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Summer Clerk Diary: Smriti Arora, Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Smirti Arora

Today’s summer clerk diary entry comes from Smriti Arora, a commerce/ law student at the University of New South Wales, who is spending her summer break with Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney.

It’s my final week of the clerkship and as Dr. Seuss would say, “My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” I remember being dressed in casual clothes for my first day (don’t worry this wasn’t a huge lapse in judgment on my part – we were told to go casual for a surprise task). As part of Mallesons’ sponsorship of Cas and Jonesy’s trek across Antarctica, we all participated in an Antarctic-themed amazing race across the city! I’ve always secretly wanted to be part of an amazing race, and while this one didn’t involve spontaneous flights around the world, we did have some awesome eating challenges, word puzzles, and bowled with massive blocks of ice.

After learning the basics we settled into our practice teams in a few days. I was pretty excited to start my first rotation in Mergers & Acquisitions (Private Equity) and meet my team. As someone who hasn’t yet learnt the art of whispering in an open-plan environment, I was glad to notice that my team hadn’t either. It was a great pod to work in – one of my supervising partners is always bantering with another partner across the floor, so it’s hard not to burst out laughing.

After I got over the delights of the all-you-can-use unlocked stationery cupboard, I received my first task. A couple of the other clerks on my floor and I were involved in the pointy end of a lengthy research task that was the first of its kind in Australia. In another deal, I was given responsibility for drafting sponsorship agreements for one of our clients where I worked directly with a Senior Associate. I also attended CLE and sector-focused presentations where I could learn more about the different opportunities for specialisation.

My current and second rotation is in Dispute Resolution, specifically in the International Arbitration team. I’ve been involved with writing research memoranda and editing publications on Australia’s suitability as a seat for arbitration.

Throughout the clerkship there have been many opportunities to get involved with Mallesons in the Community events and activities (such as work for the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre) and MalleMUN (Model UN) where one of the clerks was willing to “trade” Paris for an agreement on nuclear weapons…

I can easily say that the highlight of the clerkship has been meeting fantastic people, especially the clerkship group. While our sporting ability may not quite match that of a Nadal/Djokovic 6-hour marathon, we’ve made up for it with some LMFAO-esque shuffling at Christmas parties, inter-firm trivia and cruise nights. Some of us have also made our acting debut in the highly acclaimed clerk video, directed by James “Bryce” Cameron.

Last of all, doing the clerkship during a particularly exciting time for the firm, with the announcement that Mallesons will combine with Chinese firm King & Wood, means that we got more of an appreciation for the diverse opportunities available with such a big firm.

The clerkship really gives you a chance to get a taste of the work in corporate law and to meet great people along the way!

Want to share your summer clerkship experience? Email us at

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