Employment Eligibility and Career Opportunities

By Tiffany P. Monorom

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Has anyone ever told you to follow your passion and do what you love?

 

For international students, passion and love don’t always come first. With our current legal market and the competitive recruitment process, gaining employment in Australia is never a piece of cake— even for domestic students.

 

This bLAWg post aims to provide you with useful links and resources to consider when thinking about your career options and what you can do with your law degree as an international student in Australia.

 

Visa and Migration Information

The first thing you need to think about is your visa options. Each visa consists of different eligibility requirements and durations of stay so it is important to gather all the facts before you run off and start applying for graduate jobs!

 

The most common visa pathway for most recent international student graduates is through the skilled migration path by first applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) and then the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189).

 

Once you have completed your tertiary education as an international student, the Temporary Graduate Visa allows you to extend your time in Australia for a period of 18 months. However, your skill/occupation must fall under the ‘Skilled Occupation List’ (Solicitors and Barristers are eligible occupations). This visa can be used as a transitional step prior to applying for the Skilled Independent Visa.

 

To apply for the Skilled Independent Visa, you must submit an ‘expression of interest’, including a skills assessment for your nominated occupation. It is a points based test of 60 or more, taking into account your age, English language and other abilities.

 

To learn more, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection site or attend the Migration Workshops hosted by ANUSA.

 

Qualification to Practice

After completing your law degree, you must undertake the Practical Legal Training course in order to practice law in Australia. You can complete the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP) program with the ANU Legal Workshop or other PLT providers such as The College of Law or Leo Cussen Centre of Law.

 

The PLT is flexible, which you can complete almost entirely online in as little as 6 months and up to 3 years. Different options for legal placement in an approved workplace are also available. You may be eligible to be admitted to practice as a barrister or solicitor upon completion of appropriate PLT.

 

Legal Career Opportunities

As we have already established, the legal market is very competitive. See Beyond Law’s Law Graduate Job Market Map for a variety of opportunities available whether you are interested in commercial law, non-for-profits or social justice.

 

International students may find it easier to aim toward careers in the private sector, as the public sector often has relatively strict requirements regarding citizenship or permanent residency. However, many private law firms also favour domestic applicants, so it pays to do your research.

 

International students should conduct their own research on each law firm’s website and contact human resources regarding international applicants.

 

Job Search Databases

When conducting a job search, the best place to start is our own ANU CareerHub for finding general work and not specifically for finding legal employment. Seek, Indeed and Pro Bono Australia are also popular sites used by many recruiters and job searchers.

 

Beyond Law Job Hub and Legal Vitae are job sites more specifically for law students, law graduates and young lawyers. ANU Legal Workshop’s Placements Board advertises job and Legal Practice Experience (LPE) placement for ANU legal workshop students. ANU Law Careers Fair usually takes place in the beginning of the academic year, and is another great opportunity for law students to discover different employment opportunities across the legal sector, non-profits and consulting.

 

 

Further Resources

If you require further assistance in writing your resume or to practice interview skills, contact ANU Careers or read the LSS’s Careers Guides and LSS’s Clerkship Guides for more information.

 

The LSS International Students team will be hosting a careers information session, intending to provide a comprehensive discussion of the subject matter presented above. Stay tuned for more details of the event!

Seeking Academic Support

Seeking academic support

by Tiffany P. Monorom

Moving to a new country is a huge step for every international student and it can take you several attempts to successfully adjust to Australian tertiary studies.

 

With a large workload, heavily structured materials, and the competitive nature of law school, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed.

 

Whether you feel like you are struggling or you just need additional help to achieve your desired results, the ANU offers a wide range of academic support both within the College of Law and within the university.

 

 

ANU College of Law

Your course convenor should be your first point of contact if you have any issues with your courses. You can find out who your course convenor is by simply going into your course Wattle page. Send them an email or make a post in the course forum for questions relating to the content of the course, the assessments or extensions.

 

You can contact the ANU College of Law Sub-Dean, Anne Macduff if you have concerns regarding the program and course structure of your degree, or if you want to request for special examinations and appeals. To make an appointment with the Sub-Dean, call the college front desk at 02 6125 3483. If you have a direct question, email subdean.law@anu.edu.au.

 

Those of you who are international students with a language background other than English may be eligible to apply for special assessment arrangements within your first year. For law students specifically, you can enrol in LAWS4209 English in a Legal Context course on top of your other courses. There are no assessments for this course, it is simply there to help you learn how to read cases, write legal documents, and prepare for tutorial problems. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a mark of CRS (course requirements satisfied). Plus, you may apply for final exam special arrangements for your other courses, providing you with additional 30 per cent reading and writing time.

Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program aims to assist first-year students with their law studies by helping them learn and practice the foundational legal skills that are essential for the rest of their degree. Weekly study sessions are facilitated by experienced later year law students, allowing them to build relationships with fellow law students.

 

Come and Have a Talk (CHAT) is a mentoring program that teams first years up in groups with other first year students, later year student mentors and a staff member. Social gatherings and discussion sessions will take place within the enrolled group to provide support, resources and advice during your time as a law student.

 

ANU Law Library

If you want to save some extra cash and not purchase textbooks, the law library offers a two-hour loan and/or two-day loan for most law textbooks. However, there is a way for you to borrow the textbooks for more than two hours. On weekdays from Monday to Thursday, if a textbook is borrowed after 7pm, it can be returned the next morning when the library opens at 8:30am. If you borrow a textbook after 3pm on Friday, you can return it on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. You can also have access to a textbook after 3pm on Saturday and return it at 8:30am on Monday.

 

You can take advantage of other library services if you require further assistance on finding legal materials and using databases. Law library staff conducts classes for specific legal databases for all first and second year law students. If you have a specific question, feel free to ask our friendly staff at the library information desk.

 

 

Law Students’ Society (LSS)

The 2017 LSS Vice-President (Education), Eden Lim sits on the ANU College of Law Education Committee as well as the LLB and JD committee. She has the capacity to assist law students with general academic enquiries and other policy-based issues. You can reach her at lsseducation@anu.edu.au.

 

The Education team runs the pre-exam tutorials which are intensive 90 minute tutorials for compulsory courses, focusing on providing you with a skilled guide to approaching the final exams. The tutorials are conducted by students who received impressive scores on their final exams for the respective courses, and those with tutoring experience. Watch out for these sessions on the LSS Facebook page.

 

I, Tiffany Monorom, am the 2017 LSS International Students Director. My duty is to promote the interests of international students by developing useful resources and organise social and educational events. If you have any academic concerns during your studies at the college, I will be able to direct you to the most relevant services and resources. Email me at lssinternational@anu.edu.au. You can also read my article on choosing between a single law degree and combined law degree here and my international student guide here.

 

The International Students team is in the process of organising the International Student Mentoring Program which focuses on helping international students to successfully transition to law school. To become a mentor or a mentee, you can complete this application form. Plus, there will be bLAWgs being posted onto our LSS website, consisting of a range of topics from academic supports to employment and mental health.

 

 

Academic Skills and Learning Centre

The academic skills and learning centre consists of experienced advisors who are able to help students with their academic skills and other learning strategies. Individual appointments, drop-in sessions, workshops and self-help resources such as the Turnitin Practice site are available services from the centre for students in all year levels. Find out more at: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/contacts/academic-skills-learning-centre.

 

 

Key Takeaways

No matter how tough a law degree can be, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of resources and services available both within the law school and the university to help you throughout your degree, so take advantage of them.

 

Good luck and take it easy!