Clerkship Guide 2021

Page 1

Clerkship Guide 2021

With special thanks to Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

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Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Table of Contents 4 8

Welcome Introduction to Clerkships

14 28

Interviews & Networking

38 52

The Application

Past Clerkship Experiences

The Firms

Contributors Editor Angela Dela Cruz Designer Michael Graziano Contributors Marina Hough Josephine Fenn Joe Bissett Danielle Le Large Tom Green Nina Prica Alex Moore Vrinda Jain Elinor Bowman Nina Stammbach Will Chaffey Katherine Beer John Edmunds Director (Publications) Matthew Lo

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide



Editor’s Note Clerkships. The big 'C' word for penultimate law students. For many students, clerkships are a key part of their journey towards a career in commercial law. They are a valuable opportunity for law students to gain insight into life at a commercial law firm. Whether you are planning on applying for clerkships this year or not, we hope that this guide will provide insight into the process of researching, networking and applying for any opportunities which may come your way. Angela Dela Cruz MULS 2021 Editor

This guide contains everything that you need to know about the clerkship application process, such as researching and meeting firms, making the most of Clerkship events, writing your application, interview tips, networking and more. There are a vast number of commercial law firms and it may be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. To help you get started, be sure to read all the way to the end, where you will find insights from some of last year’s Clerks and an index of law firms. Even if you do not obtain a clerkship this round, the process of applying for clerkships is a highly valuable experience. It is a great opportunity to sharpen your application, interview and networking skills. Applying for clerkships is a long and tedious process, however the outcome can be incredibly rewarding. We hope that through reading this guide, you feel more equipped and confident to take on the challenge, and to enjoy the process. You've worked incredibly hard to get to where you are now and you should be so proud! You've got this - go and show the firms what you have to offer.

President’s Welcome Clerkships are recognised as a pivotal career step for those who are interested in working in commercial law once finishing their law degree. The process of applying for clerkships can seem long, overwhelming and significantly nerve-wracking. However, MULS are excited to share with you the 2021 Clerkship Guide, which provides you with invaluable tips and guidance on how to navigate this process. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Q&A with recent clerks, which will highlight the experiences of those who have gone through the process. Lucy Sheppard MULS 2021 President I would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support of the 2021 Clerkship Guide, as well as the recent clerks who volunteered their time to write for this publication. I also want to thank the fantastic MULS Publications team for all their hard work on this guide. Despite this guide being focused on clerkships, it is important to remember that the law and the career opportunities it presents are diverse and that everyone has their own personal journey within the legal industry. I want to wish those of you who are applying the best of luck for what I know will be a challenging, but rewarding process.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Meet the Careers Director Welcome to the 2021 MULS Clerkship Guide. My name is Anshika, and I’m the MULS Director of Career Engagement. The process of applying for and attaining a clerkship teaches students essential skills that are significantly useful in their legal careers. However for many, the clerkship journey can also be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. Anshika Sharma MULS 2021 Director (Career Engagement)

The Career Engagement team works towards bringing you networking and skill-enhancing opportunities in preparation for this exciting journey. We run a plethora of initiatives, ranging from the Firm Presentations & Coffee Catch Ups to our staple Clerkship Fair event, all aiming to put Macquarie University law students in a prime position when applying for Clerkships. Whilst the final years of your law degree can potentially be stressful, it is important to look after yourself. I hope the MULS Career Engagement initiatives and this Clerkship Guide act as a support system of resources for you. I would like to thank our sponsors, the clerks who provided their expertise and the MULS Publications team for their constant hard work. Good luck, and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor, nor the Macquarie University Law Society, and are in no way associated witht Macquarie University. Best efforts have been made to ensure that all information in this guide is correct as of 05 May 2021, but such information is subject to change without notice. The advice is merely advisory and should not be relied upon as professional advice. This publication is distributed free of charge, with the understanding that the authors, Editor and any persons related to this publication are not responsible for the results of their actions or omissions on the basis of any information provided within this publication. The user of this guide, therefore, acknowledges that he or she will take responsibility for his or her actions and will under no circumstances hold the Editor, authors or Macquarie University Law Society responsible for any damage resulting to the user or anyone else from use of this publication. MULS encourages all summer clerkship applicants to obtain confirmation of all information from the firms in question.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Activate your career. ‘PLT at The College of Law is so much more practical than I expected. I got experience speaking in a court setting and cross-examining a witness. I also drafted legal documents, letters and affidavits – which I never did at uni.’ Cormac Foley Solicitor, Danny King Legal

Macquarie University Law Society more at 6 Learn Clerkship Guide


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Practical Legal Training

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15 weeks full-time or 30 weeks part-time study options

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15 days or 75 days work experience options - or online alternative

Learn New South Wales-specific content from local qualified lawyers

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Access to one-on-one appointments with a careers adviser Preferred provider to 16 of the 20 top international and national law firms in Australia

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Introduction to Clerkships In this section • What is a clerkship? • Why should I do a clerkship? • Where can I do a clerkship? • Who can apply? • Common practice areas • Overview of the clerkship process • Key dates for the 2021 clerkship program


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


What is a clerkship? Law clerkships are typically paid employment programs at law firms, running for approximately ten weeks over the summer holidays. These positions provide an opportunity for students to experience life in a commercial firm, and to develop networks and personal skills. Clerkship programs are run by the majority of top-tier and mid-tier firms.

Why should I do a clerkship? While it is possible to gain employment in a commercial firm without having completed a clerkship, they may serve as a stepping stone into a Graduate position and future employment opportunities. Clerkships provide law students with exposure to a variety of work and learning opportunities, as clerks often complete 2-3 rotations within the firm. This is a great way to explore a range of different practice areas and gain insight into the various facets of law which are available.

Where can I do a clerkship? The majority of mid and top-tier law firms offer formal seasonal clerkship programs. Most boutique law firms will offer some kind of volunteering or internship opportunity. This is usually for PLT students, and they will look to hire at the graduate level instead.

Who can apply? Generally, students in their penultimate year are eligible to apply. Some firms allow students in other years to apply so it is worth enquiring into the firms you have an interest in. Aside from this requirement, there are no specific prerequisites or standards that must be obtained to be eligible for consideration. Nevertheless, there are characteristics firms look for in potential clerks.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


What are the common practice areas that I can expect to encounter in a commercial firm? Practice Area

Description This group deals with corporate litigation and transactions that are purely commercial in nature.

Corporate Law

Whilst the work may be complex and challenging, you will likely be dealing with important transactions with large companies and have a busy workflow.

Common tasks You may encounter work dealing with • contractual arrangements between companies; • advising clients about the administration and governance of their company; or • providing advice about the legality of mergers and acquisitions.

The group is often divided into smaller subsections such as: • Mergers and Acquisitions • Private Equity • Company Law and Governance, and • Superannuation Funds Management.

Employment and Industrial Relations Law

Insolvency Law

Employment and Industrial Relations Law covers a number of areas including, but not limited to: • unfair dismissal; • discrimination and equal opportunity; • occupational health and safety; • trade practices; and • contracts.

In this area, the type of work you will do include: • client meetings; • legal research on client issues; • drafting letters of advice; or • corresponding with the Industrial Relations Commission and other courts and tribunals.

Insolvency law is an area of law governed primarily by the Corporations Act. This area deals with the winding down of companies and the various relationships between stakeholders when a company can no longer pay its debts.

Work in this area of law may include: • drafting court documents and other transactional documents; • court appearances and advocacy; • company searches; • drafting advice for clients on the verge of insolvency or those that have already become insolvent; • negotiating with creditors to resolve a company’s debts; • negotiations with the appointed manager of a company’s assets once it is insolvent; and • a wide variety of other tasks.

Insolvency law covers both litigious and transactional matters, ranging in size from large corporate restructures to relatively small debt recovery matters.

This practice area deals with litigious matters referred from other departments of the firm. Litigation and Dispute Resolution


This practice group also provides advice and assistance with mitigating conflicts and preventative strategies to avoid situations before they occur.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Work may include dealing with: • matters relating to drafting or considering pleadings; • particulars, evidence and subpoenas; • attending settlement discussions or alternative dispute resolution discussions; • preparing for trial and court attendances; • drafting advice to clients; • attending discussions with clients and opposing legal representatives; • assisting with evidence and discovery; • meeting with witnesses and taking legal statements; or • general research to assist in preparation for trial.

Practice Area

Description Property law covers a range of practice groups, often including matters related to construction and infrastructure, as well as the environment.

Property Law

The Property group is a very extensive and important area of legal practice. Property lawyers deal with a range of legislation and have skills that are high in demand. Their work may range from large-scale matters to relatively minor transactional negotiations. This area often has a high level of contact with clients as each property deal is unique and requires a thorough understanding of the desires of particular clients.

Taxation Law

This practice provides a legal analysis of taxbased issues and the practical application of the law. For this reason, it is not necessary to have a background in accounting or finances to become a tax lawyer. In tax, you must constantly maintain and update your knowledge of the law. Tax work requires constant reference to both statute and case law as tax is the subject of a continuous stream of legislation and much litigation. Lawyers must also maintain their knowledge of other areas of commercial litigation such as property, contract, trust and company law, as there is usually a link between commercial and tax issues.

Banking and Finance

The Banking and Finance group deals mainly with the debt component of corporate transactions. Teams are generally broken down into more specialised sub-teams, such as: • finance (focusing on financing developments or exploiting assets); • debt capital markets; • consumer financial services (drafting contracts and arrangements for financial service providers and large corporations); and • securitisation, or property finance (assisting in managing the finance of commercial, residential and retail properties).

Common tasks Typical property work includes: • advising on commercial, industrial and retail property matters; • reviewing property contracts; • advising on the due diligence process during the sale and purchase of real estate and businesses; • completing complicated arraignments relating to tenures and titles; or • undertaking negotiations for variations of leases. Further, within a Construction team, you may be involved with: • Negotiating, drafting and advising clients on contracts for large-scale infrastructure work; or • providing advice in relation to the financing of infrastructure developments.

Typical responsibilities may include: • Answering and responding to client inquiries on their tax problems; • communicating and coordinating with tax officials regarding clients’ tax issues; • preparing tax returns in accordance with the taxation laws; • providing clerical support to the tax audit team; • maintaining and organising tax files, records and statements of clients; • assembling tax data required for federal and state income; • assessing and reviewing tax data and information while preparing tax returns; • prepareing personal property tax returns; and • adhering to the established practices of client confidentiality.

Work in this group may include: • preparing and coordinating conditions precedent; • drafting and reviewing various types of securities; • drafting documents such as board minutes, powers of attorney, short form loan agreements, legal opinions, deeds of release and documentation in relation to financial assistance; • preparing for and coordinating signings and completions; • researching and preparing advice on various legal issues; and • corresponding with clients and team members.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Practice Area

Description This is a specialised group within the firm that essentially deals with breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

Competition and Consumer Protection

Energy and Natural Resources

This Act is divided into two main parts – 1. sections dealing with regulating the level of competition between businesses and companies; and 2. sections regulating consumer protection (known as the Australian Consumer Law).

Energy and Natural Resources is a relatively new, fast-paced and ever-growing group within the industrial sector. Increasingly, top tier firms are expanding their energy and resources area of practice, both on a national and international scale. It is recognised as an extremely important area of law, which is underpinned by both economic and environmental concerns, and captures a wide range of transactions from oil and gas mining to renewable energy and power supply.

This group revolves around IP services, including the registration, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights. Intellectual Property (IP)


This team develops legal strategies to protect the commercial potential of brands, as well as engaging in litigious work if there is a breach of IP rights.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Common tasks Competition work will likely involve: • advising companies prior to proposed mergers about whether the ACCC will accept such a change in their industry; • advising clients about how to restructure mergers to ensure a healthy level of competition remains within the market; • advising with respect to the development of facility infrastructure and access agreements; and • liaising with the ACCC on behalf of clients.

Work in this group may involve: • advising companies on compliance with the relevant laws, safety and environmental regulations; • advising on due diligence of energy producers; • advising on takeovers of other companies; • assisting companies to secure financing and develop new projects; and • representing companies involved in litigation or arbitration.

Work in this group may involve: • drafting advice on the identification, protection and management of patents and trademarks; • drafting agreements relating to licensing franchising and transferring rights; • advising on copyright, confidential information and unfair competition issues; • enforcing all IP rights using dispute resolution or litigious methods; and • advising on marketing agreements.

An Overview of the Clerkship Process


First Round Interviews If impressed by your application, a firm will invite you to attend an interview.



Offers Based on how you performed in the above steps, you may be offered a summer clerkship position!

The Application Most firms require you to submit a cover letter, CV and an official academic transcript and they may also ask you to fill out an online questionnaire. Depending on the firm, applications can be submitted via: • cvMail; • An online application on the firm’s website; or • A ‘Student Application Form’ that is downloadable from the NSW Law Society website.

Second Round Interviews & Cocktail Evenings Should your first interview go well, a firm may invite you to attend a second interview and, in some circumstances, a cocktail evening.

4 5

Accepting or declining offers Once you have received an offer, or offers, you may decide to accept or decline. Even if you decide to decline an offer, it is courteous to thank your interviewer via email and call the HR representative at the firm.

Key dates for the 2021 Clerkship programs These clerkship dates are provided by the NSW Law Society. Some firms may differ slightly but this is a standard timeline that a vast majority follow. Tuesday 8 June

Applications for summer clerkships open.

Sunday 4 July and midnight 14 July

Applications for summer clerkships close.

Wednesday 15 September Thursday 16 September

Offers for summer clerkships can be made. Offers for summer clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5.00pm. Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


The Application

In this section • What do firms look for? • How can I improve my chances of getting a clerkship? • There are so many firms out there, how do I know where to start? • What resources are available? • What happens if I don’t land a clerkship? • The CV • Writing an outstanding cover letter • Online Applications • CV Mail • Psychometric Testing • Interviews & Networking • Video Interview Skills


Macquarie University University Law Law Society Society Macquarie Clerkship Guide Guide Clerkship


What do firms look for? Strong academic records

Your transcript says a lot about your work ethic and the areas of law in which you have excelled. Whilst spectacular marks will not guarantee you a clerkship offer, they can enhance the credibility of your application. Some firms may only consider applicants with a credit average WAM or higher, for example. Almost all firms will require a current official academic transcript, which you can request from Student Connect. Your WAM will be indicated at the bottom of your transcript. You should not leave this to the last minute; it is additional stress that can be easily avoided.

Work experience

Work experience is important as it demonstrates that you have the skills required to work effectively in a legal environment. It is important to note that all types of work experience are relevant and useful, even if they aren’t within the legal industry. For example, a job where you exercised time management skills will be beneficial as such a skill is crucial when working in commercial law. Additionally, demonstrating that you have successfully balanced work with study indicates great time management skills. Clerkships are designed to be work experience in the legal sector. Having prior legal work experience may be helpful, but is not essential.

Varied extracurricular activities

Firms are not only interested in your academic results or work experience. They are seeking well-rounded applicants with qualities related to communication, organisation, commercial awareness and commitment to a career in the law. Involvement in extracurricular activities can also be used to address any weak areas in your academic results or work experience. Even abstract extracurricular activities can show that you possess relevant skills and can demonstrate commitment.

How can I improve my chances of getting a clerkship?

1 2 3

Study hard

Whilst not the only factor considered, your marks are important.


Refine your CV and cover letter


Do some practice interviews

Get involved at university

Consider getting involved in a society or a MULS subcommittee, signing up as a Macquarie Mentor, competing in a competition or helping out with a charitable cause.

