• Kat Crossley

Post Clerkship Self-Esteem Repair Kit


If you’re still in the running for a summer clerkship, congratulations and good luck. If you didn’t get a clerkship, don’t worry - everything will work out okay.

In post-clerkship disappointment mode you’ll probably spend a while telling yourself that you suck. You probably won’t believe me right now, but not getting a clerkship doesn’t mean that you will never be happy ever again. True story.

Clerkship rejections don’t have to be a negative experience. In reality it’s a great opportunity to take stock and consider what you really want out of your career. It’s also an ideal time to check out what other options are available. A visit to your university careers counsellor can really help.

If you’re still desperate to work at a particular law firm, remember that a clerkship isn’t the only way to get your foot in the door. Paralegal jobs with major firms also arise on a regular basis, and there is also the graduate intake or the possibly of joining the firm later in your career. Not starting your career in the firm of your choice does not preclude you from working there later on.

So it seems that you now have a whole summer break to yourself after all. Rather than being the most melancholy person on the beach, you can still use your intended summer clerkship time to nurture your beautiful legal mind and enhance your resume.

You could get a job or do work experience in the legal sector. This could be at a law firm, in-house, with a barrister, in the court system, at a government department or with a community legal centre. There are plenty of opportunities out there.

Another option is to knock over some extra subjects through summer school. Or you could try your hand at mooting: many university mooting teams prepare for competitions over the summer break.

Or perhaps what you need is a break from all things law. If this is the case, why not spend the summer indulging some of your non-law interests or career aspirations? Learn to sail, go travelling, do a creative writing course, learn French, road test a job in advertising- do whatever you like! Keep an open mind and you could develop new skills and interests or find a new career direction.

Still feeling a bit rubbish? You’re not alone. ReachOut Australia has a great factsheet about maintaining healthy self-esteem. If you’re feeling a bit low, it’s a highly recommend read.

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