Clerkship

Recruitment Program

The Law Society of NSW Clerkship Recruitment Program sets the dates and provides a structured process for legal clerkship recruitment in consultation with legal employers and educational institutions across NSW. The Guidelines ensure fairness and consistency in the making and acceptance of employment offers to students. 

View the 2024 guidelines

2024 Clerkship Recruitment Program Key Dates 

  • Monday, 10 June – Applications for summer clerkships open at 9:00am.
  • Sunday, 7 and Sunday, 14 July – Applications for summer clerkships close at 11:59pm.
  • Wednesday, 11 September – Offers for summer clerkships can be made from 9:00am.
  • Thursday, 12 September – Offers for summer clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5:00pm.

2024 Participating employers

 

 

Ashurst Logo

 

Ashurst

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.

 

 

Baker McKenzie

 

Baker McKenzie

Since 1964, long before other international law firms entered Australia, Baker McKenzie has been the local global law firm of choice. We are made up of 13,000+ diverse people from different cultures and backgrounds, and our differences are celebrated and respected.

 

Barry Nilsson Logo

 

Barry Nilsson

For 60 years, Barry Nilsson has been shaping a better legal experience for our clients. Our Insurance & Health and Family Law, Wills & Estates practices combine the highest standards of industry knowledge with local expertise to provide our clients with service they can trust.

 

 

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.

 

 

BWS Logo

 

Brown Wright Stein

Brown Wright Stein is a commercial law firm that specialises in working collaboratively with business owners and aspirational individuals. The areas of law we specialise in are Business and Commercial Law, Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning, Litigation, Property and Employment Law.

 

 

Clyde & Co

 

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.

 

 

Corr Chambers Westgarth

 

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

 

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global business law firm based in the Americas, EMEA and the Asia Pacific. We deliver legal services seamlessly, comprehensively and proactively and are widely recognized for our impressive accomplishments and stellar credentials. Through our skills, values and commitment, we are making a positive impact on our clients, our people and our communities across the world. 

 

Gadens Logo

 

Gadens

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

 

 

 

Hall & WIlcox Logo

 

Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox is a leading independent law firm of more than 1000 people, including over 120 partners. 
We deliver outstanding legal services to corporate, public sector and private clients

 

 

HFW Logo

 

HFW

HFW is an international law firm with a strong global presence and a reputation for providing 
an excellent service to an impressive list of domestic and international clients.  With over 600 lawyers working across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, we take a progressive approach to our role in commercial business – thinking creatively and pragmatically to support our clients. With our head office in London, we are leaders in our specialist sectors, being Shipping, Construction, Commodities, Corporate & Commercial, Insurance & Reinsurance and Aerospace

 

 

 

HWL Ebsworth Logo

 

HWL Ebsworth

HWL Ebsworth supports our graduates to reach their full potential.

  • Work directly with Partners

  • Receive extensive training

  • Experience hands-on work and pro-bono secondments; and

  • A well-rounded start to your career alongside a 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

 

Jones Day

Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers in 40 offices across five continents. 
The Firm fosters the creation of interoffice and cross-practice teams, assembled to ensure that 
clients receive the best possible guidance and representation, without regard to barriers 
conventionally imposed by geography, borders, time zones or language

 

 

 

K&L Gates

 

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.

 

 

King & Wood Mallesons Logo

 

King & Wood Mallesons

As  a KWM clerk, you will work as part of an inclusive and collaborative team.  You will hear from leaders and industry experts during structured learning and development sessions.  Our program will expose you to a variety of work that will help shape your future.

 

 

 

Maddocks

 

Maddocks

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.

 

 

McCullough Robertson

 

McCullough Robertson

McCullough Robertson is a leading Australian independent law firm renowned for its unwavering commitment to excellence and client-centric approach. With nearly a century of experience, they are recognised for their distinctive culture and dedication to delivering innovative legal solutions.

 

 

 

Minter Ellison

 

Minter Ellison

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

 

Norton Rose Fulbright

We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3,000 lawyers and other legal staff across Australia, Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. And in amongst that global network, you’ll find some of the finest minds in the legal sector – all ready to aid your development.

 

 

Quinn Lawyers

 

Quinn Lawyers

Quinn Tax Lawyers & Accountants are a boutique firm of Tax Lawyers and Accountants specialising in Taxation; Commercial and Estates law.

 

 

Sparkle Helmore

 

Sparkle Helmore

Sparke Helmore Lawyers is a truly integrated national firm that looks to the future. Established 
in 1882,we have just under 900 people flexibly working from nine offices across Australia. We 
operate in a waythat puts our clients and our people at the heart of everything we do - we're 
proud to be described as being down to earth, practical and easy to deal with.

 

Thomson Geer

 

Thomson Geer

Thomson Geer is one of Australia's largest independent law firms. We are trusted by companies, governments and institutions to act for their commercial and legal interests. With a growth mindset in all we do supporting our team and community. 

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