Get legal work experience

Consider interning at a smaller firm, volunteering at a Community Legal Centre or undertaking a PACE work placement unit.

If you require assistance, contact the Macquarie University Career and Employment Service.

Doing mock interviews with a friend can significantly improve your confidence and ability to answer questions well in a real interview.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


There are so many firms out there, how do I know where to start?


Research the firms that align with your interests. Information to research may include: • Practice areas, firm culture and values; • Organisational structure and partners; • Recent transactions, business affairs and clients. This information can be found through: • Perusing the firms’ websites • Attending events such as firm presentations and other networking opportunities • Speaking with former clerks, graduates and HR representatives • Reading news sources such as the Australian Financial Review and Lawyers Weekly. You may also wish to research the broader legal industry and investigate trends in the legal market.


Make a list of the firms you are interested in and consider your reasons for selecting them. Questions to contemplate include “What kind of culture am I a good fit in?”, “What makes me happy to be at work?”


Research the application process of these firms, including the HR representative and person you will address your cover letters to.


Analyse any selection criteria available and consider whether you would be competitive or compatible for the role.


Create a short list of your skills and experiences, demonstrating how you would fit the criteria and culture of the firm. The information you collate from this process will prove essential as they ultimately form the foundation of your applications to each firm.

Note: This process is not limited to penultimate students. For students in the early stages of their degree, undertaking this process may help you identify gaps in your experience and help plan what internships/ job opportunities you would like to acquire.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Justified is Macquarie University Law Society’s podcast about the legal industry, topical issues and what it’s like being a law student at Macquarie.

Check out one of our Justified episodes, ‘Pursuing your Legal Career: How to Take Those First Steps’ for insight from two professionals working at Allens. We speak to Lauren Kay, the National Graduate Resourcing Manager, and Melissa Camp, a former Macquarie University student and current Law Graduate.

Macquarie University Career and Employment Service Did you know that Macquarie University has its own Career and Employment Service? They help students plan and prepare for their careers by offering the following services: • One-on-one career appointments that are tailored to your needs, including providing advice on career planning, gaining experience and evaluating options; • Monthly skill development workshops on topics including networking, interview techniques and how to use LinkedIn effectively; • Employer presentations and career events, including a bi-annual Careers Fair; • An online job portal, offering a range of paid and volunteer jobs, online resources and employer profiles; and • Weekly ‘resume rescue’ group sessions, where you can get specific feedback on your resume and share ideas with others. All of these services are available via the CareerHub website (available at You can visit the Career and Employment Service located on Level 3 18WW MAZE, send them an email at or call them on (02) 9850 7372.

Listen to Justified on the following platforms!

Spotify Apple Podcasts Anchor Google Podcasts

This year we have two upcoming episodes with representatives from Herbert Smith Freehills. We will be discussing the clerkship process, legal work done at the firm as well as their focus on metal wellbeing. They will be released in the next month so stay tuned!

What happens if I don’t land a Clerkship? If you don’t land a clerkship, that is okay! You still have a number of options. This may include seeking out internships, graduate positions and other alternative pathways. Regardless of the outcome of your applications, the process of researching and preparing your applications are invaluable to learning more about your passions and interests, and beginning to articulate what skills and experiences you can bring to the table.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


The CV: Tips General Tips 1. Be honest – don’t include anything that you could not discuss in detail during an interview.

Whilst the exact structure of your CV is a personal choice, it should ideally include the following information:

2. Use professional language – avoid slang and colloquial language.

Personal Details Name, address, phone numbers, and email address. You may also wish to include your LinkedIn profile address.

3. Keep it up to date – in general, leave out any content older than 4-5 years. 4. Be as brief as possible – this is about highlighting your skills and experience, so keep your sentences short, use bullet points, and do not exceed 3 pages. Go through every sentence and ask whether the employer needs to know it. 5. Tailor the information – relate your experience and achievements to the criteria in the job description – this shows HR that you’ve taken the time to consider and research the firm as a serious choice. 6. Be consistent in your formatting – we recommend Times New Roman or Arial in size 12 point. 7. Avoid clutter – while narrowing margins may help to fit more content, ensure that your page still appears uncluttered. 8. Thoroughly proofread your CV – pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Ask a friend or the Careers Service to look over it for you. 9. Ensure it is short, sharp and specific keep in mind that recruiters only spend an average of 6 seconds looking at your CV. 10. Convert it to a PDF, unless directed otherwise.



Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Education (including any relevant achievements) • Tertiary • High School Work and Professional Experience a. Company and Job Title i. Responsibilities ii. Key Achievements Extracurricular Activities a. University society, Sport or Other i. Position Title ii. Achievements iii. Participation Community Involvement a. Organisation i. A brief explanation of the organisation if it isn’t well-known ii. Positions held Hobbies or Other Qualifications a. Hobbies b. Other Qualifications, such as a First Aid Certificate or Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate References Provide the details of two or three professional references whom you have worked with, preferably your past employer or supervisor. Provide their name, job title, company, and a contact phone number.


Email: Phone: LinkedIn:

Email address 0000 000 000 URL

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE I am a penultimate student completing a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts, with a strong work ethic and drive to succeed in the commercial law industry. I have worked diligently throughout my studies to achieve outstanding academic results while also developing my professional skills in the legal industry as a paralegal since early 2018. I have an enthusiasm to learn and a willingness to take on challenges, cultivated by my breadth of experience in both a local and international context, making me well equipped to undertake the multijurisdictional work of FIRM.

EDUCATION February 2017 – Present

Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts Macquarie University • Law WAM: • Major in … • Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020 • Expected completion November 2021

July 2019

Short Term Exchange UNIVERSITY • Units: • Notable achievements …


High School Certificate HIGH SCHOOL • … ATAR and Year 12 Valedictorian • Recipient of Overall Academic Achievement Award • 1st place in school HSC … and HSC … • Completion of Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award 2016 • Prefect 2016

LEGAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE August 2019 – Present 3 days per week and full time from December to February 2019/2020

Paralegal FIRM • Conducting legal research and creating case notes • Drafting advices to clients, letters of instruction to medical professionals, observations for counsel briefs and chronologies of evidence • Collating and preparing Tribunal Documents

February 2018 – July 2019 3 days per week

Law Clerk FIRM • Drafted advices to clients and chronologies of medical evidence • Issued summons and organised medico-legal appointments • Liaised with counsel and clients • Compiled counsel briefs • Observed and participated in court proceedings and witness interviews



Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


OTHER EXPERIENCE January 2020 – July 2020 Contract, 3 hours per week

Peer Assisted Study Session/Peer Assisted Learning (PASS/PAL) Leader Macquarie University • PASS/PAL Leader in … • Planned and facilitated virtual sessions on a weekly basis with students to develop study skills and deepen understanding of challenging course concepts • Created an environment for the development of positive peer relationships and built strong facilitator-student rapport • Tailored sessions to the needs of students, group size and virtual setting

January 2017 – Present 4 hours per week

Private Tutor • Tutoring Kindergarten to Year 12 students in one-on-one and group settings across a range of subjects

January 2017 – July 2019 2-3 days per week

Medical Receptionist MEDICAL CENTRE • Delivered high quality customer service to patients • Managed competing priorities in a fast-paced environment • Scheduled and confirmed appointments • Answered and made telephone calls • Processed Medicare billings • Performed computer based administrative tasks

December 2013 – December 2014 2 days per week

Sales Assistant RETAIL STORE • Opened and closed the store • Operated within a team to deliver high quality customer service • Processed transactions • Identified customer needs and recommended products accordingly




Social Netball

2019 – Present

Running Group Member


J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge • FIRM team member

2011 – Present


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

NAME EMAIL | PHONE NUMBER | LINKEDIN (hyperlinked) EDUCATION Macquarie University Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) -

2016-2021 (Expected)

LAW Weighted Average Mark: [Redacted, Distinction average] (Expected First Class Honours) 2018 – Highest Achiever in MGMT330 – India Study Tour 2018 – Grand Finalist – Law Competition (Redacted)

International Exchange University (Redacted) Bachelor of Commerce (International Business)

Spring 2019 (Semester Exchange)

High School (Redacted) Secondary Education | ATAR [Redacted]

2010 – 2015

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EMPLOYMENT Redacted (International Law Firm) Paralegal | 25 - 35 hours per week

December 2019 – Present

As a paralegal, my primary responsibilities include: -

Analysis of legal and financial documents for financial institutions to ensure compliance with ASIC requirements; Leading and maintain accountability for small teams of paralegals; Delegating tasks and acting as a primary point of contact for associates and lawyers; Devising methodologies and processes utilising software such as XPlan and Intralinks; and Gathering and collating evidence off-site with clients.

Redacted (International Publications Company) Software Tester | 15 hours per week

August 2019 – February 2020

Analysed (redacted company)’s function, categorising and tagging legislation. Editorial Assistant | 8-15 hours per week

August 2018 – February 2019

Tasks included subediting, stock analysis, market research, correspondence with writers and data entry.

LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Redacted (Macquarie University Student Society) 2020 Redacted | 35-40 hours per week

October 2019 – Present

Primary responsibilities include: -

Accountability to over 500 members of the Macquarie University Student Society; Overseeing the general functioning and operation of a not-for-profit charity; Directing, co-ordinating and supervising nine directors and twenty-five executive council members; Directing activities and managing the affairs and faithful conduct of the Society; and Upholding sponsorship relationships and oversee finance.

Page 2 of 2

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


2018 Director (Redacted) | 20-25 hours per week

October 2017 – December 2018

2017 Executive Officer (Redacted) | 10-15 hours per week

June 2017 – October 2018

Redacted (Legal Tech Company) Legal Tech Intern | 6 hours per week

June 2020 – Present

Conducting legal research to produce online guides targeted at small and medium businesses. I am also working on a long-term coding project with my mentor. Redacted (Not-for-profit Human Rights Organisation) Student Volunteer | 7 hours per week

February 2020 – June 2020

Assisting lawyers by conducting legal research and writing submissions, case briefs and memorandums. Dinner Party Volunteer Volunteer | 1 day

May 2019

Redacted is a 5-day Street festival. This experience involved working in a small team to run a dinner party for over 60 people. Redacted (Not-for-profit Human Rights Organisation) Form Filler & Admin Assistant | 3-5 hours per week

March 2017 – October 2017

Assisted Redacted by helping clients fill out forms required in the process of [redacted] in Australia; and Organised appointments between form fillers and clients.


2003 - Present

Having been a cellist for over 18 years, I have participated in many musical activities which include orchestras, concert bands, string quartets and HSC accompaniments. From a young age, this skill taught me the importance of discipline, patience and a keen attention to detail. Magazine (Redacted) Designer | 5-10 hours per week

June 2017 – August 2018

Worked with a team to create a cohesive magazine by illustrating visual content using a variety of different mediums. In this position I was given creative autonomy, but was also required to adhere to strict deadlines. Miscellaneous Interests and hobbies -

Drawing and painting; Travelling; and Film and television.

REFERENCES = Redacted =

Page 2 of 2


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Writing an outstanding cover letter Suggested Structure

Paragraph Introduction


In this paragraph, you should state why you are writing to the company and provide a general overview of the content of your letter and application.

Paragraph Why me?


Highlight outstanding achievements, skills and experiences that you have and indicate why these make you attractive to the firm.

Paragraph Why the firm?


This is the most difficult paragraph; requiring both commercial awareness and an understanding of the firm. You should indicate why you want to work for the particular firm and what motivated you to submit your application. For instance, you may cite recent matters that the firm has been involved in, or mention firm representatives that you have spoken with who have inspired you to apply.

Paragraph Conclusion


This final paragraph should thank the firm for considering your application and indicate your eagerness to work for that firm.

General Tips 1. Use a business letter format and convert the final product into a PDF, unless directed otherwise. 2. Include a heading stating the position you are applying for. 3. Aim for two to four brief paragraphs, between half and three-quarters of a page. 4. Find out who will be receiving your letter and double-check their name – ensure that you address the letter to a person, not a generic ‘Dear Sir/ Madam’. If you don’t have their name, try phoning the firm’s reception and enquiring. 5. Be enthusiastic and positive – make your letter read this way. 6. Use your cover letter to supplement your CV; don’t simply reproduce it! 7. Use the wording of the employer’s advertised criteria to link your specific skills and experience to the role. Address every aspect of the selection criteria. 8. Tailor your application for each unique firm. If you can replace the firm’s name and the CV still makes sense, tailor it more. 9. Demonstrate commercial awareness, such as knowledge of firm clients, employees, and recent transactions (but only if they are relevant). 10. Proofread! Your cover letter not only shows your written communication skills, but also your attention to detail. It is important to make a good first impression by avoiding careless mistakes such as addressing the letter to the wrong firm. Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Mr Recruiter Summer Clerk Recruiter Address Sydney NSW 2000 Dear Mr Recruiter RE: Application for the Law Firm 2020/21 Clerkship I write to apply for the 2020/2021 Law Firm clerkship program in its Sydney office. I am in my penultimate year of a combined Bachelor of Law and [other] at Macquarie University, with anticipated First Class honours. Throughout my studies I have achieved strong academic results while maintaining paralegal roles and significant extracurricular activities, demonstrating my well-rounded nature and commitment to success. I am particularly drawn to Law Firm because of its rapid growth in Sydney since merging with Law Firm, together with its strong global network and prominent client base. The opportunity to advise significant contributors to the future commercial landscape of Australia greatly attracts me as I am intellectually curious and thrive best when I am continually challenging myself in a high paced environment. Obtaining a clerkship at the firm would also allow me to start my career in an environment which is truly committed to supporting and developing its staff. I am confident that I would receive ongoing support and development through the firm’s non-silo approach to work, PD and cornerstone training sessions, and its culture of mentoring, The strength of Law Firm’s highly ranked Practice Group is particularly attractive to me. The changing landscape and current significance of this area makes it especially interesting, and the Law Firm team’s instrumental participation in [recent matter] highlights its excellence in this field. The combined transactional and litigious nature of the practice is very appealing to me, as I have developed a passion for litigation through my experience at Law Firm. In this role, I held a high level of responsibility over a number of complex commercial disputes that allowed me to develop strong commercial insight and problem solving skills. I also took the initiative to gain further experience in this area by accepting a position as assistant to barrister [name], which provided me with a unique opportunity to enhance my research and communication skills. Finally, I believe I am a good cultural fit for the firm as I enjoy collaborating in diverse teams and appreciate the countless opportunities offered to engage in volunteer and social pursuits. At Macquarie University, I have been involved in the Maddocks Negotiations Competition, Business Society, Law Society and Global Leadership Program, all of which required effective teamwork and organisation. I also enjoy being involved in my community [volunteering and fundraising initiatives], and would welcome the opportunity to continue this engagement through Law Firm’s pro bono practice. With my diverse skills and down-to-earth personality, I am confident that I would thrive in a clerkship role at the firm. I have enclosed my CV and would welcome an opportunity to discuss my application further. Thank you for your time and consideration. Yours sincerely Name


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Name Mobile Number Email Address

