Senior Legal Officer

May 6, 2024
$120290 - $147317 / year
Application ends: June 16, 2024
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Job Description

Interesting varied and purposeful legal work.
An opportunity to help manage small teams.
Responsibility for complex legal matters that contribute to outcomes that benefit the Australian public.


Who we are

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s legal work is unique. You will have the opportunity to provide legal advice and services while working closely with policymakers and operational staff on matters that directly affect all Australians across areas as diverse as biosecurity, agricultural production, trade, food, wine, fisheries and forestry.


A job with Legal Division is a chance to meaningfully apply your legal skills to practical outcomes in an environment focused on your learning and development as a lawyer. The Legal Division’s large and diverse practice means that lawyers will be able to gain experience in their specific interests across a wide range of areas of law, including:

Advising on regulatory systems and ongoing operations, assisting staff on the front lines with Australia’s quarantine, trade, food safety and exports across diverse supply chains, at airports and in the community.
Practical investigation and enforcement of biosecurity and export laws to ensure Australia’s trade and health are safeguarded, including civil penalty litigation.
Directly developing and progressing legislation, working closely with policymakers to put effective laws in place.
Managing the department’s litigation caseload and dispute resolution, including working with external law firms and counsel to provide strategic advice, to support the department’s policy and operational activities.
Employment law, including advice on investigations, work health and safety and external review proceedings.
Helping the department with its extensive range of commercial matters, including advising on procurements and grants, ICT contracting, the Commonwealth resource management framework, intellectual property and property matters.
Managing the department’s legal issues arising from data management and information collection and management, including privacy advice and freedom of information requests.
The Legal Division works together to support and develop lawyers to meet their career aspirations. You will be working with committed, engaged colleagues in a supportive and flexible environment, and will progress interesting and meaningful work that is unique to the department and the Commonwealth.


The Job

We have ongoing and non-ongoing opportunities for Senior Legal Officers. If you enjoy an energetic, purposeful and collaborative legal environment, then this is the role for you. As a Senior Legal Officer you will provide high quality legal services in an in-house environment, including legal research, analysis and problem solving. Our highly engaged internal clients are comprised of regulatory scientists and administrative, policy and compliance officers who are passionate about safeguarding and growing sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry for Australians.


You will also be responsible, with your Principal Legal Officer, for motivating, mentoring and, supervising legal officers in your team to deliver on initiatives and goals whilst maintaining an inclusive, responsive and effective environment.


Please note this selection process will be used to fill ongoing and non-ongoing vacancies in Canberra. The merit pool established through this selection process will be valid for a period of 18 months from the date the vacancy was advertised in the Gazette and may be used to fill future ongoing and non-ongoing vacancies in the division, where the duties are of a similar nature.


Knowledge and experience

The successful applicants will ideally have a minimum of between 3 to 6 years of relevant post-admission experience and experience in one or more of the legal areas listed above.


Skills and Capabilities

The successful applicants will be able to demonstrate the following:

Ability to identify key legal issues and give accurate, practical legal advice clearly, concisely and in a way that meets client needs.
Excellent communication skills and the ability to foster and build effective relationships as an in-house adviser in a collaborative environment.
Capacity to deal appropriately with sensitive matters that may affect the department, the Public Service and/or the broader community.
Capability to help lead and develop lawyers, and to manage legal services efficiently and effectively.


Eligibility and other requirements

Mandatory qualifications – To be eligible for these positions you are required to hold a degree in law and be eligible to hold an ACT legal practising certificate.


Flexible employment arrangements are available with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.