The path to a clerkship can be daunting. Plenty of forms, cover letters and nerves! The aim of this guide is to give you some valuable insights and tips to make what can be a daunting process as straightforward as possible. We hope this information fast tracks your path to Day One at Maddocks.
Knowledge is power, so get informed
– Attend career fairs as they will give you a unique opportunity to talk to lawyers and partners who work at different law firms and to gain valuable insights into those firms.
– Sign up for mock interviews. By participating in this process you will gain interview experience and start building relationships with key People and Culture contacts.
– Research firms of interest and read widely. Valuable information can be found on firm websites, in Lawyers Weekly, Australian Financial Review Friday edition – Legal Affairs.
– Note opening and closing dates for clerkship applications and ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to organise and submit your applications on time.
Top Tip: Research is important so start your preparation early.
‘To whom it may concern’: cover letters, CVs and applications
– When preparing your cover letter, CV and applications, ensure your communications are clear and concise, use plain language and include examples demonstrating your skills and experience.
– Make sure that you thoroughly proof read and check your spelling, people’s names, and that you have included all documents requested.
– Address your covering letter to the relevant People and Culture Advisor
– We receive over 500 applications each year so highlight your key attributes and let us know what sets you apart.
– Choose an effective CV layout:. Include a general section covering your education, interests and volunteer work, together with a section that groups work experience in reverse chronological order starting with the most current experience
– Clerkship application questionnaire forms can take longer to complete than you might expect and require thoroughly considered answers. Reflect on and refer back to your research into the firm and your own interests when providing your responses.
Top Tip: Make sure you tell us why you are interested in a clerkship experience at Maddocks.
Acing your clerkship interview
– Dress in business attire. First impressions last longest.
– Arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled time of your interview. If something goes wrong and you are unable to attend for any reason, contact the relevant People and Culture Advisor as soon as possible
– Understand the core values, practice areas, key clients, recent transactions, firm news, awards and achievements of Maddocks. All this information is available is freely available on the firm’s website and social media channels.
– You will be given the name of the partner who will be interviewing you. Make sure that you view their profile on the firm website and look them up on LinkedIn as well.
– Speak with any contacts that you have; they may be able to provide some valuable and insightful tips.
– Research typical interview questions and practice mock interviews with friends and family.
– Be confident about your application and be prepared to have an engaging conversation about any aspect of your application. You never know what aspects interviewers will ask you about.
– Be aware of your body language and maintain good posture and eye contact throughout the interview.
– At the interview you will be given the opportunity to ask questions.
– Bring the original or a certified copy of your academic transcript and any other documents requested.
– It’s normal to be a little nervous before an interview, just embrace it.
Top Tip:Prepare a couple of questions to ask at the interview, this could relate to a particular interest of yours or an initiative within the firm.
‘How about this weather?’: standing out at networking events
– Law firm networking events are a great opportunity to engage with the firm.
– Be prepared to introduce yourself and join conversations.
– Listen and be curious. Taking an interest in the people you meet is the essence of good networking.
– Connect and keep in touch. Leverage your connections through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Top Tip:Attending networking events can be a great way to increase your awareness about the legal profession.
Futue proofing your career
The clerkship application process provides a great opportunity for you to create your CV and develop a covering letter, gain valuable interview experience, meet a range of people, and get to know law firms. Whatever the ultimate outcome, look at this as a great learning opportunity, where you can gain valuable insights and experience for your future career.