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Clerkship

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  • Grad Program
  • Pro bono work

About Baker & McKenzie

At Baker & McKenzie we are different in the way we think, work and behave. Like no other law firm, we were born global. 

Conceived and built as a global firm in 1949, thinking and working globally is embedded in our culture.

With approximately 5000 lawyers globally, and 77 offices in 47 countries, we're one of the world's largest law firms by markets, revenue and headcount.

We have 17 offices across 13 jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region, and in 2015, Baker & McKenzie and FenXun Partners became the first international and PRC law firms to enter into a Joint Operation in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone.

We've been operating in Australia since 1964 and our Australian practice is the fourth largest in our network.

We offer our people access to complex, market-leading matters for leading multinational and domestic companies and the ability to work with some of the world’s best legal minds. We have an unrivalled ability to provide training and secondment opportunities across our global network and have an inclusive culture of learning, coaching and opportunity.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Penultimate year students only? We generally accept applications from students in their penultimate year. However, we will consider students who do not fall within this category on a case by case basis.

Do you accept applications from interstate students? Yes

 

The Clerkship

Right from the start, our summer clerks get involved in real work and are given real responsibility, just like our graduates and junior lawyers. You will have opportunities to draft and review correspondence, documents and agreements, undertake research and participate in various meetings and Court related experiences.

You will also be exposed to our Australian and international clients through client meetings/telephone calls and shadowing, and will often have opportunities to deal with clients directly. In addition, you will have the opportunity to undertake pro bono work. 

Working with lawyers of all levels, you will be guided by a supervising partner and associate 'buddy'. With the firm's strong culture of mentoring, you will receive coaching and feedback throughout your clerkship.

You are also supported at every stage by Talent Management, who will facilitate a comprehensive development program starting with induction and skills development (including sessions on library/research, technology, drafting, business communication, networking and other skills crucial to ensuring you succeed during your clerkship). You will also develop practical and legal skills through our national learning program for junior lawyers and various firm-wide sessions.

There are also many opportunities to network with colleagues around the firm – through various programs and social events.

Further, those who accept a graduate offer with our Firm can apply for an International Clerkship with one of our overseas offices.

 

Sydney

Number of positions available: 10-12

Clerkship rotations: Two rotations in two different practice groups and will also have the opportunity to undertake a client secondment. For a detailed list of our practice groups, please visit the Local Practice section on our website. 

Applications:  9:00 a.m. 15 June to 11:59 p.m. 17 July 2016

Offers made: 23 September 2016

Clerkship dates:  Late November 2016 to February 2017

Information required: Applications for summer clerkships should include a cover letter, as well as details of your work experience, extra-curricular activities, interests, and academic results. We do not require you to upload your CV, as the information from your CV is used to respond to the areas above. You will also be required to complete a few short answer questions.

Contact:

Natalie Brunton

Talent Management Consultant - Sydney

+61 8922 5747

natalie.brunton@bakermckenzie.com

Websitehttp://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/locations/asia-pacific/australia#careers

 

Melbourne

Number of positions available: up to approx. 20

Clerkship rotations: A single placement in one of our practice groups. For a detailed list of our practice groups, please visit the Local Practice section on our website. 

Applications: 9:00 a.m. 11 July to 11:59 p.m. 14 August 2016

Clerkship dates: 

First round: End November to December 2016 (4 weeks)

Second round: End January to February 2017 (4 weeks)

Information required: Applications for summer clerkships should include a cover letter, as well as details of your work experience, extra-curricular activities, interests, and academic results. We do not require you to upload your CV, as the information from your CV is used to respond to the areas above. You will also be required to complete a few short answer questions.

Contact:

Natalie Mascarenhas

Talent Management Consultant - Melbourne

+61 9617 4349

natalie.mascarenhas@bakermckenzie.com

Website: http://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/locations/asia-pacific/australia#careers

Click here to visit the Baker & McKenzie website.

Your Graduate Program

At Baker & McKenzie, we have a deep commitment to your development.  We work with each graduate to create a tailored development plan aligned with the graduate's career goals.  To help you reach your goals, we offer tailored learning opportunities – from seminars on core legal topics to skills development in areas like effective business writing, drafting and presenting. 

