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Piper Alderman Graduate Programs and Jobs

Piper Alderman is a National commercial law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We have over 50 partners and close to 300 staff in total. Our firm is committed to continual excellence in the practice of law.

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Clerkship Program

Piper Alderman


We are looking for five (5) enthusiastic, self-motivated law clerks to work within a number of our core practice teams including (Commercial Litigation, Corporate and Infrastructure & Projects).

What we offer?

Rather than a short lived summer clerkship, we offer our clerks a two year program that may lead to a graduate position. Clerks work two days per week commencing from their penultimate year of study through to graduation. Our clerks progress quicker because of this ongoing experience.

We know that flexibility is key, so you get to choose the days you work each semester depending on your university timetable. We understand that as a student, you may have other commitments that require time away from work such as exams or exchange programs. Our range of leave policies allows you to apply for time off when you need it.

We pride ourselves on offering real work, real experience and real opportunity. Providing our clerks with the opportunity to participate in real legal work is important for their engagement and development. We don't recruit law clerks to become additional administrative assistants, but rather to offer real legal support to our lawyers and partners. You will be kept busy with legal research, drafting and attending court.

Reporting into leading industry Partners, key responsibilities include:

  • Gathering and analysing information while identifying legal issues and risks
  • Drafting emails, correspondence and legal documentation
  • Legal research
  • Reviewing legal documents
  • Providing general legal assistance to fee earners in the group
  • Assisting with business development initiatives

Key qualities:

  • Excellent research skills and exceptional attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to draft basic correspondence
  • Exceptional organisation skills, time management and attention to detail
  • An ability to use initiative and liaise confidently with partners and fee earners
  • An ability to digest instructions quickly and produce results
  • An enthusiastic and proactive approach
  • Team player

We value:

  • Excellence - striving for performance excellence in everything we do.
  • Teamwork - harnessing collaboration and teamwork to achieve our objectives.
  • Respect - respecting each other and our clients.
  • Knowledge - learning, sharing knowledge and encouraging clear, strong communication.
  • Innovation - creating innovative legal solutions for our clients and industry-leading internal systems.

Our Firm

Piper Alderman


Piper Alderman is a commercial law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We have over 50 partners and close to 300 staff in total.

Our firm is committed to continual excellence in the practice of law, having been leading advisers to commercial interests across Australia for over 150 years. We have achieved our impressive growth by listening to our clients, responding to their needs and creating practical legal solutions.

Piper Alderman is a single, united partnership dedicated to performing as a team and working together with our clients to achieve their business goals. 

As a genuinely national firm, we work with clients across all states and territories in Australia, as well as several international organisations.

Our approach

Piper Alderman's lawyers know the importance of providing effective and timely legal results, performing as an integrated team and drawing on proven expertise to best fulfil our clients' needs.

We work with each of our clients to understand the commercial and legal imperatives driving their business and the environment in which they operate. By doing this, we are able to bring together a team whose approach is commercial and outcome driven, focusing on partnering with our clients to create innovative legal solutions. 

Piper Alderman offers genuine partner contact to ensure clients benefit from our senior practitioners' significant experience, while utilising lawyers and associates to keep matters cost effective.

Expertise

Piper Alderman is a full service, commercial law firm with expertise in all areas of law required by business, from multi-national corporations to family owned enterprises.

Piper Alderman's expertise spans all areas of commercial practice and industry sectors in Australia.

Graduates

Piper Alderman


We recruit our graduates from our existing clerks, however from time to time we need additional graduates and will recruit outside of this. Keep an eye on our Current Opportunities page on our website or in CVmail for graduate opportunities.

In our Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide offices, graduates are matched to available roles that complement their strengths and legal interests. Our Melbourne office offers a unique experience whereby our graduates have the opportunity to rotate through our legal divisions, gaining experience in a number of different areas of law such as Dispute Resolution, Corporate, Property and Employment Relations.