Mr/ Mrs Recruiter Position Company Address Sydney NSW 2000 Dear Mr/ Mrs Recruiter, Application for Summer Clerkship 2020/21 I am writing to apply for a position within the [Law Firm] summer clerkship program in Sydney. I am a penultimate year student studying a Bachelor of Laws with Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University, with anticipated First Class Honours. I am drawn to a career in commercial law because of the opportunity it presents to be intellectually challenged, solve complex problems and advise recurring clients on legal matters to contribute to the success of their businesses. I am applying for a position at [Law firm] for three main reasons. Firstly, [Law firm]’s focus on innovation and openness to new ideas resonates with my curiosity to learn. I recognise the immense benefits of the firm's unique internal structure operating under four Lines of Business, in driving collaboration and ensuring a seamless client experience. This is testament to [Law Firm]’s forward-thinking, progressive approach to legal service delivery. I share this innovative thinking, having significantly expanded the Macquarie University Law Society [redacted] Portfolio this year in my role as [redacted]. This has involved [new initiatives introduced during their role]. I am a very lateral thinker, often using my initiative to consider the big picture and balance competing priorities. I believe my ability to think creatively and effectively solve complex problems would make me an ideal clerk at [Law Firm]. Secondly, [Law Firm]’s culture of collaboration, respect and inclusivity appeals to my extensive experience working in teams, and my desire to work in a collegiate environment. Having worked in client-facing roles since the age of fourteen, I have a natural ability to establish and maintain professional relationships. Additionally, my current role as a Legal Assistant at [redacted] and previous role as Pro Bono Intern at [redacted] has developed my commerciality, work ethic and professional acumen. These qualities would aid me in my interactions with a diverse range of clients and colleagues at [Law Firm], allowing the firm to maintain its role as its clients’ best partner. I also recognise [Law Firm]’s unique position as a leading Asia Pacific firm which is headquartered in Australia. My diverse experiences [studying abroad, participation in Global Leadership opportunities and international conferences]have developed my adaptability, awareness of global affairs and cross-cultural communication skills, which would aid me in undertaking transnational work as a young lawyer at [Law Firm]. Lastly, I am attracted to [Law Firm]’s leading Employment, Environment & Planning and Public Sector practices. Employment law appeals to my people focused nature and interest in anti-discrimination law. My interest in this team was reaffirmed after speaking with [redacted], who discussed the variety of work in this team such as unfair dismissals and industrial relations matters. Additionally, my Arts major in International Development has given me a unique insight into the environmental considerations of large projects, and I would like to contribute my understanding of this area in the Environment & Planning practice. Finally, I recognise the unique landscape within which Government agencies operate, and would like to deepen my understanding of the legal context surrounding Government practices. [Law firm] is renowned for its well-established relationships with government clients, and I would be eager to contribute to this practice. Put simply, I am excited at the prospect of a clerkship at [Law firm], and believe I have the shared values and personal drive to be a strong cultural fit for the firm, both personally and professionally. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my suitability for a clerkship with you. Yours sincerely, Name

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Online Applications Firms may require you to submit your applications using cvMail or a similar application portal through their website.


Finish your research on the firm and the position beforehand. Some portals, such as cvMail, have time limits of 90 minutes before it automatically logs you off.


Read all of the portal FAQs and instructions before starting your application.


Prepare responses to questions that may be asked on the online portal, such as:

a Discuss your university activities and achievements.

b Discuss any further interests, activities,

c Indicate your career objectives, which

or achievements.

i. Interest ii. Job preferences iii. Reason(s) why you chose your course of study.

d Talk about any other relevant skills you may possess (foreign language, computer work-related skills, etc.).

e Provide additional information – elaborate on factual material already presented and how it is related to the position.


Provide experience from all relevant aspects of your life. As well as any legal experience, consider including your part-time job, work experience, volunteer work, and sporting activities. Try to showcase unique experiences you have had.


Avoiding referring to the same example more than once.


Don’t rush your application; pay attention to detail. Firms may disregard your application on the basis of small careless mistakes.


Be honest – all the information you provide will be subject to academic transcript checks and reference confirmation.

may include:


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Ask someone else to read over your answers. If possible, ask someone who works in the legal industry to proofread it for you.


Keep a copy of any answers you submit as they may be referred to in interviews.

that you submit a copy of your official 10 Ensure academic transcript. Official academic

transcripts are purchased through Student Connect. Do not leave getting your transcript until the last minute – you may find that some details on the transcript need correcting or you may need to pay any overdue fees before being issued with your transcript.

CV Mail cvMail is a portal that provides information about law firms and the legal industry, and enables law students to apply for jobs and schedule interviews online.

Getting Started For first time log-in, follow these steps: 1. Go to and register as a first time user. 2. Create your personal profile by clicking the ‘Personal Profile’ button on the lefthand side of the screen and filling in your personal details. 3. Complete your academic profile by clicking on the ‘Academic Profile’ button, also on the left-hand side. You will need to enter information about your education background (university degrees and their starting and finishing dates) and your academic results according to the instructions provided. 4. You can now apply to the firms via the Application Manager. To do so, click on the ‘Apply Here’ button next to the firm you wish to apply for. 5. For each firm, choose the state, territory, or country you wish to apply to, and select the type of application you wish to submit (vacation or graduate) from the tabs.

5 KEY TIPS TO HELP YOU MANAGE PLAIN TEXT FORMATTING 1. Left align as much text as possible and adhere to a single column layout, 2. Underline major headings using the equal (=) character, 3. Underline minor headings using the hyphen (-) character, 4. Start bullet points using the hyphen character, and 5. Use white space to give the text a spacious feel (i.e. two lines before each heading, etc.).

Submitting a cover letter? Cut and paste your customised cover letter into the appropriate field in the online application form. Ensure that your cover letter is in plain text formatting.

Psychometric Testing Psychometric testing is becoming increasingly popular as the skills required in law firm positions become more specialised. They are used to test an applicant’s aptitude, personality and motivations. General Tips 1. Practice: Familiarise yourself with the format and content. Search for practice tests online and attempt those to get a feel for what you’ll be tested on. 2. Plan your time carefully - generally, tests are timed and realistically unfinishable so you are not required to answer every question to achieve a high score. Because questions are weighted equally, go through the questions with a plan of where you want to be at different points of time. If the test allows you to skip questions, attempt all the easy questions along the way and go back to the harder ones at the end 3. Be mentally prepared on the day of the test to answer questions quickly and accurately.

Types of Psychometric Tests Aptitude Tests • These types usually consist of multiplechoice questions that should be answered quickly while accurately. • This category can be further broken down into numerical, verbal/ comprehension and logical/ spatial reasoning tests. Personality/Motivation Tests • These questions are designed to understand your personality and motivations by assessing your emotional intelligence. The result will help indicate whether you will be a good fit for the firm and its culture. • Questions are typically untimed and do not have ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. • You will typically be given hypothetical situations and asked to choose your personal preference out of the options. • Answer each question truthfully and consistently in accordance with your personal values as recruiters will be looking for integrity. Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide



Interviews & Networking

In this section


Interview Skills

Types of Questions

Video Interview Skills

Advice from Macquarie University Career Development Consultant

Networking at Cocktail Nights

Offer Etiquette

Rejection Etiquette

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Interview Skills The following information is kindly provided by the Macquarie University Career and Employment Service. For more information, they can be reached by phone (+61 (2) 9895 7372), email ( or by visiting the team at Level 3, 18 Wally’s Walk (MAZE), Macquarie University North Ryde, NSW 2109 (Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm). It is important to understand that interviews are more than a question and answer meeting; they are a marketing opportunity and you are the product. Your aim is to convince the interviewers of two things: that you have the skills and experience that they are seeking and that you are the person for the job.

Before the Interview Doing good preparation before the interview will reduce nerves and increase your confidence on the day, helping you to answer questions well and be yourself. Understand yourself • Be familiar with the content of your resume and your relevant experiences. • What skills do you have? Take into account skills from all aspects of your life - work, internships, education, extracurricular activities, community involvement and volunteer work. • What interests you? What are you passionate about? What issues are important to you? • How would you describe your ideal job? • What are your goals, both short and long term? • What real-life experiences can you bring up in response to behavioural type questions? • Do practice interviews. Attend mock interviews with the Careers Service or organise your own with friends or family. Use the interview questions listed in the following section to test yourself. Understand the employer • Research the organisation through their website, their publications, media articles, professional associations and networking. • Demonstrate knowledge and interest in the firm. • Learn about the position’s job responsibilities. • Know the interviewer. Research their LinkedIn, position in the firm, practice area and how long they’ve been there. • Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer about their organisation’s environment or their role.

During the Interview 1. First impressions count. Try to connect with your interviewer at the beginning. 2. Greet the interview with a warm and confident handshake. Introduce yourself in 30-40 seconds. 3. Try to make the session smooth and comfortable for you and the interviewer. 4. Be relaxed yet polite and professional. 5. Demonstrate good body language maintain good eye contact, use open hand gestures and smile. 6. Smile, take a deep breath and relax. It helps you to be comfortable so you can focus on the interview and be yourself. 7. Be aware of your gestures, as well as posture and hand movements. Avoid folding your arms, fidgeting, slumping in your chair, looking at your hands or out the window. 8. Refrain from using slang, colloquial expressions or improper grammar. 9. Demonstrate active listening skills. Answer questions fully and avoid giving one-word answers. 10. Get a feel of the sort of people who work at the firm and how the firm operates to consider whether you’d be a good fit there.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Answering the Question 1. Listen carefully to the questions before answering to make sure you fully understand what is being asked. 2. Keep your answer brief, sell yourself quickly, and keep your information relevant to the job. Don’t repeat yourself. 3. Use real-life examples in your responses. Get to the point quickly and smile along the way. 4. Emphasise positive things about yourself and give examples to demonstrate your good qualities and strengths, Examples: • ‘I am a team player. I worked on XXXX project and performed as XXXX role in the team.’ • ‘I am on the committee of my University student club and I was responsible for XXXX’. • ‘My experience of working with a team of XXXX professionals made me a quick learner. For example XXXX’ 5. Promote yourself in an honest and confident manner. Ask interesting and work-related questions.

After the Interview Following up Take notes right after your interview is finished to record what was discussed in the interview and allow you to review it later. Within 24-48 hours send a thank-you letter to the interviewer(s) expressing: • Your appreciation for the interview and the opportunity to learn more about the company • Reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm about the position and qualifications • Email is appropriate if there is a quick turnaround time to fill the position • A well-written thank-you is always preferred • Review your interview performance and think of any areas for improvement. If you receive an offer, inform and thank everyone who helped you in the process. If you do not receive an offer, follow up with the interviewer(s) to discuss what you could do to improve your next interview performance and send an email thanking them for taking the time to consider your application.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Types of Questions STARTUP QUESTIONS Rapport building questions are asked to get a better understanding of you.

Tell me about yourself? • Summarise your educational and professional background and mention your strengths and abilities • Link these to why you’re a good fit for the role

Tell me about a problem you faced whilst working in a team. How did you resolve the problem? Describe a situation where you successfully convinced others of your ideas.

RESUME RELATED QUESTIONS These questions are designed for you to link your previous experiences with the position you are applying for.

Your resume indicated that you have experience in X. Could you tell us more about that area?


Tell me about the degree you have studied and why did you decide to study X?

TECHNICAL FAMILIARITY Assessment of knowledge and issue interpretation.

What do you know about our company? Why does this industry/job/company interest you?

Career goals vs. the job you are applying for Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Why did you leave your last position? What career goals have you set yourself?

What legal issues will you need to be mindful of in this role? What are the technical skills you learned from your past jobs that relate to this role? Why do you believe you are qualified for this position?

Why do you want to work at our company?

MOTIVATION AND CAREER ORIENTATION Demonstrate that your career goals line up with those of the firm.

How will your university education benefit your future career? Tell us what experience and training you have that qualifies you for this position?

You have stated in your resume that you have completed X extracurricular activity. How will that help you in this role?

COMPANY AWARENESS Assessing your knowledge of and interest in the organisation.

Describe yourself in one word.

How good are you at solving conflicts? Can you give an example?

Why have you applied for this role?

Are you good at handling several tasks and responsibilities simultaneously?

SKILLS ASSESSMENT Show that you have technical and employable skills, using specific instances where you have demonstrated them.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Behavioural Interview These questions enquire about your past behaviour to make predictions on how you will behave in the future. “Tell me about a time when...” Each question requires a detailed and specific answer from your past. They may focus on issues such as problem-solving, initiative and teamwork. Your responses need to include the specific situation, what was required of you, your actions, and what you learnt. Preparation is crucial for these types of questions. Question examples • Tell me about your greatest achievement. • Describe a time when you were able to successfully work with someone you found difficult. • Describe a time there was too much to do in too little time. How did you manage to complete all the tasks? • Give me an example of a time where you had to cope with interpersonal conflict when working in a team. How did you deal with it and what was the result? PREP-STAR MODEL POINT

Answer the question

REASON Justify your answer and link it to the role. EVIDENCE

Provide a relevant example using STAR

SITUATION: Describe the specific experience or its context TASK: Activities you needed to accomplish ACTION: Actions you took to carry out the task. Incorporate the difficulties or problems you solved RESULT: Outcome - was the course of action effective and was the task completed? POINT Re-emphasise your key skills and abilities gained and relate it back to the role.

Tough Questions What is your understanding of the position you have applied for? Prepare for this question by reading the job description (or the job descriptions of similar roles), talking to the contact person, HR Dept. or recruitment consultant. Ask questions at the interview. What will you bring to this organisation? The critical thing in answering questions about strengths is to demonstrate where you have developed and used these skills and how they can be applied to the firm. How do you keep informed about new developments in the industry/field? As a new graduate, this should be a relatively easy answer. Professional membership, reading newspapers/ journals and if you really want to appear well informed, talk about a recent industry development or issue. What are your weaknesses? Talk about weaknesses that are unconnected with the position, or a gap in knowledge/skills that you are in the process of learning. You need to demonstrate that you have a strategy to overcome any weaknesses. Answer without discomfort to show self-confidence. What are your salary expectations? Find a benchmark – talk to people, go to the Careers homepage and look at the Graduate Destination Survey. You also need to know about ‘salary packages’, which include superannuation, holiday leave loading and overtime.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Ask the Interviewer the Right Questions An interview is a two-way selection meeting – it is just as important that you are able to make an informed decision about the company and the position as it is for the company about you. Asking good questions helps you to do so and also shows that you care about the position and have put deep thought into it. Ask questions you genuinely want to know the answers to, not just to impress the interviewer.

Good questions may include 1. Can you tell me about your background and how and why you joined this organisation? 2. How will you assess that I’m doing a good job? What will I have achieved in 6 or 12 months? 3. What is the next step in the selection process from here and when should I expect to hear from you next? 4. What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job? 5. Can you provide me with more details on what my responsibilities might involve? 6. What does a typical working day in the position look like?

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Video Interview Skills The following information is kindly provided by the Macquarie University Career and Employment Service. For more information, they can be reached by phone (+61 (2) 9895 7372), email ( or by visiting the team at Level 2, 18 Wally’s Walk (MUSE Building), Macquarie University North Ryde, NSW 2109 (MondayFriday, 9 am-5 pm). Video interviews are increasingly being used by employers in graduate recruitment. Here’s how you can perform your best in this round of the selection process.

The Night Before the Interview •

Get a good night’s sleep.

Charge your computer, prepare cables, a webcam and any other equipment you may need.

On the Day of the Interview •

Make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged in.

Consider leaving a sign on the front door advising callers not to ring the bell or knock, and to return later.

Take the landline phone off the hook.

Make sure pets are secured in another room where barking and other noises will not be heard.

Dress appropriately in professional attire top as well as bottom and shoes.

Ensure the background behind you is neat and neutral with no distractions or inappropriate material displayed, such as an unmade bed.

Close or lock the door of the room and advise other house members that you cannot be disturbed for the period of the interview.

Close the window if you are likely to be disturbed by outside noises such as traffic and bird calls.

Check that your face is well lit and avoid backlighting which can leave you in the shadows.

