The Australian Law Reform Commission provides opportunities for current law students to work alongside Commission members and legal staff as legal interns.

The ALRC does not provide any remuneration or financial assistance to interns. Interns work on a voluntary basis, and may work with the ALRC for a day a week for one semester, or for three weeks over the summer break (in January/February). ALRC internships are based in Sydney.

Internships provide an opportunity for students to increase their awareness of law reform issues while also allowing the ALRC to benefit from students' research and writing skills. Intern work is credited in ALRC publications. Interns are supervised by a staff member, and undertake research work determined by the needs of the ALRC. Generally, the ALRC will be working on two to three inquiries at any particular time, ranging from technical aspects of the law to questions of broad social policy. For information on the ALRC's current reference work, see Inquiries. The ALRC does not provide placements to students needing accreditation as part of a professional legal practice course.

It should be noted that the ALRC is unable to provide workers’ compensation insurance for interns. Potential interns should ensure that they are covered by their institution's insurance policy for the time that they spend at the ALRC.

ALRC policies in relation to internships, student placements and professional legal practice are available at Intern Selection Policy and School Student and Legal Practice Policy.

2018 calendar


Intern period

Closing date for applications

Semester 1 (part time)

12 March – 1 June (1 day a week)

5 Feb

Semester 2 (part time)

6 August – 19 October (1 day a week)

2 July

Summer 2019 (full time)*

7 Jan – 25 Jan / 28 Jan – 15 Feb 2019 (5 days for 3 weeks)

22 October 2018

The ALRC recognises that participating in the Semesters 1 and 2 one day per week programs is not feasible for interstate students. For that reason, the ALRC will only consider interstate applicants, and those attending institutions outside the Sydney metropolitan region, for the full-time three week summer program.

Dates for the 2019 program will be announced in the ALRC Brief, and updated here, in December 2018.

    Selection criteria for interns

    The ALRC accepts students who are in their penultimate or final year of an undergraduate or graduate law degree, at the time of the internship, from any university including overseas institutions.

    The number of interns accepted at any one time will depend upon the current work program of the Commission.

    As there is strong demand for internships, there is a formal selection process. The ALRC will only consider applications that address the selection criteria:

    • strong legal research skills;
    • ability to analyse and communicate complex information;
    • excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write clear and concise documents, including research briefs and memos;
    • ability to work independently with professional guidance; and
    • work experience, or interest in, law reform and/or social policy development.

    The ALRC may request that applicants attend an interview as part of the selection process.

    Published on 31 May 2010. Last modified on 13 February 2018.