About the Job

As a Lawyer (Legal Officer) in the Australian Army Legal Corps, you will work in the broad fields of disciplinary, administrative, operations, civil and commercial law as well as dealing with legal aid requirements. Military legal practice and its emerging requirements constitute an exciting and ever expanding field of expertise.

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

Most Reservists join the Australian Defence Force for the exciting work, the friendships and the lifestyle. But there are many other benefits too, including financial ones.

The pay you receive in the Army Reserve goes straight into your pocket with no deductions for tax, and it increases as you gain seniority and experience.


For more details download our Salary Scales.

Read our Conditions of Service.


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Requirements

Age

Applicants must have reached 17 years of age on entry.
 
The Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA) for Reserve Service is 65 years. Enlistment up to and including the age of 60 years is open for all employment categories. Candidates who wish to enlist into the Army Reserve beyond the age of 60 years will need to be further assessed to ensure that they would be feasibly able to complete all obligatory pre-requisite training in their chosen area of employment prior to reaching CRA.
 
Candidates whose age exceeds the age guidelines may still be considered for appointment, providing they have special skills or training that is of value to the Army.

Education & Experience

To be appointed as an Army officer under this stream, you must be enrolled/admitted as a Barrister and/or Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, or of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of Australia, or to have passed all examinations for admission. You must either have a current Practising Certificate from a State or Territory Law Society, or be in a position to obtain one shortly after appointment. Documentary evidence of admission and Practising Certificate eligibility must be produced.

Registration (exact requirements) -  Admitted to practice as a lawyer (however described) in the High Court or of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of Australia. Hold or be eligible to hold a practising certificate in an Australian jurisdiction.

Additional Qualifications (exact requirements) - Lawyer positions are very competitive and without practical experience the applicant will not be competitive.

Medical & Fitness

To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before your appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

All candidates who are appointed or enlisted into the Army Reserve may undertake volunteer service until the age of 65 (Compulsory Retiring Age) subject to the requirements of the Army and suitability for further service. Members may transfer out of the active Army Reserve at any time.

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Citizenship

Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years. Required information includes:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

Training

Military Training

The Specialist Service Officer Course is conducted at the Royal Military College - Duntroon and provides Regular and Reserve Force Specialist Service Officers with fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary for future employment.

The Specialist Service Officer Course is conducted at the Royal Military College - Duntroon and provides Regular and Reserve Force Specialist Service Officers with fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary for future employment.

The ARA course is 42 days of training and currently conducted in the first half of the training year. The ARES course is conducted in the latter half of the year and consists of three modules. Module One is 9 days, Module Two is 16 days and Module Three is 16 days. Depending on your tiering you may only be require to complete one, two or all three modules before being deemed competent for employment as an SSO.

ARES SSO Tiering Matrix.

During RMC (Military Training) members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Physical Fitness Levels

All trainees attending training at RMC are required to participate in an Initial Fitness Assessment (IFA) on arrival at RMC.

Ares SSOs must complete IFA for both modules. This is an entry level requirement for all courses conducted at RMC. The IFA is based on a shuttle run, push ups and sit ups and is designed to determine whether trainees are at the minimum required standard to complete training at RMC. Due to the unique nature of training at RMC, trainees who do not demonstrate the base line levels of the assessment may be withdrawn from training and RTU. If you do not pass the IFA, you will be medically reviewed by the RMC Doctor and you will be advised if you are able to continue with training.

For further details on physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF.