Vacancies at the Commission are listed below. To apply please email your cover letter and curriculum to the contact detailed below.

Graduate Legal and Policy Adviser

Closing Date 02 August 2017

The Law Commission is an independent Crown entity that undertakes law reform projects, and provides advice to Ministers and public sector agencies. Our role is to promote the systematic review, reform and development of the law of New Zealand.

We have an exciting opportunity for a graduate lawyer. Working to the Law Commission’s President, you will provide legal and policy research, analysis and advice that supports the President’s work programme.

Applicants must have outstanding grades; and excellent research, analytical and written skills.

An appreciation of policy, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to assist the Law Commission to take into account te ao Māori in its work would be advantageous.

To apply, please send your CV, academic transcript and covering letter to Applications close on Wednesday 2 August 2017 at 4.00 pm.

For further information, please contact the Commission’s General Manager (Jasmine Tietjens, 04 914 4801,

Job Description




The Law Commission undertakes a range of short-term and long-term law reform projects, interacting with government agencies, professional interest groups and the wider community in formulating its advice.

Legal and Policy Advisers provide legal research and analysis, contribute to future options formulation and contribute to published reports for the projects on the law reform work programme.  One or more Advisers are attached to each project, depending on the size of a particular project, with tasks and management responsibilities under the direction of the General Manager and Lead Commissioner.

In addition, Advisers will be required to provide legal analysis and advice Ministers and public sector agencies, as requested.

Key tasks

1        To prepare, or assist with preparing, monitoring and revising as necessary, a project plan and project budget for a given project.

2        To undertake or assist with all aspects of the legal research for the project, including:

  • analysis of the existing state of the relevant New Zealand law and its history;
  • comparative study of the law, and proposals for reform of the law, in other jurisdictions;
  • collection of other relevant information and data;
  • identification of the legal and policy issues to be addressed in reforming and developing the law;
  • formulating options for the reform of the law;
  • participation in seminars or workshops relating to the project;
  • formulation of conclusions and proposals for reform. 

3        To undertake or assist with all aspects of external consultation, including:

  • discussions and consultation with interest groups, affected public agencies and stakeholders with relevant knowledge and expertise;
  • analysis of feedback or submissions made to the Law Commission.

4        To draft or assist with drafting all written material for project reports, including:

  • focus papers on specific topics for the project team, other Commissioners or for consultation;
  • discussion papers or other preliminary reports;
  • chapters of the final report, which may include draft legislation;
  • editing and proof-reading the final report;
  • publicity material.

5        To assist with the publication process and distribution of the report, and any follow-up work that may be desirable.

6        To keep abreast of further developments in selected areas of the law and proposals for its reform.

7        To undertake such other tasks in relation to law reform as may be required, including project management responsibilities for Senior Legal Advisers.

Personal skills and qualities

  • A relevant tertiary qualification demonstrating a high standard of academic ability
  • An appreciation of law in its historical, social and economic setting, and knowledge of New Zealand law in general.
  • An ability to formulate theoretical sound and practical options for the reform of the law.
  • An ability to write clearly and concisely, taking account of the intended audience.
  • An ability to communicate orally with a wide variety of persons and groups in the community, in both the public and the private sectors.
  • An ability to set personal performance goals, work individually, and be self-motivated.
  • An ability to work as part of the project team, and to co-operate with all other staff members.
  • Legal research and advice experience demonstrating thoroughness, accuracy, an ability to take responsibility, and an innovative and flexible approach to policy making.

Functional relationships

Advisers report to the General Manager.  The primary working relationship in relation to a given project will be with the Lead Commissioner for that project, and other Commissioners and advisers working on the same project.  Advisers may work on several projects.