Graduate Program

How it Works

Our graduate program is built around our core practice groups, and during the 12 month program, you will rotate through up to 5 of the following groups:

  • Corporate
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Planning and Environment
  • Private Clients
  • Property

The program is designed to give you exposure to a broad range of skills and experiences in the law.  At the end of the program, a placement in the preferred area of practice may be accommodated based on the experience and availability within the firm, following successful completion of legal qualifications.

During each rotation you will meet regularly with your assigned supervisor and you will also have the support of a buddy.  At the end of each rotation, you will meet with your supervisor and HR for a formal review, which provides an opportunity to discuss your experiences and progress as you go through the program.

Learning & Development

In addition to your induction program, you will attend a tailored learning program during your graduate year.  This has been designed to develop your skills so you are ready to make the transition from law graduate to lawyer by the end of the program.

Our graduates are asked to present an in-house seminar on a topic of their choice that is relevant to the skills of a particular rotation area to strengthen and develop their presentation skills.  You will also be able to participate in our Trial by Podcast series.

Speaking from Experience - What our 2017 Graduates Say

Elisa B – Lawyer in our Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety group 

The McCabes graduate program offers the perfect combination of diverse practice areas, hands-on experience, and great firm culture. Rotating through seven practice groups in my graduate year offered invaluable exposure to new areas of law, while also offering the opportunity to work closely with and get to know each member of the McCabes team. Everyone is invested in helping you develop practical skills, and I quickly found myself actively assisting in matters where I had the opportunity to, amongst other things, appear in Court, attend client meetings, conferences with counsel and observe numerous District and Supreme Court hearings.

McCabes is a vibrant and young firm which actively promotes work-life balance and an inclusive environment. The firm encourages everyone to be involved in all aspects of firm life, including pro bono initiatives, mentoring and buddy programs, monthly drinks and social sports to name a few. The firm culture establishes an open and supportive environment, where each staff member is highly valued. I was constantly amazed by the generosity of McCabes staff, who all went out of their way to welcome each of the graduates, giving their time freely to further our professional development.

I would strongly encourage any law graduate to apply for the McCabes graduate program, the experience will be undeniably rewarding.

Elizabeth K – Lawyer in our Insurance group

The McCabes graduate program is a fantastic introduction to a career in law. The graduates have the opportunity to try a number of different practice areas and work closely with experts in each field. I found my graduate year was an invaluable learning experience with opportunities to observe hearings, attend continuing education seminars and get involved in a variety of litigation, transactional and pro bono work. Everyone was always willing to take time out of their day to impart their knowledge and expertise and assist the junior lawyers to develop and improve their skills. Further, the at-times daunting transition from study to full-time work was made easy with the continuous support and friendship of the graduate cohort.

Guy L – Lawyer in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution group

The transition from law school to the legal profession can be a daunting time for any budding lawyer, as you are faced with somewhat of an existential crisis: “What kind of lawyer do I want to be?” The graduate program at McCabes offers the perfect environment for you to test the waters across a breadth of different practice areas and find your calling.  The variety of tasks that you will get to undertake as a graduate at McCabes – whether it be appearing in court, drafting a company’s constitution, or filing a trade mark application – will provide you with invaluable practical experience and allow you to hone your technical legal skills.  One of the cornerstones of the culture at McCabes is an emphasis on shared learning, which includes a genuine investment on the part of senior lawyers in the professional development of young lawyers.  As a graduate, you will be given the opportunity to work directly with principals who take the time to explain to you the context of the matter, the strategy, and how your task fits into that strategy, as well as to sit down with you to provide constructive feedback.  The level of responsibility and trust that you are given as a graduate, and the firm’s strong commitment to facilitating access to justice through its pro bono initiatives, makes working at McCabes an immensely rewarding experience.  I had very high expectations of the graduate program at McCabes based on everything I had heard, but I can categorically say that my experience has exceeded even those expectations.

Paulina R – Lawyer in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution group

Joining McCabes as a graduate is one of the best career decisions that I have made. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to work in seven different areas of law across the span of just one year. Many graduate programs allow graduates to work in two or three practice groups, however, McCabes provides graduates with an opportunity to sample almost every area that the firm specialises in. This was extremely helpful, because, as many graduates know, it is one thing to study an area of law, but another thing entirely to work in that area. By the end of the program, I was able to make an informed decision about the area of law that I wanted to practice in as a lawyer.

In addition to this, I found the people at McCabes to be genuinely friendly, approachable and helpful. Lawyers – and even principals – took the time to sit down with me and teach me. I had a graduate ‘buddy’ from the previous year, a mentor, supervisors, and my fellow graduates to support me along the way. I am very grateful for the experience that I had, and would recommend McCabes to any person who is looking to join a law firm as a graduate lawyer.

William B – Lawyer in our Insurance group

I have been blown away by my experience as a McCabes graduate. I was initially drawn to McCabes by the unique opportunity that is offered to budding graduates, namely, 5 rotations through 9 practice areas over the year. Not only did this veritable smorgasbord afford me the opportunity to really test my mettle across a variety of litigious and transactional work, the variety of opinions, advice and insights I received from my colleagues helped me develop a more rounded understanding of legal practice. I found this gratifying, as I was able to really immerse myself in the tasks I was given and develop my legal and professional skills. Further, McCabes facilitates your personal and professional development by cultivating an inclusive and collegial culture, where you can challenge yourself, build your confidence and ultimately improve as a lawyer. But it’s not all work and no play, you can involve yourself in McCabes dynamic pro bono program, work up a sweat as part of our decorated sports teams and unwind at our many social events. The McCabes graduate program has been an incredible rewarding experience and I encourage all to apply.