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

An Associate acts as a personal, confidential and professional assistant to a Judge of the District Court, to whom they are assigned.  An Associate provides a comprehensive legal and research service to the Judge and assists both in and out of court.

  • The Associate is responsible to the judicial officers to whom he or she is assigned for chamber, legal research and in-court matters, and to the Registrar, District Court through the Manager, Judicial Support, for personal and administrative matters.
  • The Associate provides a personal, confidential and professional service to the Judges of the District Court. They provide legal, clerical, administrative and research functions both in and out of court, including managing files, case outcomes and exhibit returns.  They liaise with the judiciary, legal profession, litigants, witnesses, court staff and the general public to ensure the effective and efficient processing of court and chamber matters.
  • An important feature of the work is travelling to attend country circuits which require overnight absences for up to three weeks, with capacity to return to Adelaide on weekends.
  • To be considered for a position applicants must have completed their Practical Legal Training (PLT) or any undergraduate or post admission training courses.
  • Associates may not engage in any other employment or practice in any profession, whether for remuneration or not, without the permission of the Registrar.
  • District Court appointments are generally for a one year contract, with the option of a second year, subject to mutual agreement.

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)) 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.

Please do not send individual applications to each Judge.  Applications for associate positions within the District Court can be emailed, or posted to:

Attn:  PA to the Registrar
The Registrar District Court of South Australia
GPO Box 2465

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 08 8204 0411.

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