FORMAT OF THE INTERVIEW The format may vary depending on the firm and can consist of 1. A set of pre-recorded questions and applicants are given 1-2 chances and a set time limit to record their answers 2. A set of pre-recorded questions but unlimited opportunities for applicants to record their answers 3. A ‘selfie interview’ requiring applicants to record a 2-4 minute introduction of themselves

PRIOR TO THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW Choose a quiet location for the interview, preferably sitting at a table on a comfortable chair at the right height. You may: • Prepare for your interview as you would for a face-toface interview; research the firm, research yourself, prepare answers to common questions, behavioural questions and questions to ask; and do a practice interview.


Immediately Prior to the Interview •

Visit the bathroom before you start.

Have a glass of water handy, also tissues and cough lozenges if necessary.

Have a copy of your resume and pen and paper in front of you.

Read through your resume.

Plan what you are going to wear.

Practise recording yourself answering questions.

Read and reread all the instructions provided prior to the interview.

Have your mobile phone on silent.

Make sure you are clear on what is expected. If not, seek clarification via phone or email if possible.

Exercise your voice a little.

Do some stretches to help you feel relaxed.

Run the practice session if offered and check that your microphone and audio are working and clear.

Take some deep breaths.

Smile and think positively - you are going to enjoy this experience!

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

During the Interview •

Imagine the interviewer is actually sitting on the other side of the table and meeting you for the first time.

Follow directions carefully. Typically you will be given a minute or so to prepare each answer, then a couple of minutes to deliver your response.

Answer questions the same way you would in a face-to-face interview, ensuring your answers are relevant and succinct.

Speak genuinely, clearly and confidently.

Look into the camera, not down at the desk or table.

Display good body language - maintain eye contact, use open hand gestures and smile. Avoid touching your face or hair, and fidgeting.

Avoid making unnecessary noise such as shuffling papers, tapping a pen or moving unnecessarily in your chair.

You can read from notes you’ve prepared on your laptop but ensure it is in dot points so it is not so obvious that you are reading it out word for word.

Applicants undergoing video interviews report that the most difficult aspect of the interview is receiving no feedback or visual cues from the ‘interviewer’ after they have given their answers. To combat this, you can try to visualise the person who will be watching your video and their reaction to your answers. It is a good idea, immediately after the interview, to write down all the questions and the answers you gave before they fade from memory. This may be useful if there is a further round of interviewing ahead.

What are common mistakes that applicants make in the interview process? By far the most common mistake is not being sufficiently prepared! It shows, and will affect your confidence and overall interview performance. Not being prepared can result in nerves, and can lead to rambling, irrelevant answers to questions, or worse still having no answer at all! Not being able to ‘sell’ or market yourself and your relevant skills is another area that can let the applicant down. But at the same time it is also important to avoid giving overly rehearsed answers, which do not allow the employer to see the ‘real you’. Always aim to be authentic and to genuinely engage with the interviewer.

Vicki George Career and Employment Advisor at Macquarie University What are recruiters and employers looking for in potential candidates? Employers look at three areas when considering candidates: • Can you do the job? (skills, experience, qualifications) • Will you do the job? (aptitude, attitude, growth mindset) • Are you a good cultural fit? (ability to engage, interpersonal skills, authenticity) Employers are looking for ‘well rounded’ graduates, and by this we mean applicants who have honed their skills in a variety of settings, not just study and part time work; but in activities such as volunteering, travelling, involvement in student societies and other extracurricular pursuits. These are all really important and any involvement of this type should be included in your application. The main employability skills employers want to see evidence of are communication, teamwork, organisational skills, problem solving, critical thinking, problem solving and increasingly, resilience/adaptability and digital skills. A willingness to learn is also highly valued. How can applicants improve their interview skills? Applicants can improve their interview skills by ensuring that they have answers carefully prepared for all the common interview questions. In particular, they should focus on the behavioural questions and have examples of how they have developed or used each of the skills listed above. Be able to present these using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) Be sure to practice, practice, practice as it will make you feel and appear more confident. DO YOUR RESEARCH of the organisation or firm you are applying to. Employers tell us that the ‘standout applicants’ are the ones who have taken the trouble to find out as much as they can about the organisation and are able to demonstrate this. How can MQ University Career Development Consultants help applicants with the clerkship process? Students are welcome to attend our workshop on Interview Skills, which is offered regularly, and are also encouraged to look at the interviewing resources in MyMQCareerZone (including our online mock interview simulator). You can also book a one on one appointment with a Careers advisor for assistance with interview preparation or for other advice on the clerkship process. You can also request a mock interview, where you will be asked typical questions and receive constructive feedback on your responses.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Cocktail Evenings and Networking Most law firms hold a cocktail night as part of their interview process to observe their prospective clerks in a more social environment. Recruiters will be evaluating applicants’ soft skills such as interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. The ability to network is very important in a commercial law practice because relationships with colleagues and clients are a major aspect. Cocktail evenings are also an excellent opportunity for applicants to learn more about the firm and potential career opportunities. You may also get advice for attaining long term goals.

Networking at Cocktail Nights RSVP etiquette If you have two cocktail evenings in one night, it is always courteous to email the HR representative for the second cocktail evening you will attend to let them know that you will be late. Politely entering a conversation 1. For one-on-one conversation, begin by introducing yourself, making eye contact, and firmly shaking hands. 2. In group conversations, the best way to break the ice is to chime in or ask if you may join the conversation. 3. If canapés and drinks are circulating, this can be an excellent icebreaker. Hold your drink in your left hand No one likes to shake a clammy and cold hand. Have some conversation starters prepared It is always best to talk about something current, whether it is the news, sport, or an occurrence at the firm. The best source for this is the firm’s Facebook page. Make a unique impression (in a good way) Leave the person you are speaking to with something that makes you memorable. 1. Develop a personal brand – have something that makes you stand out. 2. Hone your ‘elevator pitch’ – a 30 second to 2-minute spiel about who you are. 3. Use open body language and smile – be friendly and approachable. 4. Be humorous and engaging within the bounds of good taste and professionalism.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Working the room Only conduct a conversation as long as the conversation remains fresh, and do not limit yourself to friends. It is better to leave before the conversation becomes stale. Remember why you are there Most of these events will have an excellent selection of food and alcohol. Be mindful of your manners and don’t over-indulge. Always politely exit a group or conversation Wait for a dip in conversation and excuse yourself. 1. For one on one conversation, try ‘It was lovely meeting you, Person X. I think I will grab another drink. I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening!’ (If the person is by themselves it is always polite to integrate someone else in the conversation before you leave so you don’t alienate the person). 2. In group conversations: ‘Well, it was fantastic meeting you all; I must use the bathroom. I hope to see you all soon!’ Exiting the cocktail evening As you leave, it is always a good idea to thank the HR representative for the evening. Practice! Networking skills can always be improved by attending networking events such as those run by MULS and other student groups.

BUDDY PROGRAMS Some firms offer a ‘buddy program’ to applicants in order to assist and guide them through the process. For the firms that do offer this program, applicants will usually be paired up with a recent graduate or junior lawyer from the firm before the first interview, or between the first and second round interviews. You will usually have the opportunity to meet up with your buddy before and/or after an interview over coffee. It is a good idea to come to these meetings with some questions that you wouldn’t feel comfortable asking in an interview. It is also common for applicants to email back and forth with their buddies with questions and comments. Unless the buddy offers otherwise, it’s generally best to keep the conversations over the phone and email, and not social media. Where you end up with buddies from a few different firms, it is still important to meet up with, or at least contact, all of them, as they will each have unique advice and insights into their own firms.

Offer Etiquette Most firms will make their offers on the same day to ensure that each applicant has a fair chance to decide which firm they would like to work for. If you are lucky enough to be made multiple offers, the best way to make your decision is to: 1. Seek the counsel of HR representatives, friends, or partners at the firms. 2. Consider if the firm’s strengths and practice areas match your interests. 3. Identify any additional benefits of working at a firm, such as any graduate positions or paralegal work offered after the clerkship. It is always courteous to thank the interviewing partner/solicitor via email and call the HR representative at each offering firm, irrespective of whether or not you accept a position at their firm. TIP: If you decline an offer, the HR representative will probably ask why you decided to decline the offer. It is always wise to have a well thought out answer; you don’t want to burn bridges anywhere!

Rejection Etiquette If you are unsuccessful in gaining a clerkship position at a firm, use it as an opportunity to improve on your next application. Consider what you could have done differently to have achieved a different result. Email HR or your particular interviewer, thanking them for their time and asking if they have any feedback on your application. You are more likely to receive a response if you progressed past the written application stage but there’s no harm in reaching out to ask.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Past Clerkship Experiences In this section • MARINA HOUGH - Baker McKenzie • JOSEPHINE FENN - Ashurst • JOE BISSETT - Clayton Utz • DANIELLE LE LARGE - Herbert Smith Freehills • TOM GREEN - Bird & Bird • NINA PRICA - Maddocks • ALEX MOORE - K&L Gates • VRINDA JAIN - King & Wood Mallesons • ELINOR BOWMAN - Gilbert + Tobin • NINA STAMMBACH - Norton Rose • WILL CHAFFEY - Corrs Chambers Westgarth • KATHERINE BEER - MinterEllison • JOHN EDMUNDS - Gilbert + Tobin


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


MARINA HOUGH Baker McKenzie How did you tailor your CV and cover letter to each firm that you applied for? I researched the firms I applied for extensively and found elements that resonated with my interests, skills, and experience. These are large firms so each of them had practice areas or partners that worked on things I found interesting and wanted to learn more about. I found it valuable to look at the focus areas of partners within practice areas that interested me as this described the work they did in more detail. Keep your CV short and only describe the most relevant work experience, but use all your experience in interviews to identify skills that you have. For example, I emphasised my legal and international experience more than my hospitality experience. I focused on the narrative that came through my cover letter; how could the specific skills and interests I have contribute to: • A particular practice area or general line of legal work that they do (a practise area that interests you and/or a partner that does work you would like to get involved in); • to the firm as a whole (eg international transaction specialist/domestic top tier); and • to the culture of that firm (Eg diversity, gender equality, pro bono focus etc). • Make every sentence count, there really isn’t much room on one page.

To manage nerves, I actually practiced my answers out loud which helped me to tie my experience and the firms’ expertise together with fluency. I spent time identifying what I think are my key attributes and incorporated these into my example responses to make sure I felt like my strengths were fairly represented. When answering the interview questions on the spot I didn’t recite any pre-written answer. Having gone over them out loud meant they were fresh in my mind and I could mould the key characteristics and exemplar experiences into my answers. How did you demonstrate your commercial acumen and research firms? I have worked as a paralegal for a barrister and have undertaken secondments to other firms. I also had many part time hospitality jobs before that and had been a receptionist for five years. I used all this to demonstrate commercial acumen and a client centric understanding of business. It’s not necessary to have this experience though. Focus on anything you have done and reiterate that you understand the process of receiving information, identifying key expectations, choosing the best strategy for getting something done efficiently, innovating and problem-solving when you meet roadblocks, and communicating your findings with a clear solutions orientation. Commerciality revolves around identifying and delivering on client needs in an effective way that adds value to their business.

Why did you choose your firm? Baker McKenzie has a globally renowned environmental markets team, a unique practise area, and the global head of climate change is based in Sydney. My CV already represented a lot of my legal and international experience which was more important to emphasise than my hospitality experience. The further I looked into the work that they do, and the people involved, the more I liked the sound of this team. I had focused on related environmental law subjects and university and have focused on extra-curriculars with an international focus which matched very well with this practise area and the firm more generally.

How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? I was careful to focus on the big picture. I found the process of reflecting on all my learning and experience valuable to clarify where I want to go with my career and what skills I have to contribute. This was an important process near the end of my degree and in terms of opportunities I was looking for regardless of the clerkship, so it's not wasted time. Learning to articulate what I wanted and the skills that I could contribute, as well as identifying what workplace values and culture is important to me was important.

How did you prepare for interviews? I went to all the sessions provided by the firms I was most interested in, which I found very valuable to increase familiarisation with their differences and unique elements of each firm as well as getting a feeling for the culture represented by each firm.

I then just made sure I kept up with regular daily practices including exercise and meditation to make sure that I was able to stay clear minded and calm about the process. It is absolutely not the end of the world if you don’t attain a clerkship and having spent this time identifying your key aspirations can identify other pathways to pursue.

I looked up clerkship common questions and took time to think of examples for them. They all revolve around demonstrating similar attributes so having a few good examples ready to go is very helpful. Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide



If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? There are a few things I would do differently. Firstly, I would make sure that I wasn’t making the clerkship my golden-calf (forgive the biblical allusion). The clerkship application season is a seriously tough slog; some students will complete 15 applications over the June-July semester break. The process is incredibly time and emotion intensive, and it has the potential to totally consume your existence. Do not let this happen. Getting a clerkship is great, but it is in no way represents your adequacy as a lawyer, or a person. If you see the clerkship for what it actually is, you’ll be a far better headspace when it comes to inevitable rejection or potential success. Secondly, I would really work on erasing the ‘imposter syndrome’ that I had at the start of my time at Clayton Utz. When you have really impressive friends who don’t get an offer, it’s easy to slip into a feeling of inadequacy amongst your peers in the clerkship cohort. If I were to have my time again, I would try and remind myself that I do belong, and that I have something to offer alongside the firm.

How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? It cannot be overstated how important it is to research firms for clerkship applicants. In the interview stage, some interviewers may directly ask what makes their firm different from the others. If you cannot articulate the ethos and values of the firm or recall any interesting matters they have worked on, it will come across like you aren’t enthusiastic about the opportunity to work there. Go to each firm’s website, look at their areas of expertise and values, and find out what resonates with you. Maybe it’s their extensive Pro Bono work, or their outstanding community engagement? Find something that genuinely impresses you and be ready to talk about it in the interview Also, looking at recent news articles where the firm has been mentioned will also give you a greater understanding of the sort of matters they are involved in. The Firm’s website will also list some of the larger matters their teams have worked on. Did you attend cocktail events? If so, how did you approach them? It depends on what you define as a ‘cocktail event.’ COVID-19 made the clerkship recruitment look very different to most years. The 2020 clerkship recruitment season meant that there were no face-to-face events – I didn’t even step foot in Clayton Utz until the first day of the clerkship! Overall, cocktail events should be approached as an opportunity to learn more about the firm. Do not put pressure on yourself to compete with the other applicants – just be curious and get around anyone you engage with.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? Firm websites were very helpful in gaining an overall picture of the firm and where their expertise lies. There is a lot of information available on firm websites and in the media about major clients and projects that firms have worked on, so I made sure I was familiar with these. I made a point to mention work which the particular firm had done that I found most interesting in my applications/interviews.

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? I wish I had started applications sooner! I thought I had given myself plenty of time, but in the end, I was still overwhelmed by just how long it took to write a tailored cover letter for each firm and put thought into answering the application questions. Firms receive so many applications from brilliant students, so it is important to show your interest in a specific firm to help your cover letter stand out.

How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? The application process was daunting. I realised early on that I had to find a way to remain grounded throughout the challenging interviews, tests, and events. I made sure to maintain confidence in myself and my own value as a person and as a law student, completely separate from any outcomes of the recruitment process. This made it easier to deal with nervousness about rejection.

Why did you choose your firm? I chose Ashurst because of the people. It can seem like a cliché, but it really is an important consideration in making the right choice for yourself. Throughout the application process I felt as though everyone I met from Ashurst was kind, approachable, and genuinely interested in getting to know candidates. I was also really impressed with the knowledge and expertise of the lawyers and partners that I had met and interviewed with, and I knew I wanted to work for and learn from these highly skilled lawyers.

