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About JWS

Established in 1993, Johnson Winter & Slattery is a relatively young law firm that occupies a unique place in the Australian legal market. We are differentiated by a “tier 1” practice capability and our premium client portfolio, along with a genuinely collaborative culture.

Our business model distinguishes us. At the heart of our approach is the recognition that when managing strategic and complex matters, superior outcomes are achieved through the hands-on’ involvement of expert senior lawyers. We maintain a higher ratio of partners to lawyers and focus on assignments that are well suited to this low leverage structure.

This ‘low leverage approach’ results in young lawyers being fully engaged on client assignments alongside more senior practitioners, providing them with development opportunities as well as the chance to develop strong client relationships early in their careers.

Strong technical and client service skills are developed through structured mentoring and professional development programs.


Eligibility Criteria

Penultimate year students only? Yes

Do you accept applications from interstate students? Yes


Clerkship Rotations

Our two main practice groups are Dispute Resolution & Transactional & Advisory.

At JWS we do not have a structured rotation program; on a daily basis you will be exposed to a variety of work in these areas and also from our specialist groups. A full list of our specialist groups can be found on our website our website.



Positions available: 4

Application dates: 3 July - 24 July 2017

Offers made: 28 August 2017

Clerkship dates: 

Summer 1: 20 November - 15 December 2017 

Summer 2: 15 January - 9 February 2018 

Application method: cvMail. Applications are to be submitted along with your CV, cover letter and academic transcript. 

Contact: Wilma Lewis, Professional Development Advisor

(02) 8247 9630



Positions available: 4

Application dates: 27 February - 20 March 2017

Offers made: 8 May 2017

Clerkship dates: 

Winter clerkship: 26 June - 21 July 2017

Summer 1: 20 November - 15 December 2017

Summer 2: 15 January - 9 February 2018

Application method: cvMail. Applications are to be submitted along with your CV, cover letter and academic transcript. 

Contact: Wilma Lewis, Professional Development Advisor

(02) 8247 9630



Positions available: 4

Application dates: 10 July - 13 August 2017

Offers made: 12 October 2017

Clerkship dates: 

Summer 1: 20 November - 15 December 2017

Summer 2: 15 January - 9 February 2018

Application method: cvMail. Applications are to be submitted along with your CV, cover letter and academic transcript. 

Contact: Wilma Lewis, Professional Development Advisor

(02) 8247 9630



Positions available: 4

Application dates: TBA

Offers made: TBA

Clerkship dates: 

Summer 1: 20 November - 8 December 2017 

Summer 2: 15 January - 2 February 2018

Application method: cvMail. Applications are to be submitted along with your CV, cover letter and academic transcript. 

Contact: Wilma Lewis, Professional Development Advisor

(02) 8247 9630



Website:  Click here to visit the JWS website.



The Difference

Compared with most other law firms we have a relatively flat organisational structure with no fixed work groups or departments.

This enables our lawyers to diversify their early experience by working across all practice areas with lawyers from each of the firm’s offices.

The absence of individual and group billing and time recording budgets means that young lawyers can focus on producing excellent work, developing their skills and working collaboratively without undue pressure.

Many aspects of our firm make it a great place for developing lawyers to shine: a consistent flow of high quality work, close mentoring relationships with partners, a focus on teamwork, collaboration and communication, as well as the absence of individual and departmental time recording budgets.


Jack Culbertson, Adelaide

If you are considering taking up a career in commercial law then I cannot recommend JWS strongly enough. I joined JWS as a summer clerk in January 2016 before returning as a casual Law Clerk in September 2016 to be a part of the 2017 Graduate intake. The clerkship experience was a great introduction to the firm and life in a professional working environment.

The factors that differentiated JWS for me in considering where to apply for a clerkship were twofold:

1. The ‘low-leverage’ model of the firm means that there is almost a 1:1 ratio of junior to senior practitioners; and

2. The firm’s ‘no silos’ approach to developing juniors with regards to practice groups.

The combination of these two aspects of the firm means that as a junior you have access to and guidance from very senior practitioners not only in Adelaide but across the country. This structure enables the firm to be agile and resourceful in producing high quality work for complex issues. I often find myself working across high profile transactions and disputes alongside senior practitioners from different practice areas and offices. This has enabled me to explore different areas of law that I had not considered before, such as energy law, mergers and acquisitions and even some international litigation. This has given me a well-rounded experience and many opportunities to try out different aspects of legal practice.

The clerkship program is structured so that you receive a good mix between formal training as well as practical experience. During my clerkship I did tasks such as preparation for Federal Court Proceedings, research and drafting advice for a regulatory matter and various attendances at meetings and hearings in the Supreme Court. The firm also provided me with advanced LexisNexis training and other research workshops which gave me some useful skills for my final year of University.

Another aspect of the clerkship program is the opportunity to attend Professional Development sessions on topical issues which are presented by JWS partners. I found these sessions to be a great way of learning more about the firm’s specialist capabilities as well as developing areas of law and current matters.

On a personal note the firm has an active social committee and a very positive and constructive culture. These factors, coupled with the diversity of personal and professional interests are what made JWS the obvious choice to launch my career in commercial law.


Greg Travers, Brisbane

A four week clerkship at JWS is unique from the typical commercial firm experience. Rather than spending your time confined to just one practice group, you will work across groups and with a variety of senior practitioners. During my clerkship, I gained exposure to matters emanating from Energy & Resources, Corporate, Competition, Regulatory and Dispute Resolution. Additionally, I worked collaboratively with the Perth office given the broad geographic nature of a particular client’s activities.

In your first few days as a clerk, you will partake in a comprehensive induction programme to introduce you to the firm, its people, and its processes. As someone who had never worked in a law firm, these sessions were invaluable in easing my transition. They also demonstrated JWS’ commitment to ensuring that my four week experience would be as fruitful as possible.

The work I was involved in was both challenging and interesting. While there is always support in place, JWS gives you plenty of ‘rope’ to take charge of your work and see it through to completion. During my clerkship, the tasks I was assigned included analysing and reporting on the effects of certain amending legislation, drafting a shareholder’s agreement following a review of a client’s existing arrangements, reviewing a share sale agreement, conducting both legal and non-legal research, and drafting a memorandum outlining a client’s legislative obligations. At each step along the way, there was an ‘open door’ policy whenever I needed guidance from the partners, as well as ample constructive feedback.

Following the completion of my clerkship, JWS offered me a graduate position which I readily accepted. With a higher ratio of senior practitioners to junior lawyers than other commercial firms, JWS provides superior opportunities to learn and work closely alongside some of Australia’s most talented lawyers.   


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