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careers guide 2011 Editors Anita Das & Frankie Barbour

Design Frankie Barbour

Enquiries Melbourne University Law Students’ Society c/o Law School, The University of Melbourne Tel: (03) 8344 6179 Fax: (03) 8344 6179


All careers related enquiries in 2011 should be directed to Heidi Edwards and Nick Laurie, Careers Directors 2011 at

Premier sponsors

Please note

Printed by

Arnold Bloch Leibler Baker & McKenzie Clayton Utz College of Law Corrs Chambers Westgarth Freehills

Supporting sponsors Allens Arthur Robinson Deutsche Bank Herbert Geer KPMG Mallesons Stephen Jaques Maurice Blackburn Sparke Helmore SPP Legal and Medical List

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Editors or the Melbourne University Law Students’ Society. All information in this publication is correct as of March 2011 to the best of our knowledge, but may change without notice. Any names, application dates and other information should be checked with the relevant source. This information is merely advisory and should not be relied upon as professional advice. This publication is distributed free of charge on the understanding that the authors, editors, and any persons related to this publication are not responsible for the results of any actions or omissions made on the basis of any information provided in this publication.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

contents Careers Directors’ Editorial Dean’s Welcome

4 5

Admission to Legal Practice Admission to Legal Practice LIV Traineeship Guidelines Melbourne Law School Careers Office What to do if you don’t get a Traineeship Practical Legal Training The Seasonal Clerkship Process - FAQ

7 10 14 16 19 20

Application Process Guide to Preparing your CV and Cover Letter Interview Tips Using cvMail

22 26 30

Legal Perspectives So you want to become a Barrister? Office of the Public Advocate Judicial Associateships A Career in Alternative Dispute Resolution Victoria Law Foundation: Making a Difference Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Working at the Victorian Law Reform Commission Attorney-General’s Department Working at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Beyond the Billable Hour Working with Reprieve Australia

34 35 36 38 40 42 44 45 46 48 50

Practice Groups Human Rights Law Working in Administrative Law Life as a junior lawyer at Mallesons in  Banking & Finance Taxation Law Practice at a Large Law Firm Commercial Real Estate at Baker & McKenzie Competition Law Construction and Infrastructure at Corrs Corporate/M&A Employment Law at Baker & McKenzie Family & Relationship Law Insolvency Practice in a Large Law Firm Intellectual Property Law


53 54 55 55 57 59 60 62 64 66 67 69 71

Mergers & Acquisitions Major Projects (Class Actions) Medical Negligence Law Life as a Graduate in Planning & Environment at Freehills Private Equity Law Working in the area of Road Accident Injuries Taxation Information Technology Law Capital Markets

74 76 78 79 80 81 82 83 84

Victorian Legal Practices Directory


Non-Legal Perspectives Deutsche Bank Boston Consulting Group Bain & Company KPMG

136 137 139 140

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

careers directors’ editorial Anita Das and Frankie Barbour Careers Directors 2010

You’re starting your law degree, partway through or about to finish. With the mix of JDs and LLBs now at Melbourne Law School, you might have had a career already or might be embarking on one for the first time. No matter your situation, work after graduation is sure to have crossed your mind at some point. We have all been there at some point; the choices can seem overwhelming and the mountainous path to them insurmountable. Particularly for first years, the range of law firms, the unfamiliar areas of practice, the sheer numbers of applicants for jobs can seem daunting. This is where we come in! The Melbourne University Law Students’ Society Careers Guide 2011 will, we hope, go some way to uncovering the world of legal practice and help students see that not only is there a path for them - whatever it may be - but getting there is not nearly as daunting as first assumed. Armed with the knowledge of your opportunities contained in this book, you are well on your way to finding your place. We have broken down the Guide into parts more-or-less analogous to your application process: • • • • • •

Admissions to legal practice Application process Different legal perspectives Practice groups in law firms A directory of Victorian legal practices Non-legal perspectives

We hope you will use the Guide not just as a means of contacting firms you already know about and flicking through some practice areas, but to read up on the other opportunities out there both in the corporate and non-corporate sectors - we have articles on government, reform bodies, community legal centres and more.


If you need assistance with figuring out what path to take, you’re lucky enough to have many resources at your fingertips - the 2011 LSS Careers Directors Heidi Edwards and Nick Laurie are available for advice, as well as the Careers Office located on the mezzanine level. Furthermore, you’ll see advertisements throughout the year for careers fairs, lectures and seminars, where you can hear people from a wide range of areas talking about their experiences or chat one-on-one about your plans. Keep an eye on and the Careers Office website for opportunities. Please read and enjoy the Guide - scribble on it, highlight it, notate it, as it’s meant to be used to help you in planning and implementing your future career path. We hope it takes you somewhere interesting, enlightening and fulfilling.

dean’s welcome Carolyn Evans Dean Harrison Moore Professor of Law

I am delighted to write an introduction for this Guide.

School, in order to give you the best possible chance to achieve your career.

At Melbourne Law School, we strive to provide you with an education that will open a wide range of career doors. The Melbourne University Law Students’ Society’s Careers Guide 2011 will provide you with some very useful advice as you decide on the career path that you are most interested in taking. The Guide provides useful information regarding the opportunities that are on offer to you while you are a student, and once you have completed your degree.

The Guide is a very useful starting point for information and a reference that you are sure to come back to as you make your decisions. I also encourage you to seek advice from the Melbourne Law School Careers Office, which provides an excellent service to students thinking about careers after Law School. I congratulate the editors on this useful work and I encourage you all to make the most of the information that it contains.

The Guide provides you with useful information about such topics as admission and application advice and it also helpfully includes directories which list prospective law firm employers. It also carries information about non-legal career opportunities. Some of you will be sure about precise the type of career that you are looking for and can simply use the Guide to obtain the relevant information about it. Others among you might be interested in reading through it to allow you to consider your full range of options before you decide on your next step after Law School. The Guide is enriched by stories of graduates who have found success in their careers. It is helpful to remember that the subjects of these stories were once students themselves like you, coming to grips with their career options. Their stories illustrate what can be achieved. You will find in the Guide many ideas to contemplate. I encourage you to make the most of the advice given – it will help you to realize your career aspirations. I hope also that it will allow you to take full advantage of what is available to you as a student of Melbourne Law

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

beginning your legal career divider

admission to admission to legal practice legal practice


admission to legal practice Anna Alexander Young Lawyers Section Manager Law Institute of Victoria

The Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2008 (the rules) came into effect on 1 July 2008. These rules replace articles of clerkship with supervised workplace training (SWT) and make changes to the process of admission to practice. Under the new rules, anyone who has completed an approved training course and obtained a Bachelor of Laws and wishes to be admitted to practice needs to complete either: • •

12 months of supervised workplace training (SWT/traineeship); or a practical legal training (PLT) course.

Supervised workplace training (traineeships) Supervised workplace training (traineeship) consists of: • • • • •

minimum 12-month duration; predominantly practical training at the firm (“on the job training’); paid employment by the firm; Completion of 10 subjects (“competencies”); and some compulsory external training.

Law graduates may complete a 12-month traineeship with a legal firm or office, working under the supervision of a practitioner but at the same time must complete training in the competency standards for entry level lawyers (see Schedule 3 of the rules) developed by the Law Admissions Consultative Committee and the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council.

Requirements upon commencing a traineeship In the past, articled clerks have been caught out by assuming that the onus rests on the firm to tell them what needs to be lodged with the Board of Examiners and when it should be lodged. The firm may be able to assist but the responsibility rests with the trainee to ensure that all their documents are in order. The oldfashioned requirement to lodge documents in person with the board still exists, and it is imperative that a trainee is familiar with the content and significance of those documents in case the board has any questions. The Board of Examiners is very helpful when it comes to the admission process and trainees are encouraged to seek its advice and assistance at any time. For further information go to http:// Once a graduate commences their traineeship, they should contact the university where they obtained their degree, and arrange for an academic transcript to be sent direct to the board office by registered mail. This transcript should confirm that the graduate has completed the Bachelor of Laws. Trainees who have not completed the Bachelor of Laws are advised to wait until their final results have been released prior to commencing their traineeship. Only an academic transcript noting that the trainee has satisfactorily completed the degree will be accepted. Under Rule 3.13 of the rules, the trainee must produce the following documents to the board within one month of commencing a traineeship: (a) the executed training plan in the form set out in Schedule 15;

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

(b) an affidavit verifying the training plan in the form set out in Schedule 4 of the rules – signed by the supervisor and undertaking that the trainee has and will continue to complete their traineeship under the direction of the supervisor. (c) an academic transcript showing that the trainee has obtained the academic qualification required under rule 2.01; (d) an affidavit verifying the supervisor’s eligibility to be a supervisor; and (e) any other information required under the rules or that the board may generally require trainees to provide. Except for the graduate’s academic transcript, the remaining documents must be lodged in person at the office of the board by each applicant. Applicants from regional Victoria are encouraged to call the board and request approval to submit their documents by post.

understanding and competence in each of the compulsory “skills”, “practice areas” and “values”. Trainees are also expected to complete training in two optional practice areas. At the point of admission, each applicant for admission is required to provide evidence to the Board of Examiners , as specified in the rules, that the applicant has achieved the requisite competence in each element of the skills, practice areas and values. At the end of the 12-month traineeship, each trainee is expected to be competent in the skills, practice areas and values as well as two optional practice areas. The competency standard to be obtained is detailed in Schedule 3 of the rules and is broken down into a series of elements with relevant performance criteria.

Competency standards for entry-level lawyers

The majority of the training required can be completed either in-house with their workplace (on the job), externally with an accredited practical legal training (PLT) provider, or through a combination of both.

During their 12-month traineeship, law graduates must acquire appropriate

Satisfactory completion of a performance criteria in the course of the trainee’s file

Compulsory skills, practice areas and values: SKILLS



Lawyers’ Skills Problem-Solving Work Management & Business Skills Trust & Office Accounting

Civil Litigation Practice Commercial & Corporate Practice Property Law Practice

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Optional practice areas: CLUSTER ONE:


One of:

And one of:

Administrative Law Practice Criminal Law Practice Family Law Practice

Consumer Law Practice Employment & Industrial Relations Practice

Planning & Environmental Law Practice Wills and Estates Practice

work is sufficient to demonstrate appropriate competence in and knowledge of that criteria, thereby satisfying Rule 3.09. Wherever possible, a trainee should demonstrate competence in performance criteria through completion of client file work – formal assesment of internal training is not required.

Training provided by the approved PLT providers complies with the relevant competency standards for entry level lawyers as set out in the rules.

The rules provide that ethics and professional responsibility practice area must be completed through a course of instruction and program of assessment conducted by a PLT provider.

Students may negotiate with a firm to be sponsored to complete a PLT course rather than their traineeship and are therefore not required to prepare a training plan.

In addition, each element of lawyers’ skills and the risk management element of work management and business skills must be completed through a PLT provider, but may be conducted internally if the employer has sought prior approval of the board (see Rule 3.09(1)(d) (iv) and Schedule 3).

New admission requirements

A request for approval should be in the form of an affidavit and include a documented and structured training course covering each relevant performance criteria. The Board must be contacted for further information about this requirement. If no prior approval is sought, these elements must be conducted through external training.

In addition, all applicants seeking admission to legal practice are now required to provide the following to the Board of Examiners: • a police record check; and • an academic conduct report from their university and PLT provider, if a PLT course has been completed.

Where a trainee has completed training through an external training provider, a document certifying the trainee’s satisfactory completion of the training module should be retained.

Practical legal training

1. 2.

The College of Law; and The Leo Cussen Institute.

Graduates are encouraged to read the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2008 carefully and familiarise themselves with the admission requirements and the documents required to be completed for the board.

Frequently asked questions The LIV website has an extensive list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to the new admission rules. Firms and trainees are encouraged to read these FAQs at first instance as they may well answer your initial questions.

Practical legal training (PLT): • • •

must be completed with an approved PLT provider; can be completed in under six months; consists mainly of course work (either online or on-site at the education facility), with a combination of practical work experience completed at a firm; and is paid for by the student

For further information, FAQs, a copy of the new rules and a sample training plan, go to the LIV website at

• The following organisations are currently approved PLT providers:

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011


LIV Traineeship Guidelines 1 2 3




As any offer made under these guidelines relates to a graduate traineeship commencing in 2012, it is open to students who have already completed their law degree or students who will commence their final semester in 2011. Except as provided in paragraphs three, four, seven, eight and nine law firms will not interview applicants or make offers or arrangements concerning interviews before Monday, 22 August 2011.

7 8

Except as provided in paragraphs seven, eight and nine, law firms will not make offers or arrangements concerning traineeships before 9.00am, Eastern Standard Time on Monday, 19 September 2011. Graduate traineeships can be deferred in circumstances agreed between the student and the firm for a further one year period if a student requests a deferral of the traineeship. An offer of traineeship will remain open for a period of not less than twenty-four (24) hours from the time the offer was made or until 11am the following business day for offers made prior to 11am. Firms should make this known to students at the time of making offers in accordance with paragraph five.

As an exception to the principles set out above, law firms may make ‘priority offers’ of traineeships on the date set out in paragraph nine, to the following students: (a) students who within the previous two years preceding the date of making the offer referred to in paragraph nine, have substantially completed vacation clerkships of at least two weeks’ duration with the offering firm, either in Victoria or at one of the firm’s interstate or international offices;

An applicant, who due to ‘genuine necessity’ will be unable to attend an interview during the interview period, should apply to the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) for permission to be interviewed at an earlier date. ‘Genuine necessity’ is defined as the need to be outside of Victoria during the interview period, for the purpose of postgraduate study, work experience or other purpose deemed reasonable by the LIV. Applications should be made to the LIV in writing and include appropriate supporting documentation. Written permission is to be granted at the sole discretion of the LIV. Interstate law students who commence formal semester classes on or before Monday, 22 August 2011 may be interviewed by individual arrangement prior to that date in the year in which it is anticipated the student will commence his or her final semester provided that no offers or arrangements concerning traineeships are made other than in accordance with paragraph five.

Law firms who have entered sponsorship arrangements with disadvantaged students, such as those employed under the Indigenous Cadetship Program, are exempt from complying with these guidelines in relation to those students.

(b) students who during the previous two years and for a minimum period of 30 working days, have performed paralegal work for the offering firm, either in Victoria or at one of the firm’s interstate or international offices; (c) students who completed a clerkship with the offering firm in winter 2009.


The ‘priority offers’ made under paragraph eight can be made between 9.00am on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 and 12.00pm on Friday, 12 August 2011 and must remain open until the earlier of acceptance/rejection in accordance with paragraph 9(a) or 5:30pm on Friday, 12 August 2011. (a) An applicant will not hold more than two ‘priority offers’ for longer than a 24 hour period.

10 11 12

Firms intending to make priority offers are not permitted to interview applicants or to make offers or arrangements concerning traineeships prior to making a priority offer. A firm may withdraw from the guidelines by giving (30) days written notice of its intention to the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV), the law faculties and law student societies at all Victorian law schools. The LIV will maintain an up to date list of all signatory firms which will be publically available on the LIV website. UpdaTed 26 may 2010

young lawyerS C re aT e o p p o r T u n I T I e s

Signatories LIV TraIneeshIp and seasonaL CLerkshIp GuIdeLInes 2010 Firm


TraineeShip guidelineS

SeaSonal ClerkShip guidelineS

Allens Arthur Robinson

530 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Anderson Rice

Level 10, 555 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Arnold Bloch Leibler

333 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Baker & McKenzie

Level 19, CBW 181 William St, MELBOURNE 3000



Best Hooper

563 Little Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



BJT Legal

38 Lydiard Street South, BALLARAT 3350



Blake Dawson

Level 26, 181 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Boothby & Boothby

883 Dandenong Road, CAULFIELD EAST 3145



Cary van Rompaey

486 Neerim Road, MURRUMBEENA 3163



Choy Lawyers

5/410 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Clarendon Lawyers

Level 17 Rialto North Tower, 525 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Clarke Barwood Lawyers

61-65 Gellibrand Street, COLAC 3250



Clayton Utz

333 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Clements Hutchins & Co

324 – 328 Little Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Costanzo Lawyers

PO Box 1078, LALOR 3075



Dawes & Vary

147 Fenaughty Street, KYABRAM 3620



Davis Lawyers

15/200 Queen Street, MELBOURNE 3000



DLA Phillips Fox

140 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Eales & Mackenzie

5/95 Queen Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Eugenie Mitrakis & Co

246 Albert Road, SOUTH MELBOURNE 3205




101 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Frenkel Partners

Level 18, 500 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Galbally & O’Bryan

259 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Gullaci & Gullaci

158 Bell Street, COBURG 3058



Hall & Wilcox

Level 30, 600 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Level 6, 50 Market Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Harris Lieberman Boyd

7 Thomas Mitchell Drive, WODONGA 3690



Hayes & Associates

352 Nepean Highway, FRANKSTON 3199



power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoC

SignaTorieS LIV TraIneeshIp and seasonaL CLerkshIp GuIdeLInes 2010



TraineeShip guidelineS

SeaSonal ClerkShip guidelineS

Herbert Geer

Level 21, 385 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Hicks Oakley Chessell Williams

Level 2, Building 1, The Central, 1 Ricketts Road, MOUNT WAVERLEY 3149



Hogg & Reid

Level 7, 555 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Holding Redlich

350 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Holt & McDonald

1 Ringwood Street, RINGWOOD 3134



HWL Ebsworth

Level 21, 570 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Hunt & Hunt

Level 26, 360 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Kenna Teasdale Lawyers

Level 4, 114 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Kevin Davine & Sons

52 Albert Street, MOE 3825



Lander & Rogers

Level 12 Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Legal Branch

Level 2, 1 Treasury Place, MELBOURNE 3000



Logie-Smith Lanyon

13/575 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Mackinnon Jacobs Horton & Irving

Level 10, 330 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Macpherson & Kelley

40-42 Scott Street, DANDENONG 3175



Maddens Lawyers

1A Liebig Street, WARRNAMBOOL 3280




Level 7, 140 Williams Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Mallesons Stephen Jacques

Level 50, 600 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Martin Irwin Richards

61-63 Deakin Avenue, MILDURA 3500



Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

456 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3001




Level 25, 525 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Minter Ellison

525 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Mitrakas Savas & Co

Level 1, 883 High Street, ARMADALE 3143



Nevile & Co

11/100 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Nevin Lenne & Gross

57 Clyde Street, MYRTLEFORD 3737



Norris Coates

Level 10, 99 William Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Norton Gledhill

Level 23, 459 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Norton Rose

RACV Tower, Level 24, 485 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Nunan & Bloom

343 Little Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Office of Public Prosecutions

565 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Pointon Partners

2/640 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Robert Wood & Associates

17 Chandler Road, BORONIA 3155



Robinson Gill

701 Station Street, BOX HILL 3128



Russell Kennedy

12/469 LaTrobe Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Ryan Carlisle Thomas

41 Robinson Street, DANDENONG 3175




100 Paisley Street, FOOTSCRAY 3011



Septimus Jones & Lee

Level 1, 85-87 Charles Street, KEW 3101



Sharrock Pitman Legal

Suite 2, 40 Montclair Avenue, GLEN WAVERLEY 3150



Slater & Gordon

533 Little Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoC

SignaTorieS LIV TraIneeshIp and seasonaL CLerkshIp GuIdeLInes 2010



TraineeShip guidelineS

SeaSonal ClerkShip guidelineS

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Level 40, 600 Bourke Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Sullivan Braham

104 Raymond Street, SALE 3805



Tanya Circovic & Associates

35/101 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Thomson Playford Cutlers

Level 39, Rialto South Tower, 525 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Transport Accident Commission

Level 3, 60 Brougham Street, GEELONG 3220




Level 9, 469 La Trobe Street, MELBOURNE 3000



V G Peters & Co

98 Liebig Street, WARRNAMBOOL 3280



Victoria Legal Aid

350 Queen Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Victorian Government Solicitor’s

121 Exhibition Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Vincent Verduci & Associates

44 Byron Street, FOOTSCRAY 3011



Wainwright Ryan Eid

530 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000



Wisewould Mahony

8/419 Collins Street, MELBOURNE 3000



power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoCIaTIon eduCaTIon and professIonaL deVeLopmenT power of assoC

melbourne law school careers office Angela Edwards, Manager

The Melbourne Law School Careers Office is a unique service for our students and is the most well established law school careers service in Australia. The office is tailored specifically to the needs of Law students and, since its inception in 2005, has grown to now employ five members of staff. We are all legally qualified, studying law or have substantial experience working in the legal environment. Three of us also have qualifications in careers education.

What does the Careers Office offer? Individual career consultations – students can book in to see a consultant. We actively assist you to draft effective CVs and cover letters, offer mock interviews and help you with your career decisions generally. Career Pathways seminars – where we invite in speakers to educate students on the myriad of options available to law graduates, both practising and non-practising, in the private, public and community sectors, in business and overseas. Preparing for Work seminars – guest speakers come to the Law School to teach students how to prepare a first class job application, reach your potential during interview, network effectively, provide market updates and use different job seeking strategies. Employer visits – these events are specifically for you to meet with firms’ representatives and discuss career and recruitment opportunities with them. A number of these firms are from overseas and interview students right here at the Law School.


Career fairs – we organise the annual Public Interest Law Fair and Hong Kong Law Fair. These are valuable opportunities for you to meet directly with organisations and firms to discuss a variety of volunteer, graduate, trainee and internship positions directly related to your area of interest. Mentor program – launched in 2009, the mentor program gives first year Juris Doctor students the opportunity to develop a relationship with a successful member of the profession and by gaining an insight into their working life, it will help you to develop your own career goals. Our mentors’ backgrounds and interests are diverse in line with the varied options available to law graduates. Internship program – also launched in 2009, this program enhances Melbourne Law School students’ “beyond the classroom” experience and prepares you for work. A growing number of partnerships have been arranged across the private, public and community sectors - across many specialisations. Guest Lecture Series – Melbourne Law School is committed to giving our students access to the best and brightest legal minds, ensuring you are in touch with cutting edge legal issues. Our high profile visitors cover a huge range of current law and legal practice issues. Law School careers website – includes a jobs noticeboard which advertises seasonal clerkships, traineeships, internships, part-time and voluntary opportunities Three faculty advisers – these are members of academic staff specifically chosen by the Dean to advise you on international careers, academic careers and working as a judge’s associate.

...self-awareness during your law degree can help you to narrow down the areas that might interest you for a career. This in turn will help you identify what you need from your degree and will aid you in selecting subjects, developing relevant skills and work experience that will support your career aims...

Weekly careers e-bulletin – reminding students of upcoming careers events and informing you about exciting new jobs listed on the website.

The Careers Office’s programs outlined above have been designed around these broad areas to help you achieve your goal.

Working out what you want to do after law school can be a difficult process. A law degree opens up a huge array of opportunities, but you still need to work out what you want to do and what is important to you. Is status very important to you? A high salary? Making a difference to individuals? Standing up in court? Working on high profile transactions? Having lots of responsibility from the outset? Fighting on behalf of the underdog? Having lots of client contact? Working in a team or alone?

The Careers Office also has a resource area with information about practical legal training courses, firms and other career options as well as publications such as Young Lawyers Journal, Lawyer 2B, Lawyers Weekly and the Australian Financial Review. Feel free to come in and browse!

Some self-awareness during your law degree can help you to narrow down the areas that might interest you for a career. This in turn will help you identify what you need from your degree and will aid you in selecting subjects, developing relevant skills and work experience that will support your career aims.

The Careers Office is located on the Mezzanine Level.

There are many things you can do while at law school which will help you get the job you want.

Bookings for individual consultations may be made via Careers Online. Simply logon to Careers Online using your regular University of Melbourne username and password (

• • • • • • • • •

Research and learn about the profession generally Self-awareness - think about what is important to you in your working life Research the variety of careers within and outside the legal profession Be aware of the skills that you will need to develop to be a great candidate Network Develop a first class CV and cover letter Prepare for interviews Gain as much legal and professional work experience as you can Understand the seasonal clerkship and Supervised Workplace Training application process

I encourage you to utilise the services of the Melbourne Law School Careers Office to maximise your career opportunities.

Contact details are: Phone: 03 8344 8094 Email:

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

what to do if you don’t get a traineeship Amy Harrington, Manager Valerie Wong, Careers Consultant Careers Office As you would be aware, getting a Traineeship is a very competitive process and unfortunately not all students will be successful. While this is extremely disappointing for many students it is not the end of the world and it does not mean that you cannot have a successful and fulfilling career in the legal profession.

accredited. The courses differ in structure and delivery mode but all achieve the same end result – admission to practice. Moreover, these courses are so well regarded, that these days many of the top tier firms are effectively outsourcing the training of their graduates to the above mentioned providers.

Although the majority of traineeships are offered at firms that are signatories to the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Guidelines, it is important to realise that these are not the only firms which offer them.

You could also explore the possibility of sourcing and negotiating your own arrangements for employment in a law firm, company in-house legal department or within government. This may take many forms, for example, you may initially work as a paralegal or graduate. Once you have your foot in the door and have proven yourself to be flexible and willing, you may be able to persuade the organisation to fund (or part-fund) your PLT. Once you are admitted you may have the opportunity to move onto work as first year solicitor with them.

Another path to securing a Traineeship is to apply to a smaller firm, either in the city, suburbs or a rural environment. Often these firms are not signatories to the LIV Guidelines and will therefore advertise their Traineeships at different times. It is also possible to contact these firms directly and enquire if the firm is offering any Traineeships. These firms have a lot to offer a graduate and the experience at a small firm can be very hands-on and immediate, with greater client contact in the earlier stages of your career. The thing to bear in mind is that the legal profession is a mobile profession and there is opportunity to change firms throughout your career. If you start at a small firm you do not need to remain there for ever – if your wish is to work at a large firm you can still achieve that dream. Like any profession, if you can identify where you want to go, develop the required skills, work effectively and network, you can make the transition. Another well-known option is to complete a Practical Legal Training (PLT) course. There are a number of providers – ANU Legal Workshop, College of Law, Leo Cussen Institute and Centre for Legal Studies, University of Tasmania. All of these institutes are well-established and


If you don’t want to do a PLT course and have not secured a Traineeship at a smaller firm you may consider taking a ‘year off’ and applying the following year. If you choose this path, it is advisable that you make strategic employment decisions during your year off and do work that will improve your skills and legal work experience (whether voluntary or paid) so that you are a significantly different and improved candidate when you apply the next year. You may also consider doing a Melbourne Law Masters to upgrade your qualifications during that year. Some students do go straight to the Bar (via a PLT course). While it is generally accepted that it is advantageous to work as a lawyer for a few years before going to the Bar, this is not a mandatory requirement. The main reason behind this convention is to develop networks any profession, if you can identify where you want to go, develop the required skills, work effectively and network, you can make the transition.

and contacts amongst the solicitors who will brief you as a barrister. If, however, you feel that you have a wide net of contacts and are good at networking, it may not be necessary to have the experience in private practice and a move directly to the Bar could be for you.

Bookings for individual consultations may be made via Careers Online. Simply logon to Careers Online using your regular University of Melbourne username and password (

Of course there are a myriad of career options for law graduates apart from practising law. The skills that you have developed throughout your studies are highly sought after in many sectors. You may find this is an opportunity to explore other career options. Many government departments seek law graduates, as do investment banks, management consultancies and corporations. There are also many allied career paths such as legal recruitment, human resources in a law firm, law librarian and legal academic, to name a few. If you do not get offered a Traineeship and are faced with the dilemma of what to do next, remember that there are many options and you have to find the path that best suits you. Taking the initiative to network with individuals will increase your chances of finding out more about particular careers, organisation and opportunities available. For example, join the Law Institute of Victoria and attend some of their events as well as the Career Pathways and Preparing for Work seminars run by the Careers Office. The Careers Office has a range of resources to help you explore various careers paths and offers one-on-one career consultations to help you work through the options and develop a plan of action to achieve your goal.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

know your career direction Our Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice assists you to make the transition from law graduate to practising lawyer and offers you: w multiple course start dates throughout the year w part-time options to suit work needs w flexible online learning platform w cost effective training that can be completed in just 30 weeks w meets all required competencies w FREE online legal job board to advertise work experience or graduate positions Supervised Workplace Training courses also available Find out how you can benefit: Ph: 1300 856 111 or visit

practical legal training the college of law

The College of Law offers the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice as an approved program of practical legal training (PLT) in preparation for admission as an Australian lawyer. The Program enables direct admission in a number of Australian jurisdictions and offers students a choice of streams, study modes and locations. Learning in the College environment is different from learning substantive law in an academic environment. It involves practical content and interactive learning with supervision and feedback from experienced mentors.