I also chose to limit communication with my peers about the application process. It’s easy to feel inadequate if you compare yourself to others when it comes to WAM, how many interviews/ offers you are getting, which firms you are being contacted by, etc. It was helpful to just focus on my own experience

How did you prepare for interviews? I would research the partners/lawyers I was interviewing with to get an idea of the kind of work they had done and their areas of expertise. It was easy to raise this information in the interview, as most of the time, the partner’s interests aligned with mine (as HR often matches interviewers to a candidate’s expressed areas of interest). I thought about what I might answer to questions I expected might be asked, but I did not pre-prepare answers. I made sure I had a good sleep the night before and that my surroundings were quiet and professional, which was sometimes difficult when interviewing virtually. I did preprepare some questions to ask about the firm as well as about the interviewer’s specific experience, but also made sure that the questions I actually asked flowed with the conversation. During the interviews, I focused on being myself and remaining in the moment.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


TOM GREEN Bird & Bird

Why did you choose your firm? There were a few reasons I chose Bird & Bird. Firstly, I liked that the global firm is large, but the local office is moderately sized (around 120 people). I’ve found this to provide a nice balance, where we work on high profile and complex multi jurisdictional matters, with the opportunity for international career progression, but do so in an down to earth and personable office environment, where everyone knows each other on a first name basis. Secondly, Bird & Bird is renowned as a world leader in sectors that I was eager to work in. For me, these sectors were technology and communications, media entertainment and sport, where it is ranked number one globally. Thirdly, I was conscious that I wanted to build a career with a firm that would grow into the future. I think Bird & Bird’s mission, to be the number one law firm for companies being changed by the digital world, coupled with its deep expertise in burgeoning sectors, positions it well to do so. What was the highlight of your clerkship? There were a lot of things I enjoyed throughout my clerkship. I enjoyed receiving more responsibility than I expected, usually working directly with a partner. One clear standout was during my rotations in the sports team, I attended negotiations between Rugby Australia and Stan/ Nine regarding a rugby broadcast agreement worth more than $100 million. It was a great experience to witness how two highly experienced, passionate and astute parties conducted a negotiation of crucial importance to both. I also thought it was indicative of the inclusive and down to earth culture at Bird & Bird, as the partner in charge invited me to tag along to such an important meeting. How did you prepare for interviews? The key thing for me was to have five or six narratives, arising from the experiences detailed in my CV and cover letter, which I could then mould to different types of questions. I found the best way to practice these responses was with friends. We would go out for dinner or to the pub with our CVs and cover letters and quiz each other on variations of the types of questions we were expecting. Though this was a fun and relaxed setting, I found it super helpful as it gave me confidence and shaped how I answered questions in interviews.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Why pursue a career in commercial law? This is an entirely personal thing that you must take the time to reflect on before embarking on the clerkship process. For me, it came down to wanting to help the people that constitute companies navigate complex issues. In that sense, I wanted to pursue a career in commercial law because it is a career based on personal relationships. I believe the opportunity to be a trusted adviser, guiding people through complex and significant issues, would be highly satisfying, and drew me to a career in commercial law. How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? Stress is best curtailed by preparation. So, I prepared as best as I could. I also found the MULS buddy program really useful in this regard, as it gave me the opportunity to chat through the process with someone who had already been throughout it successfully. I was nervous for my interviews, but I tried to put them in perspective as a chat with a couple other humans, which is something we do every day. If my interview was in the afternoon, I made sure I got out for a bit of exercise in the morning to clear my mind and relax. All in all, I think my management strategy was to control that which I could control, in terms of my preparation and attitude, and accept that the rest was out of my hands.

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? I would RELAX. For all the perfectionist A-type law students with imposter syndrome reading this – stop being hard on yourself. Clerkships are just an internship. Securing a clerkship is absolutely NOT the end of the world. Wherever you want to go in your career, you can get there regardless. Also, I would probably be a bit bolder in asking recruiters whether they can put me in touch with lawyers from specific practice areas. The meetings I did have were valuable in helping me understand the people, culture and types of work in different firms and practice areas. What was the highlight of your clerkship? Apart from the social activities with other clerks, my favourite experience was a matter I worked on in the Intellectual Property Disputes team. The other side alleged copyright infringement and I conducted research on our client’s culpability. The following week, I sat in on the settlement negotiation, where we met with the other side and their lawyers to try to reach an agreement. It was a high stakes matter, with potentially millions of dollars on the line if it proceeded to litigation. I felt SO much adrenaline as we waited for the other side to get back to us about accepting our offers, and likewise, it was exciting to see our solicitor and partner talk with our client about whether or not to accept the other side’s offers. How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? Conveying commercial acumen was something that I was initially nervous about, as there were not many ‘commercial law’ subjects within my degree and I had never worked in a commercial law firm. However, I had developed my commercial awareness in other ways: • furthering my passion for Intellectual Property law by studying an IP unit at Harvard University over the holidays; • working as a consultant in the Macquarie University chapter of 180 Degrees Consulting; • achieving good results in subjects like Property Law and Equity and Trusts; • developing my ability to empathise and understand the needs of clients through my job at Legal Aid NSW; and • participating in a MULS sub-committee, as you need to consider budgeting, community participation, relations with industry partners and sponsors.

DANIELLE LE LARGE Herbert Smith Freehills

Why did you choose your firm? I chose Herbert Smith Freehills because I could envision myself as a future Herbert Smith Freehills lawyer. I ultimately chose Herbert Smith Freehills because of my interactions with the people. Rachel Kok and James Keane, the Graduate Recruitment team, went above and beyond to organise information sessions and link me with lawyers working in areas that interested me. For example, they scheduled a 1-on-1 meeting for me with a lawyer in Intellectual Property Disputes, who talked in-depth with me about the cases she had worked on and what she loved about Herbert Smith Freehills. Every partner, lawyer, graduate and clerk that I met was empathetic, understanding and generous with their time. These people were highly accomplished and fiercely intelligent, yet humble and down-to-earth. I was able to laugh and joke with every person I interacted with, and saw them as people who I would happily spend late nights with working on complex cross-jurisdictional matters. I also felt Herbert Smith Freehills delivered, by far, the best application and interview experience. The questions asked in the written application were reasonable and relevant. There were no stressful psychometric tests that judged your spatial, mathematical or linguistic abilities which are used by some other firms (unnecessarily, in my opinion). I was paired with a graduate buddy who was absolutely lovely, and they met with me before and after interviews to ensure I was ok. I would bounce potential interview questions off them to get feedback, and they would give me tips about the partner’s personalities and specific cases I could mention to help me feel confident. Both my interviews with partners were laid back, filled with laughter and casual conversation. I arrived ready to deliver ‘STAR’ (Situation, Task, Action, Result) answers, but that wasn’t really what they wanted. The partners just wanted to see who I was, and whether I would fit in the team. One partner asked me ‘Looking at your application I can see you’ve been on quite a journey. Tell me about your story’ and I just talked honestly about things I had struggled with and overcome in my life.

When researching firms, a good place to start is looking at specific practice areas and partner profiles on the firm’s website. From there, you can find matters the firm has worked on which you might want to discuss in your applications. The Australian Financial Review is also helpful in this regard. However, I feel the most useful ‘research’ I conducted was talking directly to lawyers working in the Herbert Smith Freehills teams that interested me. Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide



If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? I was very happy with my clerkship experience and how I approached the application process. For that reason I wouldn’t have done anything differently. The key for me was that I prepared really well for the process and so I would emphasise the importance of this. Preparing thoroughly and early reduced the amount of stress I experienced, enhanced the quality of my application and assisted me in crystallising my motivations for applying for a clerkship. My preparation allowed me to present the best version of myself and to get what I wanted out of the process. Why did you choose your firm? I chose K&L Gates for several reasons. I liked the fact that K&L Gates is among market leaders in multiple commercial law practice areas and services clients across an extensive global network. I felt that it could give me high quality exposure to all kinds of commercial law, with both domestic and internationally focused work. The firm also has a strong commitment to innovation which is enticing as I have an interest in entrepreneurship and believe that innovation drives success in today’s world. The other main reason is that all the people I met from K&L Gates were very friendly, down to earth and relatable people. This was particularly important to me as it meant that I could see myself fitting in well with the firm culture and working well alongside the people there. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/extracurriculars? I identified well in advance that the clerkship application process was going to create more deadlines and commitments on top of my ordinary busy schedule. In order to prepare for this, I recorded my whole life on a simple excel spreadsheet which acted as my calendar of deadlines and commitments. By recording clerkship application dates, university assessments, sporting commitments, social and other events on here, I was able to easily see how many commitments I had for any given period. Having all aspects of my life in one central location, rather than across multiple planners, allowed me to manage my time more effectively. This gave me peace of mind and allowed me to plan in advance. What was the highlight of your clerkship? There were so many fantastic parts of my clerkship that it's difficult to choose one. My clerkship was invaluable in that I was able to gain practical experience and make real and genuine contributions whilst learning on the job. For instance, I attended court and barristers’ chambers, sat in on strategy sessions, phone calls and client meetings, prepared legal research, assisted with the completion of a transaction, reviewed agreements and conducted a range of other tasks. In this way, I got both breadth and depth of experience which made my clerkship a very rich source of insight and development.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Some of the other K&L Gates initiatives went above and beyond in trying to invest in the clerk experience. In particular, we participated in a Hackathon where the clerks devised innovative business solutions designed to tackle particular challenges at the firm. This day long exercise was a valuable opportunity to understand the firm better, meet new people and present to a panel of people at the firm. How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? I developed commercial acumen by totalling a variety of exposures and learnings. At university, I chose a broad range of commercial law electives and studied both entrepreneurship and accounting. Outside of university, I read Lawyers Weekly, the business and law sections of major newspapers and kept up to date with news and current affairs. I also find that talking to other people about commercial topics in the context of their profession is a valuable source of informal commercial education as it exposes you to new ideas and perspectives. For instance, if you have friends or family working in other areas of the economy, talking to them and understanding what their role actually entails and unpacking some of the challenges etc gives you an appreciation for those ideas. I also think that it's best to total a variety of experiences and exposures in researching firms. In addition to researching firms through their website, the news and their social media presences, I attended the MULS clerkship fair, various individual firm presentations via zoom and spoke to family, friends and professional contacts. By aggregating multiple sources and perspectives I feel that I developed a much richer picture of law firms than I otherwise may have.


How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? I found the best way to research firms was to talk to people that were either working or had completed clerkships in the past to gauge their impressions and experiences with respective companies. It is also important to read about the firms, their achievements and their specialisations to see where you might enjoy working. In terms of commercial acumen, I found that my work experience was the most useful to me in developing this awareness. But also reading about broader commercial issues helps to see legal problems in a broader sense and not tunnel them into a purely legal context. How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? There will always be a level of nerves and stress that comes with completing the clerkship process, regardless of the outcome. However, it is important to keep in mind that as cliché as it sounds, this is not the be all and end all of your legal career. There are so many pathways into commercial law. It was also crucial for me to continue doing all the things I was doing before clerkships that helped me de-stress and talking to friends and family about the process.

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? One thing that I would change is making sure to only apply to firms that I was genuinely passionate about and that I could imagine myself working in. I spent a lot of time on applications for firms that I know I would not have enjoyed clerking in and this is something that I would not do again. At the beginning of the clerkship, I felt an odd pressure to apply to as many firms as possible, but it is just as important for you to figure out which firm is right for you. Why did you choose your firm? What stood out to me during the interview process and my previous experiences with the firm was the down to earth nature of the people there. Everyone that I spoke with was approachable and had hobbies and interests outside of the law, which I find important. I also really liked that Maddocks wasn’t a large top tier firm. They were very in touch with all of the applicants and I felt like it was a firm that truly cared about their people. I knew that it was a great place for my legal skills to develop because of the exposure I would get to senior lawyers and interesting work. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extra-curriculars? I think preparation is key with the clerkship process. I made sure I was clear with the timeline for applications opening and becoming due, and then I worked around this. There was quite a lot that I could do before applications opened in terms of firm research, preparing my CV and pulling together experiences for cover letters so I made sure I had all this information ready to go prior to applications opening. How did you prepare for interviews? The first step for me was knowing my CV and cover letters for the respective firms thoroughly, as well as any additional questions that I had answered. I would then prepare some dot points of my key achievements and skills from each experience and practice talking about them in a succinct and sharp way. I also prepared for some typical behavioural questions that I was expecting to be asked. I did find though that for most of my interviews, the tone was very conversational, and the interviewers were most interested in talking through my various experiences.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


ELINOR BOWMAN Gilbert + Tobin

Why did you choose your firm? For me, G+T stood out because of the people that I met throughout the clerkship process. I felt as if the people interviewing me genuinely wanted to know more about me and it was more of a conversation rather than the typical interview structure. I also found the people I met had similar values to myself. This, coupled with its focus on innovation and its reputation as a leading corporate and M&A firm, made the decision easy for me. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extra-curriculars? There are many different steps in the application process. From the actual application itself to the psychometric tests, to the multiple rounds of interviews, it can be a lot. I found being organised and starting early helped me fit this all into my schedule. I made sure that I had a word document that detailed what I talked about in interviews so I could refresh my memory, I also kept track of my progress for each firm so that I knew what was coming up and what was due. Most importantly, make time to de-stress and relax. It can be a stressful time and doing things that help you unwind will ensure that you put your best foot forward at your next interview or event. What was the highlight of your clerkship? At G+T we had a legal services innovation project and a pro bono project that we did alongside our rotations which were both highlights for me. For our innovation project, we developed apps to solve common problems that lawyers face within our practice groups. My team built an app that simplified the company incorporation process for the Corporate Advisory group. In our pro bono project, my team produced a report on indigenous self-governance to be used by the pro bono team when advising clients. Both projects were a great way to diversify our skills and an opportunity to learn more about the different initiatives at G+T.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

How did you prepare for interviews? The first step in preparing for interviews is knowing your interviewer. Giving them a quick google, looking them up on LinkedIn and finding out any recent transactions they worked on is a must. I also prepared some answers to possible questions based on my resumé and cover letter. I tried to make these as general as possible to ensure that I could adapt the responses to the different questions I would be asked in the actual interview. From there, I found getting a friend to practice with me was useful. I found that there were more situational questions than technical legal ones, so you can practice with anyone. How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? Resources such as the Australian Financial Review and Lawyers Weekly helped me to develop commerciality. Firms often list the transactions that they have done in the past on their website or LinkedIn. This helped me to see what kind of work the different firms did and learn more about what kind of clients they have. I also found sites such as Legal 500 and Chambers helped me to understand how each firm compared to others within the areas I was interested in. Talking to people from different firms also helped me to learn more and get insights that you can’t get by just reading about firms. Did you attend cocktail events? If so, how did you approach them? Unfortunately, last year we were unable to attend any in-person cocktail events. However, we did have a cocktail event over zoom. I found that the evening is more of an opportunity for you to get to know the firm and make sure that it is the right fit for you. Make sure to have some questions up your sleeve to ask previous clerks, graduates or solicitors to help you figure this out. This is one of your last chances to talk to lawyers or representatives from the firm so just be yourself and try not to stress too much! How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? It can be stressful waiting to hear back from firms. No matter how good your application is, not everyone is going to offer you a clerkship. I found that keeping busy and spending time with friends helped me to de-stress and took my mind off it. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that firms need to be a good fit for you as much as you want to be a good fit for them.

