Living and working in the NT
The Northern Territory - what a lifestyle!
Residents of the Territory sometimes feel like they are on a year round holiday. Yes, you might work hard during the day to achieve your career ambitions (which are often more easily achievable in this place of great opportunity), but spending time appreciating the tropical Top End and Red Centre's many highlights will remind you of why you work - to live!
The NT in general is more laid back than other cities, and less time is generally spent travelling to work. Darwin has an average daily temperature of over 30 degrees year round, so the NT dress code is also more relaxed than in some cities. The temperature is very conducive to an active social life, and residents are fortunate to have no shortage of annual major events such as the Darwin Festival, the Darwin Cup Carnival, the V8 Supercars and, of course, Law Week!
Darwin is a vibrant tropical city, with an abundance of cultural experiences, eateries, and popular markets (Mindil Beach markets in the dry season and smaller weekly markets on weekends). World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge and the spectacular waterfalls of Litchfield are accessible for weekend trips.
Central Australia's major town, Alice Springs, is a very interesting town in its own right, and a perfect base for exploring spectacular gorges, extraordinary desert scenery, the history of the area and the culture of Indigenous Australia.
Katherine, approximately 320km south of Darwin, is home to a small number of the Territory's lawyers. Another great adventure base, the Katherine region boasts the world-famous Katherine Gorge, Mataranka Hot Springs and many other spectacular destinations for adventure activities including fishing, canoeing and bushwalking.
The Territory is certainly a dream location for the outdoors enthusiast. There is no end to destinations for fishing, camping and four wheel driving, and you could spend several years trying to take in all the fishing spots, hot springs, national parks and waterfalls not too far from the Territory's major centres. Asian countries are a short and often inexpensive flight from Darwin, so many NT residents chose to spend a weekend shopping in Singapore or Bali, which can often be as inexpensive as a domestic flight.
Working as a solicitor in the NT
There are significant opportunities for solicitors in the Territory. Some young solicitors have found in the Territory they are able to appear in Court on interesting matters, whereas in other southern cities they would not be considered to have sufficient experience. It's acknowledged that there may not be as much of a distinction between barristers and solicitors in the Territory as there is in other jurisdictions.
In several professions in the Territory there exists significant opportunity, particularly because of a skills shortage of appropriately qualified persons. Opportunities also exist for those who wish to work in other areas such as government law.
Many lawyers and members of other professions in the Territory find the laid back atmosphere and Territory lifestyle a welcome change from high-pressure interstate jobs/lives. Working in the legal profession in the 'laid back' NT can provide the ultimate in work/life balance.
Working in the NT gives practitioners exposure to unique legal issues, partly as a result of the Federal Government's Intervention. Many lawyers from interstate enjoy working with Indigenous people, in major centres as well as in some of Australia's most magnificent and remote locations.
Lawyers working in the Territory have opportunity to contribute to the development to NT legislation through participation on one of a number of Society committees. Legal associations such as Law Society NT, NT Women Lawyers Association and the NT Young Lawyers host regular social events for getting to know your law colleagues in the Territory.