What this means for you: • • • • •

• •

a real life practically-based program lecturers with extensive professional experience in a range of practice areas contact with graduates from a range of backgrounds professional affiliations, legal contacts and networking opportunities online learning using custom-built technology combined with lecturer interaction and feedback flexible access for regional students or those with work\life commitments in-house programs in association with participating law firms

Postgraduate programs at The College of Law The College now offers you the opportunity to further develop your skills in particular practice areas with our Applied Law Programs. These programs have an emphasis on practical learning and mentoring and are conducted primarily online, with some face-to-face components. Choose from: Master of Applied Law (Commercial Litigation) Master of Applied Law (Family Law) Graduate Diploma of In-house Legal Practice For more information about any of our programs contact: Student Services Call 1300 856 111 Email Or visit

Students can take advantage of multiple start dates, full and part-time options. An online legal jobs board is also available on our website for work experience and graduate positions. “I’ve really enjoyed the course and I’ve found the practical side at the College more fun than the theoretical side at Uni. Doing the College and some work experience at the same time has been really beneficial.” Part-time online student

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

the seasonal clerkship process - faq As a first year (or even later!), the frequently trodden seasonal clerkship - grad position lawyer path can be befuddling. It isn’t in any way mandatory, but if you are considering legal practice, it can be worth going through the process to at least begin your career, especially since the priority offer system can make it a bit more difficult to get a graduate job in the bigger firms without having first completed the seasonal clerkshp process. There are many different firms with different sizes, histories, cultures, attitudes to pro bono work and more. It is also possible to gain graduate positions in the public service and in legal aid, but there are far fewer positions available than at commercial firms. What is a seasonal clerkship? A three or four-week stint at a law firm, generally undertaken in your penultimate (second-last) year. Most firms sign up to the LIV Guidelines, which can be found on page 10. These outline the date and time on which offers can be made and the rules for acceptance; generally, •

• •

you apply around the middle of your penultimate year (or earlier, though not many firms accept non-penultimate students), then undertake interviews offers are made on 10 October 2011 two clerkships can be undertaken in the December/January period, and another in the next university holiday in June/July

Having completed a seasonal clerkship at a firm may make you eligible to receive a priority offer for a graduate position at the firm. You can also apply to seasonal clerkships in other states, which will have different rules to those in Victoria.


What is a traineeship or graduate position? A graduate job at a firm where in addition to working as a (very junior, unofficial) lawyer, you undertake the work needed to be admitted as a lawyer of that state - that is, your Practical Legal Training (PLT) or Supervised Workplace Training (SWT). More information on this can be found in the Guide.

What kind of law firms are there? Law firms are often divided into ‘boutique’ (very small, often specialised firms), ‘mid-tier’ and ‘top-tier’ firms. Top-tiers are generally the biggest by people and revenue and all are ‘fullservice’ firms - that is, catering for more-or-less all the commercial needs of companies. The top-tiers (in no particular order) are traditionally listed as: • • • • • •

Mallesons Stephen Jaques Allens Arthur Robinson Minter Ellison Clayton Utz Freehills Blake Dawson

There are, however, many ‘mid-tiers’ that are growing to be just as big as these firms, and some which are doing a similar sort of work but with a smaller number of lawyers. Other firms are big in a different way, with a wide international network. Others specialise in just one or two very specific areas of law, like intellectual property, which may be excellent if this is the area you are interested in. There are benefits and drawbacks of each kind of firm and you should research widely if you intend to apply for clerkships or graduate positions.

beginning your legal career divider

application process

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

guide to preparing your CV and cover letter Lucy Duncan, Consultant (Private Practice) Mahlab Recruitment

As competition for opportunities within the legal profession increases, it is imperative that your first point of contact with a potential employer be as effective as possible. However, it can be very hard to know – especially while still at university – what potential employers look for, and how to make your application stand out (whilst maintaining professionalism). Set out below are some suggestions to set you on the right track for preparing a professional, impressive CV and covering letter for any role.

Your CV Your CV is your primary tool for advertising yourself to prospective employers. During the recruitment process, the CV reviewer is likely to read hundreds of CVs weekly, and may only cast his or her eyes across each CV for a few seconds. Therefore, your CV must provide a quick, polished and comprehensive snapshot of your education, skills and experience. Format Ensure your CV is set out in a logical format with clear headings, containing information in reverse chronological order. Key areas that should be addressed are: • • • •

personal information; education; relevant employment history; and additional information (eg professional associations, interests and/or referee details).

Use plain paper and a reader-friendly font - gimmicks like green paper, photos or quirky fonts serve little purpose, can appear unprofessional and may even irritate the reader. You’re applying for a legal role, not


an advertising job - your CV is not the right medium in which to display your graphic design skills. Any CV over 3-4 pages should be carefully reviewed. Reconsider details from high school unless they convey relevant transferable skills (eg, a School Captain role may demonstrate leadership skills, but your long jump award isn’t as pertinent) and exclude anything prior to your final two years of schooling. Importantly, never waste the reader’s time with irrelevant material – he or she doesn’t need to know if you have a driver’s licence, and won’t be interested in your typing speed unless you’re applying for a secretarial role! Personal information The first page of your CV should briefly set out key personal information including your name, address and contact details. As accessibility is important, try to include both home and mobile phone numbers and an email address. Consider the email address you use – ‘partyboy83@gmail. com’ is not really appropriate for business communications! Under anti-discrimination legislation, you are not bound to provide your date of birth to a potential employer, so you don’t need to include this - your general age will be evident either through the length of your work history or at interview. Education history Your education history should be outlined briefly but clearly. Cite the name and dates of attendance of your secondary school, university and any other academic institutions (including anticipated completion of current courses). If honest and realistic about your experience. You’ll undoubtedly be asked at interview to discuss your background in more detail. CV padding casts you in a poor light and stands out like a sore thumb...

you’ve been admitted to practice, include the month/year and jurisdiction. Any awards and achievements related to your studies should be incorporated into this section. There is no need to re-type academic results - employers will usually request a copy of your official academic transcript as part of your application. You may wish to include your high school ENTER or equivalent, but that is a matter of personal choice and is not usually required by employers. Employment history Your employment history presents an opportunity for you to set out the breadth of your skills and experience, and highlight your suitability for the current role. Include all roles you’ve undertaken that might have relevance to the job you’re applying for. First, set out your employer, job title and period of employment. For part-time jobs held while studying, it is particularly helpful to include an approximate number of hours per week that you worked so that the reader can appreciate the significance of your commitments. For example, if you worked 40 hours per week and still achieved good academic results, this is an excellent example of how well you balanced the competing priorities of work and study. Secondly, use bullet points to list major responsibilities, together with the key skills that you developed from that work. Emphasise anything that may be advantageous in the role for which you are applying, such as teamwork, communication or time management skills. If you have completed any seasonal clerkships or quasi-legal roles, you may wish to include

examples of your work, such as ‘acted for vendor in sale of CBD office building’ or citations of litigation matters you have worked on (eg Smith v Jones (2007) 23 VCL 452) and a brief case summary. However, keep confidentiality obligations in mind at all times when determining the level of detail to incorporate.

Additional information Following your work history, it is important that any further relevant information be included. This is particularly the case with graduate positions, where you will be judged on your potential more than at any other time in your working career. List any organisations or professional bodies that you belong to, and set out any specialist skills you might possess (such as leadership training or a foreign language). Many job seekers worry about whether to include details of personal interests (and if so, what to include!). However, it is perfectly appropriate to set out a brief list or statement of any hobbies or interests. They give an insight into your personality, and provide a great icebreaker in interview, which puts you at ease and makes you more memorable to the interviewers. However, keep it brief (no more than 3-4 lines), be discerning and remember your target audience. References Referees do not necessarily have to be set out in your CV – this is especially the case if you anticipate your referees to be from a current role. It is sufficient to state that referee details will be ‘provided upon request’. Firms generally won’t contact your referees without your

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

consent (and then, usually only when a job offer is imminent). If you do choose to nominate referees, do consider whether they have the ability to formulate answers succinctly and accurately and if they will make themselves available to speak on your behalf. On your CV, include details such as a referee’s full name, job title, where they work and a contact number. Where you know that a firm is about to contact one of your referees, as a matter of courtesy you should let him or her know to expect a call.

Your covering letter In the world of email and online job applications, this important part of the process is often overlooked. Covering letters should be carefully drafted, concise (no more than 3-4 paragraphs) and highlight special factors that demonstrate you are the best candidate for the position. To ensure that you address your application correctly, call in advance to confirm the name and title of the person to whom you are applying. This is particularly relevant for graduate roles – when you’re sending applications to 30 different firms (and cutting and pasting from documents!) it’s easy to mix up the name/job position of HR contacts or to name the wrong firm. Be careful to avoid this pitfall – while not fatal to an application, it looks careless and unprofessional. Start with one sentence introducing yourself and stating the reason for the letter. Set out basic information about your academic credentials. Discuss your background, and set out why you are applying to that firm. Perhaps you have an interest in intellectual property, and this firm


has a strong practice in that area. Firms want to know why you’re interested in practising the relevant general area of law (eg commercial, plaintiff or criminal law) and why you’re interested in that firm, so always ensure your covering letter is tailored to the organisation and position. Research recent news or information and include reference to this in your letter. Firms receive hundreds of applications and invest a great deal of time and money in graduate recruitment and development. Therefore, they’re seeking out candidates who are most likely to make the firm’s investment worthwhile. Your covering letter offers the opportunity to convey your suitability for the role, highlight your enthusiasm and commitment to working with the firm and to provide an insight into your personality. Remember, employers are not just looking for good academic results – they want to see evidence of your aptitude, interest in the firm and likelihood of fitting into the firm’s culture.

Finally... Please remember these two top tips for an outstanding CV and covering letter: Oh, what a tangled web we weave… be honest and realistic about your experience. You’ll undoubtedly be asked at interview to discuss your background in more detail. CV padding casts you in a poor light and stands out like a sore thumb - especially if you appear to have been running million dollar M&A transactions in your role as a paralegal for a sole practitioner!

grow your career with Herbert Geer Our recruitment process is simple. We look for people who are talented, intelligent and committed to a career in law, and whose skills and experience complement or grow our existing expertise. To find out more about why we are one of Australia’s fastest growing law firms and why we might be right for you, call Véronique Loras on 1300 730 555 or visit

Melbourne Sydney Brisbane 1300 730 555

‘Attenition to detale’… make sure your application is free from spelling and grammatical mistakes! These errors are careless and can undo all your hard work in preparing an impressive application. A job application is one of the most important professional steps you can take, so if you can’t get your own CV or covering letter right, then potential employers will understandably question your ability to excel in performing future work for them or their clients. For further assistance, you can visit Mahlab’s Graduate section ( for an example CV and covering letter.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

interview tips Lucy Duncan, Consultant (Private Practice) Mahlab Recruitment

CV and thinking through any relevant legal experience, or any other work experience and activities which may be of interest to your potential employer. Also, have in mind some skills you possess that are transferable to a career in law. Key skills that employers look for are teamwork, leadership, attention to detail, time management and communication/interpersonal skills.

Securing an interview is a major achievement. Your potential employer has formed the view, based on your resume, that you potentially have the skills and experience that they are seeking. However, you now need to turn your mind to the interview itself. An interview is a marketing opportunity – a forum in which to present your personality, abilities and achievements. It is your primary chance to convince a potential employer that you are the right person for the job! 4. Here are some hints to help you through this important process.

Preparing for the interview Preparation is an important part of interview success. It will also assist in combating nerves. You will perform at your best if you: 1.


Know where you’re going - confirm the location (particularly floor level) and time of the interview, and the names and titles of the interviewers.

• •

Do your research - research the position and the firm to which you have applied. Know the firm’s main areas of legal practice and key clients, and be aware of recent matters that may have made the news. A potential employer wants to see you demonstrate an interest in the organisation and a desire to be a part of it, so research the organisation by utilising their website, the internet generally and all of your networks.

• •

5. 3.


Review your experience - ask yourself: “What will they need to know about me (the experience I have gained, my personal qualities) in order to give me the job?” Refresh your memory by re-reading your

Prepare questions - your questions are another way in which an employer will assess your understanding of the law or the firm’s practice. This is an opportunity for you to assess if the position will provide the quality of work and prospects you seek. Avoid questions about readily available information (eg, which could easily be found on the firm’s website) and stick to questions to which you want to know the answers, not just those designed to impress! You may ask: about the size of the legal department/ firm (if not on website); whether solicitors are placed on budgets, and what a typical budget would be; what level of supervision exists; what level of exposure to clients you will have and whether you will be required to build and market the practice; or whether the company or firm has any major developments planned.

Dress to impress! - First impressions do count. Dress in a professional manner (i.e., a neat, clean suit) and pay close attention to your presentation. You will generally be required to be neatly and professionally presented at work, so treat the interview

An interview is a marketing opportunity, a forum in which to present your personality, abilities and achievements. It is your primary chance to convince a potential employer that you are the right person for the job!

in the same manner. Even if you love that nose piercing or the purple streaks in your hair, remember that you’re applying for a role in a professional environment where you’ll need to work with a variety of colleagues and clients – save any extremes for the weekends!

speaks quietly and is very serious, don’t be hyperactive – if you try to match your interviewer, you should safely strike the right tone. Listening and talking


An ability to listen is important in any job and the quality of your listening skills will be assessed by your interviewers in the way you handle the interview.

It sounds simple, but remember - arrive on time! Late arrival is rarely excusable and a ridiculously early arrival can be annoying and equally unprofessional. Aim for ten minutes early and plan your journey – public transport and traffic are unpredictable! Remember to turn off your mobile phone (i.e., do not just put it on vibrate mode) before you arrive.

During the interview, the interviewer/s will attempt to evaluate your skills and abilities. They will do so in a number of ways, including asking you questions in relation to your professional experience, the nature of the work you have undertaken and why you are interested in the position you applied for. In particular, the interviewer will be seeking to ascertain:

Body language and presentation

Body language is very important! You can make as significant an impression with your body language as you do with what you say.

• •

The interview



Look the interviewer in the eye while you talk to him/her. Eye contact helps to convey your interest, confidence and credibility. Making eye contact with all the interviewers (if more than one) enables you to make a connection even if you are not answering their questions at the time.

why you are interested in the position and the specific firm; what you can offer; and whether you can handle the attendant responsibilities of the position (i.e., have you got the skills and experience to handle the role?)

Listen to the questions being asked and answer them fully – it’s better to pause for a few moments to think, that to rush into an answer and waffle your way through! Examples of possible questioning styles include:

Appear relaxed but professional. Smiling and responding positively to your interviewers is part of making a good impression and developing a strong rapport with them. A good tip is to try to gauge the interviewer’s level of enthusiasm, and then add a little extra! If your interviewer

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Open questions, including ‘What...’, ‘Why...’, ‘How...’ and ‘Explain...’ Answer these by highlighting your professional/ personal skills. Questions may include: • • • • • •

What attracts you to this particular position/firm? What are your strengths/weaknesses? What are your long term career goals? What does ‘teamwork’ means to you? How do you spend your spare time? What are the principles in Donoghue v Stevenson?

Closed questions, such as those beginning with ‘Will...’, ‘Do...’, and ‘Is...’ Try not to answer these questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Instead, provide explanations where possible. All answers must be clear, relevant and give adequate information. Hypothetical or ‘behavioural’ questions, such as ‘If you found yourself in a situation of conflict at work, how would you react?’ Again, respond in a clear manner and explain your answer. It is a good idea to answer these questions using the STAR approach – describe the Situation, the Task you were set, your Approach to tackling it, and the Result you achieved!

What not to do! Don’t ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers. It is highly unprofessional and will almost certainly strike you off the offer list, no matter how strong your academics or experience.


Also, don’t act disinterested in the role – even if you are! Always conduct yourself as if you are keen on the position you are discussing, and never close the door on an opportunity. It is always better to be in a position to choose to accept or reject a role, rather than discounting roles that seem ‘beneath you’ or boring, and then finding yourself without any offers. Factors which most often lead to rejection are: • • • • • • •

poor presentation (speech/personal appearance); introverted/quiet personality or overbearing/strong personality; inability to express thoughts clearly/ inarticulate answers to questions; lack of interest and enthusiasm; nervousness or lack of confidence; evasive or clipped answers; and lack of knowledge of the position or firm.

Closing the interview Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration of you. If any aspect of the position or firm particularly impressed you, mention it briefly. You may also wish to ask what the next step in the process will be, if you’re not sure of it already. If the position is offered to you and you want it, feel free to accept it on the spot (although this will be unusual in graduate recruitment). If you want some time to think it over, be courteous and tactful in asking for that time, and set a definite date when you can provide an answer.

After the interview If you do not hear from the firm within the time frame given to you at the interview (if given

Sparke Helmore at a glance

Stand out at Sparke Helmore

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Sparke Helmore is an integrated, national law firm chosen by corporate and government leaders for good reason – the insight, energy and collaboration we bring to legal services delivery.

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one), or if you do not hear after two weeks, you may wish to follow up with either a letter or telephone call. It is only fair that you should know the outcome of your interview.

Each new interview is a fresh opportunity. Go into each with the belief that the job will be yours. The right job for you is out there - you just need to find it!

Success or failure Ideally, the above information - coupled with your abilities and a positive attitude - will bring you interview success! Unfortunately however, not every interview will result in a job offer. You need to be a little resilient when it comes to rejections and try not to take them to heart. You should see each interview as an experience from which you have learnt something, even if it is only further practice of your interview technique. If you have been unsuccessful a few times and wonder if your technique is the problem, try contacting the interviewers or the firm’s HR to ask for constructive feedback. This can be a little confronting and not everyone will want to answer your questions honesty, but if you are concerned about interview technique it may be worth a try.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

using cvMail

What is cvMail? cvMail is an online seasonal clerkship and graduate position application system used by many law firms around the world. Through this free service, you can make applications to these firms from a single place, electronically and instantly. In summary, you click through to a firm listed as accepting applications, upload your CV and cover letter, fill in any extra questions asked and cvMail will automatically send your personal details and academic results with these documents. It will keep records of applications you have already made.

Step-by-step instructions Registering Go to and click on ‘Register’ in the top left-hand corner. Fill in your details and you will be taken back to the main page, where you are logged in.

cvMail also contains application tips, a list of closing dates, information on firms and links to other useful resources, as well as facilitating messaging between you and the firm and interview scheduling. Some firms will use their own application sites, so use the firm directory in the back of this Guide to see which firms accept applications through cvMail.

Filling in your personal details Near the top on the left-hand side is a box titled, ‘complete two easy steps’. Click on ‘1. Personal Profile’. This will allow you to: • • •

Fill in your personal details (name, email address, home address, phone numbers etc) List any languages you speak Change your password

Filling in your academic details

Applying to firms

Click on ‘application manager’ to get back to the home page, then click on ‘2. Academic Profile’. Here you fill in:

Applications are made through the large navy blue box on the main page. The top of the box lists ‘graduate’ and ‘seasonal’; ensure you have selected the correct option, as well as the right state with the circles at the top. Then follow the instructions for each firm, remembering to complete every section and double-check it before submitting. This should include:

• •

Education data (degrees, university, start/ finishing dates) Academic results

This very conveniently means you only need to enter several years’ worth of marks once for all applications sent out via cvMail. • • •

Reviewing your personal and academic information for errors Ensuring you have attached the correct CV and cover letter Double-checking any extra information you have been asked to provide

After sending, you should see a confirmation screen giving you a receipt number for your application. Some firms will ask extra questions in the application process. This is generally things like, ‘what in particular attracts you to this firm’ and ‘what is an area of law that interests you’, but sometimes they are more complex. Always write these in a word processor first and save them, not only so you can consider them for a day or two and revise your answers, but also so a dead battery, lost internet connection or sudden power cut won’t see your well-considered answer vanish.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011 1 27/08/2010 12:44:26 PM

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beginning your legal career divider

different legal perspectives

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

so you want to become a barrister? The Victorian Bar (

What is a barrister?

How do I become a barrister?

Generally speaking, a barrister has specialist skills in advocacy and is engaged by a solicitor to argue or present a case in court. Barristers are self-employed, and cannot be a member of a partnership or operate his or her business through a company. The Victorian Bar is an association of independent barristers in Victoria. Each member of the Victorian Bar, by signing the Roll of Counsel, undertakes to practice exclusively as a barrister.

In order to become a barrister in Victoria, a person must first qualify as an Australian lawyer and be admitted to practice in Victoria. The next step is to undertake the Bar Readers course. The Bar Readers course is run by the Victorian Bar, and is held twice a year, commencing in March and September. The course is a full-time commitment, and runs for 3 months. The Bar Readers course consists of a range of seminars, workshops, tutorials and practice exercises (including moots) in order to equip participants for life at the Bar. Bar Readers must also complete a 9 month “reading period” with a mentor, who must be a barrister of 10 years or more standing. Although there is currently no entrance exam, the Bar Council has resolved (as part of a review of the Bar Readers Course) that such exams will be introduced in the future.

What is a typical working day like? The typical working day for a barrister will depend on the kind of practice the barrister has. For some barristers, a typical working day involves going to court and running a trial, or arguing an interlocutory application. Other barristers are in court less often, and a large part of their practice will involve preparing pleadings and advices or other paperwork. Some barristers specialise in certain types of work, while other barristers have a more varied practice. Barristers are self-employed, and as such have a good deal of discretion in developing their practice and managing their workload. One of the advantages of being a barrister is being able to make your own choices about your work (including when to take holidays!). To adopt a statement from the Scottish Bar: the life and work of an advocate are varied, stimulating and demanding. Although the responsibilities can seem heavy, the practice of law at the Bar is rarely dull.


Places in the Readers course are limited, and there is a waiting list. For more detailed information on coming to the Bar, visit the Victorian Bar’s website at

Victorian statistics Practicing Counsel




Queen’s Counsel or Senior Counsel




Junior Counsel




office of the public advocate About OPA The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) aims to promote and protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. The role and powers of the Public Advocate are set out in Section 15 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986. In summary, the role of the Public Advocate is to support services and actions that promote the rights of people with disabilities and protect them from exploitation and abuse. The Public Advocate has many responsibilities, including: • To protect and promote the rights of people with a disability • To act as an independent statutory guardian, when appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a person with a disability who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves. We investigate and speak out about situations where people with disabilities are exploited, neglected or abused. Where needed we can use legal powers to make enquiries on behalf of people with disabilities when there are concerns about their safety or interests. OPA sits within the Department of Justice, but is independent of government and reports to the Victorian Parliament. For further information visit

About volunteer opportunities at OPA OPA coordinates 3 volunteer programs. If you are interested in volunteering in any of these programs call 1300 309 337 and ask for the volunteer coordinator.

1. Community Visitors Community Visitors are volunteers empowered by law to visit accommodation facilities for people with a disability or mental illness at any time, unannounced. They monitor and report on the adequacy of services provided, in the interests of residents and patients. Community Visitors visit: • community residential units • supported residential services • mental health facilities They talk to residents/patients to ensure they are being cared for with dignity and respect, and to identify issues of concern. Community Visitors can then liaise with staff and management to resolve these issues. Broader or more serious issues are referred to OPA. 2. Independent Third Persons Independent Third Persons (ITPs) are volunteers who assist people with a cognitive disability or mental illness during interviews, or when giving formal statements to Victoria Police. The person with a cognitive disability or mental illness may be an alleged offender, victim or witness. ITPs are trained by OPA to: • facilitate communication • assist the person to understand their rights • support the person through the process. 3. Community Guardians Community guardians are volunteers appointed by the Public Advocate to act as independent guardians for Victorians with a disability. When a person with a disability cannot make decisions for themselves, a community guardian assists that person to make reasonable personal and lifestyle decisions. Community guardians can make decisions about matters such as health

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

judicial associateships Kelvin Tran, Associate to the Hon. Justice Neave AO

An Associateship is one of those experiences in life so thoroughly enjoyable that it causes those who have had the experience to convince others to undergo the same. Former Associates, without fail, speak of their time at the court as one of the best of their lives. This is not without good reason. Spending a year working for a judge carries with it a wide variety of benefits. It is the type of work that will remind you why you chose to study law and decided to become a lawyer. Working on a daily basis with a judge is a great privilege. I have elsewhere compared the experience to working with a god, given the brilliance of the judges with whom I have been involved and my having slavishly read their words for the past 9 years. It is the only opportunity, save for the unlikelihood that we ourselves become judges, to see the process of judicial decision and ‘law’ making in action. Whether one returns to the ranks of solicitors, moves onto the Bar or takes a journey into academia, knowing how judges process arguments and ultimately reach their conclusions is invaluable. An Associateship is also an opportunity to develop one’s legal research and analysis abilities. Associates’ roles differ but almost all do some kind of legal research and analysis. In appellate courts, this often involves finding (or helping to find, or attempting to help to find) finely nuanced answers to questions on which no binding authority exists. It is the most noticeable difference between practice as a junior solicitor and working as an Associate. Much more time is spent writing and developing legal arguments than on correspondence. I cannot put it any better than the following observation of Justice Gummow AO in another


publication similar to this Careers Guide: a significant advantage derived from work as an Associate is the opportunity to advance one’s learning in the law. Legal education can never be completed for any lawyer, but a year working with a judge provides an opportunity for conceptual thinking about the law as a whole, something likely to be denied in subsequent busy practice. Associates spend a lot of time in court and thus become familiar with court etiquette and procedures. Over time, court rooms seem less imposing and judges appear human, rather than being mere surnames preceded by the title ‘Justice’. Associates also witness a variety of advocacy styles and develop a sense of their efficacy. Depending on the judge or the court, Associates may also be exposed to areas of law with which they are less familiar. Another advantage of undertaking an Associateship is the exposure to the network of people working in the courts, eg, other Associates, tipstaves, registry staff etc. The day to day experiences of an Associate depend on a large number of factors. An Associate working in an appellate court performs a vastly different role to an Associate in a trial court and even then, there are specialist lists within the trial courts. Judges also have varied personalities, if not greatly varied backgrounds, which may see you performing a vastly different set of tasks to your neighbour. Some may be given the responsibility of drafting passages under the direction of their judge while others may be limited to proof reading. Almost all though, will have the benefit of participating in discussions and voicing opinions where the decision to be made is unclear.

...the only opportunity ... to see the process of judicial decision and ‘law’ making in action. Whether one returns to the ranks of solicitors, moves onto the Bar or takes a journey into academia, knowing how judges process arguments and ultimately reach their conclusions is invaluable...

There are two main ways to go about becoming an Associate. The first is to look for openings that are advertised on the website of the particular court. The problem with this approach though is that not all openings are advertised, and the few that are receive a large amount of attention. The other approach is to apply directly to the judge you’re interested in. Since most Associates are only at a court for a set period of time, we are happy to give you details about when an opening will arise.

career than any experience as an Associate. If you can secure a traineeship, take it, and worry about the Associateship later. If these words have encouraged you to apply, then I wish you the best of luck. Those seeking further information should look to the ALSA Associateship guide, a useful publication which I myself consulted before applying.

The interview will differ from that of a law firm. Before interviewing an applicant, the judge or his/her chambers will have vetted your CV. The main purpose of the interview therefore is to see whether you are someone with whom the judge would like to work. Another purpose, of course, is to see whether you are actually the interesting and confident person your CV claims you to be. Most judges, I assume, will not ask generic behavioural questions but questions tailored to their specific needs and interests. Views may differ but I believe that an Associateship should be undertaken after commencing a traineeship, for two main reasons. The first is that Associates with previous practising experience are likely (but not necessarily) to be of more value to a judge than those coming straight from law school. After graduating from Melbourne, I served my articles and practiced in the litigation department at Arnold Bloch Leibler, a firm that can be generous in the level of responsibility given to its junior lawyers. I had the opportunity to draft various Court documents (pleadings and affidavits) and brief and instruct counsel, so was well prepared to become an Associate. The second is that, if an economic downturn were to effect a change in circumstances, a practising certificate would be of much more value to your

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

a career in alternative dispute resolution Michael Bourne Mediator, Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria

Graduating with a law degree opens up an array of career opportunities, and not only with one of Australia’s many law firms. The knowledge you have of the law, legal proceedings and resolving conflict are an excellent foundation for a career in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The Victorian Government’s ongoing commitment to ADR means that career opportunities in the field continue to grow. Working as a mediator for the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) is just one example of the many rewarding and challenging roles available in ADR.

What is mediation? Mediation is a dispute resolution process that assists people to work through issues that are troubling them in their lives and help them develop solutions, tangible ways of moving forward, before these issues escalate from ‘tit for tat’ retaliatory behaviours to threats, violence or legal processes. Mediation can also assist once court action has been initiated. For some people, when something is worrying them they tend to focus on that issue, giving it a greater priority than, on reflection, they would have wished to do. Conflicts, big or small, can consume too much attention, leaving less time and energy to be getting on with the things we would rather be doing. Mediators often see this when parties present their stories at mediation, revealing the extent to which their day to day activities have been skewed by conflict with other people in their family, neighbourhood, community group, association or workplace. An incident has for whatever reason sparked a sharp response from someone, after which a series of subsequent behaviours


lead to a breakdown in communication and growing animosity. When people cannot adequately convey their message in a face-toface conversation, they may adopt negative behaviours to make their point. Sometimes they contact their local council, police or other agencies to intervene, or apply for an intervention order to stop the concerning behaviour and regain a sense of safety when going about their daily activities.