VRINDA JAIN King & Wood Mallesons

Why pursue a career in commercial law? On a day-to-day basis, commercial lawyers are engaged in addressing questions of law that span industries, transcend borders, and concern fundamental areas of business. This multi-jurisdictional complex nature of commercial law (juxtaposing law and business) can be an intellectually stimulating as well as a monetarily rewarding career path. I was able to ascertain that I am drawn to commercial law through my interest in commercial law units during my university studies, my practical experience gained through working in commercial law firms, and my personal interactions with commercial lawyers. To this end, a clerkship can be an excellent opportunity to understand where one’s interests lie. Did you attend cocktail events? If so, how did you approach them? Unfortunately, 2020 was the year of virtual events and interviews, which were considerably different from the typical cocktail events. However, regardless of the format, I would encourage asking questions about the firm and the kind of work its lawyers do. If you demonstrate genuine interest, people pick up on it. How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? To manage nerves for the interview stage, I did practice interviews with friends, family, as well as with the University’s Career and Employment Service. Other than that, I continued doing things that I normally did to de-stress. I found that exercising on the morning of the interview day really helped me manage my nerves.

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? A piece of advice that I wish I had followed from the start is that it is best to run your own race. By this I mean, do not compare yourself to your peers and do not rule yourself out for a certain firm because you do not have a certain WAM, as many extracurriculars, or work experience under your belt. I know it is easier said than done, but stay away from forums and refrain from engaging in detailed discussions with your friends about how your interviews went. One tends to either feel overconfident or disheartened, neither of which are good in the long run for staying in the right mindset. Ultimately, you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else, and that is what makes you unique. So, it is best to focus on yourself and be confident about your achievements and failures. No one expects you to be perfect, just have the willingness to learn and take on challenges! How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extracurriculars? There is no easy answer to this question because it differs from person to person, but try and keep your workload manageable – whether that means taking up less units for the semester, or taking time off from your job, or dropping out of extracurricular commitments. Try and remember that not only is the application process time consuming, but so are the psychometric tests and interviews, and the preparation itself for the interviews. How did you develop your commercial acumen and research firms? For starters, I set up google alerts and followed the firms I was applying to on LinkedIn. This helped me gain a better insight regarding the kind of transactions and matters the firm was engaged in. I would also advise reading the AFR regularly regarding developments in commercial law. Particularly, try and align the articles you read to the practice areas that interest you.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


WILL CHAFFEY Corrs Chambers Westgarth

How did you tailor your CV and cover letter to each firm that you applied for? It’s really important to research the firm you’re applying for and understand what makes them different from all the others. In tailoring my CV, I utilised what I had lewarnt about Corrs from the clerkship fair and the Corrs x Macquarie University clerkship presentation and related this to the practice groups I wanted to work in. These events offered a great insight into what working at Corrs would be like, the strengths of each practice group and, importantly, what the firm’s culture was like. This allowed me to highlight my experience in a way that was relatable to the work that is done by the firm. Why did you choose your firm? I chose Corrs because of the people I met through the clerkship process and the vision of the firm. Everyone is passionate about their work and genuinely interested in the development of junior lawyers. Throughout the clerkship recruitment process, Corrs paired each applicant with a buddy which I found incredibly helpful. In the various Zoom coffees that were hosted throughout the application process, Corrs lawyers were supportive and deeply passionate about the work they were doing. The culture of the firm was a big influence for me – I was drawn to working with lawyers who are friendly, down to earth and driven to produce market-leading legal solutions. I was also drawn to Corrs’ vision to be the leading independent Australian law firm. Corrs advises on significant global transaction and litigious work, while at the same time providing opportunities for lawyers to work on pro bono matters including working at the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic in Newtown and Bondi. The commitment and desire from lawyers of all ranks to do the best work, form genuine relationships with clients and give back to the community was apparent and embodied a culture I wanted to work in. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extracurriculars? It helped me to be organised. There’s a one month window where applications are open, so there is plenty of time to get your application in. I would advise you to start thinking about which firms you want to apply for and why as early as possible, and make sure your CV is up to date. That way you will be prepared to start applying when applications open. Being prepared and having done my research beforehand made the application process so much easier.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? I remembered the interview process is just a conversation! Partners and HR are genuinely interested in who you are, what you like doing and what your interests in law (and out of law) are. It is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the firm and get a greater insight into whether the culture suits what you’re looking for. I used my buddy to learn about their application experience, which gave me peace of mind and helped me to prepare accordingly. Another tip is to do the normal things you do to relax. Whether it’s a walk in the morning, watching Netflix or reading your book – I made sure I had time to relax and not stress about the applications. What was the highlight of your clerkship? My highlight was attending a defamation e-hearing. Watching barristers argue the case and seeing them rely on the research I had assisted with the previous day was really rewarding. The trial gave me the opportunity to get an insight into legal strategy and see how my work formed part of the groundwork that goes on for a successful hearing. It was great to be in such a collaborative environment where clerks like me were working closely across all levels of the firm from law graduates to partners and really cemented the relationships I had formed in my litigation rotation. How did you prepare for interviews? I knew my CV back to front and could comfortably talk about all my experience. I remembered that I had got this far and that I had skills and experience to offer to the firm. The clerkship interview with Corrs is very conversational. Interviewers are interested in getting to know you – your interests and experiences. I talked about my PACE placement in Fiji, my exchange to Canada, my interest in financial services law, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t like and what I wanted to do in the future. The best practice for this is giving your CV to your parents, a friend or a mentor and having them ask you questions. You’ll quickly realise you forgot what you did in a job two years ago and be able to prepare accordingly. Listen to their feedback and go into the interview confident knowing you have prepared.

NINA STAMMBACH Norton Rose Fulbright

How did you tailor your CV and cover letter to each firm that you applied for? I used the same CV for all my applications. That being said, I edited my CV a lot before submitting the first application. Try to get someone else’s opinion (friends or family for example) on your CV, and embrace the iterative editing process. For my cover letters, I used the same thematic structure but tailored the content to each firm. I did my research and used information that resonated with me personally. Remember, you don’t get a big word count, so make sure every sentence is purposeful. Be super specific and provide examples and links to everything. Your cover letter is like a pitch - keep it punchy and compelling. How did you prepare for interviews? I made sure that I was across everything in my cover letter, CV, and academic transcript. I decided on which details I wanted to share about myself, and the substantive reasons for why each firm appealed to me. I drafted a document setting out the key points I wanted to hit, and memorised them accordingly. However, I didn’t go into the interview with a memorised script. It’s really important to speak naturally on the day. I also practised with two friends and took on their constructive feedback. I researched my interviewers and prepared some questions. It sounds obvious, but ask questions that you actually want to know the answer to. Interviewers appreciate questions that aren’t overly generic or timid. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extra-curriculars? I diarised my commitments and had a big to-do list on my wall. I made sure that I understood the expectations, deadlines, and priorities of all commitments, and triaged appropriately. I also tried to be strict with myself in terms of how much time I spent on each application.

Why did you choose your firm? I chose Norton Rose Fulbright (‘NRF’) for three reasons. Firstly, I admired the global strength and reputation of NRF. The firm’s international offering, in and of itself, attracts a certain repertoire of clientele. I want a career that transcends borders, and NRF provides unmatched opportunities and resources to do so. Secondly, I appreciated NRF’s heavy investment in Corporate Social Responsibility. I knew I’d have the benefit of working in commercial law, while still satisfying my passion for social justice and other important causes. Thirdly, NRF stood out from the rest in terms of Diversity and Inclusion (‘D&I’). Their D&I strategies reflect a genuine culture of respect for the individual. It sounds cliche but at the end of the day, NRF felt like the right ‘fit’ for me. Why pursue a career in commercial law? The work and the people! You get to be intellectually curious and work on cutting edge matters across key industry sectors. Blue chip clients want to be on the right side of history, and in commercial law, you can improve their response to the changing shape of the economy. In terms of the people, you have the real privilege of being surrounded by brilliant individuals and leaders. How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? I found the entire application process quite stressful, so I empathise with anyone who finds it daunting. It felt like a bit of a marathon, so I tried to pace myself and keep perspective. Music helped me get into the zone for writing, and running helped me decompress and clear my head. When I was nervous for interviews, I reminded myself that there’s nothing endearing about looking like a deer in the headlights. I tried to zip it all up and fake it til I made it. It’s true that confidence (or at least the appearance of it) is a real tool in your arsenal. Throughout the process, I was a realistic optimist. From the start, I knew it was a highly saturated market and rejection was to be expected. So, when I received rejections, I didn’t let it discourage me or gnaw away at my sense of professional worth.

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JOHN EDMUNDS Gilbert + Tobin

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? Start applications earlier! Do not underestimate the amount of time you will want to, and will, spend on each application. Do plenty of research about each firm you are applying for, and in particular, what makes them stand out in the market. Be prepared to answer the question: ‘why do you want to work here?’ Leading up to and during the clerkship: relax! You have earned your spot in the firm, so try to let go of any imposter syndrome. I can only speak to my experience at G+T, but the first week of the clerkship was jampacked with inductions, training and social events. Everyone will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and truly a part of the team. How did you tailor your CV and cover letter to each firm that you applied for? Look for what that firm advertises as what makes them different. What are they proud of? What kind of firm are they trying to be? Recognition of these points are, I think, what stands out to interviewers. In your application, sell the story of why you belong in that firm, why you are the right fit for their culture and business, and show that you have a genuine interest in their story and are not ‘just another applicant’. How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extracurriculars? I did most of the work on my applications during the mid-year uni break. As I mentioned, do not underestimate how long you will spend on each one. I use the word ‘balance’ loosely because I was practically locked away for a few weeks! It can (and likely will) be a really challenging period. Make sure you’re taking ample time to step back and take breaks, it will likely have a positive impact on the quality of your application. What was the highlight of your clerkship? My entire clerkship at G+T was honestly fantastic – there wasn’t a single low moment. The highlight, if I had to pick one, would be the people I worked with. I was surrounded by people who were genuinely excited to have me in the team. They want to ensure you have an amazing experience and endlessly teach you, challenge you, and show you what it’s like to be a commercial lawyer. I was also lucky to be part of a wonderful cohort of fellow clerks and there were countless team dinners, drinks, sport competitions and activities (think sip-and-paint).


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Why did you choose your firm? If you’re fortunate enough to receive multiple offers, it can be a difficult decision to pick the one that’s right for you. Gilbert + Tobin really stood out for me, with criteria I hereby coin the three Cs: Culture: G+T is Australia’s youngest top-tier firm, and it shows. G+T takes every idea you have about stuffy old law firms and throws them out the window. There is no sense of the traditional law firm hierarchy – you are part of one team and are a truly valued member, at every level. Corporate citizenship: The firm is vehemently committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, which was a really big factor for me. At G+T you are given the opportunity to get involved with pro bono work at every stage of your career, even during your clerkship and as a paralegal. Career: G+T is a relatively small firm for the calibre of work that we do. The firm boasts a low employee / partner ratio, which means there are opportunities to work alongside partners and clients from the get-go (even during your clerkship!). In some other top-tier firms, it is unheard of for a graduate lawyer to work directly with a partner. The leverage ratio means there are endless opportunities to excel and challenge yourself, with all the support and training to get you there. How did you prepare for interviews? I wrote out a long list of potential questions and talking points (in case of a conversation lull), read up on each firm; and did the classic LinkedIn, AFR, and publication searches on my interviewers. The one thing that I did not do that I definitely should have is re-read my application… as stupid as it sounds, it can be easy to forget some of those choice adjectives you used to sell yourself – have a story/anecdote to back everything up! How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? The clerkship application process is incredibly daunting – at the time, it seems like your whole career is riding on the success of your application, and the thought of rejection (at least for myself) is horrifying. Try to remember that this isn’t the be-all and end-all and, if you aren’t fortunate enough to receive an offer, there are other avenues to a career in commercial law. It can be so easy to doubt yourself and your application – remember how hard you have worked to get to where you are now, and put that in your application; let your personality shine through your CV and to your interviewers; and choose a firm which will support you, challenge you, and excite you.


How did you balance the application process with other commitments, such as studies, work/ extra-curriculars? While the process can be daunting, it is spread out. The applications, interviews and events are spread across a few months which allows you to balance all of your other commitments. It is important to prioritise applications, but this doesn’t need to come at the expense of your other commitments. I also found the application process itself was the busiest part, and a large part of that was able to be done in the uni break. What was the highlight of your clerkship? The highlight of my clerkship was my clerk cohort. The clerkship is a very fun and social experience. You meet lots of like-minded individuals and get to know them really well. Of course, the work and rotations are also fantastic. You get a taste of 2-3 different practice areas and meet some lovely (and brilliant) people. How did you prepare for interviews? I took interviews as a way to express to my interviewers why I wanted to work at the firm and why I would be a good fit. In order to prepare, I tried to predict what my interviewers would want to know about their applicants and prepare as many examples of my experiences that I could. Also, interviews are a great time for you to ask any questions you may have!

If you could re-do your clerkship experience, from applications to the clerkship itself, what would you do differently? I wouldn’t change anything about the clerkship experience itself. However, if I could re-do the applications process, I would start researching firms earlier. Each of the firms that offer clerkships are different and unique to one another, both in speciality and culture. It is really important to understand these differences at the start of the process to make sure you find the best firm for you. How did you tailor your CV and cover letter to each firm that you applied for? My CV was similar for all the firms I applied to but I found it really important for the cover letters to be unique. I wrote a unique cover letter for each firm I applied to. I found that this was an easier way to truly explain why I wanted to work at a particular firm. A cover letter is the place where you can highlight why you want to work at that firm and why you think you would be a good fit. I would recommend writing unique cover letters rather than tailoring them and changing minor details. Why did you choose your firm? I chose MinterEllison because it is an industry leading firm. Their culture and expertise were what attracted me to the firm. Their values also align closely to my own. MinterEllison were fantastic in making sure the clerkship process was clear and they outlined what they were looking for in their applicants well. Information sessions were also great in providing information about not just accomplishments of the firm, but the culture and what it is like to be part of the team.

How did you manage stress/ nerves during the application process? Stress and nerves are a natural part of the process. I found that doing my research, preparing and being myself was the best way to manage stress. It is always good to prepare and be confident in why you would be an asset to the firm you want to work at. I would also recommend being organised and not leaving applications to the last minute.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


The Firms

In this section • Participating Firms • Firm Profiles


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Participating Firms The following information was gathered by the Editor and may be subject to change prior to the clerkship period. Candidates are encouraged to double check the information themselves and no guarantees are made regarding the accuracy of the information below.

ALLEN & OVERY Level 25, 85 Castlereagh Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Kate McDonald - Senior HR Manager Submit applications online via: https://www.allenovery. com/en-gb/global/careers/australia/students-andgraduates ALLENS Level 28, Deutsche Bank Place, 126 Phillip Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Lauren Kay (Graduate Resourcing Consultant) Submit applications online via: https://graduates.allens. ASHURST Level 11, 5 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Joanne Dean - HR Consultant (Graduate Programs) Submit applications online via: https://www.ashurst. com/en/careers/students-and-graduates/australia/clerkships-and-graduate-scheme/what-you-need-to-know/ BAKER McKENZIE Tower One - International Towers Sydney, 100 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000 Angelique Holden - Talent Management Consultant Submit applications online via: BIRD & BIRD Level 22, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Kristy Peacock-Smith - Employment & Summer Clerkship Partner Claire Arnold - HR Manager 02 9226 9888 Submit applications online via: https://www.twobirds. com/en/careers/graduates/australia/summer-clerkships

CLAYTON UTZ Level 15, 1 Bligh Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Christina Birds - Graduate Resourcing Consultant Submit applications online via: https://graduates. CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH Level 17, 8 Chifley, 8-12 Chifley Square SYDNEY NSW 2000 Kimberly Howe - People and Performance Consultant Submit applications online via: DLA PIPER AUSTRALIA Level 22, No.1 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Stacy Hasler HR Manager Submit applications online via: GILBERT + TOBIN Level 35, Tower 2 - International Towers Sydney 200 Barangaroo Avenue Barangaroo NSW 2000 Kristy Barton - Graduate Resourcing Consultant Submit applications online via: au/working-with-gt/law-students/clerkships-sydney/ HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS Level 27 & 34, ANZ Tower 161 Castlereagh Street SYDNEY NSW 200 Rachel Kok - Graduate Recruitment Adviser Submit applications online via:

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


The following information was gathered by the Editor and may be subject to change prior to the clerkship period. Candidates are encouraged to double check the information themselves and no guarantees are made regarding the accuracy of the information below.

