In November/December 2012, I was lucky enough to travel to the UK to undertake a four-week clerkship with global law firm Linklaters in their London office. For me, this was an incredible opportunity as my goal has always been to have an international career in the law.
Law stuff that I’ve done
My clerkship at Linklaters was divided into two “seats” of two weeks each. I spent my first seat in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT). This group primarily works on large IT contracts and outsourcing agreements, as well as assisting the corporate departments on the IT aspects of larger corporate transactions.
During my second seat, I worked with the litigation team. In that time, I was incredibly fortunate as I was able to assist the team working on the “News of the World” hacking scandal by conducting research, helping to prepare documents and drafting correspondence.
Fun, and the rest of it
Who wouldn’t love to spend four weeks in London, one of the world’s truly great cities? Linklaters made our stay there incredibly comfortable. Not only did they arrange for accommodation in an amazing part of the city, the firm organised numerous social events, such as a trip to the theatre, a “flight” on the London Eye and an evening of ice skating at the Tower of London.
However, what made the experience so memorable was the people with whom I had the opportunity to work. The people at Linklaters are so talented and capable that it creates an incredibly dynamic and intellectually stimulating workplace. Yet nevertheless, they remain really down-to-earth and love to have a laugh at work as well.
What have I learned?
Firstly, you must approach work with an open attitude. It is vitally important that you profit as much as you can by observing how your colleagues operate and what makes them as professional as they are.
Secondly, it is important to be flexible. During your time at any law firm, you will be exposed to a variety of people who like to work in their own unique way. Approach this task with an open mind and this will ensure that you become a more well-rounded and approachable lawyer.
Finally, it is important to have confidence in your own ability. Firms invest massive amounts of resources into selecting candidates to partake in their clerkship programmes. If you are lucky enough to be selected, it is important to bear in mind that you are there for a reason, even if you feel a little out of your depth from time to time!
Hamish McAvaney is a law student at Monash University.
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Read more clerkship stories from our 2012/13 Summer Clerk Diary series:
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