What does a mediator do? Mediators provide a safe and neutral space for people to openly state and discuss their concerns with the other people involved, often for the very first time, and to gain an understanding of each other’s differing perspectives on what has been happening. Then, after meeting privately with the mediators, the parties are provided an opportunity to work together on possible solutions to their shared concerns. In the vast majority of cases, the parties work constructively to develop their own solutions to their own issues. As a result, the outcomes are much more likely to suit the parties and be enduring, as it is the parties who have agreed the way forward. The mediators guide and facilitate the process but they are not there to adjudicate on any of the issues presented or to suggest or impose solutions. The issues presenting at mediation may often be about the same kinds of things, but no two mediations are alike, as the parties bring different backgrounds, varying experiences of, and perspectives on, the issues. The parties define the dispute and what is to be discussed.

How do I go about becoming a mediator? Before you can practice as a mediator, you will first need to gain accreditation under the national mediators’ accreditation program. Visit the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (NADRAC) website for more information.

What is working as a mediator for the DSCV like? Working as a mediator at the DSCV offers strong intrinsic rewards as you will be helping people to resolve issues that are deeply affecting their ability to get on with their lives, and at a community level, you will be helping prevent these issues escalating into wider disputes or violence.

You can find out more about becoming a mediator at the DSCV website, or by contacting the DSCV on 03 9603 8370. The DSCV is a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body (RMAB) under the national accreditation program. For more information on ways to resolve disputes, visit the ADR Directorate’s Reaching Agreement website. Reaching Agreement features how-to videos in English, Australian sign language and seven other community languages, with tips on solving common disputes.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

victoria law foundation: making a difference Established in 1967, Victoria Law Foundation is a not-for-profit, independent statutory body. Through its key program areas of grants, publications and education, the Foundation connects the legal and the wider community into a network of invaluable resources, information and initiatives. In doing so, the Foundation meets areas of great legal need, provides high quality publications and guidance, and supports lasting initiatives and best practice across the sector.

about the Internship Program can be found in the 2011 Seasonal Clerkship Guide or online).

It’s work that matters. For many people, the law and legal system remains a mystery – a complex and bewildering thing to be negotiated reluctantly or with great trepidation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has worked hard to help Victorians understand their legal system and the law.

The Foundation’s Grants Program supports organisations to deliver legal projects that benefit Victorians. Through Small and General Grants, the Foundation is able to make a positive and sustainable difference. Information about these grants – including how to apply – is available from the Foundation website.

Many Victorian law students come into contact with the Foundation through the Foundation’s Legal Sector Internship Program. The program is an exciting opportunity for students studying law to gain an understanding of the broader legal sector by undertaking a 20-day internship at one of a number of participating legal organisations.

The Foundation also delivers a comprehensive Publications Program – including online initiatives. The newest of these initiatives is the Victoria Law website.

Each year this highly regarded program attracts up to 250 applications. In 2009/10, the Foundation placed more than 50 interns with 24 agencies including, among others, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, the Victorian Bar, the Judicial College of Victoria and the Department of Justice. During their placements, interns undertake a range of projects and participate in the day-today activities of their respective organisations, working as part of professional teams and gaining valuable experience. (Further details


The Foundation’s highest-profile community outreach program is Law Week. Held each year in May, Law Week features more than 150 lawbased events in Melbourne and across regional Victoria. The week culminates in Courts Open Day, when Melbourne’s major courts open their doors to the public for a day of tours and presentations.

Victoria Law – – developed in consultation with Victorian legal and community agencies, features easy-tounderstand legal information about the law and legal services in Victoria. The site covers a vast range of everyday legal topics and its resources include factsheets, booklets, books and web pages: most free to download; others easily ordered. To learn more about the Foundation and each of its program areas, please visit or contact the Foundation on 9604 8100.

Looking for legal help? Find legal services and easy-to-understand information at

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

victorian government solicitor’s office Michael Stagg, Senior Solicitor

Throughout your law degree you will hear a lot about life in the larger private firms, but not much about a viable alternative - a career in government law. I graduated from university in 2005 with an interest in practice but also a desire for making a difference with my work. My passion led me to the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (VGSO), which is a mid-tier firm fast becoming an accepted and viable alternative to a career in the big firms and the private sector.

legal advice which considers policy implications. Our advice often results in legislative reform or a substantial change in government policy. Frequently, the implementation of legal advice by government clients has policy and political consequences and VGSO has a reputation for accurately predicting them and advising accordingly. Personally, being able to have an influence on policy through my day-to-day work is something which still provides me with an enormous deal of satisfaction, and it certainly makes coming to work a more interesting and rewarding experience.

Overview of VGSO The VGSO is owned by the Victorian State government. For all other purposes though, it operates exactly like a private law firm, except that it only services government clients. It competes with firms for business and bills them for their services. When I started as an Articled Clerk in 2006, the VGSO was a much smaller firm containing approximately 40 lawyers. In 2010, it is now a thriving mid-tier firm with approximately 110 lawyers and continued opportunities for further growth and expansion. It is a full-service firm containing five branches: Litigation, Commercial & Property, Administrative Law, VGSO at Victoria Police and Workplace Relations & Human Rights. VGSO has a reputation as the preferred provider of legal services in matters crucial to government, such as human rights, native title, IP and technology law, crown land and constitutional law. Most recently, we represented all state government agencies and instrumentalities in the Black Saturday Royal Commission. The firm prides itself on providing practical


Advantages for Graduates Graduates at VGSO gain experience across all branches of the office, meaning that they are able to develop a wide range of skills in very diverse areas of law. From day one, graduates are treated as lawyers - they are allocated their own matters and retain responsibility for those matters, including contact with clients. Of course, extensive mentoring by senior lawyers is also provided and the firm is very proud of its “open door” policy, where knowledge is freely shared between both senior and junior members of staff. As a graduate, you will be given the opportunity to work across all branches of the office and will be exposed to a much wider experience than graduates in private firms, who often find themselves developing skills in only one very specialised area of law. VGSO graduates are deliberately allocated a diverse range of work which is always interesting, topical and at times, controversial. This is always a big part of working for government clients! One day you may be representing the State in a complex litigation matter, the next day working on a large

...the preferred provider of legal services in matters crucial to government, such as human rights, native title, IP and technology law, crown land and constitutional law...

commercial transaction, and the next drafting an advice for a high-level client such as the Premier or the Chief Commissioner of Police. You’ll gain an incredibly diverse set of skills while working on matters of public interest.

Personal View I completed my articles at VGSO in 200607, and after my admission, have worked for both the Commercial & Property and Victoria Police Branches of the office. Throughout my time here I have worked on countless matters of intense public interest, instructed in matters in the County Court and VCAT and make frequent appearances for Victoria Police in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Magistrates Court and the Supreme Court. VGSO is always willing to organise secondments for its lawyers, and throughout my 5 years here I have completed secondments with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria Police, and the Office of Public Prosecutions. Being exposed to such a wide range of government departments and agencies has equipped me with an intricate knowledge of government practice and process - knowledge which is highly valued across the broader legal profession.

agencies more generally, are serious about worklife balance. You’ll be paid well while keeping decent hours, which allows you to have a life outside of work. A number of friends of mine with whom I studied at Monash have already resigned from their mid / top-tier firms, citing exhaustion and a lack of career progression. In the last few years, the VGSO has seen an influx of senior lawyers from these firms come into the organisation, seeking more interesting work and also more time with their friends and families. If you have a keen legal mind and an interest in government practice and process, then I would highly recommend you consider a career with VGSO. You’ll get wide-ranging experience, work on the most interesting matters any firm has to offer, and also have a life outside of work. If any of you would like any more information about VGSO I would be happy to assist.

Opportunities for promotion are always available as well - I was recently promoted to Senior Solicitor (the government equivalent of Senior Associate) only 3 years after my admission - a much faster progression than one could hope to obtain at a private sector firm.

Work-Life Balance A lot of private firms say that they take this seriously but the reality is far from that promise. However the VGSO, and other government

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

working at the victorian law reform commission Martin Wimpole

After finishing my studies, I began work as a graduate at mid-tier law firm, rotating through the personal injury and family law departments. Though there were many aspects of this work I enjoyed, I realised that my real interest was in working in law reform and policy. So in mid 2009 I began working at the Victorian Law Reform Commission as part of its review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986. This is a fascinating review; it considers the law around decision making for people who are unable to make certain decisions themselves. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work at the Commission, and on the guardianship review. Adult guardianship is an intellectually and philosophically challenging area of law, which has a real impact on people’s lives. The review also comes at a particularly exciting time for disability rights in Victoria, which have received renewed focus recently in light of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The majority of my work at the Commission involves research and writing. We are currently preparing a Consultation Paper, and I have primary responsibility for writing several chapters in this paper. Our final report is due on 30 June 2011. The Commission also has a commitment to consulting widely with the community about law reform proposals. I was part of the guardianship review consultations that went for several months earlier this year. We spoke with a very diverse group of people right across Victoria, including people with disabilities, carers, advocates, government departments


and agencies, tribunal members, medical professionals, service providers and financial and industry organisations. I find this to be the most stimulating and rewarding part of my work. Working at the Commission has allowed me to meet and exchange ideas with some of the top experts in disability and human rights in Australia. I work as part of a passionate, engaged team, and I am given the opportunity to research and formulate ideas for reform which may eventually become law in Victoria. It can be quite a creative process, and involves thinking beyond the confines of current law and practice. The Commission is independent from government, and therefore has a significant level of freedom in its processes and recommendations. It has a long history of taking on challenging reform areas such as family violence, defences to homicide, abortion and assisted reproductive technology, to name just a few. It is a small organisation, with a staff of about 20. Most staff are contracted to work on a particular review, so it is quite a dynamic environment. The Commission is an excellent place to work, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in law reform.

attorneygeneral’s department Madelin Bayer, 2009 Graduate

I started as a Graduate with the Australian Attorney-General’s Department in February 2009. Having just spent five years completing my law degree, I was looking for a job that would make me feel like it was worth it. One that would give me an opportunity to work in a range of practice areas and use the skills I’d developed while studying. A job that would pay reasonably, but also allow me to have a life outside of work. For me, the Attorney-General’s Department Graduate Program in Canberra has been all that and more. The Department offers graduates the opportunity to play a real part in developing policy. The Department is responsible for areas such as national security, border protection, emergency management, criminal law, human rights, family law and native title. It also houses the Office of International Law – one of the few places you can practice public international law in Australia. As well as developing policy, the Department is also responsible for several case management areas such as extradition and mutual assistance, international family law, and the federal offenders unit. As a graduate I completed three rotations in the Department, spending time in the Office of Legal Services Coordination, Extradition and Mutual Assistance (Legislation and Policy) Section, and the Office of International Law. Throughout these rotations I was given tasks such as providing advice on Australia’s obligations under an international treaty, drafting instructions for extradition regulations, conducting public consultations and responding to public queries. Rotating through different areas gave me an excellent overview of how the

Department operates as a whole, and insight into where I might like to be permanently placed at the end of the 12 month program. I am now working as a legal officer in the Criminal Law and Law Enforcement Branch. My area provides advice on reform of criminal law and law enforcement issues, including potential amendments to the Crimes Act 1914 and the Criminal Code Act 1995. The Branch also provides policy advice on proposals for criminal offences and enforcement powers in draft legislation being prepared within the Australian Government. As a legal officer I have responsibility for several different projects. I provide advice to other Departments, work with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to improve legislation, liaise with States and Territories, draft legislative instructions, and scrutinise Bills. The Branch constantly liaises with other bodies such as the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Government Solicitor, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, other Government Departments and Agencies and non-Government Organisations. One of the best aspects of the year was just being a ‘grad’. I loved being part of such an energetic and fun group, and having the support and encouragement of others. The graduate program was a challenging and rewarding way to start my career, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a position that doesn’t take them too far away from why they studied law in the first place. Further information can be found at our website or by emailing

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

working at the dept. of foreign affairs and trade Emil Stojanovski, 2006 Graduate

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the Commonwealth Government’s agency responsible for advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. Across its network, which includes a Canberra-based headquarters, seven state and territory offices and 93 overseas posts, the Department works to achieve four key outcomes: protecting and advancing Australia’s national interests through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation; providing Australians information about and access to consular and passport services in Australia and overseas; increasing public understanding of Australia’s foreign and trade policy in Australia and overseas, and promoting a positive and contemporary image of Australia overseas; and managing the Commonwealth’s overseas owned estate efficiently. Both policy and corporate graduates are exposed to a wide range of the Department’s work to help advance these key outcomes. The two year graduate program typically involves placements in four different work units for approximately five to six months each, with professional development training and academic gap-filling courses scheduled throughout the program. The aim of the program is to ensure graduates have a broad exposure to the key work areas of the Department, and policy graduates can expect to complete a rotation in each of the Department’s bilateral, multilateral, trade and corporate functions. The training courses focus on building key skills and competencies, including in negotiation, presentation, trade policy, management and media skills. As the Department recruits graduates from all academic backgrounds, it assumes no prior knowledge in key subject matters such as economics and law, so graduates without


formal qualifications in these areas are given the opportunity to undertake relevant introductory courses. At the end of the two year program, graduates are eligible to apply for a position at one of Australia’s overseas embassies, high commissions, consulates and other missions. I joined the Department as a policy graduate in 2006 after completing an Arts/Law degree at the University of Melbourne. During the two year graduate program I worked on a broad range of issues, which included preparing briefing material on Australia’s position in advance of UN climate change negotiations, advancing Australia’s economic and trade interests in Taiwan, organising a three day visit to South Australia by the Canberra-based diplomatic corps hosted by the Foreign Minister, and negotiating services and investment chapters for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand and the Association of South East Asian Nations. I also had the opportunity to study a short course on international relations, of which I had no previous knowledge or experience, and went on a week-long visit to Western Australia, where I had the opportunity to meet with peak industry bodies, mining associations and indigenous groups to learn more about the economy and culture of Western Australia. In just two short years I learned more about Australia than I did throughout my secondary and tertiary education. These experiences put me in good stead when it came time to represent Australia overseas in a formal capacity. At the conclusion of my graduate program I was posted to the Australian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada. As a relatively small post, my duties in the mission were broad and reflected whole-of-Government priorities for which multiple agencies in Canberra had prime responsibility. I reported on Canadian

political and economic issues, foreign policy developments, key bilateral relationships, the direction of Canadian trade policy both domestic and international, resource and energy issues and indigenous issues among others. I made representations on key Australian Government priorities ahead of major meetings and summits (including the G8, G20, APEC, NATO and UN), and represented Australia at a variety of functions and events, including speaking on Australian coal infrastructure challenges at a gathering of Canadian resource industry leaders, speaking on Australian wine at wine buffs’ get-togethers, and speaking on Australian pyrotechnic capabilities at an international fireworks competition in Montréal.

Officers with legal skills are valued by the Department, given the increasingly complex domestic and international environment in which it operates. The Department provides senior officials and ministers with advice on a huge range of legal issues, including government procurement and contract law, industrial relations, administrative law (particularly in relation to the Australian Passports Act 2005), privacy law, freedom of information, treaties, international law, environment law, law of the sea and sanctions. Policy graduates with legal backgrounds often complete a rotation in one of the Department’s legal areas, which is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with government law.

After only a relatively short time at post I was back in Canberra preparing for my next role, this time in the Department’s legal area. A senior legal officer persuaded me to take up a position advising internal stakeholders on Australian employment law, something which I previously knew nothing about. However, armed with a freshly printed copy of the then new Fair Work Act 2009 and a textbook on employment law 101, I took up the challenge, which proved to be most enjoyable. Over the past 18 months I have provided advice on recruitment and termination issues, drafted employment contracts, assisted in negotiations for a new workplace agreement, provided advice on OH&S and workers’ compensation issues, and managed major employment-related litigation brought against the Department. I have also provided advice on a range of other legal areas, including statutory interpretation, administrative law and intellectual property.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

beyond the billable hour careers in the community legal sector Federation of Community Legal Centres

What’s a community legal centre? Community legal centres (CLCs) are independent community organisations that provide free legal services to the public. Each year CLCs provide free legal advice, information and representation to more than 100,000 Victorians. CLC clients face economic, social or cultural disadvantage and their life circumstances are often severely affected by their legal problem. They often have nowhere else to go for help. CLCs integrate assistance for individual clients with community legal education, community development and law reform projects. There is a strong focus on empowering individuals and creating positive changes within the broader community. The Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria is the peak body for Victoria’s CLCs. Our website has information on community legal centres and contact details for each centre.

Making a real difference Community legal centres offer the chance to perform rewarding social justice and human rights work in a dynamic environment. Working in a community legal centre is about making a real difference to people’s lives through the law. We provide opportunities to get involved in a range of justice work beyond legal advice and representation. Centres regularly conduct legal education projects and policy and law reform work aimed at developing a fairer legal system. An outstanding feature of the work of a lawyer in a community legal centre is the diversity of the clients, cases and issues. One day you might


be obtaining an intervention order in court to protect a client from family violence. The next, you might be conducting a workshop for the Sudanese community on child protection laws and the day after you might be drafting a submission to government on how to strengthen the protection of human rights in Australia. As well as a broad range of stimulating and challenging work, community legal centre positions can offer flexible work hours, regular professional development opportunities and generous charity tax benefits. To succeed as a community lawyer requires dedication, innovation, resourcefulness, a commitment to excellence, great communication skills and a passion for social justice.

Graduate positions and traineeships There are regular opportunities for qualified lawyers in Victorian community legal centres, although positions for law graduates are currently limited. The Federation of Community Legal Centres received funding to commence a law graduate scheme in Victorian CLCs. The scheme includes a practical legal training course and rotations through a number of CLCs during a 12 month position. The scheme has been funded for 2010 and 2011, and we hope to be able to offer one or more positions for graduates completing their studies in 2011. For further details see www. Fitzroy Legal Service annually recruits a trainee generously supported by Allens Arthur Robinson. This position is advertised annually on their website www.fitzroy–

...working in a community legal centre is about making a real difference to people’s lives through the law...

Law graduates interested in undertaking legal practice work in a community legal centre could also consider seeking admission through a practical legal training provider such as College of Law or Leo Cussen and approaching a community legal centre to undertake their work placement at the centre. Each year a number of graduates start their career in community law this way. There is also a range of other positions in community legal centres, including policy and community development work, that do not require a practicing certificate. Many private law firms have community law partnerships under the Attorney-General’s Community Law Partnerships Scheme, If you are going to work in a private firm and are interested in a secondment to a CLC, contact your pro bono co-ordinator to see what opportunities exist.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

working with reprieve australia John Riordan

My time in America as a Reprieve Intern left me with memories and experiences that I have found rewarding both professionally and personally. My placement was at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC) in New Orleans from November ‘07 to February ‘08. The LCAC is a not for profit law office that represents indigent clients on death row or at high risk of being sentenced to death. They operate with a view to not only provide thorough legal support but also to seek a more humane sentence and provide humanitarian support for their clients. Sadly it is a rather morbid irony that capital punishment often applies to those without the capital to defend themselves. During my time at the LCAC I was always engaged by the diverse nature of the work I was assigned. The office staff were welcoming and friendly and, even though they have dozens of interns coming and going every year, I never had the feeling that I was transient. Some of the most fascinating moments were the long trips into the Louisiana countryside to interview clients, witnesses and jurors. Rather than calling a parish courthouse and asking them to send certain documents, a task that may take weeks to months, someone from the LCAC will go to the courthouse personally, find the documents and have them returned within a day. The methods of the LCAC are designed to be as efficient as possible and this often means that all contact is done face to face. This provides for excellent opportunities to build a rapport with those who work within the system and also for interns to take on these tasks themselves. A great deal of responsibility and trust is given to interns and this is reflected in the sheer amount of hands on work assigned to us. I was able to work directly with the investigators and lawyers on numerous different cases. This


allowed me to follow through on the work I completed which in turn gave me a real sense of contribution. The methods of the LCAC during trial preparation are incredibly effective and efficient, and experiencing it first hand gave me invaluable knowledge which I am still able to apply in my career today. While working with an issue as sensitive as the death penalty you can be certain that your communication skills will be tested. Whether you are dealing with court officials, witnesses or clients, your ability to be professional and friendly are always on display. The LCAC are acutely aware of the power of communication in constructing an effective defence at trial. Strong links are maintained with the client and their family, giving all interns countless opportunities to operate as that personal link between the lawyers and their clients. Visits to the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola) were frequent and always moving. The men that I visited were always eager to share their experiences with surprising candour and wisdom. Every time I left behind those thick plate glass windows at death row I was always humbled by the conversations I had with the men on the other side. I left New Orleans with a great sense of humility. Humbled by the selflessness of the many people at the LCAC who dedicate much of their lives to this cause. Humbled by the ongoing suffering endured not only by the families of clients and victims alike, but also the jurors, who are still haunted by the memories of the trial and the unfair burden of having to decide whether another man should live or die. Most importantly, I was humbled by the wisdom, endurance and courage in each inmate I met on death row, men who confront more fear and uncertainty every morning than most people in many lifetimes.

Image courtesy of Eric E. Johnson

Since my Reprieve Internship I’ve interned with the United Nations at the ICTY and have this year started my “articles” at the Office of Public Prosecutions. My advice to any young lawyers would be to keep your options open and don’t be afraid to look beyond the veil of “big law”; Don’t fear rejection, you’re more than the sum of your grade average; Find something your passionate about and pursue it relentlessly.

You can read about Reprieve, become a member, donate or volunteer at

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

admissionpractice to legal practice groups


Human Rights Law Alexandra Phelan, Solicitor Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Contrary to some experiences, life as a Law Graduate at a top tier commercial law firm does not mean: a) you’ve sold your soul; b) you’ll never get a chance to make a difference; and c) you have to sacrifice your passions and interests. Having now completed my first year at Mallesons as a Law Graduate, I am even more confident that I made the right decision; for my career, my passions and my interests. At the top of the list for these latter two points, is my love of human rights law. Whilst working at Mallesons, myself and nearly all of our Law Graduate group, have worked on numerous human rights law matters, including some incredible high profile cases that have made an important difference in the Australian legal human rights landscape. Mallesons has a designated Human Rights Law practice group, with the same structure of our other practice groups such as Dispute Resolution, Tax and M&A. Rather than being a physically separate practice group, the Human Rights Law practice group spans the entire firm, allowing Law Graduates and lawyers to be ‘placed’ in the group, whilst still working in the commercial law practice groups. Instead of this becoming an additional burden, all hours worked in the Human Rights Law are counted towards your billable targets. This is the same for all pro bono work across Mallesons, where pro bono hours are considered equal to commercial billable hours. The Human Rights Law Group is led by a litigation Partner and has a steering committee that is comprised predominantly of Law Graduates and junior solicitors. This means that most positions held on the committee are held by Law Graduates. This year, I was lucky enough to take on the role of Charter monitor. This meant that it was my responsibility to monitor new legislation presented to the Victorian parliament and arrange articles to be written analysing the impact on and compliance with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and

Responsibilities. These articles were published monthly in the Human Rights Law Resource Centre’s Bulletin, along with other articles prepared by the practice group on overseas and domestic human rights cases. Other roles on the committee held by Law Graduates include secretary, events coordinator, Human Rights firmwide eNews, seminars coordinators and internet coordinator. During my time at Mallesons, I have had the chance to work on a number of human rights projects including NGO Shadow Reports for CROC and CEDAW to the UN on Australia’s treaty compliance, submission to DFAT on ICESCR Concluding remarks, the International Humanitarian Law Perspectives for the International Committee of the Red Cross, a project in conjunction with CARE Australia on human rights in Papua New Guinea and work as a pro bono solicitor for the African Legal Service and Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic. One of the most exciting projects was working on the successful High Court voting rights case, heard and decided in the days before the 2010 Federal Election. Mallesons’ human rights lawyers and Law Graduates, from across the firm worked intensely, preparing submissions and briefing senior members of the Bar. One Law Graduate who worked particularly intensely on the matter even briefed counsel in Canberra at the High Court hearing. This case was a major verdict, securing the Constitutional right to vote for approximately 100,000 Australians, and setting a very powerful precedent. Law Graduates play an incredibly pivotal role in the human rights law group practice area. Like many other Law Graduates from last year, and the years before us, becoming a first year lawyer has not changed our capacity to get involved in the human rights law group - in fact, new opportunities, such as appearing in court for clients, arise. If you feel that being a Law Graduate at a commercial firm may quash the dreams you held dear in your first years of law school, then perhaps have a closer look at Mallesons; where I can personally say I’ve found the best of both worlds.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Working in Administrative Law

Nicola Taylor, Solicitor Russell Kennedy

Administrative law is a complex and fascinating practice. It is an area of law that is constantly evolving as its political and socio-economic context changes. Administrative law regulates the basic rights of individuals, the public and businesses against the government by ensuring that those individuals and bodies exercising administrative power do so within the law. Public servants, Ministers of the Crown, statutory authorities, regulatory agencies, commissions, local councils and some non-government organisations such as social or sporting bodies, all exercise administrative powers. At university, I remember my administrative law subjects as being fairly dry, technical and tedious. However, I was lucky enough to gain a place in a practice area at Russell Kennedy which exposed me to a broad range of diverse and interesting administrative law matters. The experience of practising administrative law is so different from studying it. As previously noted, administrative law is all about regulation of the exercise of administrative power. What this translates to in practice is regulation of decision-making powers which affect the lives of people. In my experience, administrative law is all about people, and it exposes lawyers to a rich variety of individuals and bodies who exercise administrative power and whose lives and livelihoods are affected by the exercise of that power. Administrative law impacts on people’s lives in more ways that you would imagine; paying tax, claiming social security or appealing a council planning decision, as well as matters of national and political importance. Representative of the administrative law issues tackled by Russell Kennedy have been: •


an appeal against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to ban an elite athlete from competition

an appeal against the decision of DIAC to cancel the visa of a refugee with a tragic history resisting an application to VCAT by a health professional to overturn a decision to cancel her registration due professional misconduct an appeal to AAT by an aged care provider disputing a decision worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars by the federal Department of Health and Ageing

These matters and many of those that administrative lawyers are involved in are political and controversial. The application of administrative law principles has been made even more interesting since the advent of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. Despite its importance, administrative law is often approached with apprehension, even by experienced lawyers. Administrative law is full of technicalities and is said to be one of the most dense and difficult areas of law to understand, but it is satisfying to know that an Australian athlete competed at the world championships because of Russell Kennedy’s expertise and hard work, and that a young person with a tortured history now has chance to become a responsible citizen. It is equally rewarding to take those legal principles and technicalities, put them together with an understanding of the political landscape and shifting policies and obtain satisfying outcomes for our clients, whether it be millions of dollars at stake, or a person’s liberty.

Life as a junior lawyer at Mallesons in Banking & Finance Andrew Barrett and Nicholas Aird, Solicitors Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Had someone told us two years ago that we would be starting our legal careers as banking and finance lawyers I think we both would have walked in the opposite direction. Very quickly. Unlike other areas of practice such as corporate, property and dispute resolution, banking and finance law doesn’t seem to get much of a lookin on the elective list of the typical law student. So when we selected B&F as a practice group we naturally had some apprehensions. From the outset the transactions seemed so big and we

had heard rumours that the hours could be long. Sure, we knew that the B&F lawyers dabbled in some banking and some financing, but that couldn’t be all, could it? To make matters worse, not all of us had commerce or finance backgrounds from university. Between us, for example, there was a civil engineering degree and an arts degree. How would we survive? Well, it didn’t take long for our initial apprehensions to be dispelled. By the end of the first three months we had worked on - and

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

completed - a few ‘deals’ together and become good mates within our new team. The work you will do as a junior lawyer in the B&F group varies greatly. Rarely are two days the same and you are sure to learn a lot in a short time. You could be involved in largescale government infrastructure projects and international wind-farm developments on one day, while on other days it may be a smaller corporate financing or the design of specialist financial products and tax-effective structures. You will also likely be assisting your friends in other areas of the firm with the financing of their corporate acquisitions or latest high-rise property developments. In B&F you also have the opportunity to undertake some research and advisory work. Our specialist team of regulatory lawyers frequently advise lenders on their anti-money laundering, privacy and consumer credit related obligations. Common to all B&F subgroups, you will be given the opportunity to draft letters of advice and transaction documents such as loan agreements and security documents. We were given great responsibility in our early days - while still feeling supported by a partner or senior associate - which meant feeling very involved in the various transactions. While the hours are sometimes longer than you’d like (but who hasn’t had one or two late nights during swot vac?!), the overwhelming feature of our time in the office is the amount of fun we have. We do look forward to coming into the office and working with the colourful mix of characters in the group. Despite what you may have in mind when you hear the words “banking” and “lawyer” in the same sentence, the group is always up for a coffee, a group lunch, drinks after work or a laugh at any time of day. The celebratory lunches and dinners which seem to accompany most deals aren’t too bad either!


All in all, we’re both very happy with our decision to start our legal careers in the B&F team. Not only is the work challenging and cutting-edge, but the environment, while professional, is always supportive and down-toearth.