HWL EBSWORTH Level 14, Australia Square 264-278 George Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Nicolette Peters - HR Advisor Sara Williams - HR Advisor Submit applications online via: JONES DAY Level 41, Aurora Place, 88 Phillip Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Catherine Davies All applications are to be submitted via our on the Jones Day website: K&L GATES Level 31, 1 O’Connell Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Lisa Filetti - Senior Manager, HR Submit applications online via: job-opportunities#LangCode=en-US KING & WOOD MALLESONS Level 61, Governor Phillip Tower, 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Audrey Burn - People & Development Advisor Submit applications online via: en/graduates-australia/being-a-clerk MADDOCKS Level 27, Angel Place, 123 Pitt Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Samuel Jurd - People & Culture Advisor People & Culture Advisor Submit applications online via: https://www.maddocks.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

MILLS OAKLEY Level 7, 151 Clarence Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Evelyn Paneras - HR Advisor Submit applications online via: https://www.millsoakley. MINTER ELLISON Governor Macquarie Tower Level 40, 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Eleni Carkagis - Graduate Resourcing Consultant Submit applications online via: https://graduates. NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT Level 5, 60 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Jimmy Taylor - National Clerkship & Graduate Programs Senior Advisor Kaitlin Taylor - HR Coordinator Submit applications online via: https:// opportunities/summer-clerk-programme/ PwC Tower One - International Towers Sydney, 100 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000 Sarah Cullen - Talent Acquisition Manager Submit applications online via: au/careers/students/legal-clerkship.html THOMSON GEER 60 Martin Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Karolina Lisowski - People and Development Manager Submit applications online via: au/tglaw/main.cfm?srxksl=1

BORN GLOBAL At Baker McKenzie we are different in the way we think, work and behave. Like no other law firm, we were born global. Baker McKenzie has been thinking globally in Australia for more than 50 years. In 2014, we opened our Brisbane office making our Australian practice the fourth largest in our network of 76 offices with more than 80 Partners and 220 lawyers across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. In Australia, we act for leading multinational and domestic companies on market leading local and global transactions. Founded in 1949, Baker McKenzie is one of the world’s largest law firms by markets, revenue and headcount. We offer our clients and lawyers the uncompromising commitment to excellence expected of a leading firm and a distinctive way of thinking, working and behaving as a passionately global and genuinely collaborative firm. We understand the challenges of the global economy because we have been a global law firm from the start.

Our Clerkship Program

Right from the start, our Clerks get involved in real work. You will be exposed to our Australian and international clients through client meetings, shadowing, research and other everyday activities within your assigned practice group. Our Clerks work closely with other lawyers, are guided by a Supervising Partner and enjoy the extra support of an experienced Associate “Buddy”. You will develop practical and legal skills through our national learning program and by attending workshops specifically designed for Clerks, as well as Firm-wide sessions. In Sydney, the Summer Clerkship Program runs from late November to early February each year during which Clerks complete two practice group rotations. Clerks who accept a Graduate role with Baker McKenzie are eligible to apply for an International Clerkship, with the opportunity to work in one of our overseas offices in the year following their Clerkship.

Our Graduate Program

Over the course of the program, Graduates gain experience in different areas of law before they join a particular practice group as an Associate. You will be supervised by a senior lawyer and an Associate “Buddy” in each rotation to oversee your on-the-job and formal learning.

Develop globally

At Baker McKenzie, we have a deep commitment to development. We work with each Graduate to create a tailored development plan and career goals. To help you reach your goals, we provide targeted learning opportunities — from seminars on core legal topics to practical skills development in areas such as communication, drafting and presenting. We work hard to facilitate on-the-job learning and the many ways it happens — through informal mentoring relationships, client secondments, involving Graduates in global teams working on international deals and in managing their own files for our award-winning Pro Bono Program. We also bring Graduates from our Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane offices together to help our people foster networks across the Firm, and support professional development by covering the costs of Practical Legal Training and your admission.

Our regional practice group structure means many of our lawyers attend regional training in our Asia Pacific offices. Once Graduates complete their Graduate Program, they will attend a regional orientation program with other mid-level Associates from the Asia Pacific region. The Firm also offers opportunities for lawyers at varying stages of their careers to work directly for clients or with our other offices globally.

What does the Firm look for?

Baker McKenzie looks for people who genuinely want to work with us and who understand Baker McKenzie's unique offering, values and position in the market. We look for well-rounded, motivated individuals who share our global perspective; who are intellectually curious and have sound academics; who display business acumen and are practical in their approach; who enjoy a challenge and seek new opportunities; who take responsibility and use their initiative; who act with integrity and honesty in all of their dealings, decisions and actions; who express themselves confidently while staying open to new ideas; who strive to provide excellent service to their clients; who seek a friendly, diverse, and inclusive culture; and who take seriously our role in making a difference to our local and global communities.

Thrive in a culture of inclusion

Quality and excellence along with team work, integrity and responsiveness are central in delivering outstanding service to our clients, as you would expect in a top tier law firm. The values that make us a unique and great place to work are deeply embedded and you will notice our difference in all of your interactions with us, in Australia and across the globe. We are passionately global, and leverage our global expertise for our clients. We strive to stay ahead of the curve and encourage entrepreneurship.

We actively encourage and support contribution to the community, through our pro bono and community service programs. We want everyone at Baker McKenzie to reach their potential so we invest in global, regional and local world-class development and mobility programs for our people. Our award-winning diversity strategy, initiatives and programs are focused in six areas: BakerWomen – gender equality and supporting the progression of women BakerDNA – ethnic, indigenous and cultural diversity BakerBalance – supporting carers and parents, and workplace flexibility BakerPride – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex diversity BakerIndigenousEngagement – commitment to engagement with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community BakerWellbeing – commitment to mental health and wellbeing.

How to apply

Applications for Clerkships can be submitted via Applications should include a cover letter, as well as details of your work experience, your extra-curricular activities and interests, and your academic results. Applications for Clerkships open at 9.00am on 8 June 2021 and close at 11.59 pm on 4 July 2021. Angelique Holden Talent Management Consultant +61 2 8922 5596

We have a strong culture of friendship and collaborative working style. We are commercial pragmatists who simplify issues for clients.

Our key areas of practice     

Banking & Finance Capital Markets Commercial Real Estate Construction Dispute Resolution

 Employment  Energy, Resources and Infrastructure  Environmental Markets

 Financial Services & Structured Transactions  Insolvency  Intellectual Property  Media

   

Mergers & Acquisitions Private Equity Tax Technology & Communications

Macquarie University Law Society

Baker & McKenzie, an Australian Partnership, Clerkship Guide is a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International.


& Clerkships A clerkship with Bird & Bird is just the start of your exciting legal journey with one of the world's best international law firms. Find out where a clerkship with Bird & Bird can take you.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Staying true to your direction is what defines Clayton Utz. We’ve built a culture that’s unlike any other law firm, but don’t just take our word for it. A good lawyer needs compelling evidence so meet our people and judge for yourself.

Academic brilliance certainly counts, but graduates who thrive here have something extra – a natural passion for connecting with people and a strong sense of self. That’s what staying true is all about. If you have these qualities, Clayton Utz is for you.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide



Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide




Our goal is simple. We want to create the future leaders of the firm. That means giving you the skills you need to become a successful lawyer, but also the experiences to discover where your true interests lie. Find out more at


WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR? The G+T clerkship experience is open to students in their penultimate year of study, as well as final year for our Sydney office. We’re not a prescriptive firm when it comes to our people; we invite individuality and diversity. We also hold ambition, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in high regard. Our people are collaborative, passionate and dedicated – but most of all they enjoy what they do and never forget to have fun. We seek clerks and graduates who will complement our practice groups and don’t feel the need to take themselves too seriously.

WHAT WILL YOU EXPERIENCE? Depending on your location, you’ll complete two, four-week rotations across the firm’s practice areas in summer, or a seasonal clerkship over a number of weeks in winter or summer. All clerks are assigned a supervising partner, mentor and buddy to assist with on-the-job training for each rotation - an immediate support network to help smooth the transition from university and assist with your professional development. While your main focus will be corporate work, everyone has the opportunity to assist on pro bono matters, innovation projects and participate in firm-wide activities.


WE’RE BIG ON BOLD Standing up for what you believe in and standing out in the crowd. Having the confidence to take risks and the courage to say no. Trusting in the tradition of embracing innovation. Being adventurous, spirited and unexpected. At Gilbert + Tobin, we believe in being bold.

During the clerkship you’ll take part in our customised in-house training, and cover topics such as research, analysis, drafting, developing technical skills, interpersonal effectiveness, teamwork, business development and client orientation. As you progress through your rotations you’ll develop invaluable skills and knowledge and gain first-hand experience of our various practice groups. Understanding the mechanics of legal practice through research, drafting memos, attending court and meeting clients will all help to build your confidence. And we’ll encourage you to contribute ideas and your own fresh perspective.

GRADUATE PROGRAM Our summer clerk program is the primary pathway for graduates at G+T, however we also invite interest from graduating students who may have clerked elsewhere or taken up other opportunities in their penultimate or final year of studies. Keep an eye on our website for active graduate vacancies.





8 June

14 July


28 June

1 August


28 June

15 August


Clerk + Graduate Program Manager

+61 2 9263 4575 |


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

BE BOLD BE PART OF THE ACTION Gilbert + Tobin is a leading transactions, regulatory and disputes law firm, committed to outstanding citizenship. We guide our clients through defining moments in their business and are renowned for our ability to get things done.

We employ a diverse mix of talented and ambitious people who are attracted to the firm because of its entrepreneurial spirit, creative approach and capacity for change. These are the reasons we enjoy a reputation as the most successful corporate law firm to emerge in Australia in many years. We advise many of Australia’s and the world’s leading organisations and focus on the most dynamic sectors. Our clients and projects span Australia, Asia and emerging African markets. Located in the heart of the CBD, the partners and lawyers in our Sydney office include some of Australia’s leading practitioners in: + Banking + Infrastructure

+ Disputes + Investigations

+ Competition + Regulation

+ Pro Bono

+ Corporate Advisory

+ Real Estate + Projects

+ Energy + Resources

+ Technology + Digital

+ Intellectual Property If you want to challenge your thinking and stretch your abilities, this is the firm for you. There has never been a better time to be a part of our story and enjoy the stimulating challenge of working with Australia’s most innovative corporate law firm.

Find out more at


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


ARE YOU READY TO BE BOLD? There’s never been a better time to be part of Gilbert + Tobin. From day one, our flat structure allows you to take ownership of challenging work and cutting-edge projects. Work directly with partners and team leaders – nobody is too important to take time to explain things clearly, or give a helping hand. Our open and welcoming culture underpins our continued success in Australian corporate law. Through our pro bono practice, we are actively making a difference, every single day. If you’re comfortable being challenged, as well as challenging us on the way we think and operate – you’ll fit right in. We’re not worried about you being you. We’re counting on it.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

360° THINKING ABOUT US With over 25 offices spanning Asia, Europe, Australasia, and the Middle east, we can show you exactly what a world class commercial law firm has to offer, giving you the chance to work as part of an international team, on high-profile matters, for some of the most significant organisations in the market. Our focus is on the future: the future needs of existing and new clients, the future of the legal profession and investing in our future lawyers. That’s why we aim to attract the best talent from a broad range of backgrounds, ensuring we are optimising our position as a progressive, forward thinking professional services business. At Herbert Smith Freehills, you’ll be given the opportunity to develop the skills you need to help solve our clients’ most complex challenges in thoughtful and innovative ways.


Great lawyers are both curious and creative. We encourage you to challenge assumptions and open yourself up to new ideas. It’s this growth mindset that creates opportunities for you and your clients. So, what exactly are we looking for? There’s no single path to becoming an exceptional commercial lawyer. We look beyond your academic record and your technical aptitude. We’re focussed on finding people who have the curiosity to explore all the angles and the empathy to place themselves in their client’s shoes. Building great relationships takes a certain understanding and as our global village gets ever smaller, we look for graduates who think of themselves as citizens of the world. In line with our 10 Actions for Change we are proud to use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System (CRS). The CRS allows us to understand


We're looking for those who see things differently, the kind of people who bring new ideas and create innovative opportunities for our clients.

each applicant’s achievements in the context that they have been gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper – and we want to recruit the best people, from every background.


We select many of our graduates through our vacation clerkships. During this immersive experience, you’ll receive hands-on practical experience, actively contributing, as you work on some of the diverse challenges facing the team you’re collaborating with. You will gain a deeper understanding of life at the firm and what your future could look like if you join us. Some key features include the opportunity to: • Sit within a specific team, delivering real work for key clients • Before you join, submit a preference for a team to tailor your experience • Navigate the first step of your career with partner and graduate mentoring support • Attend workshops and presentations covering all our practice areas • Contribute to our pro bono practice


We offer a range of summer and winter clerkships across our Australian offices. If you have queries about graduate or vacation clerk positions, please visit our website: careers.herbertsmithfreehills. com/au/grads/vacation-clerkships or contact one of our graduate recruitment consultants.


30 - 35

Clerkship programs

1 Summer

Applications for all 2021/22 programs open

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Applications for all 2021/22 programs close

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Offers made

Thursday 16 September 2021

Please note: An application should only be submitted to the office where you intend to start your career as a graduate. Multiple applications will not be considered.

• Work with cutting edge technology through our innovation projects • Networking opportunities to meet people across the firm

Contacts Rachel Kok Graduate Recruitment Adviser T +61 2 9225 5054

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021 NOF186936_A4_Advertorial_SYDNEY /260321

DISCOVER Looking for a law firm that really is different? Where you can be empowered to DISCOVER quality work and clients, DEVELOP through opportunities to learn more while growing your career, and THRIVE in a diverse and inclusive culture? Then join our global community of talented visionaries. To learn more about how you can discover, develop, and thrive in a dynamic global law firm, visit

THE K&L GATES EXPERIENCE. K&L Gates LLP. Global counsel across five continents. Learn more at


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Life holds endless opportunities for those who dare to grow

As an elite international law firm headquartered in Asia, we are reshaping the legal market by challenging our people and our clients to think differently about what a law firm can be today, tomorrow and beyond. We thrive on exceeding the expectations of our clients, and as such the world’s leading organisations turn to us to unlock their biggest opportunities and deliver clever solutions to their most vexing challenges. Where others see limitations, we see possibility. With ambitious thinking and innovation in our DNA, we partner with our clients to bring to life pioneering solutions which will help them to adapt, reinvent and grow. We believe innovation comes from giving our people room to grow, and as such actively encourage input and ideas from all levels of the firm. Our people are encouraged to shape their own career path, supported at every step of the way, with world-class training, coaching and hands-on experience. There is no ‘one size fits all’ career model, and we offer multiple opportunities for our lawyers to gain experience and thrive.

