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  • A unique opportunity
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About Gadens

Gadens is a leading firm with over 135 partners and 1100 staff across our offices. Our imminent combination with Dentons will see us become part of the largest law firm in the world. 

Our expertise, attitude and accessibility attract many of Australasia’s most successful and innovative organisations as well as leading multinational institutions. We have an established reputation as a leading legal service provider to clients in the financial services, energy and resources, and property and construction sectors. 

As a Gadens’ summer clerk, you will experience a unique and dynamic program like no other. You will be given a seat at the table from day one with the opportunity to learn from Australia's foremost lawyers and work with a client base that resembles the who's who list of the ASX Top 200 companies. Our engaging and highly-professional clerkship will cultivate the skills and competencies you will need to launch your legal career.


Eligibility Criteria

Penultimate year students only? Yes

Do you accept applications from interstate students? Yes


Clerkship Rotations

You will have the opportunity to rotate in any two of our many practice groups.

Areas of legal practice

  • Aged Care, Not for Profit and Tax
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Corporate and Commercial
  • Corporate Risk and Insurance
  • Dispute Resolution and Litigation
  • Employment and Safety
  • Energy and Resources
  • Financial Products and Services
  • Insolvency and Financial Services Recoveries
  • Planning, Environment and Government 
  • Property, Building and Construction.



Number of positions available: 5-10

Applications: 15 June – 17 July 2016

Interviews commence: 8 August 2016

Offers made: 23 September 2016

Clerkship dates: 21 November 2016 - 10 February 2017



Sherry Saliyb, Recruitment Advisor 

02 9035 7192

Click here to visit the Gadens Sydney website. 



Clerks are given real responsibility and get involved with real work. Our summer clerk program includes two rotations and a week on client secondment. Clerks work closely with our foremost lawyers and a client. Clerks can expect to get involved in real matters, attend client meetings and go to court. 

Our revised hands-on L&D program, Gadens legal laboratory, combines legal expertise, commercial know how and innovation. We also have an Elite Mentoring Program that doesn’t stop the minute the clerkship is over; our clerks continue to receive mentoring from a senior associate for a 12 month period post their clerkship.

Fun is also strongly on the agenda. Our belief is a lively workplace reduces stress, improves learning and increases productivity and creativity. As such, we ensure our clerks have a lively social calendar with events ranging from sports teams to cruises and plenty of opportunities to get to know fellow clerks at other firms.


What specific qualities does the firm look for in a potential clerk? 

Gadens is looking for students who have performed well in their studies, are passionate about the law and are eager to work in a team that is committed to their clients, staff and the community. Innovation is fostered at Gadens and we are seeking clerks who embody our core values - intellect, collaboration, openness, integrity, respect and excellence.


What does the firm offer a clerk?

We recruit summer clerks for a ten week period, commencing late November. Our summer clerk program includes two rotations and a week on client secondment. Clerks are given real responsibility and get involved with real work. Our revised hands-on L&D program, Gadens legal laboratory, combines legal expertise, commercial know how and innovation. We also have an Elite Mentoring Program that doesn’t stop the minute the clerkship is over; our clerks will also receive mentoring from a senior partner for a 12 month period post clerkship.

Summer clerks are invited to return as graduates and the opportunity may also exist for our clerks to work with us on a casual basis as they complete their studies. 


Does the firm engage in pro bono, volunteer or other community activities? 

At Gadens we champion the arts and reconciliation with indigenous Australians. Our RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) summarises our commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, highlighting our efforts to date and guiding our future intentions. Our involvement in our Innovate RAP reflects our focus on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to test and trial approaches to continue to build relationships, and to continue to create opportunities to help ‘close the gap’. 

We maintain a range of pro bono interests, including membership of Justice Connect and public interest litigation. 

Furthermore, we run targeted secondment programs to provide legal assistance to community legal centres and communities in need. Our solicitors frequently participate in secondments with organisations such as the Environmental Defenders Office and Salvos Legal.


How does the firm encourage a work/life balance?

At Gadens, we strive to support our people both professionally and personally. We offer flexible work arrangements and a free employee assistance scheme for staff and their immediate family. We also have a fantastic employee benefits program designed to enhance your career and keep your work and life balanced. Program initiatives include complimentary massages, discounted corporate health insurance, discounted gym memberships and retail discounts. We encourage you to join one (or more!) of our many sports teams, participate in group activities (varying from yoga to boot camp and boxing), or be part of our corporate teams for events such as the City2Surf and JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Additionally, our social committee arrange a number of creative and interactive events throughout the year that all staff are welcome to attend. 


What does the firm offer its graduates?

Graduates commence with the firm in one of two formal intakes – either February or November. Our 18-month graduate program consists of two rotations available in any of our practice areas. We have an elite Graduate Academy program for learning and development and also offer financial support to eligible graduates to complete their PLT. Following completion of our graduate program graduates are progressed to Solicitor and form part of Gadens Lawyers’ Network.