Taxation Law Practice at a Large Law Firm Amber Agustin, Senior Associate Clayton Utz The practice of taxation law at a large law firm involves two distinct and equally important areas of practice: tax law advisory work, and tax law litigation and disputes work. As a tax lawyer in a large law firm, you would advise a range of clients including blue chip corporate clients, private corporate groups, government agencies and departments and high wealth individuals. A tax law advisory practice primarily involves advising clients in respect of anticipated or contemporaneous transactions. It is the role of the tax lawyer to advise on the possible tax consequences of a transaction and to advise on alternative structures of the transaction. The tax advisory lawyer may also be asked to advise on the taxation consequences of transactions which have already taken place. Tax lawyers are required to have strong knowledge of other areas of law that touch upon their practice, including corporations law, commercial law, property law, trusts and equity. Tax lawyers work closely with lawyers in other practise groups and often receive instructions from internal clients, ie, other lawyers at the firm. Tax disputes lawyers are required to advise on tax law in the context of an existing or possible dispute with the revenue authorities, primarily the Australian Taxation Office, but also the state revenue offices. A tax disputes lawyer may be brought into a matter by a tax advisory lawyer when the matter first becomes contentious. A tax disputes lawyer can expect to advise clients before and during audits, conduct proceedings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, conduct proceedings and appeals in the Federal Court and the state Supreme Courts and advise clients in a range of pre-dispute scenarios, including pre-dispute tax settlement negotiations. Accordingly, a tax disputes lawyer is also required to have the skills of a litigator.

fact, many tax lawyers have their accountants prepare their personal tax returns for them! However, tax lawyers often work closely with accountants and engage them as experts to assist within their area of expertise, much as a construction lawyer might engage an engineer or a property lawyer might engage a valuer to assist on certain defined issues. There is some overlap between certain aspects of the role of a tax accountant and the role of the tax advisory lawyer. Tax advisory lawyers and tax accountants both advise on the tax consequences of transactions. However, there is very little overlap between the role of a tax accountant and the role of a tax disputes lawyer. While tax accountants will attend to the ordinary, day to day tax affairs of a client, once a matter becomes contentious, the services of a tax lawyer are required. This is because lawyers have the requisite legal knowledge and training to not only provide tax advice, but also to advise on complex questions of statutory interpretation, litigation practice and procedure, evidence and other areas of law that may be relevant to the dispute and to conduct the proceedings before the Courts. Importantly, clients do not have the protection of legal professional privilege when being advised by accountants. Working as a tax lawyer is interesting and challenging as it involves a broad range of other legal issues. Tax law is a vast area of law and there are as many experiences of tax law practice as there are tax lawyers. The practice of tax law includes compliance advice, transactional and structuring advice, negotiations and litigation. Tax law is always changing and it is certainly one of the most technically challenging areas of practice.

The work of tax lawyers differs from that of accountants. Tax lawyers do not maintain books of account or prepare tax returns. In

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011


Commercial Real Estate at Baker & McKenzie Nick Betts (Junior Associate) and Jamie Thurin (Graduate at Law) Baker & McKenzie Baker & McKenzie’s Commercial Real Estate Group assists major local and international clients in maximising the efficiency of their real estate investment portfolios throughout Australia, the Asia Pacific and beyond. The Group specialises in assisting real estate fund managers, private equity investors, hotel management companies, public and private sector clients (including high net worth clients), project financiers, developers and property trusts doing business across Australia and in offshore markets. The size and diversity of the Commercial Real Estate Group at Baker & McKenzie has allowed both of us to be involved in matters that range from entire project management to smaller scale advice work. We will often work closely with our other practice groups such as our taxation, corporate, construction law and employment law practices, enabling us to deliver the most effective results for our clients. With many international projects, we have also both been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with other Baker & McKenzie offices throughout the Asia Pacific region and elsewhere in the world. The ability to do this has given us a unique level of experience and definitely creates a buzz for us as junior lawyers.

• • •

commercial leasing matters for various Melbourne city buildings; real property purchases for high net worh individuals; and mortgagee sales of Queensland and Northern Territory properties.

The opportunities to work on transactions such as those above, within such a well-established specialist commercial real estate group, has been invaluable to our growth as lawyers and we are both beginning to develop a solid understanding of all aspects of the Australian commercial real estate industry. A career in commercial real estate matters provides knowledge and experience that is challenging and very rewarding. Whether buying a house, using public parks or spaces or just the fact that the local pub is being redeveloped into a group of townhouses, real property issues are always turning up. It is great to have first-hand knowledge and experience in the field of real property as it is an integral part of the world around us.

We have been involved in advising on acquisitions, sales and developments of hotels and resorts, commerical leasing, hotel management contracts, intergrated resort developments, golf course schemes, governement regulations and problems that arise with the ongoing management of properties. More specifically, some of the key transactions we have both been involved in include: • •

a corporate client purchase of various Australian resorts and hotels; the real property aspects of larger-scale corporate merger;

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Competition Law Verity Quinn, Senior Associate Allens Arthur Robinson

I didn’t know much about competition law when I was at university, and I wasn’t particularly interested in finding out more. It sounded boring, seemingly confirmed by the fact it involved something called econometrics. Then three years into my legal career, I was working as a judge’s associate when I heard a case relating to a price-fixing cartel and I began to look into the area more closely. I discovered that competition law is essentially designed to make people better off – enhancing ‘consumer welfare’ and providing ‘consumer protection’. It uses economic theory to try and work out how the law should be shaped in order to achieve that goal, either through the promotion of competition or the restriction of unfair business behaviour. It is an imprecise tool to achieve a social policy that is itself difficult to define, and so generates constant debate and conflicting interpretations. I realised it was not so boring after all.


Competition law’s regulation of business activities is achieved in various ways - for example, through preventing competing companies from agreeing prices for their output or agreeing not to compete with each other in certain areas or for certain customers, and by the monitoring of mergers to try and prevent firms growing so large and powerful that they can act in anti-competitive ways. This area of law is increasingly hitting the headlines as it develops a more global character. Currently, over 100 countries have competition law regimes, the most notable recent addition being China, whose new competition law rules came into effect in August 2008. Trans-national companies, cross-border deals, and the global movement of goods and services trigger the jurisdiction of multiple countries, and competition authorities around the world are increasingly working in cooperation with one another – meaning that advisers often find themselves working in multi-

Trans-national companies, cross-border deals, and the global movement of goods and services trigger the jurisdiction of multiple countries, and competition authorities around the world are increasingly working in cooperation with one another - meaning that advisers often find themselves working in multi-national teams...

national teams. In addition, the criminalisation of certain anti-competitive behaviour in some countries, including Australia since July last year, has heightened the focus on competition law. The potential for jail terms has significantly increased the risks of non-compliance for individuals, and hence has increased the interest business people have in competition law. Once I finished my associateship I became a competition lawyer at Allens Arthur Robinson. I later took a leave of absence to work at the Australian Competition Tribunal where I worked with the various judges, economists and businesspeople who make up the Tribunal and got to see how the interaction of the various disciplines underlying competition legislation worked in practice. After that, I headed to London where I got my bearings working in EU competition law at Linklaters. I then spent two years as an inhouse lawyer at Shell International, advising businesspeople on competition law around the globe and getting to see the diverse approach taken by competition authorities in places such as Norway, the Ukraine and Kenya. Since returning to Allens, I have found that competition law is more interesting than I’d expected, and brings more diverse career opportunities than I’d ever expected too.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Construction and Infrastructure at Corrs The Construction and Infrastructure sector is a major industry that underpins a substantial component of the Australian economy. Corrs has a well established reputation within the industry as a leader in the provision of legal services. This reputation stems from the quality of the service that we provide and is reflected in the increasing number of politically and economically significant matters that we are involved with.

High profile work As a graduate in the Construction and Infrastructure group you will be given the opportunity to develop your legal skills by working on a range of high profile matters. Some of the recent work we have done recently includes: •

acting for NBN Co in connection with the rollout of the National Broadband Network (the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history); acting for ING in relation to the structural flaws of the Southern Star Observation Wheel at Docklands; and advising the Victorian Government in relation to its implementation of the Victorian Desalination Project; and acting for Clough Engineering in an arbitration with Origin Energy, know as “the BassGas Project” which involved claims in excess of $100m; and advising AJ Lucas Group in Supreme Court and Appeal Court proceedings concerning BHPB’s Minerva natural gas field project at Port Campbell.

A unique aspect of working in the Construction and Infrastructure group, is that you will often be able to see the physical results of the work you perform (sometimes from your office window).


Diverse range of experiences You definitely won’t be spending your time endlessly photo-copying and filing. On any day you may find yourself: • • • • •

instructing counsel in Court proceedings; attending client functions; negotiating the operation of a major public infrastructure project; preparing a detailed legal advice; or socialising with colleagues at a Corrs Young Professionals’ event.

Graduates are able to experience both “frontend” (contract negotiation and drafting) and “back-end” (dispute resolution and litigation) work. As it’s generally expected that most graduates are uncertain about their preferred area of specialisation, the benefit of having a diverse range of work on offer should not be underestimated. The work types range from drafting, negotiating and advising on contracts, to negotiating and advising on complex public private partnership projects, to advising and representing clients in dispute resolution. As a result, lawyers in the Construction & Infrastructure group are exposed to a dynamic variety of legal disciplines, including contract, tort, competition, financing, dispute resolution and intellectual property. There is also the opportunity to work in collaboration with different practice groups within Corrs, and we often work closely with lawyers from our Banking and Finance, Planning and Environment, Tax and Litigation groups.

Positive working environment The group prides itself on the level of camaraderie that exists between colleagues, and the regular social events that are held are a reflection of this positive working environment. Senior lawyers are engaged with all members of the group and graduates are encouraged to approach them whenever they require assistance.

A unique aspect of working in the Construction and Infrastructure group, is that you will often be able to see the physical results of the work you perform (sometimes from your office window)...

Investing in you A significant amount of time is also invested in ensuring that graduates remain up-to-speed with developments in the industry. Fortnightly practice group meetings are held and graduates are encouraged to attend the various industry functions that are run.

Why Corrs? The diverse range of high profile matters, coupled with a positive working environment makes the Infrastructure and Construction group the perfect environment within which to start your legal career.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Corporate/M&A Chris Taylor, Lawyer Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Do you read the financial press and take an interest in the major transactions shaping Australia? Are you a person that enjoys the thrill of an adrenaline rush? If your answer is “yes” to both and your still reading, then you should consider a cutting edge career in corporate/M&A law.

• Corporate/M&A at Corrs gives you the chance to work on deals that are stimulating and challenging and because of a flat operating structure, junior lawyers have the opportunity to work with multiple partners, for multiple clients on a wide range of matters in a wide range of industries. Junior lawyers are not asked to specialise in an obscure specialist skill set and in fact it is highly discouraged. You are instead encouraged to broaden your horizons and get as much corporate/M&A law experience as you can. What the flat structure means is that you can work with partners that have practices involving, public M&A (takeovers and schemes of arrangements), private M&A, equity capital raising, corporate restructuring, managed investment schemes, as well as “bread & butter” commercial contracting. The broad practice areas give junior lawyers the chance to work closely with other teams in the firm giving you further exposure to all aspects of corporate/M&A deals. Such exposure may include working with the insolvency litigation team on selling significant assets out of a liquidation, with the property team on the sale of large land parcels or with the tax team on complex tax effective deal structures. Corrs is an excellent place to grow your corporate/M&A career as not only do you get exposure to a diverse range of matters, you get to work on some of the biggest deals with leading Australian and foreign companies, investment banks and private equity houses. Recent examples include: •


the Vodafone and Hutchison

Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (operator of the “3” brand in Australia) merger of their telecommunications businesses in Australia; the sale of the key businesses out of the Allco Financial Group and Timbercorp insolvencies; the Yanzhou Coal (Chinese company) acquisition of Australian coal mining firm Felix Resources Limited.

Corrs also has a strong Asian focus within its corporate practice which gives junior lawyers an interesting dynamic of working for foreign clients and positions the firm well to take advantage of the economic upturn in China and elsewhere in emerging Asia. These foreign clients also bring with them interesting regulatory issues – such as approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, the Board that examines proposals by foreign entities to undertake direct investment in Australia and makes recommendations to the federal Treasurer. Corporate/M&A at Corrs is not for the faint hearted or those that enjoy the routine of heading home at 5:30pm every night – but for the times when there are late nights or weekends, it is well worth it. With the recession in Australia over and the global recovery underway, corporate/M&A activity is on the up and now is a perfect time to get on board. There’s never a dull moment.

Clients today are demanding a new breed of law firm – one that bridges the gap between legal practice and business challenges. Corrs is that firm. The biggest advantage of working at a firm that doesn’t operate by the old rules is opportunity. Here, your career can go as far and as fast as you want to take it. Of course, we don’t expect you to get there by yourself. Our learning and development program is one of the best in the country. You’ll always know where you’re going and what you have to do to get there. And there’ll be plenty of us to guide you the whole way. So if you want to be part of something different, talk to Corrs today.

making career sense melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Employment Law at Baker & McKenzie I started my career at Baker & McKenzie as a seasonal clerk in the Employment Group. Having enjoyed studying employment law at university, I was keen to experience employment law in practice in a commercial environment. Two years and several graduate rotations later (through our Corporate, Commercial Real Estate and Dispute Resolution groups), I settled as a permanent member the Firm’s employment practice. Employment regulation in Australia is a web of State and Federal instruments setting minimum working standards and protections for workers and compliance measures for employers. It was the multi-faceted nature of employment law and the ever-changing political landscape which initially drew me to employment law. As part of working for a leading global law firm, I was also attracted by the prospect of working for clients in many different countries. As a junior lawyer in the Employment Group at Baker & McKenzie, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of multi-jurisdictional matters, including liaison with international clientele and lawyers from many different jurisdictions. Advisory employment work is a key component of what we do. At Baker & McKenzie, our Employment Group advises on all aspects of employment law including executive remuneration and contracts, incentive and option schemes, policies and procedures, contractor arrangements, collective industrial relations, enterprise bargaining, performance management, disciplinary and termination issues, redundancy and restructuring, outsourcing, transfers of business, directors’ duties, fraud investigations, privacy, breaches of confidentiality and post-employment restrictions. Baker & McKenzie also regularly act in the area of employment disputes. For example, we advise on and defend general employment-related litigation, which might focus on the terms of an employment contract or an industrial instrument. We also advise on and defend unfair


Emma Coetsee, Lawyer Baker & McKenzie

dismissal claims. Since starting as an associate in our Employment Group, I have also had the opportunity to assist with the preparation and defence of a number of occupational, health and safety prosecutions. Employment law is a dynamic and constantly evolving area of practice. Since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) , our Employment Group has played a leading role in advising clients about their new obligations and ensuring that we keep abreast of important changes to the regulation of employment law in Australia. The best way to experience the work of our firm is through a clerkship. Baker & McKenzie has an intake of both summer and winter clerks every year. If you like a balance of disputes and advisory work, are stimulated by an everchanging area of law and want to be at a firm with international reach, the Employment Group at Baker & McKenzie is an excellent place to start your legal career.

Family & Relationship Law Stephanie Doyle, Lawyer Lander & Rogers

After my graduation from university and prior to commencing my articles year, I was determined to be an industrial lawyer. I was certain my first rotation in family law would be just a temporary obstacle towards achieving my goal. However, one week into my rotation, I became hooked on family law, and much to the surprise of my family and friends, I have practised exclusively in this area ever since. How did this happen? My love for family law developed when I realised that no two family law clients would ever present with the same issues and problems. The attraction for me lies in the fact that all human relationships, and especially family and other intimate relationships, are infinitely complex and varied. As a practitioner in the area, I am required to address and advise on all manner of legal issues arising as a result of family relationships. Given the ever changing nature of society, and our ideas as to families, the practice of family law is certainly an evolving one. In March 2006 I undertook my first graduate rotation with the Family & Relationship Law group. I then joined the group on a permanent basis as a newly admitted lawyer in March the following year. My practice is wide ranging and varies from simple property matters to the more complex and substantial settlements involving corporate interests and structures and third parties. I also handle children’s matters such as residence, contact and other discrete issues. As a family lawyer, my first aim is to attempt to resolve matters by negotiation - without recourse to litigation. In some matters, however, litigation is inevitable and, indeed, necessary, and I frequently operate matters both in the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court. I’ve also recently concluded de facto property proceedings and testator family maintenance claims in the Supreme Court.

in a number of complex children’s matters which involve IVF and assisted reproductive technology. Recently, I have presented to Monash IVF to discuss some of the complex legal issues which arise in their practice. My practice also involves same sex and defacto relationships. Family Law also has an increasingly international flavour, as people relocate or commence relationships overseas. Our clients regularly have assets, and children, located all over the world. Family law is undeniably challenging and can be highly emotionally charged. At times, my role is to not only act as a legal representative, but also as part social worker, part psychologist and part “best friend.” Dealing with clients when they are at their most emotionally vulnerable presents particular challenges to the family lawyer. Issues concerning my clients don’t always arise during business hours, and it is a pre-requisite of being a good family lawyer that you are available and accessible to your clients after hours and on weekends. However, the cons of a family law practice are more than outweighed by the personal and professional rewards and the immense satisfaction derived from resolving the most personal of disputes for my clients; and providing them with legal and moral assistance in order to move past the emotional trauma and look forward to the next stage of their lives. For anyone not considering a career in family law, I would encourage you to at least contemplate a rotation during your articles year. The experience may just surprise you!

As the idea of ‘family’ has changed in recent times, so have the issues which necessarily confront family lawyers. I have been involved

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011


Insolvency Practice in a Large Law Firm Paul James & Nick Poole, Partners Clayton Utz In broad terms there are two types of insolvency, being corporate and personal insolvency. As an insolvency solicitor in a large law firm, your skills are predominately drawn on to advise in respect of corporate insolvency. This is simply a reflection of the corporate nature of clients of major law firms. That is not to say that some insolvency practitioners in major law firms do not advise on, and even specialise in, personal insolvency (ie bankruptcy). In doing so, such practitioners may advise trustees in bankruptcy, but are usually called upon to advise individuals who are faced with the threat of impending bankruptcy or the creditors of those individuals. In such circumstances, individuals on the verge of bankruptcy are likely to seek advice as to the ways and means available to them to avoid bankruptcy. For example, Alan Bond escaped the jaws of bankruptcy as a result of his legal advisors being able to convince his creditors to accept and vote in favour of an arrangement where they would receive less than one cent in the dollar. In these circumstances, the compromised debt is usually more than the creditors would have received in the bankruptcy. However, convincing the creditors of a potential bankrupt to accept such an arrangement is usually an extremely difficult task, especially in circumstances where some of the creditors feel personally aggrieved by the conduct of the debtor (ie the bankrupt or potential bankrupt). As stated above, the primary role of an insolvency solicitor in a large firm usually relates to the giving of advice in respect of corporate insolvencies. In this regard, you are often sought out to advise accountants who have been appointed liquidators, receivers (and managers) and administrators of companies. It is generally well recognised that accountants from the major accountancy firms and the specialised insolvency accounting firms who are appointed to these positions have an extensive understanding of not only the accounting issues relevant to such insolvent administrations but

also many of the legal issues which arise during such administrations. In fact, there is generally a significant overlap of legal and accounting issues. Therefore, for an insolvency lawyer to add value, there is a real need to keep abreast of all developments in this area of law. Further, during the course of many receiverships, liquidations and voluntary administrations, there often arise contractual disputes and disputes with creditors as to who has proper title to certain property and assets in the possession of the company at the commencement of the relevant administration. Extensive negotiations and sometimes litigation are often the result of these disputes. With the continued development and broadening of the law in relation to directors’ duties, it is often the case that directors, shadow directors, senior management, consultants and even accounting advisors seek the advice of insolvency solicitors as to their potential liability for insolvent trading. In particular, during economic downturns when companies may face difficult financial decisions, the issue of insolvent trading will often be debated in the boardroom of those companies. Given the significant potential personal liability of directors, accurate advice is required to finely balance the sometimes competing concerns of insolvent trading and the continued existence of the company. While insolvency law is often considered to be a morbid area of the law, it is better to look upon an insolvency solicitor as one who assists companies in avoiding corporate destruction and assisting directors in avoiding potentially significant personal liability. If this is not able to be achieved, insolvency solicitors are essential to assist liquidators, receivers and administrators in their duties to ensure that the usually blameless corporate creditors receive the maximum return on their debt. Insolvency solicitors often work hand in hand

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

While insolvency law is often considered to be a morbid area of the law, it is better to look upon an insolvency solicitor as one who assists companies in avoiding corporate destruction and assisting directors in avoiding potentially significant personal liability.

with corporate restructuring solicitors in their attempts to assist clients avoid corporate destruction by rehabilitating otherwise viable businesses suffering financial stress as a result of poor management, the economic climate (or a combination of both) as well as other factors. Where possible, informal restructuring outside of the external administration regime often results in improved returns while at the same time avoiding the costs and time associated with external administration. Given the question of solvency is always relevant in the restructuring of a financial distressed borrower, it is important to be cognisant of the relevant insolvency issues, obligations and potential liabilities so that clients can be armed with a fall-back insolvency plan should restructuring negotiations fail. It is the achievement of either saving a company in financial distress or, where that is not possible, facilitating the best return to creditors on their debts, that is one of the primary sources of satisfaction in practising in the insolvency field. An insolvency practitioner is exposed to a number of stakeholders in an administration or liquidation, such as the liquidator or administrator, directors of the company, secured and unsecured creditors and even regulatory bodies such as ASIC. It is this interaction and the energy involved that makes practising in the insolvency area a fulfilling experience.


Intellectual Property Law David Jackson, Senior Associate, IP Litigation section, and Thor North, Senior Associate, Patents and Trade Marks group Freehills

What does an intellectual property lawyer do?

Variety – as well as variety in the categories of IP rights, there is enormous variety in the areas of technology and business to which those rights are applied. Pharmaceuticals, computer software, medical devices, retail (including online) services, fashion, mining and electronics – these are just some of the diverse contexts in which IP rights are important, and which arise in our everyday work. An IP lawyer must complement his or her knowledge of the law with an understanding of the relevant field of technology or business, and this provides many opportunities to learn about areas of science and commerce, often in collaboration with world specialists in those fields, which can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Global relevance – many IP prosecutions, transactions and disputes have an international flavour. For example, the licensing of IP rights often occurs across national borders. Similarly, litigation can occur simultaneously in numerous jurisdictions in connection with equivalent or closely related patents or trade marks, such as when a generic drug company releases a product in Europe, the USA and Australia at about the same time, and is sued in each market. In such cases, a client’s strategy for succeeding in the Australian case may be balanced with its international strategy, which introduces subtleties and challenges into an IP lawyer’s role.

Teamwork – an IP lawyer has opportunities to work with a range of other specialists, including patent and trade mark attorneys, M&A and corporate lawyers (for example in M&A deals involving valuable IP rights), commercial litigators (for example in contract cases that include an IP element), scientists and other technical experts, and of course his or her clients, which as mentioned above can derive from many different fields of technology and

In general terms, a lawyer practising in intellectual property assists clients to protect, exploit and enforce their IP rights. These rights include patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, and all relate to valuable, intangible property. Patent and trade mark attorneys typically take the primary role in the process of registering IP rights such as patents and trade marks, however IP lawyers regularly become involved, particularly in cases where opposition proceedings (which are a quasi-revocation procedure conducted before IP Australia) arise. Exploiting IP rights enables parties to derive value from the rights. It can involve, among other things, using, licensing or assigning the rights. IP lawyers assist by, for example, preparing the agreements that provide for these activities, advising on legal issues that may affect the rights, and working with colleagues in M&A in connection with the sale or acquisition of a business or company with valuable IP rights. The enforcement of IP rights occurs when there is a dispute between 2 or more parties about those rights. In a given case, an IP lawyer typically assists either the rights holder, to try to establish that the rights have been infringed, or the party against whom the infringement allegations are made, to defend the allegations and often to seek to invalidate those rights. In addition to ‘pure IP’ rights, IP disputes frequently involve issues of misleading and deceptive conduct, equity (such as breach of confidence) or contract (for example, where breach of an IP licence is alleged).

Why IP? There are many factors that make IP law an interesting and exciting area of practice, such as:

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011



commerce. Also, IP groups within law firms are typically smaller than general corporate or litigation sections, enabling everyone to get to know each other well, and providing younger members of the team with opportunities to do more interesting work sooner. •

Most of all, budding IP lawyers (and patent attorneys) should be keen to learn, receptive to new ideas and approaches in their work, motivated to work in a team environment and on a wide range of challenging legal issues and cases, and eager to have fun.

Evolving issues of policy – IP is a dynamic area of law. It continues to adapt as new areas of science and technology emerge, new global markets rise to prominence, and new modes of exploiting IP rights (such as the Internet) are developed. And an IP lawyer must adapt with it. New ideas and new ways of doing things are constantly called for, meaning that one’s practice is unlikely ever to stale.

Becoming an IP lawyer Apart from a law degree, there are no prerequisites to be an IP lawyer. A background in science, engineering or another technical discipline can be useful, but is not essential. A familiarity with and interest in emerging trends in technology and commerce will enliven your practice of IP law, but can be acquired as you go. Even studying IP subjects as part of your law degree is not mandatory, though of course doing so will help you decide whether it is an area of law you wish to pursue. If you have a strong interest in science and technology, and you are studying or have completed a technical degree, you might consider becoming a patent attorney, in addition or as an alternative to becoming an IP lawyer. In order to become a patent attorney, you need a technical degree (usually a science or engineering degree) and you need to pass qualifying examinations in certain specialist areas relating to IP law and patent and trade mark practice, and work with a registered patent attorney for a period of time.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Mergers & Acquisitions Tiffany Barmann, Lawyer (Admitted in the United States) Arnold Bloch Leibler

Do you pick up the business section of the newspaper first each morning or fancy the Fin Review? Are you interested in helping companies grow, restructure or expand into new markets? Do you value a commercial and practical approach to law? If so, then building a practice in mergers and acquisitions law may be right for you. Mergers and acquisitions law (aka M&A law) is a dynamic and challenging area of law. M&A lawyers work on matters ranging from private sales of small businesses to public company hostile takeovers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. One of the best things about being an M&A lawyer is that you are involved as a strategic adviser to a business from the genesis of a transaction until that transaction completes (at which time everyone is usually very happy - and tired). This gives you a unique opportunity to learn and understand the inner-workings of your client’s business. You are heavily involved in structuring, negotiation and documentation matters ranging from business sales, asset sales, joint ventures, corporate takeovers and reorganisations. Most M&A lawyers also have a role in providing advice to companies transitioning from private to public companies via IPOs (i.e. initial public offerings) and providing advice to public companies on raising capital via rights issues, private placements, share purchase plans or otherwise. These are important and exciting events for the company involved. I joined Arnold Bloch Leibler in early 2008 after having moved to Melbourne from the United States. In my 2 ½ years at Arnold Bloch Leibler I have been exposed to a wide range of M&A transactions and have learned a great deal about Australian law, and business in general. One of the most important things I have learned is that, although knowing the ‘black letter law’ is essential, that is only a small


part of being a good lawyer. The best M&A lawyers understand the commercial pressures and realities that drive their clients’ businesses and can help their clients achieve their strategic goals. Arnold Bloch Leibler’s M&A team is led by some of the best legal advisers in the industry. Our partners and lawyers are commercial, practical and results driven. For over 55 years, Arnold Bloch Leibler has developed strong relationships with its clients and gained experience advising on transactions in a broad range of industries including online businesses, retail, consumer goods, telecommunications, health services, infrastructure, resources and financial services. Arnold Bloch Leibler’s client base includes some of the most recognisable companies and successful entrepreneurs in Australia and abroad. Arnold Bloch Leibler’s M&A team is part of its corporate and commercial practice area. Lawyers that work in the team also provide advice in relation to day-to-day legal issues that arise in the companies we represent. This means that our relationships with our clients are ongoing - they don’t just end at the completion of an M&A transaction. Being a corporate and commercial lawyer focussing on M&A law at Arnold Bloch Leibler is truly a challenging, interesting and rewarding career.

Thinking outside the square At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to attracting and retaining the best. So when recruiting seasonal clerks and graduate trainees, we look for people who are seeking something out of the ordinary. We value our people who bring a diverse range of skill, talent and experience to the firm. Because today’s clerks and graduate trainees are our future competitive advantage, we offer them opportunities beyond the usual run-of-the mill experience. At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we are known for doing things a little differently. As one of Australia’s leading commercial law firms, our philosophy is to look for out-of-the-box solutions.

Edward Russell

Catherine Macrae

Daniel Mote

Nancy Collins

“Before commencing articles, I had completed a seasonal clerkship and worked as a paralegal at ABL. I was drawn to ABL by its size, its cutting-edge work and the variety of people – there is certainly no ‘typical ABL person’.”

“I’ve always had a strong sense for social justice, and from my experience working in the Children’s Court and as a volunteer at a community legal centre, I wanted to work for a firm that contributes to the broader community.”

“My clerkship at ABL was both rewarding and representative of the work I now experience. I work closely with my supervising partner, with real responsibility and access to high quality work.”

