Graduate development program

The Solicitor for the Northern Territory (SFNT) Graduate Program is a 12 month training and development program starting in January each year.

The program is run with the Department of Corporate and Information Services (DCIS) Employment Programs, Graduate Development Program.

The SFNT Program offers a range of legal experience to prepare graduates for future employment opportunities in either the government or private sector. It is best suited for those with little or no post-admission legal experience.

The program offers graduates the following:

  • a Northern Territory (NT) Government orientation and SFNT induction program when you start;
  • a rotation schedule that will expose you to a variety of legal practice in different areas of the Department of Attorney-General and Justice. Your rotation may include areas such as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Office of Parliamentary Counsel, and Solicitor for the Northern Territory, including the commercial, litigation and legal policy divisions;
  • in-house professional development and training; and
  • peer support and mentoring, including a structured supervisor system.

Indigenous law graduates

Indigenous graduates include Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander law graduates.

To promote Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Commissioner for Public Employment has approved a Special Measures Plan. A Special Measure is a form of more favourable treatment of certain EEO groups, in this case indigenous law graduates.

The current Public Sector Employment Management Act permits special measures in the NT public service. A number of agencies have used these plans to support greater workplace diversity and to address inequality of employment opportunity.

The Department of the Attorney-General and Justice has developed a Special Measures Plan for two law graduate positions. These positions will be for Indigenous applicants only.

Indigenous law graduates who meet all essential selection criteria and are suitable to the position will be chosen for the SFNT Graduate Development Program.

SFNT Graduate Development Program Eligibility

You will need to meet the eligibility criteria for the Northern Territory Public Service Graduate Development Program and have no relevant criminal history. A criminal history is relevant if it is assessed as being adverse to the duties of the position.

If you are successful you will need to have an NT police history check. You can get the criminal history check application form from the SafeNT website.

The Department of Attorney-General and Justice is looking for applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • final year law students who have enrolled, or are eligible to enrol, in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) in the year of the scheduled year and who are interested in a full-time graduate placement while starting in studying this course
  • Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander) law graduates who meet all essential selection criteria and are suitable for the position.

Advertising and recruitment

Advertising for graduates is published once a year in the NT News and on the NT Government Careers website.

Salary and conditions

In addition to the salary and conditions set out for the NT Public Service (NTPS) Graduate Development Program, you will be expected to meet the requirements of the program.

Study leave

You will be offered paid study leave to attend face-to-face teaching or assessment during the course. Paid study leave will also be available for a maximum of six days during the 'Professional Practice Core' component of the course.

The Department of Attorney-General and Justice will not pay for, or reimburse, any fees associated with the course.

Usually graduates will have completed the requirements of the Bachelors of Laws. If you are completing a Bachelor of Laws, or any other study, as well as the GDLP, you will only get study leave for the GDLP. You can use recreation leave or leave without pay to complete additional study.


For more information contact the Manager, Legal Practice, Department of the Attorney-General and Justice by calling (08) 8935 7820.

Or go to the Department of Corporate and Information Services Careers in Government website.

Last updated: 26 June 2020

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