interested in Community Services, honesty, integrity, people wanting to make a difference to the lives of Victorians.

Qualifications/skills required

 Accounting and Finance, IT, HR, Society & Culture, Management and Commerce, Law.

What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?

The graduate program has a minimum requirement of a Bachelor's degree. This can come from any recognised (accredited) institution.

What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?

Prior work experience is highly regarded as evidence supporting your claims of meeting key selection criteria during an interview. You can use examples from work experience including part time or casual ‘uni jobs' in areas such as retail, hospitality, customer service or voluntary work.

How many graduates do you take a year?

Around 12

How does one apply

See GRADS Entry

Visit the Graduates page on the Victorian Government website

Dates for application

Applications open February

Interview process

  • Online application.
  • Assessment Centre.
  • Recruitment company interviews.
  • Departmental interviews.

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

Paralegal (and base-level solicitors roles, depending on whether they are admitted to practice)

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

The minimum requirement is a Bachelor's degree.

What sort of volunteer/work experience opportunities are available?

Work experience opportunities occur mainly within the Child Protection, Disability and Corporate areas

Contact person for volunteers:

Lisa Schilling is the contact for Child Protection student placements
Phone: 9096-3207

Information for practising lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

 Within the Law area, strong legal experience in a government law related area: strong legal advice and statutory interpretation skills

 What prior work is viewed favourably?

 Government law practice

On average, how many positions become available per year?

 5 within the Legal Branch

How many applications do you receive for these?

10 - 15

Where do you advertise your positions?

Recruitment is generally through advertisement only on the Careers page of the Victorian Government website; The Age; The Australian

Do you use a recruitment agency?


Advice for applicants:

 Always discuss the role with the contact officer on the advertisement.

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