“As a mature age student with a young family, I wanted a firm that would recognise my life experience, value my skills and respect my family responsibilities. Managing work and family can be a challenge, but the culture at ABL made it much easier than I anticipated.”

For more information, visit the careers section on our website Level 21 333 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia Telephone 61 3 9229society 9999 Facsimile 61guidebook 3 9229 9900 2011 melbourne university law students’ careers Level 24 Chifley Tower 2 Chifley Square Sydney NSW 2000 Australia Telephone 61 2 9226 7100 Facsimile 61 2 9226 7120

We’re building meaningful careers Opportunities include placements in our Melbourne CBD office and surrounding surburban and regional offices including Geelong At Maurice Blackburn, we provide access to justice and fight for worthy causes. We treat others fairly and with respect. We are committed to excellence in our work, underpinned by honesty and empathy. These values are derived from our history and remain at the heart of the Firm today, influencing our vision for tomorrow. Maurice Blackburn is not just another law firm. We have a unique culture and our employees enjoy benefits including health and wellbeing initiatives, such as gym memberships, social club activities and the opportunity to be involved in our Social Justice Practice. To be able to practice law in a way that is stimulating, challenging and purposeful, in a place that shares the same values for the pursuit of social justice as I, is something I appreciate every day when I walk through the door. – Natasha

Justice Respect Excellence Honesty Empathy SPD3354

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Major Projects (Class Actions)

Kimi Nishimura, Lawyer Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Class actions are an important access to justice mechanism for two main reasons. First, they provide access to remedies where a number of people have been affected by a particular action and the total loss suffered is substantial, but individual actions would not be economically viable. Class actions thus give access to the courts to those people who would otherwise effectively be denied justice because of the high cost of taking action.1 Secondly, class actions enable those who are ignorant of their rights or fearful of embarking on proceedings to access a remedy where group proceedings have been commenced on their behalf.2 Class actions also perform an important regulatory role, encouraging a greater degree of compliance with


laws whose purpose is to prevent or discourage activities which cause loss or injury to others by increasing access to legal remedies.3 Maurice Blackburn is one of a small handful of law firms in Australia that bring class actions on behalf of those who have suffered loss or injury. Introduced into Australia in the nineties, initial class actions were brought in relation to product liability and personal injury claims. For example, Maurice Blackburn successfully brought the Copper 7 and Dalkon Shield class actions. In recent times, class actions have been brought by Maurice Blackburn on behalf of victims of illegal price-fixing and shareholders who have suffered loss due to corporate

misconduct. These include the class action against Multiplex alleging that it breached the continuous disclosure provisions of the ASX Listing Rules and the Corporations Act and/or engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and the Air Cargo class action. The action alleges that that surcharges imposed in relation to airfreight services by seven major airlines were used as a mechanism to increase prices by secret arrangements between the various airlines and that they were not connected with increased costs of operations as represented by the airlines. Maurice Blackburn is also acting jointly in the Bushfire class action which has been brought against an electricity company on behalf of the victims of the Kilmore East to Kinglake bushfire of Black Saturday. The action claims compensation for personal injury, property damage and economic loss.

As a junior lawyer, I have had the opportunity to work on shareholder and cartel class actions, and on the Bushfire class action. The work is hands-on and fascinating, as class actions are unique procedurally and relatively new to Australia. As an emerging area of law, there are plenty of involved legal research tasks for junior lawyers and plenty of difficult legal concepts to grapple with. Unlike working in a commercial law firm, however, because class actions are brought on behalf of numerous group members there is still room for client contact at a relatively junior level. The result: a highly interesting and involved career choice for young lawyers with a social conscience.


2 3

See the Second Reading Speech to the bill which introduced the Federal class actions regime. Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 14 November 1991 (Michael Duffy, Attorney-General). ALRC Report No 46, “Grouped Proceedings in the Federal Court”, 34. Ibid, p 33.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Medical Negligence Law Laura Vines, Lawyer Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Reflections on working as a medical negligence lawyer… Injuries from birth trauma; emergency department misdiagnoses leading to death or permanent brain injury; or delayed diagnosis of cancer. These are just a few cases that you might work on as a plaintiff lawyer in medical negligence. In medicine, like in life, mistakes happen and sometimes things go wrong through no fault of the medical practitioners involved. At other times, however, things go wrong because unreasonable or substandard care has been provided. This may be due to a lack of technical skill or knowledge on the part of the doctor, or because of a failure to properly listen to the patient and appreciate the significance of their symptoms. Sometimes it is due to poor communication or inadequate administrative practices within hospitals or medical clinics which result in a diagnosis being overlooked or in treatment being unreasonably delayed. It is within this complex and controversial context that the medical negligence lawyer works. As a result, it is a diverse, challenging and deeply engaging area of practice. Putting together a successful medical negligence claim can be like completing a delicately constructed jigsaw puzzle. Each case is a world of its own requiring rigorous research, creative thinking and detailed analysis. The daily tasks of a medical negligence lawyer are as diverse and stimulating as the factual scenarios. Routine tasks include taking detailed instructions from clients, pouring over medical records and compiling chronologies, briefing medico-legal experts, consulting with experienced barristers, in-court advocacy and negotiating with the other party’s solicitor. There is also a constant need to conduct research to learn about the injuries, illnesses and treatments that appear in new cases.


A strong capacity for empathy and excellent communication and interpersonal skills are vital in this area of work. The medical treatment and resulting injury is often a highly traumatic and confusing experience in a client’s life. The lawyer needs to find a way to put their client at ease and remain understanding, whilst still eliciting the detailed instructions required. In addition to running civil compensation claims, our work can also involve representing clients through coronial inquiries. We also assist our clients with complaints to the Health Services Commissioner and advise them about the Medical Board of Australia. This work can be deeply rewarding, particularly when the results lead to increased accountability or patient safety in future. So if you are looking for a career in law where you will never stop learning and will be able to make a meaningful difference in your client’s lives, then medical negligence might just be the area for you.

Life as a Graduate in Planning & Environment Zach Tyler, 2nd Year Solicitor Freehills No one day is quite the same as the next in the Planning and Environment Team at Freehills. This reflects the fact that by nature, the field of planning and environmental law is diverse and multi-faceted, spanning a wide range of disciplines and practices. This is also evident in the combination of both planning and environmental law into one practice group. It is hard to be a planning lawyer without having a grasp of a range of environmental law issues. Similarly, environmental law is integrally intertwined with the planning process. Much of our work at Freehills entails advising corporate and government clients on permits, licences and approvals that are often required for projects. This can entail anything from seemingly small matters, such as advising a council on whether individuals are allowed to post a sign without first obtaining a permit, to assisting a high profile corporation with a massive infrastructure project covering large tracts of land and worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to the integrated planning and environmental aspects of this work, there are also significant property and native title matters on which we work, including several native title determinations: any good planning and environment lawyer must have a strong grasp of the relevant property issues. Often we will prepare due diligence reports on compliance with environmental and planning laws for pending mergers and acquisitions. This work can be quite transactional, requiring the review of a substantial amount of documents. However, planning and environment work can also contain a significant litigious component, which balances out the more transactional component of the work. Our clients often require representation at panel hearings for planning approvals, or where there are disputes, either at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or in the State and Federal Courts. In many instances, our knowledge of the transactional side of planning and environment issues is applied to matters that end up in arbitration or litigation.

Although the bulk of our work is for corporate and government clients, pro-bono work also features in the team. Freehills runs an excellent pro-bono program, and there is opportunity for people across the firm to be involved. My pro-bono work has focussed on an NGO helping farmers to establish tree plantations and then sell the carbon sequestration rights to the trees in order to fight climate change – it’s been challenging, interesting, and really rewarding. As a graduate, I was the most junior member of the Team. Naturally, that entailed a fair amount of ‘grunt’ work, such as reviewing documents and researching statutory or case law in preparation for strategic client meetings.. However, this work is neither boring nor isolated. Often one feels overwhelmed and clueless as to how to accomplish one’s work. As a graduate, you realise that you have only just begun to learn how to be a lawyer. Mistakes and confusion are par for the course, and with time – and the full support of the team of professionals around you - you come to understand that this is how the real learning takes place. The Planning and Environment Team in the Melbourne office is comprised of some really talented, dedicated lawyers. The Team works closely together and has a focus on shared learning and a supportive environment. There’s also a focus on making everyone feel part of the Team, regardless of how junior or senior you are. Part of our daily interaction is very social, be it catching up for coffee at one of the local cafes, or going for a run together around the Botanical Gardens at lunch time. Much of a lawyer’s work can be solitary, in front of the computer and sifting through papers, but the Planning and Environment Team in Freehills’ Melbourne office has the perfect balance of work and play. In the end, that makes all the difference every morning as you face the day ahead of you.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Private Equity Law Chris Chong, General Associate Baker & McKenzie

What is private equity? The term “private equity” covers a range of methods used to finance unlisted (ie private rather than “public”) commercial ventures without using publicly traded shares or bonds. Whereas listed companies raise funds through capital markets from a broad investor base, private equity investment is typically pitched to a select group of institutional and management investors. The need for capital can arise for a number of reasons, such as to fund a start-up business (venture or seed capital), to fund expansion (growth capital) or to acquire a listed company in order to privatise or (de-list) it (leveraged buyout). Private equity plays a vital role in “filling the gap” for businesses that do not have access to public capital markets or traditional forms of debt funding. Many of the world’s most recognised businesses have been able to flourish due to private equity funding at early stages of their development, such as Microsoft, eBay, Kraft and Billabong.

What do private equity lawyers do? The work of a private equity lawyer is to “make deals happen”, while helping clients to navigate the law. Our clients are typically private equity firms – specialists who identify investment opportunities and pool capital into “funds” in order to invest in profitable businesses. The goal of a PE fund is to invest in an enterprise, boost its value, then sell their stake and crystalise profits for investors (usually within five years). Therefore, PE funds are constantly buying into or selling out of various businesses. During the so-called “golden age” of private equity in 200607, more than A$6.5 billion was raised by PE funds to fund acquisitions in Australia. Private equity lawyers facilitate the trading


activity of PE funds by preparing the necessary legal documentation. Typical agreements that a private equity lawyer can be expected to prepare include sale and purchase agreements, shareholder deeds, exit deeds, consortium agreements, merger implementation deeds, executive service contracts and subscription agreements. In addition, private equity lawyers play a pivotal role in the structuring of a transaction, often drawing on their commercial experience to drive the legal process.

What makes a good private equity lawyer? From a client’s perspective, an ideal private equity lawyer is one who can find solutions and facilitate corporate transactions using their knowledge of finance and the law. At a basic level, a sound understanding of the Corporations Act and a solid grasp of general corporate concepts is essential. As such, students with commercial backgrounds (such as a double degree in commerce/law) or at least a strong bias towards corporate law subjects tend to excel as private equity lawyers.

Working in the area of Road Accident Injuries Carolyn Kovac, Senior Associate Maurice Blackburn As the end of your law degree approaches, so to does the time to make the important and daunting decision of what area of law is right for you. Having practised exclusively in the area of personal injury law since commencing my articles, I hope to give you a few insights on what it is like to work in the area of road accident injuries. As a plaintiff lawyer my role is to ensure that my clients are receiving all their entitlements including their right to medical treatment and funding, lost wages and common law claims for pain and suffering and past and future pecuniary loss. Often people who are involved in transport accidents have no idea of the range of benefits that they are entitled to, or the difficulties they unfortunately can experience in trying to access them.

be exhilarating, nerve-wracking and good fun. You also may have the opportunity to make law through constructing new arguments and conducting appeals. Overall it is very satisfying to be able to assist your client to secure compensation to which they are entitled to, making their lives easier for years to come. You also get the opportunity to work as a team with your client’s doctors, social workers and care providers as part of their support network. As a plaintiff lawyer, you can leave work every day knowing you have helped make a positive difference to your client’s life.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in road accident injuries is the opportunity you have to represent individuals from all walks of life. Transport accidents are indiscriminate. They can and do happen to anyone. I have met many interesting and memorable people whilst working as a plaintiff lawyer. As their lawyer, you are a key player in helping your clients through what is a very traumatic time in their lives. Importantly, you are not only helping your clients individually, but also helping their family members. I have found that to be able to work successfully in this area you need to be a person who is capable of empathy and patience. You are often dealing with clients who may have emotional and psychological problems because of the significant negative impact their injuries have had on their lives and often the lives of their family members. Plaintiff personal injury litigation is challenging and often unpredictable. It can range from attending mediations, instructing barristers at trials, picking juries and appearing before the Court and arguing interlocutory matters. It can

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Taxation Shaun Cartoon, Senior Associate Arnold Bloch Leibler

“Why on earth would I want to do tax?” is the question you have probably just asked yourself. Tax is boring, you say. Too challenging (I’d rather do property). Too specialised. As unbearable as standing within an inch of a stranger’s face on a crowded train thats running late.

understanding of the underlying commercial transaction. In this regard, although your advice may be limited to tax-related issues, your general commercial understanding will develop. For example, you can only provide GST advice to a property developer if you understand how the development is going to proceed.

If this is what you are thinking, it’s OK! After all, tax is not for everyone. But if you noticed the missed apostrophe in the last paragraph and this annoyed you - then maybe tax is for you. After all, attention to detail is one of the more important attributes required to work in tax. Other necessary skills include excellent communication skills, patience, a penchant for research, the confidence to form a view and, perhaps most importantly, a desire to think!

Similarly, you can only provide advice on the tax consequences of selling a business if you understand the nature of the assets held by the business and the mechanism by which they are proposed to be sold.

Arnold Bloch Leibler is well known for its excellence in the area of taxation. Headed by senior partner, Mark Leibler AC, the tax group provides advice in most areas of taxation law. The high turnover rate of work is one of key benefits of working in tax. At any one time, I am usually working on between three and six matters, most of which are completed within a few weeks. In the last 3 years I have been involved in GST property disputes and tax litigation, and have advised on a wide range of areas, including employee share schemes, tax audits, complex capital gains tax issues, the taxation of trusts, fringe benefits tax, land tax and stamp duty. In addition to the wide range of commercial tax-related matters, tax lawyers at Arnold Bloch Leibler are generally exposed to more pro bono work than at other law firms. Our pro bono tax advice ranges from assisting Indigenous artists with their GST obligations, to applying for taxdeductible gift status on behalf of not-for-profit organisations. Although tax is a very specialised area of the law, the nature of tax work often requires an


Finally, for those of you wondering whether you can become a tax lawyer if your other degree is a Bachelor of Arts (as opposed to Bachelor of Commerce), my advice is that it makes very little difference. Although a commerce degree (in accounting) can be very useful, not having one is of no detriment. Being a tax lawyer is less about number crunching and more about providing useful, sensible and technically sound legal advice. In summary, those of us who work in tax enjoy its frenetic, intellectual and diverse aspects. Should you get the opportunity to experience working as a tax lawyer during your seasonal clerkships, my advice is to give it a go!

Information Technology Law Arvind Dixit, Senior Associate Corrs Chambers Westgarth Contrary to a commonly held perception, you don’t have to be a computer geek to be an information technology lawyer – it helps however, if you have an interest in technology. Practising in the field of information technology law is challenging, rewarding, and involves a wide range of legal issues (many of which are constantly evolving as new technologies develop). The majority of our work is advisory e.g. we draft agreements under which our clients supply or obtain information technology systems and services, we help our clients protect the intellectual property in software and websites they develop, we advise on e-commerce ventures and electronic payment systems and we help our clients comply with information privacy laws. When things become litigious, we work with litigation specialists to advise on disputes arising from information technology transactions and all sorts of Internet-based activities, from intellectual property infringement to defamation to misleading and deceptive conduct.

recently installed Wii mod-chip is legal. Many information technology practitioners have a technology related qualification as well as a law degree. This is not a prerequisite however, and all you need is an interest in technology as well as a willingness to adapt and learn. From a legal perspective, a good understanding of contract law and intellectual property law is important. Information technology law continues to develop extremely quickly, and it is now essential for any large firm to have specialist information technology practitioners to effectively service all of their clients’ business and operational requirements. As long as companies remain reliant on information technology solutions as part of their operations, new technologies emerge, and the Internet continues to expand, information technology law will flourish.

Nearly every aspect of an organisation’s business is dependent on information technology in some form. Accordingly, as an information technology lawyer you often work closely with other practice groups to advise on things like technology clauses in employment agreements, transitional technology arrangements following large corporate transactions, and the software and systems underlying major PPP projects. Some of the most interesting aspects of an information technology lawyer’s work involve navigating through the ever changing legal framework surrounding new and emerging technologies in order to provide practical and pragmatic solutions for your clients. A perk of the job is that your awareness of topical technological issues will also assist you in answering the numerous questions (that you will no doubt receive) from your friends about whether they can download the latest season of 30 Rock based on the iiNet decision, or if their

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Capital Markets Simon Schenkel, General Associate Baker & McKenzie

Capital markets describe the “markets” or places where companies can go to raise money that can be used for various purposes, such as to buy other companies, pay down their debts, bolster their balance sheets or fund expansion plans. The capital markets are broadly divided into two. Equity capital markets (such as stock exchanges) describe the places where companies raise money by selling partownership of themselves (shares) to individuals and institutions (such as superannuation funds). Debt capital markets describe the various loans, bonds and instruments through which companies borrow money, primarily from banks, and where those debt instruments may sold or traded to third parties. There are a number of different mechanisms that a company can use to raise funds through the equity capital markets. A proprietary (or private) company can convert to a public company through “listing” its securities on a stock exchange, (such as the Australian Securities Exchange or ASX) through a process known as an initial public offering (IPO). The ASX has strict disclosure requirements on companies whose shares are listed on it, which enables the trading of shares in an open marketbased system. An existing listed company can tap its shareholders and new investors for additional funds through various fundraising mechanisms such as rights issues, placements or share purchase plans. As an associate in Baker & McKenzie’s corporate group I have been exposed to highprofile capital markets work. Working closely with Baker & McKenzie’s partners, I have been involved in a number of capital raisings involving ASX-listed entities, including an IPO and a number of other types of capital raisings. We have advised companies from a number of sectors, such as resources and property development. As a seasonal clerk with Baker & McKenzie, I worked on the IPO of an oil exploration company and then was able to work with the same company further down the track


in my career when they were a target of what is know as a “hostile” (or unsolicited) takeover bid by another company. From a legal perspective, capital markets work is highly technical and any capital markets lawyer will tell you that to be a successful lawyer in this area you need to have a strong understanding of the Corporations Act, the ASX Listing Rules and a solid background in market practices. At Baker & McKenzie, you get support from senior lawyers so that you can get up to speed with the regulatory framework and are not left alone to mull over interpreting complex legislative provisions. You also get to be intricately involved in capital markets transactions and produce work that you end up seeing released to the client. Equity offers involve a number of parties and Baker & McKenzie’s corporate group has considerable experience in acting for both issuers (the companies raising capital), the banks which “underwrite” the deal (i.e. agree in the first instance to take up any shortfall of shares which are not taken up by the offerees) and the banks who manage or arrange the deal. Quite often, Australian companies “offer” shares on the international equity markets (simply, look for buyers of shares in other countries) and we work closely with our global network of offices to advise companies wishing to raise capital from institutional investors in many international jurisdictions. We also have lawyers in our Australian offices with international experience, and last year, we acted as International Counsel on A$11.1 billion of international offerings by Australian companies, and as US Counsel on A$3.3 billion of equity offerings in the US. As an example, our group worked as US Counsel on Qantas’ $500 million placement and as international counsel on Amcor’s $1.6 billion entitlement offer involving 19 countries. Corporate and capital markets practice is challenging and fast-paced. The work flow

You don’t need a Commerce degree to be a corporate/ capital markets lawyer, although it helps in the first instance to understand how companies operate and how they raise (and spend) cash. Overall, if you’re interested in business, commerce or finance, capital markets work, or corporate work more generally, is for you.

matches the demands of the transaction. You don’t need a Commerce degree to be a corporate/capital markets lawyer, although it helps in the first instance to understand how companies operate and how they raise (and spend) cash. Overall, if you’re interested in business, commerce or finance, capital markets work, or corporate work more generally, is for you. Baker & McKenzie offers its young lawyers the opportunity to develop with the leading global law firm with unparalleled international credentials and high-profile Australian, foreign and multinational clients. Having an interest in international business, the choice to work in Baker & McKenzie’s corporate team was an easy one for me.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

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Arnold Bloch Leibler

Contact details

Paralegal work

Leanda Nissen, Senior HR Consultant Level 21, 333 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Phone: (03) 9229 9871 Fax: (03) 9916 9516

Paralegal work is available usually only to students that have clerked with us and will be returning as law graduates.


ABL adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines.

Total Principals : 29 Total Solicitors: 71

Graduate positions are only available to applicants who have undertaken a seasonal clerkship at Arnold Bloch Leibler.


10-14 traineeship positions are available. Refer to for details of the application process. Applications should be made by those who have completed seasonal clerkships at Arnold Bloch Leibler by 25 July 2011.

Melbourne and Sydney

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • •

Graduate entry

Banking & finance; Commercial & corporate; Litigation & dispute resolution; Native title & public interest law; Property & development; Public companies; Reconstruction & insolvency; Taxation; Technology & intellectual property; Trade practices; Wealth management; and Workplace advisory.

Pro bono work Giving back to the community has been a core value at Arnold Bloch Leibler for over half a century. We represent in the public interest and on a pro bono basis, a diverse group of charitable and not-for-profit organisations that are active in the cultural, health, religious, Indigenous and environmental sectors. The practice is coordinated by Peter Seidel, Partner. Many of the firm’s lawyers devote time and skill to worthy social causes. In 2008/09, on average, each Arnold Bloch Leibler legal professional devoted, on average, 70 hours of public interest (or pro-bono) work.

There is no formal rotation process at Arnold Bloch Leibler. This is because as a law graduate at Arnold Bloch Leibler you will experience a broad range of work and by not rotating you will receive a better quality of work, supervision and client contact. However, law graduates are given the opportunity to move to another area of practice after (or before) nine months if they desire.

General information Arnold Bloch Leibler is a leading commercial firm with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. The firm represents a wide range of individuals and corporate clients and has a dedicated pro bono practice providing advice on social and environmental issues. Arnold Bloch Leibler is particularly well known for its expertise in commercial law, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation and property. In these areas, the firm has been involved in many landmark matters and transactions. Arnold Bloch Leibler runs a dedicated professional development program for all Law Graduates. The program includes both technical and business skills training and is facilitated by a mix of Arnold Bloch Leibler partners, staff and external presenters. In addition, Law Graduates are encouraged to attend regular in-house CLE

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Allens Arthur Robinson

Contact details Tiffany Rogers, Graduate Resourcing & Development Consultant Ph: 9614 1011 Fax: 9614 4661 530 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Approx. number of Partners: 190 Approx. number of solicitors: 690 Approx. total number employees: 1700

Offices Allens has a strong national and regional presence with 14 offices throughout the Asia Pacific region. We have four national offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and another ten overseas offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Port Moresby, Shanghai and Singapore. This means that our lawyers have a number of opportunities to travel. All our Asian offices are staffed by lawyers and partners on secondment from our Australian offices as well as local legal and support staff. Allens also has a ‘best friends’ relationship with leading UK law firm Slaughter & May enabling lawyers from both firms to work on transactions as an integrated team.

Practice areas As a full service commercial law firm, Allens provides a broad range of corporate and commercial advice. We have thirteen practice groups in total spread across four departments: •


Corporate: Competition Law, Energy & Resources, Communications, Media & Technology, and Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets. Litigation & Intellectual Property: Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Insolvency, Insurance, and Intellectual Property & Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys. Financial Service and Projects: Banking &

Financial Services, Tax, and Projects. Asia: Greater China, and South East Asia.

Pro bono work If you are interested in contributing not only professionally but socially and ethically to the world in which you live, you will fit right in at Allens. Our charity, pro bono and environment programs are our way of responding to these aspirations. For many years, our firm has built close relationships with many charities and has supported them through personal engagement, direct financial support and the provision of pro bono legal assistance. Through our extensive pro bono practice, we are able to use your talent and experience, not only for organisations and people in need, but also to advance the public interest and to assist in the resolution of important legal issues. We acknowledge that, as a law firm, we have the capacity to redress disadvantage and injustice. Guided by our Footprint Committee, we strive to minimise our impact on the environment. Our focus on the environment reflects another attribute of our people: a keen eye to the future.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available. Undertaking paralegal work enables law students to work part-time, while seeing theory put into practice. A number of our offices provide the opportunity to see how things work behind the scenes and to work on the detail that brings together some of our major transactions and matters. Apply through our online application system at

Graduate entry Allens adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Contact Tiffany Rogers and look online for application dates. Law graduates spend their first two years rotating through two departments. We believe the longer rotation provides a comprehensive, rather than superficial, knowledge of each practice area, giving graduates an opportunity to

develop strong relationships with partners and other lawyers in the department. Our graduate development program provides the foundation skills, experience and knowledge necessary for building a successful legal career at Allens. The program includes information sessions with past graduates, senior lawyers and partners, legal seminars, workshops with expert facilitators, system training, admission support through Practical Legal Training and on-thejob training supported by a buddy and mentor. To link with our two 12 month rotations, the program extends over 24 months with a comprehensive induction in the first four weeks.

options for junior lawyers. Part of our best friend relationship with Slaughter and May in London includes the opportunity for one of our 2.0 year lawyers to spend 12 months working at Slaughter and May in London. The junior lawyer selected for this program will be someone who has demonstrated leadership potential and who will be a strong ambassador for the firm.

We are looking for people who share our commitment to excellence and people who want to give their legal career the best possible start. Strong academic performance is important, but so is your ability to think laterally, be flexible, see the bigger picture, work as part of a team and treat others as you would expect to be treated yourself. Apply through our online application system at

General information At Allens we pride ourselves on a stimulating environment based on our intellectual excellence and individual interests. We value excellence, honesty, integrity and a willingness to work as part of a team where everyone is valued and committed to a common purpose. We also value the importance of training and encourage a culture that supports the ongoing learning and development of our people. You will also find that we are as committed to the community as we are to corporations. We support a diverse range of charities and undertake a broad variety of pro bono work for individuals and not for profit organisations. We take this professional obligation very seriously and encourage our lawyers to be involved. Opportunities available at Allens include the chance to participate in international and interstate experiences. These opportunities are not only available in our offices in the Asia Pacific region; the firm also has contacts around the world. Increasingly, our interstate and Asian offices are also included as part of the rotation

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Baker & McKenzie

Contact details Amanda James, Manager - Talent Management Ph: 9617 4325 Fax: 9614 2103 Level 19, CBW, 181 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size; Offices Baker & McKenzie is an instinctively global law firm. Our Australian practice is the fourth largest in our network of 67 offices in 39 countries around the world. With 91 partners and 197 lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne, Baker & McKenzie Australia can offer you access to complex, market-leading matters working with some of the world’s best legal minds – people who know the law and who understand business. We have an unrivalled ability to provide training and secondment opportunities across our global network. Locally, we have an inclusive culture of learning, coaching and opportunity where you will work in small teams on matters that often cross borders. We value people who think ahead and get noticed.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • •

Banking & Finance Commercial Real Estate Construction; Corporate; Dispute Resolution; Employment; Environment & Environmental Markets; Information Technology & Communications; Intellectual Property; and Tax.

Pro bono work We care about the same things you do. Poverty, hunger and homelessness. The health of our planet. Social justice. Quality legal representation for all. We believe that connecting with the community and sharing one’s skills and


time with those in need are core professional responsibilities. In 2009, we billed about 10,000 hours of our lawyers’ time to pro bono and over 80% of our lawyers and staff participated in one or more programs. As a clerk and graduate lawyer, you will work closely with other lawyers to run Pro Bono matters and you will have the opportunity to participate in our community service initiatives.

Paralegal work We aim to fill most of our casual research clerk roles with our previous seasonal clerks who are in their final years of university. However, we will also accept applications from interested students all year round and will recruit for these roles as they become available. Applications should be submitted via our job board (http://fsr.

Graduate entry Baker & McKenzie adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. If positions are not filled via the priority offer system, general applications will open through cvMail. 10-12 traineeship positions are available. Our Melbourne office participates in the priority offer system where, to be eligible for a priority offer, candidates must have completed a Seasonal Clerkship or 30 days paralegal work with the Firm during the past two years. Our Sydney office recruits graduates directly after their Summer Clerkship and throughout the year if required (online applications can be submitted through the Career Opportunities page on our website). Graduates in Melbourne they complete three rotations over 18 months before they join a particular practice as an associate and in Sydney complete three rotations over 24 months. You will be assigned a supervising partner and a buddy in each rotation to oversee your on-thejob and formal learning. At Baker & McKenzie we have a deep commitment to your development. We work with all our graduates to create development plans and career goals. To help you reach your goals, we offer tailored learning opportunities—

from seminars on core legal topics to skills development in areas like writing, drafting and presenting. We also work hard to encourage on-the-job learning and the many ways it happens—through our mentoring program, experiencing a client secondment, linking in to a global team of colleagues on a matter, or running your own matter as part of our awardwinning Pro Bono Program.

