Updated 26 June 2023
Law clerkship season is fast approaching! Clerkships are a valuable step to landing yourself a graduate role in the legal sector, and if you want to get ahead in the ‘law school hunger games’ the time to apply is now. Applying for clerkships might seem no different to grad or intern programs at first glance, but there are some key pointers to keep in mind that could help you stand out. We outline them in this latest blog below.
1. Do Your Research
As with applying to any role, it’s important to do your research. Decide what type of law firm you want to work in e.g. do you want to experience one of the top-tier ‘Big 6’ firms? Or are you after a smaller, boutique-sized firm specialising in a particular area of interest? Here are some good resources to use:
- Law society for your state: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania
- Law faculty at your university
- University job boards
- Keep track of when applications for 2023 with this handy guide from Ashurst
2. Passions and Pitching
Crafting the perfect pitch and public speaking go hand-in-hand when looking at a career in law. Demonstrate what your passions are in the industry – where do you see yourself going in a career in law? What is your understanding of its different areas? Remember that the same concept applies here of highlighting your transferrable skills in your past experience, even if it’s in a retail job, volunteering or in a completely different field. Some skills and attributes that are highly valued in a clerkship setting are:
- Communication and interacting with customers (which could translate easily to dealing with difficult clients!)
- Social impact advocacy
3. Be Open Minded
It’s no secret that clerkships are highly competitive, meaning it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll get the rotations you want. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind – even if you have a preconceived notion of what a firm is like or are set on one employer in particular. If you have multiple interviews lined up, make sure you give them a chance and go to them all!
4. Utilise Networking
Make the most out of events and careers fairs - law employers will often do a lot of on-campus and virtual events when their applications are live. This is your chance to get your name out there – having a previous connection could be just the thing that makes the difference when it comes to the recruitment process! Find out more about how to engage with recruiters here.
Looking for clerkships? See the open opportunities you can apply for now here.
Curious about what it looks like to be a clerk? Spend a day in the life of a law clerk at leading law firm, MinterEllison.