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Summer Clerk Diary: Jacinta Bishop and Rachel Kong, Marque Lawyers

The next instalment in our summer clerkship diary series comes from the clerks at Marque Lawyers. Jacinta Bishop, a juris doctor student from Melbourne University, and Rachel Kong, a juris doctor student at the University of Technology, Sydney tell us what it’s like to spend the summer at Marque…

We can’t deny it. We were recruited in an unusual way. The Marque clerkship application process this year was via Twitter, and we both had to somehow come up with a witty, 140-character response to a question tweeted by the firm. After surviving round one, we had two interviews, and as a result have spent the summer in the office of Marque. So what was it like?

What law stuff we’ve done

Between the two of us, we’ve covered all the practice groups – litigation, commercial, corporate, intellectual property, workplace relations and property. This means we’ve spent lots of time drafting letters and advices, reviewing contracts, researching law that we should know (and some that we’ve never heard of) and attempting to answer obscure questions. Being the new kids on the block, we’ve tagged along to client meetings, court and coffees. Funnily enough, it’s been much more practical than lectures and tutorials.

The ‘Marque Experience’

Marque stands apart in the world of law firms, avoiding traditional billing practices, having an open plan communal office and a great music collection. We’ve been encouraged to take part in heaps of activities, including lunch time runs, soccer and netball, which happily counteract the rather frequent consumption of birthday cake. At our weekly meetings we’ve taken PowerPoint to a new level, giving presentations on our lives, wine tasting (at 9am) and taekwondo.

What we’ve learnt

Manage your time. Whether it’s with a diary, Excel or on Post-Its (not recommended), ensure you know your deadlines, what’s urgent and what you need to prioritise for the day.

Communicate and ask questions. If you’ve been given instructions and you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t just sit there. And don’t panic, it’s most likely normal.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Like promising the Managing Partner free ice cream.

Proof read everything that leaves your desk, either virtually or physically (think autocorrect on smart phones). Make sure you send emails to the right person, there might be a few different ‘Sarah’s’ in your address book.

Take a notepad with you everywhere. Even to the staff meeting when everyone laughs and calls you ‘cute’ for it. It makes you look busy when you’re cruising around the office and comes in handy sometimes too.

The fun stuff

Obligatory Friday drinks. Fridays don’t seem like such a big deal until you work in an office. It’s hard not to get excited about wine tastings and the notable ‘mango daiquiri hour(s)’.

The Christmas party. Being herded by the Transport Captain to a secret location, Marque threw an incredible party.

A bit of culture. Feeling very sophisticated we went to the confronting and remarkable play The Boys.

The Marque annual retreat. This one we’re waiting on with bated breath, who knows what’s in store for us there.

All in all, the clerkship has been heaps of fun and has brought out the inner law nerd in both of us.

Want to share your summer clerkship experience? Email us at contact@survivelaw.com.

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