find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Students urged to look beyond the careers fair

Students urged to look beyond the careers fair


Universities are facing criticism that they channel graduates into private practice – and this starts at the first careers fair, according to one young lawyer.

Last week, Lawyers Weekly reported that while law students were increasingly looking beyond traditional firms, some commentators believe universities are failing to keep up.

David Nguyen (pictured), a legal counsel with Lexvoco, agreed universities predominantly communicate about job opportunities within private practice and leave students to “proactively find out more” about jobs in government or in-house.

In his view, private practice is disproportionately promoted by universities because law firms have the resources to provide sponsorship and attend university career fairs and functions.

“In terms of exposure, [top-tier] firms tend to be top of mind. If universities were to engage more with large companies, students would be better educated about alternative options.”

Mr Nguyen encouraged law graduates to consider in-house legal work as a career option.

“The benefit of working in-house is that you get to understand the business as a whole, and its different functions and the way they interrelate,” he said.

“Private practice tends to see you focus on law alone, whereas in an in-house role you get to draw upon your legal competency, and also learn about the key drivers behind the business.”

Mr Nguyen agreed that initial experience in private practice can be valuable but said it was a mistake to consider this path as the ‘be all and end all’. 

The relative advantages of a career in New Law are particularly understated by universities.

“Working for a New Law firm […] means you benefit from a diverse work life, and get exposed to many different companies and sectors and their internal workings,” said Mr Nguyen.

However, there are some drawbacks to starting your professional life in this emerging New Law sector.

“Access to legal support might not be as readily available as it is in private practice that has dedicated teams of librarians and researchers,” said Mr Nguyen.

These resourcing issues can be offset in various ways, he said – Lexvoco, for instance, partners with a traditional law firm and recruits lawyers to work on a flexible basis in-house.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Students urged to look beyond the careers fair
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...