Clerkships provide the perfect opportunity for law students to understand how the commercial law world operates, and may be the opening for a graduate position. Clerkship programs are primarily offered over the university summer vacation period from the beginning of December to the end of February. Depending on the performance of summer clerks, many firms offer summer clerks graduate positions at the end of the period. The application process for summer clerkship programs commences via ‘cvMail’ or on the firm’s website.
The process may include first and second round interviews, events such as information nights, cocktail evenings and group discussions. Subsequently, offers will be made to successful applicants with a short period of time to accept. Most firms make offers to students on the same date. The process itself is competitive with firms often receiving up to a thousand applications.
Some States have Clerkship Guidelines in which law firms must abide by, ensuring a consistent and fair process for both students and employers.
In certain States (such as NSW, QLD and VIC), Graduate Employment Programs are co-ordinated by the Law Society of that state for the benefit of law firms in that state and law schools. The Graduate Employment Program is generally open to final year law students.
The Guidelines are intended to implement a fair program for law firms and students by providing set dates for the recruitment process. Students should be mindful that the programs are competitive in nature and recruitment is not guaranteed for either program.
By allowing students to simultaneously consider offers received, the Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs provide students with the opportunity to make an informed and timely selection.
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