Clayton Utz is a leading Australian law firm known for its client centric approach and down to earth culture. We have grown, cultivated and offer the sharpest legal minds. We deliver the clearest advice that cuts through the complexity so our clients can concentrate on the things that really matter. With 166 partners and over 1,600 employees across six offices, we continue to build on our reputation for confident, innovative and incisive legal advice.
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If you’re interested in working at Clayton Utz, understanding when they have opened up applications for their graduate programs, graduate jobs and internships is helpful knowledge to have so you know when you might need to apply. Use the below information to see when Clayton Utz hires graduates, but more importantly what graduate degree’s and other student attributes they target for their jobs.
Clayton Utz is a top tier Australian law firm. We are known for the strength of our independent culture and confident and engaging approach.
We have built a team of down-to-earth, client centric and collaborative lawyers. We also embrace individuality - we want people to stay true to who they are and bring their whole self to work.
Core to our commitment to client service is a sophisticated understanding of client needs. We deliver the clearest advice that cuts through the complexity so our clients can concentrate on the things that really matter.
With 166 partners and over 1,600 employees across six offices, we continue to build on our reputation for confident, innovative and incisive legal advice.
What distinguishes us from other law firms is our culture, and our approach to client service. We're particularly proud of our globally recognised Pro Bono practice, that we were the first law firm to create the role of National Mental Health Manager, and of the way in which our people have embraced our diversity and inclusion initiatives.
It's not just about wearing a suit. There's always a gap between theory and practice, and post-university prospects can be daunting. How do you make the leap to working in the industry?
That's where we come in. Once you've completed your studies, our national Graduate Program gives you the perfect foundation for your legal career. Our 2.5 week orientation program is designed to ensure that you'll hit the ground running. It consists of PLT+, local training and a national orientation week in Sydney.
Our rotations will help you discover different areas and find the right fit. From day one you'll be working on complex and sophisticated legal issues, and with our innovative learning and development approach, you'll get the support to become the best you can be.
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.
During the program, clerks have the opportunity to rotate through two different practice groups that are aligned with their interests. In addition, our clerks are involved in volunteering at one of our Community Connect program partners as well as networking at a range of different firm events.
You'll be working under the guidance of some of the sharpest legal minds in Australia, on challenging, complex and high-profile transactions and matters. You'll be mentored by partners and lawyers who are leaders in their fields, in a firm where individuality is embraced and innovation actively encouraged.
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.
Applications for our Clerkship Programs open mid-year and key dates can be found on our Graduate Website.
Students are required to apply online via claytonutz.com/graduates. Students are encouraged to upload a résumé to transfer general information into the application (meaning they only have to check it has transferred accurately and fill in any blanks), followed by attaching a copy of their academic transcript and answering three questions (in lieu of a cover letter). Following submission, students will receive a separate email with a link to complete online psychometric testing via pymetrics as well as an email to participate in a voluntary RARE recruitment survey. Students must complete the pymetrics testing in order for their application to be reviewed.
UWA with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physiology and Pharmacology
Lawyer Clayton Utz Perth office
Life as a Graduate at Clayton Utz
How did I get here?
I graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physiology and Pharmacology. I really had no idea what else to do next, so decided to try out law. The next thing I knew, I had graduated with a Juris Doctor in December 2019.
I did a clerkship with Clayton Utz in June/July 2019. I was initially attracted to the firm's strong pro bono practice, its top-tier reputation, and its commitment to developing its people.
After completing my clerkship, I was offered a graduate role, which I happily accepted. I began as a graduate in the 2020 cohort.
Life as a Graduate
At Clayton Utz, graduate lawyers complete three, six-month rotations in different teams. I rotated through Corporate M&A and Equity Capital Markets, Major Projects and Construction, and am presently in the Restructuring and Insolvency practice. As a graduate, you are a key member of the teams through which you rotate. You will attend Court, help to draft commercial contracts, undertake legal research and assist with writing legal advice.
Highlights of my rotations include working on two initial public offerings in the Corporate M&A and Equity Capital Markets team, as well as working on a high-profile construction dispute during my time in the Major Projects and Construction team, which attracted media coverage.
The great part of being a graduate at Clayton Utz is really feeling like you are part of a team. Each team I have rotated through has been invested in my development and in helping me to improve as a lawyer. I have developed some great professional relationships. Starting my career as part of a graduate group is something I have also appreciated. My graduate cohort really relied on each other in our first year, as we navigated starting our careers during lockdown. Once office life got back to normal, we organised a charity quiz night, morning teas and other social events, which got us involved in firm life.
Pro Bono work
As well as its large and diverse commercial practice, Clayton Utz is a leader in pro bono. Every graduate is given a pro bono matter to run when they start their first rotation, which they run by themselves. I was assigned a criminal injuries compensation claim and I was able to get my client the jurisdictional maximum payout ($75,000!), which was a great feeling.
Clayton Utz also has relationships with Law Access and Women's Legal Service WA. I had the opportunity to go on secondment to both of these organisations, which was invaluable as I was able to gain experience in other areas of law, such as family law.
Social responsibility is important to me, and I am grateful that Clayton Utz allows its lawyers to give back to the community through its pro bono practice and community partnerships.
Some parting advice
I have definitely learnt a lot during my first year as a graduate. I would offer this advice to you as future law graduates:
- It is ok to make mistakes. You are not expected to know everything when you are starting out in your career. As long as you put your best foot forward and try to learn from the experience, you will be fine.
