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Clerkship

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About DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a law firm with momentum. 

Over the past decade, DLA Piper has undergone rapid expansion, responding to global markets and helping our clients deliver on their business strategies. In doing so, we are uniquely placed to provide our people with the global career opportunities they are looking for.

Put simply, we offer legal careers on a different scale, working with leading companies and talented people in an environment that is challenging and rewarding , with an entrepreneurial spirit that sets us apart from our competitors.

Being an excellent lawyer requires more than just comprehensive technical knowledge. Every aspect of our approach is tailored carefully to our clients, their business needs and industry.

Successful applicants are not only bright, as demonstrated through strong academics, but they also bring unique life experiences and insights to the table. Our lawyers are excellent communicators, collaborative team players and commercially minded, because our clients are the core of our business.

For more information about our seasonal clerkship and graduate programs, please refer to our website www.dlapipergraduates.com.au.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Penultimate year students only? We accept applications from penultimate year or final year students. Our Perth office accepts applications from students in their third year or above.

Do you accept applications from interstate students? Yes, however applications will only be considered for one office.  Candidates should apply for a clerkship in the office they intend to start their careers as a graduate.

 

Brisbane

Number of positions available: approx. 12

Applications: 27 February - 9:00am 20 March 2017

Offers made: 8 May 2017 and must be accepted or declined by 5:00pm 9 May 2017

Clerkship Dates:

Summer 1:  November - December 2017 (4 weeks)

Summer 2: January - February 2018 (4 weeks)

Contact:

Lauren Camporeale, HR Consultant 

graduaterecruitmentAUS@dlapiper.com 

 

Melbourne

Number of positions available: approx. 30

Applications: 10 July – 13 August 2017

Interviews commence: September 2017

Offers made: 12 October 2017

Clerkship Dates:

Summer 1: November – December 2017 (4 weeks)

Summer 2: January – February 2018 (4 weeks)

Winter: June – July 2018 (4 weeks)

Contact:

graduaterecruitmentAUS@dlapiper.com 

 

Perth

Number of positions available: approx. 18

Applications: 17 July - 11:59pm 4 August 2017

Interviews commence: August 2017

Offers made: 22 September 2017

Clerkship Dates:

Summer 1: November - December 2017 (3 weeks)

Summer 2: January - February 2018 (3 weeks)

Winter: June – July 2018 (3 weeks)

Summer 1 and 2 clerkships open to penultimate students who are expected to graduate in 2018.

Winter clerkship open to students who are expected to Graduate in 2018 or 2019.

Contact:

Lauren Camporeale, HR Consultant 

graduaterecruitmentAUS@dlapiper.com 

 

Sydney

Number of positions available: approx. 15

Applications: 15 June - 16 July 2017

Interviews commence: 15 August 2017

Offers made: 4 October 2017 and must be accepted or declined by 5pm 6 October 2017

Clerkship Dates: November 2017 – February 2018 (8 weeks)

Contact:

Wendy Yap, Graduate Recruitment & Development Manager

graduaterecruitmentAUS@dlapiper.com 

 

During your seasonal clerkship you can expect to do a variety of things both in and outside the office. The tasks you are involved in will depend on the team you are assigned to and the work they have on at the time. Some common examples include accompanying lawyers to court, attending client meetings and mediations, and assisting on large corporate transactions.

As a clerk, your learning and development begins with our tailored clerk induction program. The knowledge you gain here is supported by on the job training from partners, senior lawyers and other peers. 

We also ensure you have regular contact with the other clerks throughout the program through social activities, lunches and presentations.

All clerks are assigned a buddy (usually a current graduate) and a supervisor (senior associate or senior lawyer) who will support and guide you through the clerkship.

 

Type of Work

Lisa Findlay, DLA Piper 2016 Melbourne Graduate - 2014/15 Clerk

During my clerkship at DLA Piper I was placed in the Litigation & Regulatory team which gave me the opportunity to work on large-scale commercial and corporate disputes for international corporate clients in the technology sector. I was given the opportunity to work as part of a team on large-scale discovery using online documentation systems, employing concepts I'd learned at university such as privilege and confidentiality to carry out tasks like categorising and redacting documents. 

I also worked on a matter involving a shareholder dispute in the Australian subsidiary of a large European company, preparing memorandums, chronologies and drafting letters. To do so, I researched complex points of law around insider trading and other corporate legal principles such as breaches of fiduciary duties. It also involved acquainting myself with relevant documentation like company shareholder agreements, company structures, press releases and correspondence between different parties. After drafting documents I was able to sit in on conference calls with lawyers and clients based in the Netherlands. 

Spending my clerkship at DLA Piper gave me real-life exposure to the processes underpinning large-scale litigation in Australia and also how the firm operates on a global scale. 