Isobel Conroy-Ryan, 2015/2016 Summer Clerk

I was one of the 9 lucky 2015/16 Summer Clerks at Gadens. I can’t speak more highly of the experience I and my fellow clerks had. We can’t wait to start as graduates next year. 

Clerkships allow insights into the legal industry and the opportunity to hone the skills you’ve learnt at university. You’ll become familiar with the work & teams, whilst getting to know other clerks at inter-firm events.

Why you should absolutely start your career at Gadens: 

  • Flexibility: Gadens want you to reach your full potential and offer the innovation and opportunities to ensure relevance and leadership within the market.
  • Dentons Combination: The most exciting frontier ahead – this creates international secondment opportunities as part of the biggest law firm in the world.
  • Respect: From clerkship through to being a senior lawyer, Gadens values lifelong development. If you are unsure of any task, just ask your colleagues! Coming for an Arts background, I was nervous to begin in Banking and Finance but I adored my time in the team and was trained & supported at every stage. 
  • Culture: Gadens’ culture is unique with a real sense of collegiality.

Gadens’ mantra is ‘learning is doing’. From the outset you are given greater responsibilities and carriage of matters, making you a better, more experienced legal advocate.


Suvan Madan, 2014/2015 Summer Clerk

As part of my clerkship, I was given the opportunity to participate in a two-week secondment with the in-house legal team at Australian entertainment company Nova Entertainment. Well known for two of its commercial radio networks - Nova 96.9FM and Smooth 95.3FM, Nova Entertainment has broad interests across the entertainment industry. This opportunity is unique to the Gadens clerkship program and provided me with invaluable exposure to the world of in-house law.  

I assisted two legal counsel. It was quite surreal to be working on the same floor as Fitzy and Wippa, and next to the various studios such as Nova’s famous ‘Red Room.’

On a day-to-day basis, I was exposed to various aspects of commercial, contract and media law. There were also quite a few social events – the highlight being a gingerbread housemaking competition, with each department in the company competing against each other.

The opportunity to work in-house, and particularly at an organisation such as Nova is one of the aspects that sets the Gadens clerkship apart from others, and it gave me an invaluable insight into the commercial world and the varied nature of the work of in-house lawyers.


Lachlan Williams, 2014/2015 Summer Clerk

When I discovered that I would be rotating through Dispute Resolution, many thoughts came to mind…what kind of disputes do we resolve? How do we resolve them? Do we get to say ‘you can’t handle the truth’? 

Of course these thoughts were somewhat polluted by Harvey Specter’s dispute resolution method of leaning back in your chair, attending client lunches, then playing with an autographed basketball.

Whilst not all of these thoughts came to fruition, my rotation through Dispute Resolution certainly gave me an insight into daily life as a litigator, right through from court preparation to attending hearings.

In preparing for court I was exposed to a wide range of work including filing at court registries, preparation and collation of briefs to counsel and drafting of documents. With all this groundwork, I attended hearings varying in length and content that gave me the opportunity to see the theory put into practice.

The best aspect of dispute resolution at Gadens is the variety of areas of law within the practice including torts, contracts, intellectual property and finance.  


Eliza Sheridan, 2013/2014 Summer Clerk

During my clerkship, I expected to face a variety of intellectual challenges, and I was right. What I didn’t foresee was the effort that Gadens expend to ensure we have a truly enjoyable social life over the course of their program.

As Sports Coordinator, I organized our weekly sport attendance. We joined Johnson Winter & Slattery’s clerks to form the ‘Legal Eagles’, facing off in contests of supreme physical skill! Games ranged from volleyball to soccer, and the bonds we formed (in our colourful Gadens exercise garb) meant we always looked forward to Monday nights. The firms also took turns organizing after-work drinks. These were great opportunities to unwind and socialize with other clerks. We also had a lot of fun at the inter-firm cruise & annual Trivia Night.

I am very grateful for my summer clerk experience. On top of providing us with the practical and theoretical tools for working in commercial law, Gadens has made sure that we start our career with a focus on achieving work/life balance. The culture here is fantastic and I can confidently say that my expectations of my summer clerkship experience have been far surpassed.


Georgia Wall, 2012/2013 Summer Clerk

Going into the Insolvency Litigation team, I knew very little about it. While on face value it may appear somewhat dry, the matters I came across and the litigation process most certainly were not.

Gadens has strong relationships with the major Australian banks and these shone through. What made Insolvency Litigation most enjoyable and useful to me, was the ability to recognise core law subjects I have studied and apply them in real-life situations. The tasks I completed provided a practical understanding of the lifecycle of litigation. In my first week, I drafted documents including letters to clients, subpoenas, a statement of claim and an application for a discharge of mortgage. I also completed a number of research tasks on specific areas of law such as a file note on a Court of Appeal case, memos on the right to assign preference claims and service of notice requirements under a specific piece of NSW legislation.

Attending court was a definite highlight. Witnessing litigation in action is an enthralling experience and I am truly in awe of the litigators’ expertise. I was fortunate to sit in on matters in the Federal & Supreme Courts and the Registry, and be walked through the matters by the litigators’ themselves. It’s hard to imagine a better way to learn about the law.


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