Each year a number of law graduates are appointed as associates to judges of the Supreme Court. 

Supreme Court associates serve as a professional member of the judge’s personal staff.  They undertake legal research, accompany the judge into court in whichever jurisdiction the judge may be sitting and call on cases, maintain record books, and various administrative functions.  They also attend in chambers on interlocutory and other applications and maintain records. 

Prospective applicants should be aware of the following:

  • Judges prefer to employ persons who are admitted or who are not completing Practical Legal Training (PLT) or any undergraduate or Post Admission Training Courses, but a particular judge might, in an individual case, make an exception in relation to the undertaking of PLT outside working hours.
  • Associates may not engage in any other employment or practice in any profession, whether for remuneration or not, without the permission of the Chief Justice.
  • Supreme Court appointments are generally for a one-year contract, as personal staff to the appointing judge.

A Bachelor of Laws degree is required to become a Judge's Associate.  The following levels apply:

  • For appointment at the JUA1 level – un-admitted practitioner;
  • For appointment at the JUA2 level – admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of South Australia (i.e. successful completion of a Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Legal Practice);
  • For appointment at the JUA3 level – A minimum of one year’s practising experience as a legal practitioner after being admitted to practise in the State of South Australia.  One year’s practising experience as a legal practitioner may include:
    • a) time spent employed as a legal practitioner at a law firm, or government department (e.g. the Crown or the DPP); or
    • b) time spent working as an associate after the associate has been admitted; or
    • c) a combination of (a) and (b)

Time spent employed as a legal practitioner will only count toward the one year’s practising experience where the person held a valid practising certificate in the State of South Australia.  Evidence of practising experience must be provided, by way of a copy of the practising certificate together with a letter from the previous employer confirming the duration of your employment.  One year’s practising experience as a legal practitioner may not include time spent as a clerk at a law firm, government department or chambers.

For information on admission to the Supreme Court of South Australia please view the Law Society website.

Applications can be lodged throughout the year, as vacancies occur at various intervals.  Applications for associate positions within the Supreme Court should be addressed to:

        The Honourable (the particular judge)
        Judges' Chambers
        Supreme Court
        1 Gouger Street
        Adelaide SA 5000

Please include your resume, qualifications and academic record.  Upon admittance, a copy of your Certificate must be provided. 

Appointment is subject to a satisfactory Child Related Employment Screening prior to employment and a National Police Certificate that the CAA finds satisfactory.

If you require further information, please contact the Business Services Advisor, on +61 8 8204 0411.