KEY STATISTICS • #1 ranked law firm in Australia and China* • Top 15 global elite brand** • 28 international offices; • One of the largest international legal networks in the Asia region with 500+ partners and more than 2000 lawyers; • Our clients range from a mix of global financial and corporate powerhouses through to new industry-makers and all levels of government • With an unmatched ability to practise Chinese, Hong Kong, Australian, English, US and a significant range of European laws under one integrated legal brand, we are connecting Asia to the world, and the world to Asia. *Source: Chambers and Partners 2020 **Source: 2020 Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index GLOBAL REACH The King & Wood Mallesons network extends across the following regions: • Asia Pacific (Australia, Mainland China including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore) • Europe • Middle East • North America

OUR PROGRAMS SEASONAL CLERKSHIP PROGRAM Applications open: 8 June 2021 Applications close: 14 July 2021 How to apply: Via our online application system at We offer clerkships to give you a clear picture of what it’s like to be a lawyer at King & Wood Mallesons. You’ll get to know our people, the way we like to work, our culture, practice areas, clients and more. During your clerkship, you’ll learn: • The day-to-day skills to get you started – taking instructions, meeting with clients, drafting memos and documents, managing your practice and professional relationships.

Your role Clerks usually work in one or two different practice groups, depending on the length of the clerkship. You’ll be allocated a supervisor in each of your practice groups and you’ll work closely with the partners, senior associates and solicitors in that team. It’s a hands-on role, so you won’t just be watching from the sidelines. GRADUATE PROGRAM We offer a unique future-focused training experience and invest heavily in development to support you to fulfil your potential. You will benefit from a bespoke comprehensive learning and development program tailored specifically for our graduates. As a graduate you will take part in graduate technology bootcamps. These bootcamps will provide you with exposure to the many different types of emerging legal technologies, which are available at our firm. These skills will help prepare you for the future and ensure that we continue to evolve to meet our clients’ changing needs. We also offer a Practical Legal Training (PLT) course with the College of Law to our Australian Law graduates, ensuring that you meet the requirements for admission to legal practice. The program also promotes and supports the mobility of our staff across our offices by giving you the opportunity to apply to go on exchange in one of our interstate or overseas offices. Through this, you can access a greater choice and variety of destinations and on-the-job experience. VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE PROGRAM Wherever you are in the world you can now experience what it is really like to be a lawyer at KWM with our Australian-first legal virtual work experience program (VEP). The platform features two programs – ‘Intro to Law’ and ‘Advanced Law’ – which each include five learning modules curated by KWM based on real life firm matters and activities. Through this program you can build real skills and the confidence to excel in a commercial law career before you even step into one of our offices.

• The core practice teams at King & Wood Mallesons – who they are, what they do, how they’re structured, the clients they work for, and of course, your role within them. • Our culture – working within your team, you’ll be exposed to (and encouraged) to get actively involved in the many activities and events that help create our unique culture. • Our people – you’ll find that people from every part of the business will help you by sharing their knowledge and ensuring you have everything you need to succeed.

KELLIE MILDRED People & Development Advisor (Graduates) +61 2 9296 3592

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


What Does Innovation Mean For Lawyers Today? At KWM, we view innovation through the lens of “change that makes a positive impact”. I often view there being two aspects to innovation – the micro and the macro. The micro changes are the little things here and there that add up to make your life easier and help you get out of the office in time to get to the beach after work. Then there are the macro changes that involve the introduction of new technology and processes which directly affect the way we do our work, and lead to improved client outcomes. Both aspects are equally important. Some recent examples of legal technologies that have brought about positive changes at KWM include: • automated processes to generate high-volume, pro-forma documents; • an online platform to allow clients and lawyers to track the progress of conditions precedent for a deal so that they do not need to continually ask for updates; • a program to coordinate verification of disclosure documents so the different parties can work across one document rather than several versions; • artificial intelligence (AI) to review a suite of contracts to identify common provisions; and • AI to assist in document review processes, reducing the number of documents reviewed in person by approximately 80%.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

As a result of implementing the above, I have found it is easier to maintain work/life balance and focus on more interesting work streams instead of spending time on version control and document management, and have spent less time on document reviews that used to take months (a huge result!). At KWM this ultimately means that lawyers are happier, more stimulated and engaged at work and we are also able to deliver greater value for our clients. While some law students and graduates worry about AI taking over the role of junior lawyers and that we should all fear the rise of AI, I think the opposite is true. It is something to be embraced. AI does not replace the role of junior lawyers, it assists junior lawyers and makes them more efficient, which frees them up to spend more time on more intricate legal problems. This is one reason why the upskilling of graduate and junior lawyers, particularly in relation to legal technology, is so important at KWM. With this in mind, KWM has comprehensively reimagined what graduate training looks like. Alongside the usual graduate induction training, there is now a focus on upskilling graduates with specific legal technology training relevant to their practice groups. This training is designed to ensure KWM graduates develop deeper understandings of legal technology. This training is repeated in each practice group that graduates rotate through, so that by the end of the graduate program, KWM graduates have developed a broad understanding of the technologies and can think laterally about how certain legal technologies can be applied in a different way in a different practice group. The new approach to graduate training was informed by feedback from an innovation ‘sprint’ to tackle the design challenge of: How might we design a legal technology training experience to enable

graduates to thrive in their teams and build productivity enabled practice skills. I was involved in the sprint from the dispute resolution perspective, which involved travelling to a number of KWM offices to conduct a series of interviews with colleagues across my practice group to map the key technologies applied now in each practice team and understand the motivations and blockers to adoption. The sprint culminated in a design workshop utilising a number of innovation tools and techniques to design our practice specific bootcamps.

“KWM has comprehensively reimagined what graduate training looks like.” Alongside this training to develop technical ability among KWM graduates, is a cultural shift that ensures KWM graduates and junior lawyers feel comfortable to suggest new ways of utilising technology and promoting changes that make positive impacts. Coupled with the removal of billable hour targets for graduates, KWM graduates are encouraged to pursue their curiosity and develop their confidence to explore different ways of utilising technology to deliver changes that have a positive impact, for themselves, the firm and our clients. Patrick Mackenzie is a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution (General Commercial) and Restructuring and Insolvency practice groups in King & Wood Mallesons’ Perth office, and one of KWM’s Innovation Guides.

Clerkship Profile


SUMMER CLERK KING & WOOD MALLESONS SUMMER CLERK INTAKE: 2020/21 AREAS OF ROTATION: Banking & Finance (Debt Capital Markets) and Tax UNIVERSITY: Macquarie University DEGREE: Juris Doctor THE APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW PROCESS: The unconventional application and interview process at King & Wood Mallesons provided an opportunity for me to get to know the firm better. Rather than behavioural or situational questions, the interviews were an open conversation focused on getting to know me, and my interests outside of work and studying. Despite the recruitment process being entirely virtual, the events allowed me to familiarise myself with the work the firm does, its practice areas, partners and lawyers, and freely ask questions regarding the work and life at KWM. THE WORK: As a clerk, you can expect to do a variety of work that will keep you engaged and challenge you at every stage. Moreover, clerks can leverage the firm’s seamless global network and leading position in the Asian subcontinent to gain several professional and personal development opportunities from the firm’s best-in-practice professionals.

What particularly stood out for me was that my seniors always took the time to provide an overview of the transaction or matter and explained the significance of the task I was doing, which helped me understand how I was contributing and made me feel valued. THE CULTURE: Teamwork and inclusivity are hallmarks of the firm’s culture. As a clerk, you are made to feel part of the team since day-one and are encouraged to ask questions. During my clerkship, I found everyone around to be friendly, down-to-earth and approachable, which made me feel very comfortable and supported. THE SUPPORT: At the beginning of each rotation, I was provided with a brief overview of the fundamental knowledge required for my role as a clerk in the team. Although I had an allocated buddy, development coach and supervising partner in each rotation who were committed to providing me with the support that I needed, the culture at KWM is such that you can ask anyone around for help. Apart from the legal support, we had comprehensive trainings as part of our induction with support staff, and regular interactions with HR representatives, who were equally happy to help and support us throughout our clerkship. PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY: Pro bono and community work are a priority at KWM, and clerks are actively encouraged to get involved in the opportunities available. These cover a range of legal and non-legal issues across different practice areas. During my tax rotation, I had the opportunity to advise an organisation on its charitable status. I found the experience to be very rewarding, and hope to be able to do more pro bono and community work in the future at KWM. THE SOCIAL LIFE: A central focus of the clerkship was ensuring that we had a good balance between work and play.

There are several opportunities for clerks to engage in inter-firm sporting activities and attend social events that the firm organises. During my clerkship, the firm organised indoor activities (given COVID19 restrictions) like a games afternoon in our first week (with trivia and minute to win it-esque challenges), and a paint and sip afternoon in our last week. The clerk cohort frequently met up for drinks, lunches and organised a karaoke night. WHY I CHOSE KING & WOOD MALLESONS: I chose KWM because of the culture, support and my personal experience during the recruitment process and the clerkship. The respect for flexibility, investment in building subject-matter expertise through trainings, and inclusive policies that offer law graduates exposure to clients at an early stage of their career were also key factors in my decision to choose KWM. MY CLERKSHIP VS. MY EXPECTATIONS: The clerkship far exceeded my expectations. I was always provided with interesting work that one would not expect to do as a clerk, like drafting legal opinions and preparing legal advice. The partners and lawyers went out of their way to provide me with a thorough understanding of the transaction or matter I was working on, were always available to answer questions and provided comprehensive feedback in a helpful and constructive manner. WHO WOULD I RECOMMEND A KWM CLERKSHIP TO: I would recommend a clerkship at KWM to anyone who is not afraid of taking on responsibilities and is interested in doing challenging legal work that crosses borders and spans industries. My rotations allowed me to gain a comprehensive understanding of the practice areas, consider whether I am suited to life at a big law firm, and explore the kind of work I would be interested in pursuing as a future lawyer at the firm.

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Your career begins on

Day One

From Day One you will have challenging, meaningful work, gain exposure to clients, be given a good level of responsibility, work in a supportive and collaborative team and have regular access to our partners. The training you receive throughout your clerkship will ensure you are thoroughly prepared and ready to get involved in and contribute to client work straight away. The program begins with a comprehensive orientation which includes training and development activities. Join our clerkship program and become part of a firm where you’re involved from Day One.

Scan this QR code to find out what it’s like to work at Maddocks.


Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Where you are supported to think differently, grow and develop your career. Real responsibilities. Real relationships. Sooner.

At McCullough Robertson, our Clerkship Program offers law students in their penultimate year a summer program from November to February each year. McCullough Robertson is an independent Australian law firm with more than 400 staff spread across five offices. Operating for over 93 years, we have a range of legal services on offer for clients comprising major Australian and foreign owned corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. We offer ‘Real responsibilities. Real relationships. Sooner.’ and are looking for law students who value a growth pathway – starting with our Clerkship Program and moving towards securing a place in our Graduate Program.

Clerkship applications open on Tuesday 8 June 2021 and close on Wednesday 14 July 2021.

We are renowned for challenging our clerks and graduates early in their career to pursue both personal and professional development opportunities.

Our Clerkship Program - what’s in it for you?

To apply, please visit our website: For any inquiries, please contact:

Induction – our Clerkship Program offers you support through a sophisticated learning and development framework, complementing hands on work experience gained. Our blended learning approach provides access to our Success Academy as well as dedicated subject matter experts to better understand the law and our clients.

Nicole Watson HR Consultant

Rotations – you are offered an opportunity to rotate across several practice groups, strengthening your practical understanding and broadening your experience of the law. Across these rotations you will learn from the best, working closely with our partners on complex and high profile matters. Diversity and Inclusion – through our dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Committee, we provide an inclusive working environment allowing our people to bring their whole selves to work. Embedding our four diversity pillars; Gender, Family and Flexibility, Cultural Diversity and LGBTI in everything we do.

Danielle Miller HR Coordinator

Community – our people have the opportunity to give back and facilitate positive social change through pro bono volunteer work, sponsorship, funding and donations. We have a long history of partnering with the community to provide them with our talent, our time and our resources to make a difference by creating lasting change. Future career opportunities – students completing our Clerkship Program will be considered for ongoing casual opportunities and of course our 18 month Graduate Program. Our Graduates are fully supported as they undertake PLT and throughout the admission process.

Start your legal career with us. What made you accept an offer with McCullough Robertson?

What are your top tips for the Summer Clerkship recruitment process and during the program?

Personally, the firm stood out to me for a number of reasons. I found that during the interview process, everyone I spoke to was very experienced, down to earth and approachable. This was particularly important for me because I wanted to work at a firm where I could develop my skills and learn in a supportive environment – fortunately that is exactly what I have found at McCullough Robertson. I was also drawn to the firm due to the emphasis on workplace equality – as a young female with strong ambitions in law, this is particularly important to me.

My top tip is to gain an understanding of the firms you are applying to by networking with individuals who work there and to prioritise your time wisely (the applications and interview process can be quite time consuming). Regarding success during the clerkship, I think it is really important to be open and to be yourself. The clerkship process will expose you to incredibly smart and experienced people so get involved and make the most of it!

I was most surprised by the amount of support I was given throughout the Clerkship Program. In all of my rotations, I found that the lawyers (and partners) were willing to set aside time to understand my interests, provide me with work based on this and also to give me general advice/tips for my personal career trajectory. In turn, this has provided me with a better understanding of the areas of law I would like to practice in, which I am very grateful for!


Tara Taylor

Summer Clerk, Sydney (2020/2021)

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide


Your future. Your choice. Choose to make an impact. Never underestimate the power in you to make an impact MinterEllison clerks and graduates become well-rounded, technically excellent lawyers who help to solve some of our clients’ most complex challenges. But we also empower you to be so much more.

Joining us is just the beginning You’ll gain exposure to a wide variety of business areas, skills, teams and challenges, helping you to understand where your strengths and interests lie. You’ll be given exciting and challenging opportunities and responsibilities, because we want you to be more than just a technically excellent lawyer. We want you to create lasting impacts. Joining us for your clerkship is only the beginning. You’ll accelerate your legal and business acumen by working alongside highperforming partners, lawyers and professionals in a diverse, collaborative and innovative environment. You’ll have access to an awardwinning learning and development program, and we will provide you with career building opportunities designed to guide you on your best career path.

It’s your path Our program ensures you have the development you need, when you need it. It’s this flexibility that provides our graduates with many opportunities to learn on the job, while being constantly supported by lawyers and partners who want you to succeed. By the end of your graduate rotations, you’ll have an extensive network within and outside of the firm. You’ll have experienced transaction, litigation and advisory work and you’ll be supported when deciding where to settle.

“The biggest impact I want to have as a lawyer is working with our clients to deliver a solution that not only meets their goals now, but also creates long-term, meaningful impacts for the future.” Emily Hill Lawyer For information and to apply visit

MinterEllison Virtual Internship Want to experience a true-to-life day of a MinterEllison lawyer? Our interactive virtual internship offers you an insight into the commercial work we undertake here at MinterEllison. Curious?

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide

Nina is a change navigator When you’re playing futsal, you attune to a pace that’s fast. Fast and critical thinking as part of a team comes naturally to Nina. Currently on our graduate program, she’s putting her speed of thought to good use on secondment, walking – or running – in the shoes of our client. We’re providing the next generation of lawyers like Nina with the knowledge, skills and understanding to help our clients achieve their goals on the global stage – always staying one step ahead of the competition. We don’t simply adapt to change. We thrive on it. Law around the world

Macquarie University Law Society Clerkship Guide