- Remember to relax. Your first year as a graduate could mean late nights and weekend work. Make sure to take the time to foster your interests and relationships outside of work.
- Keep an open mind. I recommend clerking at different firms and volunteering at a community legal centre. Choose the path that is right for you. If you are offered a graduate position, wherever that may be, remember you will be in the office five days a week, 48 weeks a year. It is important for you to determine whether you are the right fit for the firm and, equally, for the firm to determine whether you are the right fit for them.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, Monash University
Lawyer, Clayton Utz Melbourne office
Life as a graduate at Clayton Utz
The Clayton Utz graduate program has given me opportunities to develop invaluable legal skills and establish a wide-reaching support network, allowing for a smooth transition from university student to graduate lawyer.
In my first few weeks as a graduate, I participated in Practical Legal Training workshops, research skills training sessions and the national graduate orientation program, held in the Clayton Utz Sydney office. This training combined with the orientation program provides graduates with an excellent foundation and a base-level of knowledge required to navigate the practical realities of commercial law, as well as creating a close-knit graduate group that can always be relied on for support, assistance and a lunch-time break in the sunny courtyards.
Every graduate undertakes rotations in different practice areas of the firm, ranging from workplace relations and employment, commercial litigation, and major projects and construction, to environment and planning and intellectual property law. This diversity in practice groups is one of the many reasons I joined Clayton Utz, with my rotations being in the Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety (WRES) and Major Projects and Construction teams.
As a graduate in the WRES team, I gained invaluable experience in both the transactional and litigious sides of employment law. Over the course of a day, I would attend strategic meetings with barristers in relation to unfair dismissal claims, prepare submissions and statements of claim to be filed in court, review workplace policy packages, and provide pro bono advice on gender discrimination complaints. Working in this area of law is highly rewarding at a time where COVID-19 and the rise of the gig economy has transformed traditional workplace arrangements and in turn, challenged the law that governs these relationships.
In the Major Projects and Construction (MPC) team, I had the opportunity to take the lead as a junior in drafting complex commercial arrangements related to rail, roads and social infrastructure. Clayton Utz is at the cutting-edge of this area of law, providing strategic advice to clients on the contractual implications arising from the bushfires or the pandemic, much of which is unchartered territory for the legislature and judiciary. I am passionate about working in MPC. Primarily because of the collaborative nature of the Clayton Utz team - working alongside and being supported by supremely talented partners, who will help you become the best lawyer you can be.
This drive for excellence, and the down-to-earth and collaborative culture of Clayton Utz is evident from the opportunities for graduates to be involved in the firm's not-for-profit work for organisations like Ardoch and Fareshare, the pro bono services graduates provide to Justice Connect as well as the firm's social events, which include annual trivia and karaoke nights and inter-firm netball.
You can make the most of your clerkship and graduate program at Clayton Utz by actively participating in the opportunities it provides, whether that is attending a client meeting, assisting in providing pro bono legal advice or joining the netball team. Clayton Utz is passionate about developing exceptional well-rounded lawyers, encouraging their clerks and graduates to be open to learning from others and applying that knowledge with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm!
Flexibility is an absolute priority for diversity and inclusion at Clayton Utz and a significant proportion of our workforce work under formal and informal flexible arrangements. Our flexible work policy is intended to support mainstreaming flexibility across the firm to attract and retain the best talent. Flexible work is not simply about part-time work and is vital for our employees to be able to balance their unique and changing needs during different life and career stages.
Our people come from a wide range of backgrounds and have different skills, interests, personalities and capabilities. We are committed to an inclusive culture in which all of our people are recognised for their unique contributions and are encouraged and supported to achieve their full potential.
Diversity at Clayton Utz includes diversity of thought, background, experience, personal circumstances, education, religion, sexuality, gender, age, cultural background and ability/disability. That diversity helps to generate new ideas, creates more effective teams and relationships, and is a key enabler to attract, develop and retain the very best people.
Diversity and Inclusion is integral to our culture which is founded on the values of trust, respect and co-operation. We have a specific program for our Diversity an Inclusion network and activities, "Momentum". The program is focused on nurturing an inclusive environment for our people that will maximize their opportunities for business success and career satisfaction.
Clayton Utz is a member of Pride in Diversity (the Australian employer support program). Integral to our diversity and inclusion strategy is our LGBTIQ program which focuses on such things as fostering an LGBTIQ-inclusive culture within the firm, connecting with the broader LGBTIQ community, implementing best practice policies, training and education. Our efforts have made a huge impact on the firm and our people. We are proud to be a 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 AWEI "Gold Employer" - the only law firm with this track record and to reach "Platinum Qualifier" status. This is a testament to our dedication, drive and vision of an LGBTIQ-inclusive workplace.
At Clayton Utz we have a Steering Group in place and an Accessibility & Inclusion Action Plan which is registered with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
Our mental health initiative is at the centre of our Accessibility strategy and other areas of focus are premises, education, employment, communications and technology. We are a Silver member of the Australian Network on Disability.
A key focus of our diversity initiatives is to make Clayton Utz an environment in which women have every opportunity to succeed.
In recognition of our continued commitment to gender equality, Clayton Utz was named on the 2019/20 Workplace Gender Equality Agency's list of Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation-holders. This was the sixth consecutive year for the firm and we are one of only 119 organisations to be awarded the citation. It recognises market-leading employers who have shown an active commitment in achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.
We are committed, through our Reconciliation Action Plan, to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to create positive and lasting change, and to reducing inequality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians in the areas of access to justice, education and access to support services.