Recruitment Program

2023 Clerkship Recruitment Program Key Dates

  • Monday 5 June - Applications for summer clerkships open.
  • Sunday 2 July and Sunday 9 July - Applications for summer clerkships close.
  • Wednesday 13 September - Offers for summer clerkships can be made.
  • Thursday 14 September - Offers for summer clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5.00pm.

Applications have now closed

Participating employers



Allen & Overy logo


Allen & Overy 

At Allen & Overy, you don’t have to blend in to belong and you don’t need to wear yourself down to excel. We will support you to learn as much as possible about who we are, give you access to the people and leaders you’ll work alongside, and develop the skills you need to excel with us.

Ashurst logo


For over 200 years we have advised corporates, financial institutions and governments on their most complex transactions, disputes and projects. We offer the reach and insight of a global network, combined with the knowledge and understanding of local markets. 

Barry Nilsson Logo

Barry Nilsson

Barry Nilsson is a national law firm with a 60 year history and over 380 staff. We specialise in insurance & health and family law and have been listed as an Employer of Choice for the past 4 consecutive years.

Bird & Bird logo


Bird & Bird 

A summer clerkship with Bird & Bird is much more than just work experience. It's an opportunity to discover your potential and kick start your career in law, taking you straight to the heart of a tech focused, global law firm.


Clayton Utz logo

Clayton Utz

If you’re a law student in your penultimate year, our Clerkship  programs will expose you to the fast pace of a full-service commercial law firm and show you the law in action. Our Clerkship Programs are our future pipeline for the Graduate Program. They are designed to give you a feel for what it’s like to be a Graduate and they are a great place to start your career.


Clyde & Co logo

Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co is a leading global law firm, specialising in the sectors that underpin global trade and commercial activity, namely: insurance, transport, construction, energy, trade and commodities. It is globally integrated, offering a comprehensive range of contentious and non-contentious legal services and commercially-minded legal advice to businesses operating across the world.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth Logo

Corrs Chambers Westgarth 

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is Australia’s leading independent law firm. We’re known for delivering legal excellence, exceptional client service and outstanding results.  


DLA Piper logo

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global business law firm based in the Americas, EMEA and the Asia Pacific. 
We help clients succeed through innovative and pragmatic legal solutions. Leading businesses across the world trust us with their most complex matters and rely on our seamless cross-border prowess and sector knowledge. 


Gadens logo


Gadens is a leading, independent Australian law firm, with a clear vision and strategy for the future.
We help people achieve their purpose in a complex world, by leading by example, inspiring others, innovating and building something we are all proud of.


Gilbert + Tobin logo

Gilbert + Tobin

A diverse and driven group of talented individuals. We thrive on the tougher stuff. Join the game-changers of Australian law. #OpportunityStartsHere

Harmers Workplace Lawyers logo

Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Harmers Workplace Lawyers is a multi-award-winning Australian boutique workplace relations law firm, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; and the Australian member firm for L&E Global, a worldwide leader in cross-border employment and labour law.



HFW logo


HFW is a sector focused global law firm, with over 600 lawyers working across Australia, Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. With a progressive approach to our roles in commercial business, we are dynamic, entrepreneurial and leaders in our specialist areas.


HWL Ebsworth logo

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers 

HWL Ebsworth supports our summer clerks to reach their full potential.
- Work directly with partners;
- Receive extensive training;
- Experience hands-on and diverse work; and
- A well-rounded start to your career alongside a large cohort of peers. 

Johnson Winter Slattery logo

Johnson Winter Slattery

Johnson Winter Slattery is a leading independent Australian law firm. We advise major corporations, funds and governments on their most challenging transactions and disputes.
We offer a unique opportunity to take on high end legal work in an environment where people support each other. 

Jones Day logo

Jones Day

Jones Day is a global law firm with 42 offices and 2,500 lawyers. We have four officers in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 
We are recognised as one of the most elite law firms in the world and hold approximately half of the Fortune 500, Fortune Global 500 and FT Global 500 28 clients. 