We offer one of our successful Graduates an International Clerkship. The successful clerk will be able to choose any of our international offices to spend one month completing paid work experience as an employee of that office. All of our Graduates will have the opportunity to spend 3 months in an Asia Pacific office on our Asia-Pacific Secondment Program within their first 2-3 years.

We also cover the costs of your admission and practising certificate, and offer ‘gap rotations’ to those who are interested in developing life skills through travel or further study. We also offer flexible graduate start dates to those clerks wishing to pursue personal interests, such as travel, before they commence their full-time legal career. Applications should be submitted online at and should include a cover letter, details of your work experience, extra curricular activities and interests as well as academic results. Our Graduate and Clerkship programs are designed for people who enjoy a challenge and want new opportunities; who are strong academically and practical in their approach; who like taking responsibility and getting things done; who express themselves confidently while staying open to new ideas; who seek a friendly and inclusive culture where making a difference to our local and global communities matters.

General information Our professional development program is designed to support you at every level of your career. We encourage all our lawyers to develop skills in five key areas; legal expertise, business development, client service, matter management and people management. Our learning philosophy recognises that everyone’s learning needs are different. We work with teams and individuals to create meaningful and specific development opportunities and plans. The Firm provides financial assistance for students undertaking the College of Law or equivalent and encourages post-graduate study as a means of developing technical expertise. Financial assistance and study leave for approved post-graduate courses are available to all staff.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

BJT Legal

Contact details Stephen Drummond, CEO Ph: 5333 8888 Fax: 5333 2902

is assigned to a Director who is an accredited Specialist in their field and who provides the necessary supervision and guidance required. Depending on staffing requirements a rotational system through various departments may be available.

38 Lydiard Street South Ballarat 3350

Refer to for information on the application process. Applications close on 31 March 2011.


General information

Directors: 2 Solicitors: 6

Offices Ballarat

Practice areas • • • • • • •

Family Law; Wills & Probate; Commercial; Litigation; Mortgage/Finance; Taxation; and Corporate Planning.

Pro bono work The firm supplies solicitors on roster to the Central Highlands Community Legal Centre and also the Ballarat Duty Lawyers scheme. The firm is heavily involved in Pro Bono work for various Religious Orders, schools and charities on a needs basis.

Paralegal work The Firm runs a Summer Clerk position for Undergraduates who perform Paralegal work.

Graduate entry BJT Legal adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. One traineeship position is available. Positions are offered on an annual basis. Each graduate


BJT Legal has a proud tradition of leading the way in the provision of legal services to its clients. From its beginning over 70 years ago BJT Legal has developed a reputation for providing their clients with specialist advice to achieve the best possible outcomes. Our teams are committed to providing quality legal advice that adds value and results in practical solutions for our clients. We are constantly looking for innovative ways to achieve our client’s aims and strive to work with them rather than for them. A broad range of tuition is provided to graduates including training both on and off the job together with significant client contact which assists a smooth transition from graduate to legal practitioner.

Blake Dawson

Contact details

Pro bono work

Jasmine Malki, Graduate Development Manager (Melbourne Seasonal Clerk and Graduate Recruitment) Ph: 9679 3078

Blake Dawson has a strong tradition of pro bono work and since 1999 we have maintained a formal, national pro bono program. In 2007, Blake Dawson became a foundation signatory to the National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s target, undertaking to perform an average of at least 35 hours pro bono work per lawyer per year. We are pleased that each year since, our lawyers have exceeded that average.

Level 26, 181 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Number of partners: Firm wide: 182 In Melbourne: 45 Number of solicitors (excluding partners): Firm wide: 554 In Melbourne: 132


Paralegal work Paralegal work is available for incoming graduates and seasonal clerks.

Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Port Moresby and Jakarta (associated office).

Practice areas All commercial areas of practice broken into practice groups known as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Our particular focus is on issues affecting: • People with intellectual disability or mental illness and their carers • People and organisations in rural, regional and remote areas • Indigenous Australians • Youthlaw

Banking & Finance; Competition & Consumer Protection; Corporate; Corporate – Asia; Employment; Energy & Resources; Environment; Financial Institutions & Markets; Information Technology; Insolvency; Intellectual Property; Litigation & Dispute Resolution; Property & Tourism; Projects; Infrastructure & Construction; and Taxation.

Graduate entry Blake Dawson adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system; graduate positions in 2012 are available only to priority offer candidates. 20-25 traineeship positions are available, with three 4-month rotations in the graduate year. Our graduate program has been specially developed to provide a solid foundation for our graduates’ continued learning throughout their careers and to accelerate their transition from the university environment to a large commercial law firm


melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Blake Dawson continued As a graduate you will rotate through practice areas to help build your expertise and identify which area of the law you wish to practice. Your on-the-job learning is supported by a structured supervisory and training program, which is focused on the specific skills required for the relevant areas of practice. We are proud of our emphasis on feedback throughout your rotation and formalised by an appraisal at the end of each rotation provides opportunities for our graduates to review their progress with a view to longer-term career objectives. In addition, as part of the Practical Legal Training requirements, our graduates are enrolled in a specifically tailored College of Law program, which is largely delivered online but supported by face to face subject reviews and assessments. By giving us your best we’ll help you become a leader in your field. Our Graduate Program is the first step in developing a successful legal career. During the 12 months you’ll take part in a tailored orientation, development programs and three supervised rotations of our practice teams. In what will be a full and rewarding year, you’ll also complete your admission to practice requirements, complete your tailored College of Law program, participate in our internal seminar series and benefit from a comprehensive Learning & Development program. We also recognise the importance of building your knowledge and capabilities through post graduate study. We support continuing education for legal staff undertaking LLM programs connected with the relevant area of practice. We also support further language studies and business studies where appropriate. Study leave and payments are available.


Brian Ward & Partners

Contact details

work with the other teams at various times.

Julianne Collard, Shared Services Manager Ph: 9657 3507

Refer to for more information on the application process. Brian Ward & Partners are currently not offering Traineeships for 2011.

Level 11, 555 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 5 Directors; 3 Associate Directors; 4 Senior Associates and 6 Solicitors

If Traineeship positions do become available in the future, they will be advertised on our website and traineeship graduates who have satisfied their professional requirements to be admitted to practice should feel free to make enquiries at this time.

General information Offices

Brian Ward & Partners is a mid-tier legal practice based in Melbourne with trans-national and international clients.


Practice areas • • • • • • • • • •

Travel; Tourism; Telecommunications; Sport; Information Technology; Construction; Government Services; Higher Education; Aged Care; Not for Profit; and Medical Sciences

Pro bono work

The practice provides strategic legal services to commercial clients in a disciplined but creative environment. The firm aims to deliver bankable, timely and user-friendly advice around the key risks to which commercial undertakings are exposed. The firm offers one on one mentoring from a Director, supported further education and client contact, to name a few. Promotion within Brian Ward & Partners is on merit and can be rapid. Most importantly, we produce extremely competent, well rounded lawyers.

Brian Ward & Partners provides pro bono legal services on a director approved basis.

Paralegal work Paralegal opportunities are offered if and when required.

Graduate entry Brian Ward & Partners does not adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. When traineeships are available, our programs do not have strict rotations. The successful candidate is allocated to one team for entire program, however there are opportunities to

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Corrs Chambers Westgarth www,

Contact details Sarah Chapman, Human Resources Coordinator Ph: 03 96723408

and Melbourne was particularly noted when we received the Victorian Law Foundation Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award.

Paralegal work

Level 36, Bourke Place 600 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Paralegal work is available.


Graduate entry

Firm Composition Nationally: Partners: 112 Legal Practitioners: 420

Corrs Chambers Westgarth adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.


All application dates are in accordance with the Law Institute of Victoria guidelines:

Melbournne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Practice areas

• •

Corrs operates within three main operating divisions: •

• •

Corporate and Finance (Intellectual Property, Technology and Competition, Taxation, Corporate Advisory, Banking and Finance) Property and Development (Construction, Planning, Environment and Local Government, Property and Infrastructure) Litigation and Workplace Relations

Pro bono work As an organisation, Corrs recognises the importance of contributing to the community and facilitating access to justice. In the last 12 months, Corrs has provided more than $7 million in pro bono services. We feel that it is our responsibility to ensure that legal services are available to those who cannot pay, to those who are disenfranchised and to those who have genuine legal issues of a public interest nature that need to be pursued. Corrs’ work in establishing legal clinics in Sydney, Brisbane


Applications for 2011 Seasonal Clerk positions close: Sunday 21 August 2011. Applications for 2012 Graduate positions close: Friday 26 August 2011. Applications for Priority offers close: Friday 22 July 2011

There will be approximately 21 graduate positions in the Melbourne office in 2012. During the program graduates complete three rotations. This includes a rotation through both a litigious and transaction based practice area. The Graduate Development Program offers an unparalleled level of training, rotation opportunities and an extensive support network. Graduates receive support throughout the program via a Supervising Partner, Graduate Manager and a Buddy. The Supervising Partner is responsible for the graduate’s workload, skills training and practical experience. The Graduate Manager is a senior lawyer who provides day-to-day guidance, including clarifying expectations as well as helping build a skills base to assist with career development. The Buddy is a junior lawyer who helps graduates settle into the firm and their practice group.

During the Graduate Development Program, participants will attend Practice Group Inductions designed specifically for graduates. The Program features workshops covering essential elements of legal practice, as well as practical skills. They will also participate in Continuing Legal Education seminars that are open to all lawyers and focus on more specific issues relating to different practice areas.

We believe in fostering a work environment that promotes flexibility and diversity. It’s an essential part of our strategy – because our differences help us to think differently. And we’re proud that Corrs has been an ALB Employer of Choice for three successive years and has made BRW’s list of 50 Great Places to Work in Australia. We’ve also earned an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women citation for five successive years.

All graduates also undertake Practical Legal Training conducted in conjunction with the College of Law in each office, assisting them as they work towards their admission.

General information Corrs offers a market leading learning and development program. We provide generous support for undergraduate and postgraduate study and have established the Corrs Scholarship Program for Individual Excellence where high performing employees receive the opportunity to attend short training courses at institutions like Harvard, Oxford and Yale. Corrs Chambers Westgarth is one of Australia’s largest law firms employing more than 900 people throughout Australia. But our vision is not just about size. Our vision is about being the leading law firm in target industries that are driving Australian and international business. Industries like energy and resources, financial services, communications and media, property, infrastructure and construction and Government. It’s about delivering a new level of legal service that bridges the gap between legal advice and business challenges to create success for our clients. And it’s about building an inspiring workplace where our people are engaged and empowered to make this happen. We’ve been busy! Corrs is working on many of the biggest and most exciting deals in the country – complex and highly innovative deals that are changing the Australian business landscape. We’re acting for NBN Co Limited on the $43 billion rollout of the National Broadband Network and for Foster’s Group on all aspects of the proposed demerger of its Beer and Wine businesses. As well as four of Australia’s five largest LNG projects with a combined development budget exceeding $75 billion.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Clayton Utz

Contact details Catherine McDougall, Graduates Co-ordinator Ph: 9286 6000 Fax: 9629 8488 Level 18, 333 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Number of partners: Firm wide: 190 In Melbourne: 38 Number of solicitors: Firm wide: 807 In Melbourne: 153

Offices Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Darwin, Perth and Brisbane.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Banking; Construction; Government Services; Information Technology; Media and Telecommunications; Energy and Resources; SIMI (Superannuation, Insurance, Managed Investments); Transport and Logistics; Utilities; Commercial Law; Corporate law/Equity Finance; Intellectual Property - Corporate; Mergers and Acquisitions; Native Title; Privatisation and Corporatisation; Taxation Law; Workplace Relations and Employment Law; Environment and Planning Law; Debt Finance; Derivatives; E-commerce; Insurance; Major Projects; Managed Investments;

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Project Finance; Securitisation; Stamp Duty; Structured Finance; Superannuation; Construction; Planning & Environment; Property; Administrative/Public Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Civil Practice & Procedure; Corporate/Tax Litigation; Defamation; IP/IT Litigation; Medico-Legal; Product Liability and Recovery; and Insolvency

Pro bono work Our pro bono culture is probably the strongest of any law firm in Australia. All lawyers, from graduates to partners, are expected to complete a minimum of 40 hours pro bono work a year. We seek to provide access to advice and representation for all, believing that this is crucial to the integrity of our legal system. Most of our clients are those who would otherwise slip through the cracks of our legal system.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry Clayton Utz adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. 14-20 positions are available each year, with two six-month rotations. Check the website for details of the application process, including dates. We aim to recruit all of our 2012 graduates from our seasonal clerk pool. Applications have closed for our 2010 Summer Clerkship and 2011 Winter Clerkship.

DLA Phillips Fox

Contact details Camilla Moore, Graduate Recruitment Advisor Ph: 9274 5000 Fax: 9274 5111 140 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Number of partners: Firm wide: 146 In Melbourne: 42

The firm’s target is to provide pro bono legal services with a notional value of at least 3% of the firm’s annual revenue. To achieve this our lawyers are each asked to undertake 50 hours of pro bono work each year. DLA Phillips Fox encourages participation in the firm’s Pro Bono program by giving lawyers full fee-credit for all work on pro bono matters. This ensures lawyers have the time they need to dedicate to pro bono work. By providing pro bono legal assistance we help these organisations direct their limited funds to doing what they do best - building better communities.

Number of solicitors: Firm wide: 504 In Melbourne: 135

Offices Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • •

hundred charities, nonprofits and community organisations that support disadvantaged people or promote environmental protection.

Banking and finance; Corporate and commercial; Dispute resolution; Government law; Insurance and risk management; Intellectual property; Planning and environment; Real estate and construction; Superannuation and funds management; Tax; Technology and media; and Workplace relations employment and safety

Pro bono work DLA Phillips Fox regards pro bono legal work as an important aspect of a lawyer’s professional responsibility. To encourage full participation by the firm’s lawyers, we operate a pro bono program which is both broad and deep. Every year we act on a pro bono basis for hundreds of individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. We also act for more than one

DLA Phillips Fox maintains a best practice commitment to pro bono. We employ a full-time pro bono team, which includes a dedicated Pro Bono Partner and several full-time pro bono lawyers, including seasonal clerks and graduates who are able to undertake a rotation in the pro bono team as part of the graduate and clerkship programs. We also support the community through nonlegal volunteering and philanthropic giving programs, through our Community Care initiatives.

Paralegal work We invite our future graduates and seasonal clerks to apply for paralegal positions if the need arises.

Graduate entry DLA Phillips Fox adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. All graduates are recruited from the seasonal clerkship pool. Up to 15 positions are available each year. DLA Phillips Fox does not accept applications outside of its seasonal clerk pool.


melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

DLA Phillips Fox continued

What we look for in candidates is simple: • • • • • • •

Intellectual ability Commitment and ambition International awareness Commercial and client awareness Team skills and leadership potential Communication skills Experience outside of academic life

It’s the combination of these characteristics that create the best fit for us – and for you. The common characteristic amongst our people is their commitment to excellence and enthusiasm for the firm’s values and goals. Our clerks and graduates do real legal work with great clients including attending client conferences and mediations, appearing in court and preparing cases for trial or involvement in major commercial transactions. As part of the DLA Phillips Fox team you’ll gain first-hand experience in the practice of law and an insight into the workings of a large firm under the guidance of some of the most approachable, experienced lawyers in their fields. Our partners and senior legal staff are always on hand to help and guide you through exciting and challenging projects. Our global alliance with DLA Piper also means our clerks and graduates have the chance to work alongside lawyers who are involved in international, multi-jurisdictional deals.



Contact details

Paralegal work

Carla Ragonesi, Graduate Recruitment Consultant Ph: 9288 1905 Fax: 9288 1567

Although not advertised, some paralegal roles are available throughout the year depending on business needs in the practice groups

101 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Freehills adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.


30-32 positions are available, the majority of which are recruited through their vacation clerkships. Any additional graduates positions outside of the clerkship pool will be advertised on Freehills’ website.

Partners: 72 Solicitors: 861

Offices Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore. Correspondent offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Jakarta.

Practice areas • • • • •

Graduate entry

Banking and Projects; Corporate; Employee Relations; Litigation; and Patents and Trademarks.

Due to the depth and breadth of experience across most Australia business sectors and industries, we also have specific areas of practice such as intellectual property, equal employment opportunity, mergers and acquisitions, environment, energy and resources, regulatory law, and health.

Pro bono work The Freehills Foundation brings together the Firm’s longstanding Pro Bono and Community Programs. There are opportunities for all members of staff to become involved in making a difference to the lives of individuals and community groups across a wide range of sectors.

There are three eight-month rotations during the graduate program. Life as a graduate at Freehills is one of intense learning. Our Graduate Acceleration Program (GAP) fosters this by encouraging the acquisition and sharing of knowledge at all levels of the practice. Should you choose to join Freehills, the GAP would provide you and your fellow graduates a two year nationally coordinated program which includes regularly scheduled training events, seminars, role-playing and practical skill-building sessions. Its aim is to provide graduates with the ability to develop their business skills and legal knowledge across a broad range of areas, training you to become a technically excellent and commerciallyaware solicitor. You will get the opportunity to experience rotations in 3 practice areas where you can ‘learn on the job’. During the rotation program our graduates are encouraged to gain experience with both litigious and advisory/ transactional matters. We focus on attracting students who have the ability, ambition and enthusiasm to excel. These attributes are assessed through academic results, extra-curricular activities and life experience outside of studies. Successful candidates are those who demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a team, think laterally and apply a practical approach to problem solving. Freehills is proud of its strong commercial focus and it is important that candidates reflect an understanding of that in their applications.


melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Freehills continued

General information Freehills is a top-tier law firm which provides innovative commercial legal advice with the resources and expertise of around 1000 lawyers across offices in Australia and South-East Asia. We undertake high-level legal work for Australia’s top companies and are involved in many of the largest and most complex commercial transactions in this country. Our ability to provide clients with legal, commercial and strategic solutions is built on experience and the desire to understand the commercial context in which a business operates. Freehills offers you one of the most comprehensive learning and professional development programs in the legal industry. We work with experts internally and externally to customise and tailor programs to help you build the skills and knowledge you will need on the job and to accelerate in your career. Whether you have just graduated or you are a solicitor with several years’ experience, our programs ensure that you continually build your expertise and can access a wide range of learning opportunities. Our Freehills online learning centre helps our people drive and manage their own learning and e-learning, guiding you on the range of programs available at different stages in your career. These programs focus broadly on technical/ legal skills and knowledge, people and teams, client relationships and commercial acumen, and management. These areas also form the basis of our performance enhancement program for all our people.


Hall & Wilcox Lawyers

Contact details Miranda Cawse , HR Advisor Ph: 9603 3418 Level 30, 600 Bourke Street Melbourne Vic 3000 Australia

Size Hall & Wilcox employs over 230 legal and non-legal employees in Melbourne. We currently employ 95 solicitors across the firm in a range practice groups.


We are committed to providing pro bono legal services to our local and national community. We also recognise that having a pro bono practice of substance gives our lawyers the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the community as well as encouraging the development outside their current practices areas or expertise. Our lawyers don’t do pro bono work because they have to, they do it because they choose to. Hall & Wilcox has a commitment to the community and has made contributions at state and national levels through:


Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The program not only acknowledges the importance of giving back to the community but guides and encourages environmental responsibility and outlines the sustainable practices we have adopted across the firm to reduce our environmental footprint.

Accident Compensation Litigation; Banking & Finance; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Competition & Trade Practices; Corporate & Commercial; Employment & Safety; Environment & Climate Change; Financial Services; Franchising & Distribution; Insurance; Intellectual Property; International Services; Private Clients; Property & Construction; Restructuring & Turnaround; Superannuation; Taxation; and Technology

Pro bono work Hall & Wilcox acknowledges that its success as a firm is derived from its culture and core values. We are committed to corporate social responsibility and take ownership for the impact our business activities have on the environment with consideration for the interests of our community. These values underline everything we do as a firm and are reflected in the Hall & Wilcox Pro Bono and Community Investment Program.

its support to the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) which is a partnership of committed national business leaders and companies working on mentoring and coaching programs. Hall & Wilcox officially joined ABCN in 2009 and our employees are involved in mentoring, reading and partnering programs which assist students in locations of high need; its support of goodcompany (www., including providing office space and corporate services assistance. Hall & Wilcox Managing Partner, Tony Macvean, is the immediate past chairman of the goodcompany national board; the provision of pro bono legal services through PIL CH, of which we are a member (

The firm is also committed to supporting a number of not-for-profit organisations and charities in the community. This includes initiatives such as monetary donations, sponsorship and hosting events. There are significant opportunities available to Hall & Wilcox employees to be a part of and contribute to the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Investment Program.


melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Paralegal work Yes, we do offer paralegal work from time to time, in certain sections of the firm, depending on business requirements. Interested candidates are asked to contact HR to inform them of their interest in paralegal work.

Graduate entry Hall & Wilcox adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Applications are accepted via Eight to ten traineeship positions are available. Trainees go on to complete five rotations of 10 weeks duration, and are given the opportunity to gain experience in most of the firm’s practice areas. The benefit of our rotational system is that by the end of the Traineeship, Trainees can make an informed decision about which practice area they might like to practise. Supervised Workplace Training (SWT) is one of the ways we differentiate ourselves from other mid and top-tier firms, many of who now enrol their graduates in Practical Legal Training (PLT) courses. We strongly believe that offering our Trainee Lawyers extensive on-the-job training through the completion of SWT will equip them with the necessary skills, firm knowledge and practical experience. As part of the Traineeship program, Trainees undertake an extensive induction program which provides an understanding of the firm structure, the broad range of work we do, our clients, and training in relation to the operations of the firm. During the Traineeship, Hall & Wilcox Trainee Lawyers complete up to five rotations of 10 weeks duration, and are given the opportunity to gain experience in most of the firm’s practice areas. The benefit of our rotational system is that by the end of the Traineeship, Trainee Lawyers can make an informed decision about which practice area they might like to practise. Trainees are allocated a ‘buddy’ to assist them in their transition from university to full-time


employment. Within each rotation, Trainees are also allocated a mentor and this provides a genuine opportunity to work alongside and benefit from the experience of senior lawyers. Trainees are given the opportunity to work with people across the firm at all levels, and this provides them with a solid foundation for their legal career. In addition to on-the-job learning, Trainees will benefit from weekly lunchtime training sessions which provide an opportunity to meet senior lawyers of the firm and hear about their area of law and how they progressed to a senior role within the firm. Trainees are also provided with the opportunity to attend various Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions to further enhance their skills. These personal and professional development initiatives are designed to help Trainees progress quickly and make a smooth transition into their legal career. As part of a Trainee’s development it is essential to receive regular and ongoing feedback and at Hall & Wilcox, Trainees receive ongoing feedback as well as formal feedback at the end of each rotation.

General information Hall & Wilcox is recognised as a great place to work. Our culture distinguishes us from other firms. We are proud of our culture and working environment and we continue to focus on improving the way we do things. With over 230 employees, staff turnover continues to be well below the industry average. The key reasons the firm continues to attract and retain high quality lawyers is due to the work we do, the clients we have and the positive environment and atmosphere of the firm. According to staff, Hall & Wilcox is “a fantastic firm to work in” which provides “opportunity for development” and “access to good work”. The firm offers a ‘family atmosphere’ and embraces genuine respect amongst our people. Hall & Wilcox promotes on merit and rewards performance and commitment. Approximately 40% of the partners completed their Traineeship (previously Articles) with the firm, demonstrating our ability to attract and retain skilled lawyers and provide them with a clear career path.

Harwood Andrews Lawyers

Contact details

Graduate entry

Stephanie Beard, Human Resources Manager Ph:5226 8523 or 0418 599 561

Harwood Andrews does not adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.

Size 14 Principals 37 Lawyers

Offices Level 13, 15 William Street Melbourne 70 Gheringhap Street, Geelong Law Services 10 Watton Street, Werribee

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Business and Corporate; Tax & Superannuation; Trusts; Intellectual Property; Property; Franchising; Dispute Resolution and Litigation; Wills and Estates; Family Law; Local Government and Public Sector; Agribusiness; Family Business; Planning & Environment; Transport & Logistics; Workplace Relations; and Building & Construction

Pro bono work Harwood Andrews Lawyers provides assistance to charitable organisations through its pro bono program. It also provides assistance to community focused groups in areas such as the arts, sports and education. This commitment is realised by the allocation of a significant internal budget that allows Harwood Andrews Lawyers to deliver legal services at no charge to chosen not for profit organisations.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Applications are accepted via hr@ The size of the yearly intake is determined by the firm’s requirements at the time. Graduates undertake a one year program with sponsorship to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice with the College of Law process. There are two rotations, one in business and one in dispute resolution.

General information Harwood Andrews Lawyers is one of Victoria’s leading law firms with more Law Institute of Victoria accredited specialists than any other firm in Victoria. We are the leading provider of legal services to businesses, statutory authorities and high net wealth family groups delivering outstanding outcomes to our clients. The firm has offices in Geelong, Melbourne and Werribee. We pride ourselves on creating future leaders and encourage creativity and innovative thinking amongst our staff. Harwood Andrews Lawyers is passionate, energetic and committed to its values of excellence, client dedication, talent and community connection. We foster a supportive and collaborative environment where our specialists are willing to share their skills, knowledge and experience. We are committed to providing personal and professional development and by mentoring our staff we empower them to achieve their best. “Your outcome - Our purpose” is the firms’ key focus. Our lawyers are committed to providing the best solutions for our clients. We strive to gain a true understanding of our client’s needs and this understanding promotes long-standing relationships. We are committed to the success of our people and our clients and this in turn delivers the success of our business.

Herbert Geer

Contact details Kathryn Bonning, Human Resources Consultant Ph: 9641 8905 Level 20, 385 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 330 in total incl. 50 partners and 115 legal staff.

Offices Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Practice areas • • • • • • • •

Commercial; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Planning, Government, Infrastructure and Environment; Employment, Workplace Relations and Safety; Property Services; IP, Technology and Entertainment; Workplace and Insurance Services; and Projects and Construction

Pro bono work Herbert Geer is committed to supporting and promoting social justice and the application of the law for the benefit of the disadvantaged. We actively encourage our staff to take part in community legal centres and undertake pro bono work during and outside working hours. As an incentive, legal staff receive credit for pro bono work in the same way they are credited for normal client work.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available throughout the year subject to the requirements of the practice.

Graduate entry Herbert Geer adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.


Seven traineeship positions are available, with two rotations during the graduate program. On commencement of the graduate program you will receive a principal, mentor and buddy to assist you through your graduate year and provide you with the opportunity to develop networks and contacts. Our Graduate program allows students to rotate through two practice areas receiving supervision from Partners and Senior practitioners. Furthermore, you will receive formal training in the form of ongoing internal and external workshops and training sessions. This will develop your key skills to a deeper level to assist you in becoming a more effective practitioner and to help you accelerate your career. Your PLT requirements will be met through a series of workshops conducted by Leo Cussen during business hours. In addition to this training and mentoring, you will be invited to attend mediations, court hearings, client functions and client meetings with your supervising partner to provide you with hands on experience, real exposure to matters and the chance to learn how to manage billable targets Refer to for details of how to apply.

General information Since the origins of the firm in 1939, Herbert Geer has developed a reputation as a distinctive and successful Australian law firm. The firm has 50 partners and 330 staff in offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We appreciate that each person brings something different to Herbert Geer and encourage our staff to continually develop their professional and personal interests. Our philosophy and legal track record assists us to attract and retain talented and well rounded practitioners and support staff.

Holding Redlich

Contact details Nicole Hutcheson, Senior Human Resources Officer Ph: 9321 9713 Fax: 9321 9900 350 William Street Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

the actual value of our pro bono services last financial year substantially exceeded our own internal target, and totalled $840,000. We believe our commitment to pro bono work sets us apart from other firms. It is a core value of the firm and we will continue to dedicate significant time to pro bono work.

Paralegal work


Paralegal work is not available.

54 Partners; 111 professional staff; 181 support staff

Graduate entry Holding Redlich adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.

Offices Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Practice areas • • • • • • •

Corporate & Commercial; Property & Projects; Commercial Dispute Resolution; Personal Injury; Superannuation & Funds Management; Employment & Industrial Relations; and Family

Pro bono work Holding Redlich has a strong commitment to pro bono work. We have relationships with the Public Interest Law Clearing Houses in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, the Arts Law Centre and a number of community legal centres from which we accept referrals for pro bono assistance for individuals and not-for-profit community organisations. Firm lawyers also staff a Homeless People’s Legal Clinic in Brisbane and a Seniors Rights Legal Clinic in Melbourne. Holding Redlich has an internal policy to provide pro bono services each year to a value which is at least 1% of our total national fee income. In the 2009/10 that would have required pro bono services to be provided to a value of approximately $600,000. However,

Up to five traineeship positions are available, with two six-month rotations during the graduate program. Graduates gain exposure to a variety of interesting work, with hands-on experience working with senior lawyers and partners. We offer a supportive environment in which to develop and learn. Our graduates undertake an extensive Graduate Program designed to supplement the practical “on-the-job” training they receive. Graduates undertake Practical Legal Training with the College of Law and participate in a highly practical induction program. Our law graduates are also assigned a buddy who will help support them into our firm, assist them in meeting colleagues and provide valuable guidance as they begin their new career.

