Criminal law

A career that matters

On this page:

(show below)(hide below)

    Promote fairness and equality in the criminal justice system working with Queensland’s largest criminal law firm. You will be supported by some of the state’s most experienced and respected lawyers and barristers to help vulnerable clients navigate complex and general crime matters.

    Areas of work

    Legal Aid Queensland offers roles across all areas of criminal law, including:

    • general crime
    • duty lawyer services
    • serious crime
    • appeals
    • youth justice
    • mental health
    • drug and alcohol court
    • specialist court services.

    We have 14 offices across Queensland and working in one of our 13 regional offices provides a unique breadth of experience. If you are seeking a more adventurous option, our North Queensland offices also provide fly in fly out circuit court rotations to areas you would not typically access, including the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait.

    What you will do

    As a criminal lawyer or barrister with Legal Aid Queensland, you will prepare cases, advocate on behalf of clients, and provide advice to vulnerable Queenslander’s charged with criminal offences. You may have the opportunity to appear in a variety of jurisdictions as we represent clients from the Magistrates Court through to the High Court of Australia. Our criminal law teams also have the opportunity to contribute to crucial policy and law reform.

    Why become a criminal lawyer or barrister?

    A criminal lawyer or barrister is a client’s biggest advocate for a ‘fair go’ in the justice system. Rarely is the work dull or monotonous, with opportunities to act in a diverse range of cases from public nuisance through to the most serious of criminal offences. This is a challenging career with strong growth potential.

    Helping people in crisis and unable to help themselves … that’s what it’s about.

    Personal strengths

    Careers in criminal law are exceptionally fulfilling, particularly for those who see value in human rights and social justice principles. With strong personal communication skills, the ability to remain professionally objective and ‘think on your feet’, and to apply common sense to obtain practical solutions, your strong sense of ethics will help you succeed. The work is best suited to those with a genuine desire to help people in the community.

    Graduate experience

    Graduates who move into criminal law will quickly find themselves taking responsibility for various tasks, from attending clients meetings and taking notes, to preparing briefs and bail applications, and supporting more experienced practitioners during their court appearances.

    How do I become a lawyer?

    To become a lawyer in Queensland, you must:

    • complete an approved law degree
    • complete an approved practical legal training course, which awards you a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice
    • be eligible for admission with the Queensland Law Society.

    To practice as a barrister you will also need to:

    • work under the supervision of experienced criminal lawyers
    • pass the Australian Bar Association entrance examination
    • complete the readers course and work with a mentor.

    Benefits that matter

    Work/life balance

    We offer a 36.25-hour full time work week, time in lieu and accrued time off options, flexible work hours, and work from home options.

    Regional & remote incentives

    Staff in our regional offices receive an extra annual leave, locality allowances, relocation assistance and paid travel for professional development.

    Leave entitlements

    Staff have access to a wide variety of leave entitlements - generous family leave, an extra paid leave day over the Christmas closure period, domestic and family violence leave, option to purchase extra leave, study leave & career break options.

    Financial benefits

    Enjoy 17.5% annual leave loading, practising certificates costs reimbursed, novated leasing options, study assistance and generous salary packaging of up to $30,000 FBT which reduces your taxable income and increases your take home pay.

    Diversity and inclusion

    Enjoy an inclusive workplace that is committed to cultural safety, has an active First Nations employee network, an annual First Nations conference and access to culturally capable external providers.

    Health and wellbeing

    Staff are supported with free confidential counselling sessions for themselves and their immediate family, the fitness passport program, free flu and other vaccinations, corporate health insurance rates and more.

    Rewards and recognition

    We celebrate our staff with annual awards including length of service awards, team awards, individual service awards and CEO awards plus corporate events throughout the year.

    Professional development

    Maintain your skills with in-house CPD events, annual conferences, mentoring and leadership programs, annual conferences for legal and support staff and access to the in-house research library.

    Register for alerts

    Sign up to SmartJobs to receive alerts about career opportunities at Legal Aid Queensland.

    Register for SmartJobs