Clerkships provide fantastic holiday work experience, but what happens afterwards? Melbourne University Law student Wendy Ooi and law graduate Sarah Moore share their clerkship experiences at Moores Legal and provide insight into what law students can expect post-clerkships.
I completed my clerkship at Moores Legal in December 2009. It preceded my penultimate year of law at Melbourne University. I chose to undertake a clerkship at Moores Legal because of its high standing among friends, business contacts and not-for-profit organisations, and the diversity of practice areas covered by the firm.
During my time in the not-for-profit workgroup, the lawyers and the principals took a close professional interest in tailoring client documents (letters, constitutive documents and applications) to facilitate client goals. Attention was also paid to the knowledge management material shared between staff.
My workgroup leader also took time out to mark-up both draft correspondence to clients and an extensive (internal) memorandum. He explained his changes and carefully considered my input.
Highlights of my clerkship included the not-for-profit sector policy discussions shared with my buddy. I recommend new clerks to find a ‘policy person’ within their group and take them to lunch (or let them take you to lunch).
Working in this setting, you may find yourself in the deep end; however, if you wave for help you will receive it.
I had two excellent clerkships at large city firms in 2010, but ultimately I accepted a traineeship at Moores (beginning this year). The traineeship will include four three-month rotations through different practice areas. The rotations will allow me to complete more of the substantive law components of supervised workplace training in-house than would be the case in some other firms. A preference for personalised training and a pride in the honourable retro-fashioned tradition of ‘general practice lawyering’ helped direct my path.
I completed my clerkship at Moores Legal in June/July 2011. As a fourth year law student (and new to the world of ‘seasonals’), I was keen to get a diverse experience, and complete my clerkships at a range of firms.
I chose to do a clerkship at Moores Legal because it specialises in a range of unique legal areas such as not-for-profit law, estate planning, and elder law, in addition to some of the more common areas like commercial, property, family and personal injury law.
During my clerkship, there was no ‘typical’ day – every day produced new learning experiences. Often I would be researching points of law, writing memos and drafting letters to clients and regulatory bodies. I also attended client meetings and drafted minutes of meetings and agendas. Given that the not-for-profit workgroup is also involved in policy work, I was also involved in drafting submissions to the Australian government.
Ultimately, I enjoyed my experience and have continued working at the firm as a paralegal. I would recommend any future student to clerk at Moores Legal to experience a unique practice that is built upon strong values and leadership, an inclusive culture, and a true sense of community.
As a seasonal clerk it can be daunting walking into a law firm for the first time, but the key is to be willing to learn and above all to enjoy the experience!
Want to share your summer clerkship experience? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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