General information Holding Redlich has a unique personality which distinguishes us from other law firms. It is a personality based on a strong commitment to ethical behaviour, trust, respect for the individual, a strong sense of our obligation to society, excellence in everything we do, and a resolve to work as partners with our clients. Founded over 30 years ago as lawyers for the labour movement and its members, we have developed and grown into a leading national Australian commercial law firm with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Hunt & Hunt

Contact details Marnie Harper, Office Manager Ph: 8602 9200 Level 26, 385 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Nationally the firm has 55 partners and over 400 staff throughout its offices.

Offices Melbourne, Sydney, North Ryde, Newcastle, Adelaide, and Shanghai. Affiliate offices in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Hobart.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Asset & Succession Planning; Banking & Finance; Corporate & Commercial; Customs Trade & Transport; Employment & Workplace Relations; Environment & Planning; Infrastructure & Projects; Insolvency & Debt Recovery; Insurance, Intellectual Property,; Internet & Digital Technologies; Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution; Occupational Health & Safety; Property; Taxation; Wills & Estates; and Workers Compensation

Pro bono work Hunt & Hunt has a long history of providing pro bono assistance to disadvantaged community members and the organisations that support them. We actively encourage our lawyers to engage in pro bono work. Our current pro bono activities include acting for disability discrimination complainants, advising in connection with the Boxing Day Tsunami relief effort, representation on ethics review committees of health organisations and board


representation for not for profits. Each of our offices has associations with local community legal centres and some offices are members of the Public Interest Law Clearing House.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry Hunt & Hunt adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Three traineeship positions are available, rotating through each of the three core practice areas: corporate/commercial, property and insurance. Our Graduate Program runs for 12 months and graduates will be exposed to each of our core practice areas. In addition to in-house training, mentoring and matter related work, graduates will participate in the College of Law program to assist in meeting the required competencies for admission to practice. Applications should be emailed to Marnie Harper. Our employees tend to be extended opportunities early in their careers and are included openly in client facing activities. Though our workforce is populated with brilliance, it is free from ego and arrogance. We celebrate diversity. In fact, we seldom overlook an opportunity to celebrate anything wonderful that happens to our firm or the people within it. We do more than listen to our employees - we actively seek their input, perspective and ideas. We offer our lawyers some of the best hands-on training and career development of any law firm in Australia. Hunt & Hunt is committed to the on going development of staff and supporting them through career related study which is beneficial to both the employee and the Firm. Study support can take the form of study leave as well as the reimbursement of tuition and fees.

General information Hunt & Hunt’s diverse client portfolio spans a variety of commercial interests, small and large, including insurance companies; health care providers; manufacturers; retailers; property developers; building and construction companies; telecommunications, entertainment and information technology; exporters of Australian goods and services; professional services providers such as accountants and engineers; local, commonwealth and state government entities; research and development syndications; and industrial companies.

We also encourage our staff to maintain a healthy balance between work and their private and social lives. Hunt & Hunt consider this an important part of retaining satisfied, productive legal practitioners.

To meet the current and ongoing commercial needs of our local, national and international clients, the firm offers a comprehensive commercial legal practice aimed at meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations. Hunt & Hunt is a founding member of Interlaw, an international association of independent law firms worldwide. This enables us to provide our clients with representation in over 100 major centres throughout the Asia Pacific region, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. Through Interlaw, Hunt & Hunt can offer clients legal representation that is worldwide in scope, yet local in culture, outlook, experience and connections. Our association with this worldwide legal network gives you access to the most up-to-date information on any region where you wish to do business, allows you to respond rapidly to your client’s needs when doing business in other countries and provides you with the shared expertise of other Interlaw members to save you time and minimise legal fees. The firm recognises that the most important asset of the firm are the people responsible for the delivery of high quality, timely, cost-effective legal services. The firm recognises that every person is unique, with the individual needs and responsibilities and to this end does not believe it is appropriate to have complex rules and procedures rather to retain a degree of flexibility balancing the interests of the individual, the firm, its clients and others working with the individual. Hunt & Hunt is committed to providing an open and professional working environment.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

HWL Ebsworth

Contact details Bianca Miselowski, National Human Resources Manager Ph: 8644 3411 Level 26, 530 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 293 solicitors in total, with the three biggest groups being corporate commercial (81), insurance (57) and commercial litigation (56).

Offices Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Norwest.

Practice areas • • • • • • • •

Corporate Commercial; Commercial Property; Commercial Litigation; Insurance; Transport; Building & Construction; Planning, Environment & Government; and Workplace Relations & Safety

Pro bono work HWL Ebsworth are members of PILCH and work on a variety of pro bono matters each year.

Paralegal work Full-time paralegal work is offered on a needs basis. We generally do not offer part-time or casual paralegal work to students.

Graduate entry HWL Ebsworth adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines and do not have a priority offer system. Three to five traineeship positions are available. Apply via by the end of July 2011.


When selecting Trainees, HWL Ebsworth focuses on a combination of academic and personal qualities to ensure that each individual is culturally aligned with the firm. The Application Process requires candidates to complete an internal application form. Trainees will undertake rotations in different practice areas and will complete components of their mandatory Supervised Workplace Training through both accredited Practical Legal Training providers and the Law Institute of Victoria. At the commencement of the Supervised Workplace Traineeship, Trainees will receive a comprehensive induction and are aligned to a ‘Supervisor’ who is a Partner of the firm. They will act as a mentor throughout the program, offering advice and coaching, identifying potential areas of development and facilitating professional growth. Trainees will also have the opportunity to interact directly with clients under the supervision of their Partners and begin to establish their professional network. Throughout the program, Trainees will receive both formal and informal constructive feedback from Partners and Solicitors. At the completion of each rotation they will be provided with feedback in relation to the work undertaken whilst working in the aligned Practice Group.

General information HWL Ebsworth Lawyers is a national mid-tier commercial law firm offering clients expert local and international legal & commercial advice through core practice groups and industryfocused teams across Australia. HWL Ebsworth services business clients from Australia and internationally through offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Norwest Business Park and Sydney. As expert legal practitioners, our professional promise is to deliver premium quality legal service, tailored by client, by industry and by requirement. Our national technical and industry groups comprise individual practitioners from our core service areas of Building & Construction, Corporate Commercial, Insurance, Commercial Litigation, Planning, Environment & Government, Commercial Property, Transport and Workplace Relations & Safety. In our industry groups we build specialist teams which provide a combination of deep industry insight and technical excellence to deliver commercially astute solutions based on clients’ needs.

Kliger Partners

Contact details Davina Onas, Human Resources Manager Ph: 8600 8888 Level 2, 280 Queen Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Our traineeships comprise of three rotations of four months each, with formal performance reviews held at the end of each rotation. Regular and continuous mentoring and guidance are undertaken by an assigned senior lawyer in each section. Our trainees are also assigned a “buddy”, who is able to assist and direct them during the year. Apply by emailing


Kliger Partners looks for self starters with a high academic standard, balanced with achievements in other areas.

11 Partners, 17 lawyers


General information


Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • •

Corporate & Commercial Law; Construction Law; Dispute Resolution; Employment & Workplace Relations; Entertainment Law; Estate Planning; Family Law; Franchise Law; Intellectual Property Law; Migration; Property Law; and Insurance Law

Kliger Partners is a Melbourne law firm providing high quality client-focused services. The firm has attracted a loyal and long term client base that includes large ‘household name’ companies, high net worth individuals and family businesses. We are committed to offering a full range of quality legal services to all commercial clients.

Pro bono work Pro bono work varies according to the practice group throughout the year.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Graduate entry Kliger Partners does not adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Two traineeship positions are available, with three rotations through commercial, litigation and property.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Lander & Rogers

Contact details Liza Ryan Ph: 9269 9313 Fax: 9269 9001 Level 12, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Total Staff: 327 (269 in Melb., 58 in Syd.) Total Partners: 47 (37 in Melb., 10 in Syd.) Total Lawyers: 118 (95 in Melb., 23 in Syd.)

Offices Melbourne and Sydney.

Practice areas • • • • • • •

Corporate Advisory; Commercial Disputes; Family & Relationship Law; Insurance Law & Litigation; Property, Projects & Infrastructure; WorkCover; and Workplace Relations & Safety

Pro bono work Lander & Rogers has a strong desire to contribute to the betterment of the community. As a firm we seek to build and sustain relationships with the world and community of which we form a part. Everyone in the firm is encouraged to participate in and engage with our pro bono & community work, whether as part of an Interest Group or by being a member of a Committee and around 68% of our lawyers do take part. Our work in the community is diverse but is focussed on assisting the marginalised and/or those organisations who support them. Our clients range from individuals and grass roots organisations through to larger not for profits. Our expertise is particularly directed to matters involving indigenous Australians and human rights. We are a member of PILCH (Vic) and PILCH (NSW) and are a signatory of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s Aspirational Target.


The firm offers staff the ability to perform legal work individually or through monthly clinics, volunteer and secondment opportunities, as well as the chance to fundraise which sometimes requires participation in the odd team event for charity! Lander & Rogers values the commitment and enthusiasm of our people for our pro bono and community work.

Paralegal work Opportunities for paralegal work become available from time to time. These positions are advertised on the careers pages of our website and students are welcome to apply.

Graduate entry Lander & Rogers adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Eight to ten graduate positions are available with four rotations of three months through the graduate program. Your practical experiences will be similar to the activities you tackled at the clerkship level, and will gradually increase in complexity to reflect the advancement of your skills and confidence with each rotation. You’ll also participate in a part-time Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice with the College of Law, as well as internal learning and development activities to broaden your knowledge. In each rotation you’re teamed with an experienced lawyer who makes it their job to ensure you experience: • • • • •

the best variety and volume of challenging work involvement with clients to speed your learning process coaching on skill development regular feedback on performance and progress advice on managing your transition into the legal profession.

At the end of each rotation, you’ll debrief with your supervisor to discuss your experiences and progress, and to set objectives for the next rotation. On completion of the last rotation, we’ll ask you to indicate your preferred area of practice for placement in one of the firm’s seven

practice groups as a qualified lawyer. We seek to recruit and retain law students who have a friendly and down to earth style of engaging with others. We see this as important to your success in working with your clients and colleagues, and critical to the preservation of our happy workplace. You’ll also need intelligence to tackle the most interesting of legal scenarios, energy to absorb new concepts and changing laws, and a willingness to work productively with lots of different people. We aim to recruit our 2012 graduates from students who participate in our seasonal/ summer clerkship intakes. Should additional opportunities become available, we will invite students who haven’t completed a seasonal/ summer clerkship with us to apply via cvMail and details will be updated on the website. Career long learning and professional development is a feature of life at Lander & Rogers. Graduates participate in a range of learning activities, including practical training in four practice group rotations covering commercial and litigious areas of practice, practical legal training with the College of Law, and other in-house learning and development activities. Rotations are designed to foster the development of diverse legal skills, and to provide graduates with the experiences they need to gauge a preferred area of practice following qualification.

General information Lander & Rogers is a successful, forward thinking, growing law firm, with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. The firm has 269 people in its Melbourne office and 58 in Sydney, and has achieved exceptional levels of retention and growth in recent years. Those who work with the firm describe the workplace as welcoming, friendly, people-oriented, caring and supportive. As individuals, we are honest, open, empathetic, tolerant, down to earth, genuinely interested in people, helpful, accessible, approachable, thorough and professional. Our work style reflects our passion about the essence of the firm, our innovation, teamwork, commitment to excellence, our acceptance of differences and diversity, our belief in development and support, and our aspiration to be market leaders. We see these cultural features as the cornerstone of the firm’s success. See our website to learn more about the experiences of our people, such as what they do, why they chose to join Lander & Rogers, and why they choose to stay with us. www.landers.

Other training with the College of Law and our in-house Graduate Learning & Development Program are designed to build on rotation experiences. They include education across core legal technical and non legal skill areas, such as plain English letter writing and document drafting, skill building workshops in negotiation, mediation, presentations, time management and communication. Graduates are also invited to participate in sessions offered as part of the Firm Wide Learning & Development Program, such as legislation and case law updates, in addition to external seminars and industry events of interest.

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Macpherson & Kelley

Contact details

your resume, cover letter and academic details to Fiona Li Donni by no later than 30 July 2011.

Fiona Li Donni, Human Resources Manager

M+K conducts Supervised Workplace Training with the majority of the required seminars held in house. External seminars are arranged for compulsory topics. The majority of Trainees are offered continued employment with M+K.

Level 22, 114 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 32 Principals; 54 Lawyers 180 Principals and staff in total

Offices Danenong and Melbourne.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • •

Commercial litigation; Property; Building & construction; Taxation; Employment law; Corporate & commercial; Intellectual property; Wills & estates; and Family law

Pro bono work There is no official program in place at the moment.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available occasionally.

Graduate entry Macpherson & Kelley adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not currently have a priority offer system. Six traineeship positions are available, generally involving four rotations with a choice of employment law, property, commercial litigation, corporate/commercial and intellectual property. To apply for a Traineeship in 2012 please have


Trainees are offered the opportunity of working in both our Dandenong and Melbourne offices. They are encouraged to give their preferred areas of practice for each rotation and are accommodated where possible. The program is designed to allow for a very hands-on Trainee experience whilst still under the guidance of more experienced lawyers. To be successful as a Trainee at M+K, you will need to be a confident and pleasant individual who communicates easily with people. You will need to understand what teamwork is about and have a passion for business and the law. Traineeship applicants should have a sound academic record with a commercial focus. M+K continually discusses career paths with people and provides clearly documented guidelines for people who aspire to the levels of Associate, Senior Associate and Principal. Communication is important and we pride ourselves in developing careers within the firm.


Contact details

Graduate entry

Sally McCarthy, Graduate Co-ordinator Ph: 9288 0555

Maddocks adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system, taking approx. 2/3 of their graduates through it.

140 William Street Melbourne VIC 3000

10-12 traineeship positions are available, with four rotations of three months each. To apply, seasonal Clerkshipsand Graduate Traineeship applications open 20 June 2011 and close 31 July 2011. Apply via cvMail.

Size We have approximately 320 staff in our Melbourne office and 100 in Sydney. We have 55 Partners in total and 170 Lawyers.

Offices Melbourne and Sydney.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • •

Employment; Safety & People; Planning and Governance; State Government; Property and Projects; Construction; Commercial Disputes; Tax Controversy; and Commercial (including tax, insolvency, private client services, M&A, banking and finance, superannuation, IPT, and health).

Pro bono work We take pro bono very seriously. We recognise that the community includes organisations with limited resources that are working for the public good. We are committed to supporting such organisations. Our contributions include direct financial support for community and government initiatives as well as serving on Boards and committees of government, business and community bodies. We are a member of PILCH, the Law Institute Legal Assistant Scheme and the Victorian State Government’s Pro Bono Secondment Scheme.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available to the next intake of graduates.

All our Graduates complete Practical Legal training through the College of Law. In addition to this we have designed a comprehensive internal training program. Our Graduates complete three month rotations in four of the firm’s practice groups. Graduates also meet monthly with their People & Culture Consultant to discuss any issues. Within the practice groups each Graduate is assigned a Partner or Senior Associate as their co-ordinator who helps with workflow and acts as a mentor for the duration of the rotation. They are also assigned a first year lawyer as their buddy. Graduates at Maddocks have the opportunity to work on high quality, complex matters, take real responsibility and have contact with clients at an early stage of their career. Training for Graduates includes ongoing regular sessions both internal and external for all areas of practice as well as specialised training and basic practice management issues such as time management, communication skills and dealing with the office environment. The firm actively encourages further study and provides financial support as well as study leave for post-Graduate qualifications. Maddocks is a private commercial law firm, with approximately 420 staff between our Melbourne and Sydney offices. Maddocks has grown exponentially during the past decade, and continues to do so. Our firm culture is unique - this we know from those people who join us from other firms. When recruiting Graduates, we look for people whose values coincide with ours – integrity, diversity, collaboration, stewardship and innovation. We are committed to quality, professionalism and individuality. We also believe Maddocks occupies an enviable position in the market – a mid-sized firm with high profile clients.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Contact details Emma Hunter, Graduate Resourcing Consultant Phone: (03) 9643 5189 Facsimile: (03) 9643 5999 Level 50, Bourke Place 600 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Total Partners:185 Total Solicitors: 1000

Offices Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and London.

Practice areas Our lawyers work across a range of commercial legal disciplines. • • • • • • • •

Mergers & Acquisitions; Banking & Finance; Dispute Resolution; Competition; Intellectual Property; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Property, Construction & Environment; and Tax.

Pro bono work Mallesons has a strong pro bono program, and our people are proud of the ongoing contribution they make to the community and they view this contribution as a natural and central part of their professional responsibilities. The firm’s preferred charitable targets are to: • •


Help alleviate poverty and improve community welfare, and Help children and young people at risk.

Over 600 of our partners and staff volunteer in a range of activities through the Mallesons in the Community program, which includes the Australian Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Club; the Wishgranters programme for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Australian Red Cross Telecross initiative.

Graduate entry Mallesons Stephen Jaques adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. There are three six-month rotations during the graduate year. 23 July 2011 is the deadline for applications for ‘priority offers’. We are yet to confirm whether we will be accepting other applications for graduate positions. Applications should be submitted online via our website (www. All graduates will be involved in our International Graduate Program. The International Graduate Program is a market leading program aligned with Mallesons’ 3 x 6 month graduate rotation system, and is designed to help our graduates become successful lawyers in an international market. Three exciting programs support the graduate experience; and are designed to build on a practical understanding of, and skills in, our areas of legal practice. These programs are aligned with the rotation system, to ensure that your learning is closely linked to your “on the floor” graduate experience. LAUNCH - delivered intensively over four weeks, Launch provides all the knowledge graduates need about the firm, their office, and our policies, processes and procedures. FUNDAMENTALS - this 18 month program focuses on building the knowledge and skills required regarding our business and the legal industry. The sessions focus on essential practice skills, as well business and legal essentials.

PATHWAYS - in-team, rotation based learning, conducted over a six month period, that focuses on the specific knowledge and information needed to be successful in each rotation. Graduates will have the opportunity to apply to complete a rotation in one of our interstate or overseas offices. Our International Graduate Program promotes and supports the mobility of our staff across our offices by providing an integrated, firmwide program. Each graduate is allocated a supervising partner and a buddy who is there to provide support, advice and guidance where needed. As part of the International Graduate Program, we also offer Practical Legal Training (PLT) for our Australian law graduates. PLT ensures that you meet the practical requirements for admission to legal practice. Mallesons PLT is a customised, in-house program conducted in association with the College of Law.

Professional development The programs for Mallesons’ lawyers focus on building foundational legal and business knowledge, as well as commercial practice skills. The aim is to complement the “in team” and “on the job” learning that occurs in practice teams. In addition to the programs included in the International Graduate Program, the Mallesons Legal Skills program offers professional development modules for our lawyers up to Senior Associate level. The modules focus on developing key skills required for legal practice. In addition, lawyers participating in the program can attend a number of seminars on career development and industry insights. Some of the program offerings include: • • • • • • •

General information Mallesons Stephen Jaques is Australia’s most successful commercial law firm, with a strong focus on major corporations and financial institutions in Australia and Asia. We have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and London. Our main hub in Asia is Hong Kong. Today, Mallesons is one of Hong Kong’s 10 largest commercial law firms, and frequently used by Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. With our increased presence and commitment to Hong Kong and mainland China, our reputation and credentials have grown. In the region, we have a strong base of local and international clients, and we are increasingly servicing our Australian clients offshore. In addition, we regularly complete transactions in other jurisdictions in Asia such as Korea, Singapore, India and Malaysia. This allows our lawyers to develop a breadth and depth of expertise across these jurisdictions. We have advised on some of the most significant and innovative transactions of recent times. Additionally, our Australia and Asia practice areas provide challenging opportunities for our lawyers to be involved in cross-border work in all our office locations.

Industry Insights Seminar Series Presenting with Impact Effective Delegation Skills Contract Drafting Firmwide Seminars Client communications Networking Skills

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Mason Sier Turnbull

Contact details HR Administrator Ph: 8540 0200 Fax: 8540 0202 315 Ferntree Gully Road Mount Waverley VIC 3149


with hands-on experience from the beginning of their graduate year. The program includes set rotations, practical skills workshops on areas such as drafting and client interaction, and mentoring from Principals and senior lawyers. Graduates are given the opportunity to undertake interesting and challenging work for clients ranging from individuals to national franchises and international corporations. Applications are due in October 2011 and can be made by sending your CV, cover letter and academic transcript to the HR Administrator.

12 Principals; 24 solicitors

General information Offices Melbourne

Practice areas • • • • • • •

Corporate advisory and franchising; Business and commercial property; IP, technology and media; Workplace relations; Dispute resolution & litigation; Family law; and Private client services

Pro bono work Mason Sier Turnbull conducts a number of pro bono matters to assist individuals and organisations who may be disadvantaged if they are unable to afford legal advice.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry Mason Sier Turnbull does not adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. There are one to two positions available in 2012, with four rotations during the graduate program. Graduates undertake a 12-month supervised workplace traineeship (SWT) and are provided


Mason Sier Turnbull (MST) is a mid-tier law firm based in Melbourne. MST offers specialist advice in distinct practice groups and we pride ourselves on delivering great service and sensible solutions to our clients. MST is located in the Monash business and technological precint of Melbourne, a major business centre that is home to many Australian and International corporations. Our clients include local businesses, national and international corporations, many of whom are household names throughout Australia and the world. Every person is part of our success and teams are led by at least one Partner in a specific discipline of legal practice. All of MST’s lawyers have a sound knowledge base in general commercial work. Clients have the confidence that when dealing with their lawyer, whether it be on a family law matter or a large transactional matter, their lawyer is not only legally minded but will always consider the commercial aspects of the matter at hand. We are proud that the Law Institute of Victoria has seen fit to accredit many of our lawyers as specialists in their personal field of practice. These include Business Law, Wills & Estates, Commercial Litigation, Family Law and Property Law.


Contact details Frances Ielo, Human Resources Coordinator (03) 9640 4263 Level 25, Rialto South Tower 525 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Middletons undertakes pro bono work for both organisations whose work has some charitable, public, environmental or human rights merit and for individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. Middletons’ commitment to pro bono is demonstrated by its membership of and active participation in the Public Interest Law Clearing House (“PILCH”).

Size Partners: 67 Lawyers: 184 Total staff: 520

Offices Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

Paralegal work There are limited opportunities for paralegals.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ensure that our business operations not only facilitate growth, but also ensure the longterm sustainability of the communities and environment in which we operate. This includes the provision of pro bono services, the alignment to a number of community based organisations for fundraising, volunteering, workplace giving and the engagement of suppliers with similar CSR policies.

Anti-Counterfeiting; Banking & Financial Services; Biotechnology & Life Sciences; Capital Markets; Commercial Litigation; Competition & Regulatory; Corporate & Commercial Advisory; Corporate Recovery & Insolvency; Dispute Resolution; Energy & Resources; Funds Management & Superannuation; Intellectual Property; Insurance; Mergers & Acquisitions; Private Equity; Planning & Environment; Projects & Infrastructure; Taxation & Revenue; Property; Development & Construction; Technology & Telecommunications; Transport; Logistics & Defence; and Workplace Relations & Safety

Pro bono work Middletons has an active and structured Corporate Social Responsibility program, with policies and procedures in place to

Graduate entry Middletons adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. Approximately 15 to 20 positions are available in Melbourne, with three rotations during the graduate program. We place a high value on our graduates and invest in them from the outset to ensure they become the best lawyer possible, and importantly one who understands the commercial world. Commencing with an extensive graduate induction program, your on the job development will follow through your work placements, giving you the practical exposure to challenge you. Graduate rotations are complemented by our in-house training program and Practical Legal Training which is delivered in-house by the College of Law. Our program delivers formal development in legal technical skills, business knowledge, client skills and personal effectiveness. Graduate training workshops run


melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Middletons continued

weekly throughout the graduate program. We believe face-to-face learning is essential for participants to ask questions, receive coaching and learn alongside their peers. A supportive setting, a practical focus and feedback is what makes our Learning and Development Program effective and enjoyable. Our graduates gain valuable skills and knowledge from partners and our Learning and Development team. Middletons’ commitment to continuous education is demonstrated through our holistic Learning and Development Program. We believe face-to-face learning is essential for our people to ask questions, receive coaching and learn alongside their peers. A suite of customised workshops have been developed for each career level with this philosophy in mind. They are designed to develop your skills and experience to meet the demands of working in a commercial law firm. Our program delivers formal development in legal technical skills, business knowledge, client skills and personal effectiveness. A supportive setting and a practical focus on feedback is what makes our Learning and Development Program effective and enjoyable. Our people gain valuable skills and knowledge from partners, lawyers, external presenters and our Learning and Development team.

General information Middletons is a national commercial law firm whose lawyers pride themselves on their straight talking approach in delivering legal advice. We provide practical, easy to understand solutions, rather than confusing technical, legal jargon. It sounds simple, and to us it is, we don’t sit on the fence, we provide timely advice that is easily understood. This is what straight talking means to us, and this philosophy is equally as important when it comes to our people. Our people are a diverse range of passionate professionals who are committed to practicing commercial law for some of the nation’s leading organisations. We look to recruit well-rounded


talented people, then provide the opportunities and support for them to achieve their best. Informality, friendliness and approachability are key aspects of our culture, yet our commitment to professionalism, ethical conduct and dedication to providing the best imaginable client service experience is absolute. We are committed to our mission ‘to match it with the best in the markets in which we choose to compete’ and to upholding the firm’s values of ‘people, client and practice’. Investment in your future is important to us. We want to challenge you straight away, and provide you with the right support systems. Partners and senior lawyers will support and guide the development of your legal knowledge and commercial acumen. You will also have a buddy to sit down with at other times to help you transition from student to lawyer. Support from a buddy and mentor is designed to assist you to start your career with us in the most positive way. At Middletons, we believe in working with you to develop your career from the time you join us. If you would like to start your career with real work and real challenges, you need to talk to us.

Minter Ellison

Contact details

Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

not-for-profit and community groups, charitable donations/sponsorship and community directorships. In the Melbourne office, we participate in the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic which is a project run in conjunction with PILCH and a number of other law firms. Each week our lawyers attend legal clinics at two community locations to provide legal advice and assistance to homeless people who would otherwise not have access to such services.


Paralegal work

More than 290 partners and 900 legal staff More than 1100 qualified lawyers (inc. partners) A total workforce of more than 2,200

We typically offer available paralegal positions to our future graduates ahead of them commencing their traineeship with us.


Graduate entry

Adelaide, Beijing, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Associated office in Jakarta.

Minter Ellison adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.

Liz Atchison, National Graduate Senior Consultant Ph: 8608 2619

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Commercial and Regulatory; Construction; Engineering & Infrastructure; Corporate; Dispute Resolution; Environment & Planning; Finance; Government; Human Resources & Industrial Relations; Insurance; Intellectual Property; Investment & Financial Services; Mergers & Acquisitions; Real Estate; Resources & Energy; Tax; Technology & Communications; and Tourism & Leisure

Pro bono work Minter Ellison has a long tradition of being involved in pro bono and community investment activities. We have a number of well established projects in each of our offices including undertaking pro bono work referred to the firm, secondments to the Public Interest Law Clearing House (‘PILCH’) and other community organisations, providing in-kind assistance to

Around 20 positions are available each year. Minter Ellison do not advertise and conduct market interviews as our graduates are typically past clerks. There are three rotations of six months each during the graduate program.

General information Community Investment In addition to our pro bono program Minter Ellison is committed to investing in the community. Our Community Investment Program is designed to enable us to support a wide range of charities in the following priority areas: disadvantaged youth, homelessness, alleviation of poverty and access to justice. Our ‘Match ME’ initiative allows staff to donate directly from their pre-tax pay to a charity. Minter Ellison will match dollar for dollar every contribution made (up to $120,000 annually). ‘Go Green’ As a result of a considerable commitment by all our staff to reducing our environmental impact, we achieved a Gold ranking in the 2008 Annual Corporate Responsibility Index. We use recycled paper for copiers and printers which is made from 50% recycled stock and 50% sustainable forest plantations and encourage double-sided printing in an effort to halve the amount of paper used.

Monahan & Rowell

Contact details Cheryl Asquith, Human Resources Manager Ph: 8624 2056 Fax: 8624 2031 Level 31 Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 9 Partners, 4 Consultants, 4 Special Counsel, 6 Senior Associates, 6 Lawyers and 3 Trainees

Offices Melbourne based with an association with Colin Biggers & Paisley in Sydney.

Practice areas • • • • • •

Insurance Law; Transport Law; Personal Injury/Employment Law; Health & Medical Law; Building & Construction Law; and Commercial and Corporate Law

Pro bono work Monahan & Rowell does pro bono work but does not have a formal policy.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available; opportunities are advertised on the website.