We treat our graduates like the budding young lawyers you are. You will work on a range of projects alongside experts in each field of law and be given the best on-the-job training, experiencing real cases, meeting clients and attending court with our senior legal staff. We are committed to your legal career from the outset - we build upon the skills you gained as a law clerk, to ensure your continued development as a lawyer.

With flexibility paramount at this stage of your career, we offer a range of leave policies and options so that you can apply for time away from work when you need it, for exams and other study commitments.

Your Learning & Development

Piper Alderman


We understand the importance of offering innovative learning and development opportunities to our people. All of our employees are encouraged to participate in our comprehensive Learning & Development and CLE/CPD programs which are delivered by both internal and external experts.

Your learning and development experience begins on day one. We want to make sure your transition to the firm is as seamless as possible, so your first few days will be spent learning all about our systems and processes and getting to know our people. You'll also be allocated a buddy to help you find your way and answer all of your tricky questions!

Our lawyers benefit from both face to face programs and on-line learning tools to help them develop professionally. The programs are structured to ensure all mandatory CLE/CPD requirements are met and include:

  • Legal technical skills
  • Core business skills
  • Client and business development skills
  • Personal development

We haven't forgotten about our administrative and shared services people either! They participate in a tailored learning and development program which encompasses:

  • IT and software skills 
  • Core business skills
  • Personal development 

We also encourage further formal external education and offer financial assistance, study leave, and access to our research and learning resources.

Clerk and graduate experiences

Piper Alderman


Our clerk and graduate program offers real opportunities for career progression. Here's what some of our other clerks, graduates and new lawyers have to say on what makes Piper Alderman's program unique.

Denise Burloff

Denise Burloff
Law Graduate, Brisbane

I started as a Law Clerk in the Commercial Litigation team in 2014 while I was in my second year of the Juris Doctor. From day one, I was excited by how closely I got to work with the Partners and other senior staff at the firm. It has been extremely encouraging to work on some of the smaller matters where it has been just a Partner and myself because of the amount of responsibility you are given.  As a Law Graduate I was given the opportunity to appear in Court on behalf of our clients for directions hearings and reviews, an experience many don’t get until they are admitted solicitors. Now that I am a lawyer I feel very privileged to work closely alongside such supportive and encouraging colleagues who really invest their time into developing junior staff. 


Philip Chow

Philip Chow
Lawyer, Melbourne

From my first day as a law clerk, and then as a law graduate, I have had the invaluable opportunity to be actively involved in a variety of matters in areas such as intellectual property, mergers and acquisition, and litigation. While the learning curve was steep, my colleagues have offered incredible support throughout every stage. The exposure to real work from the outset made my transition into a graduate role much less daunting. This unique experience has further assisted my university studies and places me in a great position to start my career as a lawyer. I would recommend Piper Alderman’s clerk and graduate program to students who are eager to have a challenging but rewarding start to their legal career.


Brendan May

Brendan May
Lawyer

When I first began as a law clerk at Piper Alderman I was concerned that I would be in a small room somewhere becoming a world expert on photocopying. I’m happy to say that it was not the case. From the beginning I was allocated to the litigation team and was involved in court work, briefing Counsel, drafting submissions and all the other cool things that litigators get to do. My colleagues were always happy to challenge me, teach me, and put up with my spelling mistakes. I always felt supported and encouraged and now look forward to helping others in that position feel the same. As a clerk and graduate I think you gain a lot of skills very quickly, but in terms of experience it’s only the very beginning, and what is most important is that you have the people around you who are prepared give their time to help you grow and improve, which is what I was lucky enough to have. I’m now a lawyer in the litigation team and despite all the exciting things they got me to do from the start, I’m still pretty good at photocopying.


