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Cadetship Program for Aboriginal Law Students

The Judge Bob Bellear Legal Careers Pathways - Cadetship program (the program) provides opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law students to undertake paid employment while undertaking their Law degree.

During the course of their cadetship, students will be offered the opportunity to work alongside Legal Aid NSW solicitors across the three core areas of legal practice, Family, Civil or Criminal Law.

Legal Aid NSW is one of a select few organisations that provide cadets with a first-hand insight into the operation of a wide range of courts and tribunals across NSW. Cadets gain practical experience in a flexible work environment where they can acquire exposure to various matters of legal procedure.

Following the successful completion of a cadetship, cadets are encouraged to apply for further employment within Legal Aid NSW through the Aboriginal Professional Legal Placement Training Program (PLT) and/or the Graduate Career Development Program.


The Cadetship Program is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are currently undertaking or near the completion of a law degree. The advertisement for the role sets out the criteria that applicants must address to be considered for the program.

To be eligible to become a Legal Aid NSW cadet an applicant must:

  • Be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and identify as such;
  • Be enrolled in an LLB or equivalent course in an approved Australian tertiary institution for:
    • an undergraduate degree
    • a combined undergraduate degree
    • a post graduate degree; or
    • an Honours/Masters year as part of an undergraduate degree;

Note: Prospective applicants in Year 12 intending to enrol in university may apply for a cadetship. However, commencing as a cadet would be subject to proof of actual enrolment.

What we offer

Aboriginal law students can commence a cadetship at any stage of their tertiary studies and can remain on the cadetship until the completion of their studies. Cadets in the program will:

  • Undertake full time study toward an undergraduate law degree;
  • Be employed as a temporary employee for the duration of the cadetship;
  • Undertake part- or full-time paid work placement in the agency for 60 days per calendar year;
  • Undertake work placements in your preference of Crime, Civil or Family Law, which provide on the job development opportunities and meaningful work experiences relevant to the qualification.

Salary and allowances

Successful applicants will receive the following payments during their cadetship:

  • A salary package of up to $27,700 which includes:
  • A fortnightly salary based on a 60-day placement;
  • A study allowance of $600 per fortnight; and
  • A book allowance of $500 per semester

Placements and Locations

Legal Aid cadets will have the opportunity to be placed in a practice area of their preference and can potentially be placed state-wide.

Applicants desired locations will be taken into consideration however Legal Aid NSW’s operational requirements will be a factor.

How to apply for a Legal Aid NSW cadetship

Legal Aid NSW advertises for the Cadetship program via a number of different avenues including I work for NSW, Koori mail, Our Mob, University Indigenous Law Centre’s and/or Law faculties.

All applications must be submitted online at: I work for NSW.

Further information

For more information regarding the Judge Bob Bellear Legal Career Pathways - Cadetship program see the Information for candidates or contact the Aboriginal Services Branch.