 

Why Global?

Jeremy Yam, DLA Piper 2016 Sydney Graduate - 2014/15 Clerk

Working for a global law firm interested me because of the seemingly increasingly global legal landscape - and I was particularly attracted to DLA Piper due its vision to be the leading global business law firm. The firm's consistently high rankings, such as #1 globally for M&A deal volume for six consecutive years, highlighted to me that its vision was not just a vision - but one that is nearing reality. It is a firm with momentum and I wanted to be a part of it.

While no two days were the same, I was able to experience what it was like to work on cross-border transactions and with teams whose expertise extends beyond Australian borders. For example, I sat in on calls and did work for a client from Israel - who was referred to us from DLA Piper's Rome office; conducted research for a Pro Bono client who has offices in nine different countries; and was able to build my network with colleagues from around the world either in person, over the phone or through email.

The opportunity to go on secondment to one of DLA Piper's offices overseas was also greatly appealing, and one that the firm is extremely supportive of. The Asia rotation during the Graduate Program is but one example, as others have had experience working in locations such as London, Hong Kong and Dubai for up to two years.

Overall, clerking at DLA Piper not only lived up to my expectations of working at a leading global law firm, but exceeded them. It was a really rewarding experience, and one that I am grateful culminated in an offer to join the Graduate Program.

 

Pro Bono

Emily Chalk, DLA Piper 2016 Brisbane Graduate 

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East.  As a firm, DLA Piper's Pro Bono work is commensurate in size, scale and scope with our commercial work; in 2015, we devoted over 202,000 hours to pro bono initiatives, making us one of the largest providers of pro bono services worldwide.  DLA Piper's lawyers can contribute to wide-ranging pro bono law reform projects in the Asia-Pacific, or work one-on-one with pro bono clients in our own cities.

For me, the firm's pro bono work has been not only an amazing way to give back to the communities in which we work, but also to develop my own skills as a lawyer. 

As a paralegal, I had the opportunity to assist our lawyers with a range of pro bono work.  For instance, I worked closely with a Graduate lawyer to assist a pro bono client from the Queensland Legal Aid - Prisoners' Legal Service in drafting his application for parole. I also assisted the International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination by researching sexual assault cases in a range of Pacific Island nations to enhance their understanding of the role of culture in sentencing practices.

As a Graduate, I have been fortunate to continue assisting with matters far outside the scope of my commercial work. Most recently, I have been assisting a non-governmental organisation with research into the legislative framework surrounding detaining juveniles in adult prisons.  I have also had the chance to get involved in the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House clinics which the firm supports, particularly the Open Minds Legal Clinic and the Self Represented Litigants Service.

 

Clerkship Interview Tips & Preparation

Lucy Clifford, DLA Piper 2016  Perth Graduate - 2014/15 Clerk

Interviews can be nerve-wracking for everyone,  especially if you are unfamiliar with them.

One of the most important factors that employers are trying to determine is whether you will be a good fit for the particular work environment. 

My advice is to spend time researching the people who are interviewing you; their role within the firm, the kind of work that they do,  their academic background and their interests. This will not only help you understand and find common ground with the person interviewing you, but will also allow you to ask more meaningful questions and build a connection during the interview. 

Of course it is important to thoroughly research the firm you are applying for. This is not only so you can determine whether a particular workplace is right for you, but also to highlight any specific areas of the business you may be interested in, or would like to know more about. 

Ultimately, it is important to remember that an interview is a two-way street.  You are there to impress the people interviewing you, but they are also selling a role to you. To that end, be yourself and try to view the interview as more of an open dialogue to achieve a common goal. 

 

Workplace Culture

Belinda Chapman, DLA Piper 2016 Canberra Graduate - 2014/15 Clerk

I was a summer clerk at the DLA Piper Canberra Office in the 2014-15 intake, which was an excellent opportunity for me to see if I was the right fit for the DLA Piper workplace culture.  For the first two days of the clerkship, I attended the Sydney office for an induction program.  From the moment I arrived I felt welcome, and it was apparent that the culture of the firm was one that would support me to thrive as a lawyer.  The partners and lawyers were very welcoming and down-to-earth, and my initial impressions of DLA Piper, was the professionalism and support I received across the board.

The Canberra office is the smallest DLA Piper office in Australia and everyone made me feel part of the team.  The culture is supportive and team orientated, and I was impressed with the effort my colleagues put in to giving me tasks to develop my skills.  The environment is very collaborative and productive, and I always felt that I could ask ‘the dumb question’ of the partners and lawyers.  At the end of my clerkship I had experienced a workplace culture that is friendly and professional, which made it a very enjoyable place to work.  I accepted a graduate position without hesitation. 

 

 

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