Hannah Veldre

Hannah Veldre
Lawyer, Sydney

I started as a Law Clerk in the Commercial Litigation team in 2014 while I was in my second year of the Juris Doctor. From day one, I was excited by how closely I got to work with the Partners and other senior staff at the firm. It has been extremely encouraging to work on some of the smaller matters where it has been just a Partner and myself because of the amount of responsibility you are given.  As a Law Graduate I was given the opportunity to appear in Court on behalf of our clients for directions hearings and reviews, an experience many don’t get until they are admitted solicitors. Now that I am a lawyer I feel very privileged to work closely alongside such supportive and encouraging colleagues who really invest their time into developing junior staff.

Your Questions

Piper Alderman


Starting a new career as a lawyer can be daunting, so we've tried to answer some of your questions.

How many employees does Piper Alderman have?

Piper Alderman has approximately 300 employees.

How many lawyers does Piper Alderman have?

Piper Alderman has approximately 160 lawyers including around 50 partners.

Where are your offices located?

We have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

What areas of law does Piper Alderman practice in?

Piper Alderman is a commercial law firm practicing in corporate and commercial law, dispute resolution, property, construction and infrastructure, intellectual property and technology, credit management and insolvency and employment relations. 

What industries do you work in?

We work across a wide range of industries including agribusiness, banking and finance, energy and resources, government, health and life sciences, hospitality, tourism and gaming, insurance, private client services and trade and transport.

For more details on both our areas of practice and industry experience, visit our Expertise section.

When do applications open?

Applications for our Melbourne intake will open in September the previous year, with positions commencing in February. Keep an eye on our CVmail page for more on how to submit your application!

What makes Piper Alderman unique?

Piper Alderman has over 150 years’ experience in the legal industry. We have achieved our impressive growth and success by listening to our clients and creating practical and innovative legal solutions. This success has seen the firm consistently ranked as one of Australia’s leading law firms and independently recognised as an outstanding legal provider.

Piper Alderman promotes a culture of performance excellence at every level of the firm. Our graduates and clerks are high achievers and are given the unique opportunity of playing an active role in delivering innovative legal solutions to our clients from day one.

What does Piper Alderman look for in a potential clerk or graduate?

Our values are valuable and important to us and we seek people who are a good cultural fit for the firm

We also assess applications against more technical criteria including:

  • Academic Transcript
  • Academic Achievements
  • University Involvement
  • Work Experience

We look for candidates who can show they are diligent in their studies, can manage competing priorities and have a strong desire to work as a commercial lawyer. In addition to this, we seek those who have a strong work ethic coupled with an easy going, gregarious nature.

What advice would you offer to someone applying to the firm?

 Your application should include:

  • A covering letter outlining your reasons for wanting a clerk or graduate position at our firm
  • Curriculum vitae with full educational details, work experience and employment history
  • Academic transcript

During the interview you will have the opportunity to meet with Partners and HR representatives of the firm. We will assess your cultural fit within the firm, and will look out for a positive personality, willingness to work hard to achieve results and a determination to succeed.

The interview is your opportunity to learn about Piper Alderman and our people. Calm your interview nerves by being prepared:

  • Visit our website prior to attending your interview
  • Arrive in plenty of time and know the names of the people who will interview you
  • Know why you want to join Piper Alderman
  • Be ready to ask questions when it is your opportunity

What days would I be working during a clerkship?

As a law clerk you can choose the working days that suit you the most to fit around your university timetable. We understand that timetables change from semester to semester; so too can your working days.

Can I have time off for study and exams?

We understand that your first priority is your studies. That is why most of our law clerks take time off during exam periods.

What kind of work will I be doing?

Your work will vary depending on which division you are working in, however you can expect to do real legal work such as drafting, research and attending court. Have a look at our Clerk and Graduate Experiences page to hear it first-hand.

Outside of work, what does Piper Alderman offer its employees?

Our staff enjoy a friendly and supportive environment, an active social club as well as a comprehensive employee benefits program and a comprehensive health and wellbeing program.

If you still can't find the answer to your question, please contact a member of our Human Resources team whose details can be found on the Contacts page.

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