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Membership of the AGLS

Membership of the Australian Government Legal Service (AGLS) is automatic for government lawyers – you do not need to apply. While you remain an employee of your entity, your membership of the AGLS forms a core part of your professional identity.

The head of the AGLS has endorsed the definition of government lawyer for the purposes of membership of the AGLS.

Definition of 'government lawyer'

A government lawyer for the purposes of membership of the Australian Government Legal Service is a person who:

  • is admitted or is eligible to be admitted to the legal profession, and
  • is employed in a non-corporate Commonwealth entity or a corporate Commonwealth entity; and
  • provides legal services as a material part of their employment.

'Legal services' is defined as one or more of the following functions, undertaken as part of a dedicated legal team:

  • giving legal advice
  • drafting legal documents, including legislation
  • conducting or managing litigation, including negotiating settlements and participating in alternative dispute resolution, or
  • engaging and instructing external legal services providers, including Counsel.

The following are also deemed 'government lawyers' for the purpose of AGLS membership:

  • Commonwealth Solicitor-General
  • First Parliamentary Counsel
  • Second Parliamentary Counsel
  • Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

Membership of the Australian Government Legal Service (AGLS) is intended to provide government lawyers with a sense of belonging to a broader cohort, and to allow government lawyers to connect and collaborate across government.

A person who meets the definition of a 'government lawyer' gains automatic membership of the AGLS, however this does not impose any binding obligations on the person or their agency. Individual agencies will be asked to identify their government lawyers and provide a list to the AGLS for membership purposes.

The AGLS will offer training, events and career enhancement opportunities tailored to 'government lawyers'. These opportunities will enhance members' capacity to deliver high quality and coordinated legal services across government.

Consistent with the aims of the AGLS, participation in many AGLS events and initiatives will be open to other legally qualified employees, practice managers, paralegals and contractors.

Member Benefits

Automatic membership

Membership is automatic – you do not need to apply. While you remain an employee of your entity, your membership of the AGLS forms a core part of your professional identity.

A formal framework to support you as a legal professional

The AGLS will be your government lawyer network, supporting your identity as a government lawyer and setting and maintaining professional standards. Further information will be provided when the AGLS is formally launched.

Access to development opportunities

The AGLS will offer training, events and career enhancement opportunities are tailored to you as a government lawyer. These opportunities are aimed at enhancing your capabilities in the delivery of legal services across government. Visit Training and events or Career pathways for more information.

Increased coordination and collaboration

The AGLS will improve the efficiency of Commonwealth legal services, by promoting information-sharing and consistency, and minimising duplication. You will have opportunities to connect with more than 2,000 Commonwealth government lawyers working in over 90 entities across Australia. Subscribe to the AGLS mailing list at the bottom of the page to be among the first to learn about upcoming initiatives.

Annual conference

From 2021, the AGLS Conference will be the key event of the year, with expert speakers, networking opportunities, and a social function.

Improving the manner in which the Commonwealth manages legal risk

Above all, the AGLS will strengthen and support the valuable work you all do in managing Commonwealth legal risk. We encourage you to take up opportunities to engage with the work of the AGLS as it evolves, and contribute to its growth and success.

This website is the central hub for access to services and information offered by the AGLS. But the AGLS will be more than a website, and it will be our members that contribute to building a professional network that drives the goals and purpose of the AGLS.

Contact us if you have any questions about membership of the AGLS.

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