Supreme Court

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Careers

Gene​ral

​There are three main types of career opportunities at the Supreme Court as follows:



Applying for a Tipstaff position at the Supreme Court​

The Supreme Court offers a number of tipstaff positions each year. Tipstaves are employed as part of the personal chambers staff of a particular judge. They provide legal research, in-court duties and other support for that judge.

Tipstaff positions are generally not advertised and the selection of tipstaves is conducted directly by the judge(s).

Generally, tipstaves are employed at the Supreme Court on a non-ongoing, contract basis for up to 12 months, usually commencing at the beginning of the law term, but may also be engaged at other times throughout the year. 

Legal tipstaves provide a high level of legal research and administrative support to judges in the Equity and Common Law Division and to judges in the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court also employs eight legal researchers on an annual basis.

Legal work

Legal tipstaves and researchers in the Supreme Court of NSW conduct often complex legal research on behalf of judges. This would generally involve a detailed analysis of case law and an examination of legal developments in areas where precedents may not be well defined. These skills may be used in drafting background papers and assisting judicial officers in their work.

Work environment

The day to day functions of the modern Supreme Court of NSW are fast paced and demanding. Tipstaves will be expected to possess highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, proficiency in the use of IT and be able to professionally display tact, confidentiality and confidence in their interactions with court users, practitioners, the judiciary and other court staff.

Salary

Salary and other terms and conditions of employment are determined by the Attorney General of NSW.

Travel

Tipstaves at the Supreme Court of NSW may accompany their judges to regional circuit locations within NSW, including Albury, Broken Hill, ​​Coffs ​Harbour, Dubbo, Griffith, Lismore, Newcastle, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong.

Period of appointment

Tipstaves are generally appointed for a period of one year.

Submitting your application

The Chief Justice seeks applications for research positions in the Chief Justice's chambers in October each year for the next following year. For example, in October 2015, applications are sought for the commencement of Law Term 2017. An advertisement will be placed on the Court's website to advise law graduates that the Chief Justice is seeking applications for these positions. The Chief Justice also writes to the Deans of all Law Schools across Australia to request that students be informed that applications are being sought for the these positions.

In relation to tipstaff positions for judges, applications should be made at the beginning of the year before the appointment is to take effect. Each judge's chambers operates individually. Applicants are strongly recommended to contact the chambers of individual judges for specific information relating to applying for the tipstaff position with that judge. Please refer to the Contact us pages for contact details.

Positions as tipstaves or researchers are extremely popular and are therefore highly competitive. Candidates applying for positions are expected to display the following skills and abilities:

  • highly developed legal research, conceptual and analytical skills
  • excellent organisational skills
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • high level computer and keyboard skills.


Law graduates applying for tipstaff or researcher positions are expected to have a strong academic record in their law studies. Highly developed legal research skills and involvement in extracurricular activities or voluntary work in legal areas are also highly desirable.

If you wish to apply for a position as a tipstaff or researcher generally, rather than to any particular chambers, please forward a covering letter (outlining your interest in the role) accompanied by your Curriculum Vitae and academic results addressed to:

​Judicial Staff Coordinator
Supreme Court of NSW
Law Courts Building, Level 4 184 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 3 Sydney 2001

Tel: (02) 9230 8100
E-Mail: supremecourt.supportservices@courts.nsw.gov.au (Attn: Judicial Staff Coordinator)

Applications will remain with the Supreme Court for a period of 12 months only.

Associate positions at the Supreme Court​

The associate position provides broadly based executive support to enable the judge to meet obligations both within the court and to external stakeholders, including legal practitioners, litigants in person and members of the public.​

Associate positions are generally not advertised and the selection of an associate is conducted directly by the judge(s).

Generally, associates are employed at the Supreme Court on a 12 month contract, renewable on an annual basis following approval from the judge. Opportunities for these positions can ​present at any time throughout the year. 

If you wish to apply for a position as an associate, please forward a covering letter (outlining your suitability for the role as a legal PA) accompanied by your Curriculum Vitae addressed to:

​Judicial Staff Coordinator
Supreme Court of NSW
Law Courts Building, Level 4 184 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 3 Sydney 2001

Tel: (02) 9230 8100
E-Mail: supremecourt.supportservices@courts.nsw.gov.au (Attn: Judicial Staff Coordinator)

Applications will remain with the Supreme Court for a period of 12 months only.

Employment opportunities in the Supreme Court registry​

The Department of Justice advertises vacancies on the jobs.nsw website. This site contains all of the information you will require to apply for a vacancy in the Department.

Further information about employment opportunities and applying for vacancies in the Department is also available at Your Career with the Department of Justice.

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