Graduate entry Monahan & Rowell adhere to the LIV traineeship guidelines but are not signatories to them. They do not have a priority offer system. Look to the website to find application dates. Three traineeship positions are available. There is no formal rotation system; legal trainees are available to work across the firm and experience each practice area during their traineeship year.


Each trainee is appointed a Partner to act as a mentor and a junior lawyer to act as a buddy. The traineeship program takes up the entire twelve months. A sense of humour will always help.

General information Monahan & Rowell is a medium size legal firm based at the Rialto. We tend to do things outside the square to set us apart from other law firms.

Moores Legal

Contact details Joelle Blackburn, HR Manager Ph: 9843 2115

The 12 month traineeship program incorporates all the necessary aspects of the Practical Legal Training program by combining handson experience with formal training. Four, 3-month rotations are undertaken in different practice areas where graduates work under the guidance of a supervisor (Principal) together with senior and junior lawyers. Our aim is to recruit talented graduates who share our values of teamwork, expertise, integrity, service, community and sustainability. We are looking for graduates with solid academic results, a strategic approach to problem solving, superior communication skills, a passion for service and who actively engage in community activities.

9 Prospect St Box Hill VIC 3128

Size 11 Partners, 43 Solicitors

Offices Box Hill

Practice areas • • • • • •

Property & Commercial and then trainees can choose from two electives for their fourth rotation – Personal Injuries & Workplace Relations or Elder Law/Estate Planning, Superannuation & Structuring.

Commercial Law Property Law Estate Planning, Superannuation & Structuring Elder Law Workplace Relations & Personal Injury Family Law

Pro bono work Moores Legal undertakes pro bono work for private clients as well as for charitable, church and community organizations. In addition to court matters, the type of pro bono work undertaken includes general legal advice, transactional work, organizational structuring and advocating legislative reform.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry

Moores Legal is committed to continuous education and professional development. From commencement our trainees can expect development in legal technical skills, business knowledge and systems training to enable immediate productivity. Personal and professional development at Moores is based on a supportive environment, a practical focus and continuous feedback. As such development needs are continually assessed and addressed accordingly. Applications will open in July 2011; see the website closer to the date.

General information Moores Legal was established over 35 years ago by a founder concerned about values and care for the individual. That ethos endures. Moores Legal works with private clients, small to large businesses, the aged care and not-forprofit sectors. The firm’s differentiation lies in its strategic locations, the diversity of its clients reflecting its areas of practice, expertise and its commitment to community.

Moores Legal are not signatories to the LIV guidelines, but use them as a guide. There is a priority offer system. Three to four traineeship positions are available. There are four, 3-month rotations – three of them are compulsory areas – Family Law,

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Norton Gledhill

Contact details

Leo Cussen and College of Law Courses in order to comply with new traineeship requirements.

Darren Marx, Principal Ph: 9614 8933 Fax: 9629 1415

Applications for 2012 traineeships closed 1 March 2011.

Level 23, 459 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 12 Principals (7 corporate, 3 litigation, 1 employment, 1 property); approx, 12 lawyers 12 Support/admin staff

Offices Melbourne

Practice areas All areas of commercial and corporate law, including • • • •

Employment law; Energy law; Litigation; and Property

Pro bono work Pro Bono work is completed on an informal / as required basis.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Graduate entry Norton Gledhill adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. There are one to three traineeship positions available. Trainees rotate on 3 x four month rotations throughout the major areas of practice (corporate, litigation and property). We also provide internal and external seminars including


General information Small commercial firm focussing on big matters for big clients. Highly experienced practitioners working on legal work often found in larger firms. Salary bonus program and income protection insurance provided to all lawyers. Post graduate study supported. Working with partners (not for them) on high level work. The program ensures that our Trainees are exposed to all areas of practice including client meetings. Work/life balance is a culture, not a theory. Although Norton Gledhill seeks to hire candidates of the highest calibre, the nature of our firm makes other qualities equally important. We want candidates who are well rounded and will respond well to us and our clients. At Norton Gledhill, we are all about doing great work, for great clients. Completing work of the highest quality and enjoying that work is very important to us.

Piper Alderman

Contact details Emily Mortimer, HR Manager Ph: 8665 5555 Fax: 8665 5500 Level 24, 385 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000


annually. Rotations are not formally offered but we ensure that graduates are exposed to many areas of law beyond their preference area. This is done on a matter by matter basis to ensure relevance and learning opportunity. The traineeships program begins in February of each year. The firm engages with outside bodies for completion of Practical Legal Training and complements this with a robust internal CLE and young lawyer development program. Traineeship positions are advertised in May and applications can be made via

10 Partners 16 Lawyers

Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide

The firm actively supports external and internal professional development opportunities. The firm offers secondments to our clients organisations as well as to other offices as required.

Practice areas

General information

• • • • • • •

Piper Alderman is a full-service, commercial law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We have 54 partners, over 160 lawyers and more than 325 staff in total.


Corporate; Property; Construction; IPT; DR; OHS; and Banking and Finance

Pro bono work A broad range of pro bono work is done both at firm and practice level. Lawyers will be able to actively participate on these files and also make suggestions as to appropriate pro-bono activities for the practice/firm.

Our firm is committed to continual excellence in the practice of law, having been leading advisers to commercial interests across Australia for over 160 years. We have achieved our impressive growth by listening to our clients, responding to their needs and creating practical legal solutions. Piper Alderman’s success has seen us consistently ranked as one of Australia’s leading law firms and independently recognised as an outstanding legal provider.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available. Register on the talent bank available on www.piperalderman., which will provide you updates of when these opportunities are available.

Graduate entry Piper Alderman is not a signatory to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. Generally four traineeship positions are available

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Robinson Gill

Contact details Alan Jankelowitz, General Manager Ph: 9890 3321 Fax: 9898 4266 701 Station Street Box Hill VIC 3128

Size Two partners

Offices Box Hill

Practice areas • • • •

Family Law; Injury Law; Litigation; and Commercial

Pro bono work Robinson Gill is a member of PILCH and the Eastern Community Legal Centre.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry Robinson Gill adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. One traineeship position is available. At Robinson Gill you will work in a friendly, relaxed environment where opportunity is given to achieve your best. You will undertake challenging and varied work and also play a crucial role in the day-to-day running of the practice.


Our lawyers are encouraged to aspire to the Law Institute of Victoria’s Specialist Accreditation scheme. Robinson Gill is committed to providing the highest quality of training for junior lawyers. Staff morale is a high priority. Our lawyers and support staff are encouraged to participate in the variety of social activities we have on offer.

General information The practice originally commenced business in Box Hill in 1979 and now holds Law Institute of Victoria Specialist Accreditation in the areas of Family Law, Injury Law and Commercial Litigation. Over the years, the firm has consistently evolved its scope of expertise to meet the changing needs the community. At Robinson Gill we know it is not enough to be expert in the law. Legal solutions are about understanding people and their individual situations. This is why we are trusted across such a diverse spectrum of legal, business and personal issues.

Russell Kennedy

Contact details

Pro bono work

Damian Zahra, HR Manager Ph: 03 9609 1555 Fax: 03 9609 1600

Pro Bono work is a statement of our commitment to making a difference in a positive way in our community and is an accurate reflection of our commitment to our corporate responsibility to act for the good of our community and our approach to pro bono work within Russell Kennedy.

12/469 La Trobe St Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 202 Employees: 26 Principals, 57 Solicitors

Offices Melbourne. Russell Kennedy is the founding member of the Kennedy Strang Legal Group, an affiliation of independent state-based firms practising separately in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Russell Kennedy recognises that there are individuals and organisations that work for the public good in our community or that cannot afford the professional services of a lawyer. In appropriate cases, we seek to provide legal services to such organisations and individuals on a without charge or reduced charge basis.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available occasionally.

Practice areas

Graduate entry

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Russell Kennedy adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.

• • • • • • • •

Banking and Finance; Building and Construction; Commercial Litigation; Corporate and Commercial Law; E-commerce; Employment and Workplace Relations; Equal Opportunity and Discrimination; Government and Administrative Law; Health and Aged Care; Immigration Law; Information Technology; Insolvency; Insurance; Intellectual Property; International Trade; Leasing; Planning, Environment and Local Government; Privacy; Private Client Services; Property and Development; Taxation, Duties and Grants; Telecommunications; Transport and Logistics; Water Law; and Wills and Estate Planning

There are 4 to 6 positions available, with four rotations during the graduate year. Applications for Traineeship positions commencing in 2012 will open in June/July 2011. As per the LIV guidelines, priority offers concerning traineeships commencing in 2012 will be made on Wednesday 10 August 2011 and general market offers will be made on 19 September 2011. The small number of Trainees taken on each year ensures Trainees have access to real, hands on file work. Historically, Russell Kennedy has absorbed all Trainees into the business as first year solicitors upon completion of the ‘articled clerk’ year. On a social level, Trainees are also involved with the co-ordination of numerous social events that the firm hosts and are invited to participate in the event co-ordination involved with the Russell Kennedy Social Committee.


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Russell Kennedy continued

As part of professional development, ongoing on the job feedback is provided during each rotation, as well as detailed feedback sessions which are held at the end of each rotation, with one of the Partners. During these sessions, Trainees also have the opportunity to give feedback on the rotation and are assessed on their practice management skills, legal skills and personal skills. Trainees are also provided with the opportunity to attend the firm’s in-house CPD sessions, as well as client functions in order to further enhance their skills. Trainees can also attend external CLE sessions that are organised with Leo Cussen or the LIV.

General information Approachable Principals and staff: We have an open door policy and our environment encourages personal and professional development. Our Principals and other staff are both accessible and approachable and are open to fresh views. Practical file work: Our Trainees receive practical hands on file work during their Traineeship. A sense of balance: We recognise that a balance between work and other interests is in the best long term interests of our staff and our firm. We strongly encourage the achievement of that balance. A relaxed and social working environment: Russell Kennedy is a relaxed friendly and sociable firm. The firm organises a variety of activities such as Friday night drinks and special events such as mid-year and end of year functions.


Ryan Carlisle Thomas

Contact details

July 2011.

Allison Fox, HR Administrator Ph: 9238 7878 Fax: 9238 7888

Supervised Workplace Trainees complete their Traineeship through a combination of inhouse structured training sessions, on the job training provided by supervisors in the day to day practice of the firm and external courses conducted by approved training providers.

41 Robinson Street Dandenong VIC 3175

Ryan Carlisle Thomas looks for highly developed customer service and communication skills, professional presentation and commitment to client service.

Size 8 Principals, 30 Solicitors

Offices CBD Melbourne (Little Lonsdale Street and Elizabeth Street), Ararat, Ballarat, Bayswater, Castlemaine, Colac, Cranbourne, Epping, Frankston, Geelong, Hamilton, Horsham, Melton, Pakenham, Portland, Warrnambool, and Werribee.

Practice areas • • • • • •

Ryan Carlisle Thomas places a strong emphasis on developing both legal technical and business development skills of our supervised workplace trainees. Exposure to at least three practice areas is offered. In addition, on-the-job guidance and support is readily available from supervisors and our senior lawyers and partners. Ryan Carlisle Thomas also encourages staff to attend relevant external training sessions in addition to those required to meet Supervised Workplace Training requirements.

General information

Personal Injuries (WorkCover, TAC); Institutional abuse claims; Employment, industrial and antidiscrimination law; Family Law; Wills and Probate; and Superannuation

Pro bono work Ryan Carlisle Thomas does pro bono work but does not have a formal policy.

Paralegal work

Ryan Carlisle Thomas was established over 30 years ago to protect the rights and entitlements of working families. A groundbreaker in industrial and personal injury law, the firm has won landmark claims against companies and organisations that have hurt our clients. The practice includes expert family law services and legal support for people abused as children in state or church care. Our service philosophy, “clients, not cases” has driven our growth from a single office in Dandenong to a network of 18 offices throughout Victoria. We have a whollyowned regional business, Stringer Clark, which allows us to offer the best plaintiff law coverage in the state.

Paralegal work is available.

Graduate entry Ryan Carlisle Thomas adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. One to three traineeship positions are available. Priority offers will not be considered until June/

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Thomsons Lawyers

Contact details

General information

Carolyn Butcher, HR Adviser Ph: 8080 3734

Thomsons Lawyers is a fully integrated Australian Law firm with over 350 partners, lawyers and staff evenly spread across our three offices in Sydney Melbourne and Adelaide and our four national divisions - Banking & Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Property.

Jemima Grieve, HR Coordinator Ph: 8080 3616 Level 39, 525 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 350 partners, lawyers and staff : 46 partners, 180 legal employees, 120 support staff

Offices Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Practice areas • • • •

Dispute Resolution; Corporate; Financial Services; and Property and Development

Pro bono work Pro bono work is taken by the firm on a case by case basis. There may be opportunities for trainees to participate in pro bono work

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available as required.

Graduate entry Thomsons Lawyers adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system. There are six traineeship positions available, with the graduate program involving four rotations through a range of practice groups. Applications can be made via


We act for many international clients including both foreign clients with interests in Australia, and local clients with interests abroad. Our team of internationally experienced and commerciallyminded professionals, and our membership of select international legal organisations, means that our clients receive the best possible legal advice, wherever they do business. Thomsons Lawyers is a member of worldwide law firm alliance Interlex, which links more than 50 independent business and commercial law firms across the globe. With more than 50 countries forming Interlex, our clients have access to more global legal resources than from any other source. We are also the only Australian law firm to be a member of GALA, the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance. GALA is a worldwide group of leading law firms with expertise and experience in advertising, marketing and trade promotions law. We are also members of the Australia Japan Business Association and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Australia.


Contact details Laurie Borg, HR Adviser Ph: 9602 9433 Fax: 9642 0382 Level 9, 469 La Trobe Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size Total Principals: 33 (Nationally); 9 (Melbourne) Total Solicitors 79 (Nationally); 27 (Melbourne)

Offices Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Biotechnology and Life Sciences; Building and Construction; Competition and Trade Practices; Corporate/Commercial; Employment and Industrial Relations; Energy; Entertainment, Communications & Media; Estate Planning, Trusts & Estate Litigation; Government; Health; Infrastructure; Insolvency; Insurance; Intellectual Property; Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Property and Planning; and Technology

Pro bono work TressCox does pro bono work.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is available from time to time.

Graduate entry TressCox adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and has a priority offer system.

Four traineeship positions are available. Our traineeship program offers 2 rotations within each of our Corporate/Commercial and Litigation divisions. Trainees are exposed to the various practice groups within each division. Applications open July to August 2011; check the website for updates. The program provides the trainee with an insight into the different areas of our practice and a comprehensive exposure to the legal industry while focussing on the development of business skills and legal knowledge. We offer a “hands on” approach. We induct our trainees into our culture from the outset and give them a range of ‘real experiences’. Working amongst a group of diverse, professional, fun people, you will be provided with an honest overview of entry into a dynamic medium sized law firm. As a trainee you will have direct access to partners and continuous assistance from members of our legal team. Each trainee is allocated a ‘mentor’ and ‘buddy’ during their trainee year. Your buddy will assist you in your transition from university to full-time employment and support you in your daily life at TressCox. Trainees will work closely alongside our experienced lawyers to gain practical and valuable insight into legal practice. TressCox offers a Continuous Professional Development program co-ordinated by our People Development team. Seminars are conducted on a monthly basis. Presenters range from either members of our legal team or external speakers who have knowledge or skills in specialist areas of interest to the firm. Our legal team gains a number of benefits by delivering seminars in –house, including the opportunity to market their expertise; and gain experience and confidence in presenting. It is recognised that, in order to maintain knowledge and skills, attendance at external seminars is also essential. Relevant external courses are offered to the legal team to develop and strengthen existing skills and knowledge within their area of practice. In addition to the Continuing Legal Education program, the firm provides a number of training and development programs which focus on skills development at different levels. This assists with career planning and advancement, as KPI’s for each level are communicated and team members are given the opportunity to develop their skills in order to meet the criteria for promotion.

Wainwright Ryan Eid

Contact details

General information

Jeannette Eid Ph: 9009 5800 Fax: 9009 5899

Wainwright Ryan Eid is a small boutique law firm handling a wide variety of work in all areas of the law.

Level 4, 530 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size 6 solicitors

Offices Melbourne; a branch office in Mitcham.

Practice areas • • • • • • •

Commercial; Business; Property; Franchising; Estate Law; Succession Planning; and Building & Construction

Pro bono work Wainwright Ryan Eid is a member of the LIV pro bono scheme.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Graduate entry Wainwright Ryan Eid adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. Two traineeship positions are available. Applications can be made in mid July 2011 for the 2012 intake.


Wainwright Ryan Eid advises/acts on behalf of municipal bodies, building industry associations and institutions and/or their members, substantial private and public corporations and a large number of loyal private clients. Wainwright Ryan Eid is large enough to provide expertise in all areas of the law yet small enough to deliver advice and assistance in a personal and efficient way and at a reasonable cost.

Williams Winter Solicitors

Contact details Angela Wagstaff, Practice Manager Contact Angela if you wish to email your CV Ph: 8601 8888 Fax: 9670 1509 7/555 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Trainees work one on with and under the direct supervision of a principal. The firm is committed to undertaking a mentoring role with trainees.

General information

Size 4 Principles, 9 Solicitors and 1 trainee

Offices Melbourne.

Practice areas Areas of law include: • • • • • •

firm appeals to the candidate, CV and most up to date academic transcript, in writing. Email applications not accepted unless agreed to with Practice Manager.

The firm has been in existence for over 100 years and is committed to providing clients with timely and practical advice. Clients have direct access to principles. In September 2010 the firm relocated from Little Bourke Street to Lonsdale Street. The office space was designed with a contemporary feel. All staff are now located on one level. This has resulted in a more cohesive approach amongst all staff. In particular, the junior practitioners have improved access to all of the senior staff.

Litigation; Property; Wills and estates; Commercial; Employment law; and Personal injury

Pro bono work Pro bono work is done on a case-by-case basis with no formal arrangements in place.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Graduate entry Williams Winter Solicitors adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines and does not have a priority offer system. One traineeship position is available. Trainees are exposed to all facets of the firm and receive training in all require areas. Applicants must send a letter of application by 31 March 2011 clearly outlining why the

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

Wisewould Mahony

Contact details

Applications should be made by 1 July 2011 (to be confirmed).

Jane Cull, HR Manager Ph: 9612 7312 Fax: 9629 4035

Two to four traineeship positions are available. The traineeship program involves 2 rotations of 6 months each in our WorkCover, Commercial & Property or Commercial Litigation departments.

Level 8, 419 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Size We currently have 15 partners, 42 solicitors and 4 trainees with approximately 150 staff members in total.

Offices Melbourne

Practice areas • • • • • • • • • • •

Corporate & Commercial; Commercial Litigation; Insolvency Law & Litigation; Insurance Law & Litigation; Property Law & Mortgage Services; Credit Unions, Banking & Finance; Gaming, Licensing & Hospitality; WorkCover; Employment & Workplace Relations; Family Law; and Criminal Law

Pro bono work Pro bono work is available with our ongoing commitments including Bonnie Babes Foundation, Father Bob Maguire Foundation and the Springvale Monash Legal Service.

Paralegal work Paralegal work is not available.

Graduate entry Wisewould Mahony adheres to the LIV traineeship guidelines.


Our Trainees quickly become immersed in the firm and are afforded the opportunity to appear in court in the first week of the program. Our trainees also contribute by taking on key roles in the social club and production of the newsletter. All staff are strongly encouraged and supported in continuing legal education and all areas of professional development.

General information Wisewould Mahony is the result of the amalgamation of Wisewoulds and Mahonys which took effect on 1 July 2009. Wisewould Mahony is a law firm which has chosen to do things differently. We run a modern, progressive and diverse law firm from historic Collins Street premises. We’re old but new. Wisewoulds has been practising law in Melbourne since 1853, and Mahonys since 1885. Although we’re proud of this heritage we are dedicated to modern work practices, flexible costing and the use of the most up to date technology in the practice of law. We don’t pretend to be what we’re not. We’re a leading medium sized Melbourne law firm. This is what we want to be. This means we’re big enough to offer a broad spectrum of legal services whilst small enough to provide personal and affordable service. Our aim is to know our clients, know our market, know our staff and use this knowledge to break down the age old barrier between lawyer and client. We like to be in tune. We believe in straight talking, with our clients and with each other. We work hard to provide practical and affordable legal solutions of the highest quality. Your success is our success.

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non-legal perspectives

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011


Boston Consulting Group

Contact: Mary Katergaris Ph: 9656 2100 Fax: 9656 2111

from around the region and the world. BCG also works with clients in government and the not-for-profit and community sectors. The global public sector practice (which is led from Australia) has clients in areas including police, judges, prisons, welfare, education, universities, sport, roads and transport, rail services, airports, energy, environment, economic development, finance and defence.

Level 52, 101 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Over 66 offices worldwide

Firm profile The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is an international strategy and general management consulting firm. Its mission is to help leading corporations create and sustain competitive advantage. BCG works with the senior management of major companies worldwide to achieve superior performance for their shareholders through creative approaches to business management, analytical rigour and the ability to translate insights into practical, bottom-line results. BCG Australia and New Zealand won the BRW Client Choice Award for “Best Consulting Firm” in 2006 and 2008, and for “Most Innovative Firm” in 2007.

Main practice areas

BCG’s Social Impact Practice has clients including global humanitarian agencies, charities, community groups, and some public sector agencies. Our Social Impact work is generally pro bono or part paid. In Australia, BCG has worked for over five years in partnership with several Indigenous organisations on Cape York, with BCG staff, including Associates, working onsite on critical social and economic development issues for Indigenous communities.

Graduate recruitment BCG employs graduates from disciplines including law, arts, science, commerce and engineering. Most will be in the top 5-10% of their graduating class. Applications due: Please refer to website.

Associates are not expected to align themselves with a particular industry sector or business function. Most will work in a diverse range of projects across many different industries. However, after gaining some project experience, most Associates elect to join one or more of BCG‘s global network of industry practice areas, including financial services, consumer goods, healthcare, industrial goods and energy and utilities, or a functional practice area such as strategy, corporate development, information technology or organisation. Practice areas hold regular conferences and training days (locally and worldwide) to share learning from client experience, introduce new tools and methodologies, and network with colleagues

Application process and requirements Applications should be submitted online through You should upload a cover letter, CV and copy of your academic transcripts with your application. Rounds of Interviews: The Boston Consulting Group conducts three rounds of interviews, with two interviews in each round. In each interview, part of the time is spent understanding the candidate’s CV and motivation for applying to BCG. The

melbourne university law students’ society careers guidebook 2011

remainder of the time is spent working through a business case exercise. BCG selects Associates with excellent academic results, outstanding analytical ability, creativity, maturity and superior communication skills.

Vacation programmes BCG does not offer internship or vacation employment to non-MBA students.

Professional development BCG provides Associates with comprehensive training in all aspects of their role. The induction to BCG consists of two weeks of Regional training in Sydney, Bangkok or Singapore. BCG also provides ongoing training in areas including financial analysis software, communication, presentation and leadership skills. Other training sessions are designed to share insights from client project work. As well as formal training, BCG uses an ‘apprenticeship’ model of professional development, with Associates given structured guidance and support in their on-the-job learning. Where areas for development are identified, formal and informal training is tailored to close the gaps. In addition, every Associate has a mentor allocated from BCG’s most experienced senior staff. After two to three years, successful Associates are offered sponsorship for a postgraduate degree, typically an MBA at one of the leading business schools in Europe or the USA.

Job description for a law graduate New graduates join BCG as ‘Associates’. Associates work in project teams and are expected to have a real impact on working out ‘the answer’ to the client’s problem and formulating the recommendations. An Associate’s work varies by project but it typically involves responsibility for a stream of work


designed to test a hypothesis developed by the team. The Associate might, for example, have to analyse industry trends, work out competitors’ cost structures or gather information from overseas markets, using published sources, interviews, and BCG’s knowledge management system. The Associate is also responsible for packaging his or her findings to communicate them to the team and the client. As an Associate you face tough intellectual challenges, are given a great deal of responsibility and have high client contact from day one. You are also given many opportunities to travel, including project work in other parts of Australia and New Zealand, project work in, or a transfer to, one of BCG’s 66 plus offices around the world, overseas secondments, or postgraduate studies at a leading international institution. Many of the skills that law graduates develop throughout their degree are enhanced by the consulting experience, including: • •

• • •

Developing a structured approach to problem solving Identifying and addressing the most important issues when undertaking sophisticated analysis Presenting that analysis in plain English, including by communicating complex concepts and findings clearly and succinctly Paying close attention to detail when it is important to do so Balancing competing priorities in short timeframes Distilling clear recommendations from incomplete factual scenarios.

Other information For additional information, please refer to the local BCG web site: or global website:

Management Consulting “A law degree opens up a wide variety of career choices… “

Do you want to create breakthrough strategies?

Are you ready to tackle the toughest operating problems?

Do you want the opportunity to travel?

Opportunities outside law

Many law students don't realise that a law degree opens up a world of opportunities, far beyond a career in legal practice. Through studying for your law degree, you are equipped with the power to deconstruct a complex problem, synthesise the facts and structure a rational, logical and concise solution. In the field of consulting, these skills are highly valued.

What is strategic management consulting?

Management consulting refers to both the industry, and the practice of helping organisations improve their performance, primarily through the in depth analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement. Management consultants aim to successfully solve tough business problems. Management consultants work on projects for typically between one and six months, however some projects may be as short as one week. No project will be the same as every client has a different set of needs and strategic issues.

Why go into management consulting?

Management consulting is a diverse and rewarding career for driven professionals. You will work with some of Australia’s largest and multinational companies on their most important issues. The skills you learn as an Associate Consultant will be valuable in any context from business and law to the not for profit sector. Management consulting gives you a solid foundation from which you can launch your career to pursue you own personal goals. Former consultants have started their own newspapers and television programs, now work for the UN, the Premier’s Department, within legal services, at private equity firms and hold senior management positions in some of Australia’s highest profile companies like Coca Cola and Fairfax. Top tier global firms encourage employees to connect with peers from other offices through global training sessions. These sessions are a great opportunity to meet and share experiences with people from a similar background, working in similar roles with clients all over the world. There may also be the opportunity to transfer overseas, undertake externships or to study for a sponsored MBA at some of the world’s top universities.

Graduate Opportunities

Consulting firms are looking for individuals who:  can demonstrate their ability to think logically and solve complex problems  are collaborative team players  are resourceful and creative For more information contact Eryn Fisher at Bain & Company:  Graduate Recruiting Coordinator  tel: +612 9024 8600 fax: +612 9024 8500  email: Visit for further information and to apply online.

KPMG Name: Camelia Ionita Department: Corporate Tax Double Degree: Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Major: Accounting). Graduated in 2009. Current employer: KPMG

Why did you choose to apply to your business group? I chose to apply to KPMG Corporate Tax to develop both disciplines of my double degree in a top-tier business consultancy firm and market leader in the provision of corporate tax services. The major attraction to taxation from my point of view is its multidisciplinary approach, in which business law and commerce skills are combined. What also attracted me to corporate tax is that it isn’t entirely ‘black and white’ - that is to say there is always scope for interpretation, meaning that every case and every client represents a new challenge.

What is your average week like? One of the greatest aspects of working in the Corporate Tax division at KPMG is the variety of projects and issues you become involved in. I cannot say that I have experienced an ‘average week’ as there is always the opportunity to become involved in new client matters which will leads to the exploration of a broad range of issues. There are some weeks where meeting tight deadlines is critical and these can require great perseverance and dedication to ensure the best outcome for the client.

What are some of the clients and projects that you have been involved with? Over the past year, I have been privileged to work with an extensive client base ranging from local, newly established companies to large multi-national firms operating in a diverse range of industries. Early on in my graduate role, I was fortunate to be involved in a major advisory project involving a global energy resources distributor.


What advice would you give to students looking for opportunities at KPMG? The best advice that I can provide to prospective candidates is to know and understand the KPMG core values. The ability for candidates to demonstrate how these core values apply in their day-to-day dealings is highly valued in a successful candidate. A good application shows that the candidate can demonstrate their ability to think laterally and creatively and also gives an insight into the candidate as a person and not just a graduate with specific expertise.

What sort of training have you done? KPMG Corporate Tax prides itself for facilitating programs aimed at keeping its professionals up to date in the ever-evolving world of tax. We conduct monthly news desk discussion meetings and regular specialised and general tax-technical training sessions. As part of the first few years with the Firm, the KPMG Corporate Tax division provides professionals with a tax internal training course called Tax Principles which is aimed at providing participants with a general overview in all areas of the tax laws. KPMG also recognises the importance of post-graduate studies and provides future candidates with support throughout their studies in programs such as the Chartered Accountants’ of which I am currently undertaking my first module.

What five words would sum up your first year at KPMG? Challenging, Rewarding, Supporting, Developing, Social

Careers Guidebook 2011  

Melbourne University Law Students' Society, Careers Guidebook 2011

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