K&L Gates Logo


K&L Gates

At K&L Gates, we foster an inclusive and collaborative environment across our fully integrated global platform that enables us to diligently combine the knowledge and expertise of our lawyers and policy professionals to create teams that provide exceptional client solutions.


Maddocks logo


At Maddocks, our vision is to be the modern Australian law firm, invested in our clients and our people. To make this happen we have a culture that emphasises great work and rewarding career opportunities. We are guided by our core values of integrity, stewardship, collaboration, innovation and respect for the individual and diversity.


MinterEllison logo



MinterEllison is one of Australia's largest law firms. We're known for our legal and consulting expertise - and for our inclusive culture and authentic character.
Our purpose is to create lasting impacts with our clients, our people and our communities.


Norton Rose Fulbright logo


Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm, providing a full business law service to household-name businesses and financial institutions. We have more than 4,000 lawyers and legal staff, based in 50+ cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East. And in amongst that global network, you’ll find some of the finest minds in the legal sector – all ready to aid your development.

Professional Standards Authority logo

Professional Standards Authority 

The Professional Standards Authority is a government agency that provides regulatory and support services for the Professional Standards Councils. The Councils regulate occupational associations to facilitate and promote consumer protection through improvement in professional standards under professional standards schemes. 

Apply by providing a cover letter expressing your interest, your CV and your Academic transcript.

Thomson Geer logo


Thomson Geer

Join a trusted major Australian full service law firm that is independent and providing a diverse range of capabilities to our clients. We are trusted by companies, governments and institutions to act for their commercial and legal interests.


General Information

A legal clerkship is traditionally a summer program (though some private practice firms do offer a different seasonal placement) that provides you with a taste of working in a multi-disciplinary professional services firm.

For students who are hoping to work in private practice, a clerkship is an integral part of doing so. While a clerkship is not a prerequisite for working in private practice, it is a key stepping stone and the preferred method of recruitment for private practice firms as clerks are usually converted in to Graduates at the end of their program. It is important to note that while this is the most popular path to private practice it is not the only one.

Law firms that offer clerkship programs

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

Length of the program

Clerkships mostly range from 4-15 weeks but the number of weeks differs depending on the firm. The number of weeks may also alter year to year.

Program structure and aims, overview

The clerkship begins with an orientation, which can last up to two weeks, where students will be able to meet each other, their supervisors and the rest of their rotation groups. Students then begin their training under a specific department. The content of the program loosely follow:

  • Being taught the tools necessary for professional growth and career advancement. Clerks have unlimited access to training and guidance and hence learn a great deal about the firm and how it conducts business.
  • Gaining the opportunity to connect with people who can help guide careers. This also gives clerks the opportunity to build professional networks and interact with colleagues across divisions and regions.
  • Receiving formal training followed by division- specific or department-specific training. This training is ongoing and based on specific skill needs and interests which will bolster professional development though learning in the workplace.
  • Undergo formal evaluation procedures as a part of the firm’s annual Performance Review Process, which includes a self-assessment as well as input from peers, managers and internal business partners.

Work on offer

General tasks that clerks complete include:

  • Performing legal and factual research
  • Drafting and summarising legal documents, checking for accuracy
  • Preparing correspondence, written reports and performing records research
  • Organising and tracking case files
  • Writing clients memos
  • Recording client meetings and drafting daily correspondence, including letters and legal documents
  • Attending meetings and court with lawyers
  • Assisting in the preparation of matters for hearings

Details on rotations

As a summer clerk you’ll undertake a formal rotation between 2-3 practice areas so that you get exposure to a variety of work and learning opportunities. Common rotations include (but are not limited to):

  • Commercial disputes
  • Dispute resolution
  • Public Law
  • Family law
  • Employment, workplace and safety
  • Banking and finance
  • Financial services
  • Competition
  • Insolvency
  • Insurance
  • Corporate, mergers and acquisitions
  • Commercial
  • Construction, property, real estate and projects
  • Environment and planning
  • Intellectual property
  • Technology, media and telecommunications
  • Tax
  • Pro bono

For more information

For more information on who can participate, please view the Clerkship Recruitment Program Participation Guidelines.