As I finish my second-last year of uni, I find myself faced with yet another career dilemma. As if putting myself through the clerkship application process wasn’t enough career-related stress for one year, I’m now trying to decide if I should apply for a judge’s associate role.
For those unfamiliar with associateships, they are a position in which you are, in a nutshell, the judge’s right hand man (cue Austin Powers: ‘No, this is me in a nutshell: “Help! I’m in a nutshell! How did I get into this great big nutshell? What kind of shell has a nut like this?”’– I digress).
More specifically the duties of an associate include:
Liaising with Court staff, the legal profession, government departments, the press and the public;
Ensuring the effective and efficient conduct of the Judge’s Court including arraignments, empanelling juries and taking verdicts in criminal trials, listing matters, custody of court files and recording orders; and
Travelling with the Judge on circuit and other Court business.
So that brings me to the question: should I or shouldn’t I apply for an associateship position? Personally, I believe every dilemma can be solved with a pros/cons list:
Beneficial to a career in litigation or at the bar
Develop a detailed understanding of court procedures
Learn from a great legal mind
Make useful career contacts
Get to wear a cool robe
Well, for me it seems pretty clear that the pros far outweigh the cons, and so I will definitely be applying soon for a 2013 associate position.
If you’re looking for a judge’s associate position in Queensland, applications will open on 12 December 2011 and close on 10 February 2012. Please visit the Queensland Courts website for more information.
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for the Survive Law weekly newsletter for more.