We also work hard to facilitate your on-the-job learning and the many ways it happens – through informal mentoring relationships, client secondments, involving you in global teams working on international deals, or supporting you to run your own file as part of our award-winning pro bono program.  To make sure you get the strongest possible start to your career, we invest in your development by covering the costs of your Practical Legal Training and through our dedicated graduate professional development program.  We also cover the costs of your admission and practising certificate.

Our regional practice group structure means many of our lawyers attend regional practice-specific training in our Asia Pacific offices and, once you finish your graduate program, you will travel overseas to attend a regional orientation program with other mid-level associates from the region.

 

What distinguishes us from other firms?

Our difference is in our unique values: our passion for being global, our culture of friendship, our commercial pragmatism, our support for entrepreneurship, our commitment to development, our focus on contributing to the community, and our genuine focus on maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment for all of our people.

What really distinguishes us from other firms though, particularly for those at the beginning of their career, is our global approach to development.  Because we've been global from the beginning, we have well established regional and global programs and a deeply embedded culture of knowledge sharing, support and mentoring both within and across offices.

Our global development roadmap, the Development Framework, clearly explains what success looks like at each career stage at Baker & McKenzie.  It shapes the way we recruit, select, develop, manage and promote our lawyers.  For you, it means always having a clear career roadmap, empowering you to plan and drive your development – formally and on the job – at every stage.   

Our lawyers benefit from an Australian professional development curriculum based on the Development Framework – from black letter law to practice-specific skills and knowledge development at the local, regional and global levels.  

Our lawyers also attend regional training and events/conferences relating to their practices to help develop networks and legal skills.  Further, they attend regional transition programs at each career stage which provide development in the key skills our lawyers need – like people leadership, business development and project management – and which enable them to foster relationships with international peers at the same career stage.  Recently, programs have been held in Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo.

We also provide our lawyers with opportunities to attend USA summer school courses and scholarships for full-time legal study overseas.

 

What is the firm's approach to pro bono work?

We care about the same things you do. Poverty, hunger and homelessness. The health of our planet.  Social justice. Quality legal representation and access to justice for all. We believe that connecting with the community and sharing one's skills and time with those in need are core professional responsibilities. In 2015, we contributed more than 6,000 pro bono hours to more than 200 individual members of our community, charities and other not-for-profit organisations and about 82% of our legal staff participated in our pro bono matters. As a summer clerk and graduate lawyer, you will work closely with other lawyers to run pro bono matters and you will have the opportunity to participate in our community service initiatives.

Baker & McKenzie lawyers are actively encouraged to undertake pro bono work. Some of our recent pro bono matters include advising victims of domestic violence in applying for financial assistance; representing asylum seekers in the Federal courts and seeking judicial review of decisions relating to their refugee status; and assisting seriously ill clients with their legal affairs. We have also provided legal workshops to vulnerable and at-risk youth. Our lawyers regularly undertake pro bono legal work for disadvantaged clients in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Our pro bono work also extends globally. For example, we are currently drafting FAQ legal brochures in connection with ending human trafficking across the Asia Pacific region.

We also provide pro bono legal advice to a range of not-for-profit and charity organisations on a variety of legal issues. For example, we have advised an organisation which assists victims of sexual orientation change efforts and we have assisted on the establishment in Australia of a global not-for-profit group that facilitates vocational training and employment opportunities for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Elsewhere, our lawyers are involved in advising on a not-for-profit initiative to develop and design renewable energy systems for three remote Aboriginal communities near Bourke (one of the first community-funded solar energy projects in Australia) and we assisted on the establishment of a new health charity that works to reduce the prevalence and development of chronic disease in refugees and asylum seekers. We also provide pro bono support to a number of clients whose systems enable the public to donate more efficiently to Australian not-for-profit causes and social enterprises.   

Legal and non-legal staff also participate in a variety of community service initiatives. Community service opportunities include mentoring year 9 students at risk of disengaging from education as part of the LEAPS (Law firms Encouraging and Assisting Promising Students) program, exchanging PenPal letters with students from remote regional communities, and fundraising or volunteering for charities such as Refugee Advice & Casework Service, MS Australia, the Deafness Foundation and Project Futures. Some of our fundraising activities include charity film nights, trivia evenings, morning teas and bake-offs.

 

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