Rebecca Thompson lauren chester, FAQ, Australia...
Our Senior Recruitment Consultant, Lauren Chester, focuses on the Australian market. Lauren has been at Nexus Legal for over a year and has been promoted twice since joining us. The following FAQ’s are what Lauren is asked on a regular basis by perspective candidates who are thinking about progressing their legal career in Australia.
1. What are salaries like?
Unlike London, where salaries can vary quite drastically from firm to firm, the majority of firms in Australia follow a similar ‘market rate’ when it comes to pay, meaning that boutique, national and international law firms all pay on a similar scale (although you may find the odd exception!).
The market rate will vary slightly, depending on the city in question i.e. salaries are typically slightly higher in Sydney to accommodate for the increased cost of living. However, again, even nationally there will not be too drastic a difference in what you can expect remuneration- wise.
2. Will the firm assist with relocation?
The simple answer is, yes- typically firms that employ international lawyers will have this sorted for you. The relocation package may vary slightly depending on the firm however there will typically be an allowance to help with relocation costs.
This will either come in the form of a set figure paid directly to you to put towards costs, or a firm will pay ‘reasonable’ relocation costs and ask you to provide quotes from shipping companies. As a standard, firms will offer to cover a one-way economy flight for you and any members of your immediate family that are relocating with you.
3. Will my visa cover my family?
Often, a firm will extend your visa to cover members of your family. If, however your spouse/partner also qualifies for a skilled work visa and has secured employment prior to relocation, it would be expected for their employer to ‘sponsor’ their visa application. Similarly, if they secure employment while on the ground in Australia and they qualify as a skilled worker, it would be expected that their new employer takes over the responsibility of their visa.
4. Will I need to requalify to practice in Australia?
While you do not necessarily need to hold an Australian admission to secure a role, if you are looking to make the move longer term, it is more than likely you will be required to ‘requalify’ once you arrive there. Usually, your firm will offer assistance or guidance with the requalification process and there may even be a clause written into your employment contract regarding timescale for beginning the requalification process.
The requirements will vary from state to state however the usual process would be for the state’s Legal Practice Board to review your current qualifications and identify any areas of further study you will need to complete before cross-qualifying. Usually this is a quick and easy process and can be done long side full-time work. On very rare occasions, some foreign qualified lawyers may be exempt from further study and may automatically requalify