Are you considering a career as a lawyer in Sydney, Australia?

10 4 月, 2024

Sydney holds a prominent position as Australia’s financial and economic hub. Its status as a global city and key financial center has been solidified over the past decade. The city is home to the headquarters of numerous multinational corporations, major banks, financial institutions, and all levels of law firms. Sydney’s economy benefits from its diverse sectors, including finance, real estate, tourism, technology, and creative industries.

Furthermore, Sydney’s innovation ecosystem is thriving, with numerous tech startups and research institutions driving advancements in biotechnology, fintech, and cybersecurity.

Sydney is not just an economic hub but repeatedly ranks among the world’s “best places to live.” In the 2023 Mercer Global Quality of Living Survey, Sydney secured the 9th spot for quality of life, with all major Australian cities making it to the top 50. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking, which assesses 140 major cities based on healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment, and infrastructure, Sydney ranked an impressive 4th place.

Legal Market

The legal profession in Australia is known for its competitiveness and ever-evolving nature, and in a world often plagued by economic downturns, Australia stands out for its resilience and steadiness, resulting in a legal market dynamic and constantly evolving.

The Australian legal market continues to offer many opportunities for talented international lawyers and Australian and New Zealand qualified legal professionals, with Sydney offering some of the best top-tier, mid-tier, international, and boutique law firms. Sydney is home to several prestigious law firms, including Herbert Smith Freehills; King & Wood Mallesons; Allens; Clayton Utz; Minter-Ellison; Corrs, Chambers Westgarth; Ashurst; Gilbert + Tobin; and Norton Rose Fulbright, just to name a few.

Currently, there is demand for lawyers across various practice areas, including energy, competition, disputes, banking, litigation, corporate, construction, infrastructure, environment, cyber, and ESG.

Lawyer salaries in Australia

One of the most common questions is how much can expect to earn. While it is the lifestyle why many people move to Sydney, the good news is that lawyers in Australia are generally well-paid, with salaries that can range from around $65,000 to $290,000 or more depending on years of experience and practice area. Factors that can affect lawyer salaries in Australia include location, type of law firm, and area of specialisation.  For full details on Australian associate salaries from 1 PQE to SA4, please download our Australia Law firm salary guide 2023-2024.


Sydney offers much more than just work opportunities; it provides a balanced lifestyle that many legal professionals desire. The city boasts a stunning natural landscape, including the spectacular Sydney Harbour, beautiful beaches including Bondi, Manly, and Palm Beach, picturesque parks, and scenic coastal walks. It also has some of the world’s finest restaurants, bars, and pubs. Sydney residents are renowned for their work-life balance, facilitated by firms that provide flexible working options, fitness classes, well-being seminars, and other healthy-living incentives.

Cost of living

Sydney is ranked 12th on the EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living list. Sydney’s cost of living is 35% cheaper than New York, 19% more affordable than London, 15% cheaper than Los Angeles, and 10% less expensive than Singapore. When compared to London, rent in Sydney is 22.2% lower than in London, and restaurant prices in Sydney are 22.1% lower than in London.


Sydney’s climate is undoubtedly one of its biggest draws. The city enjoys a temperate climate characterized by mild winters and warm summers, with plenty of sunshine throughout the year. During the summer months (December to February), Sydney experiences long, sunny days with temperatures typically ranging from the mid 20s to low 30s degrees Celsius (mid 70s to low 90s degrees Fahrenheit). While winter months (June to August), December boasts the longest daylight hours, with sunrise at around 5:30 am and sunset at 8 pm, Sydney maintains relatively mild temperatures, with daytime highs averaging around 17-19 degrees Celsius (mid-60s degrees Fahrenheit).

Interesting trivia facts about Sydney:

  • The population of Sydney is approx. 5.2 million
  • Sydney shares a latitude with some other great world cities, including Buenos Aires in Argentina, Los Angeles in the United States, and Cape Town in South Africa.
  • Sydney harbour is the world’s deepest natural harbour, holding an estimated 500,000 megalitres of water
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately nicknamed the ‘Coat Hanger’ by locals, stands as the world’s largest steel arch bridge
  • The iconic Sydney fish market is the largest market of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the 3rd largest in the world
  • While Sydney is the capital of New South Wales (NSW)l, it’s not the capital of Australia; that distinction belongs to Canberra in the ACT

Interested in learning more about working as a lawyer in Sydney? 

If you are an Australian or New Zealand qualified lawyer looking to move, or a foreign-qualified lawyer interested in exploring this market, please get in touch to discuss your options. We have helped many domestic and overseas lawyers to make the move to Sydney. For a confidential discussion about the next steps in your legal career and to see what opportunities we have available in Sydney, get in touch with one of our expert consultants.

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