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Australian National University
Summer Clerk - King & Wood Mallesons
Ada studied Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts at The Australia National University.
I really enjoyed my clerkship at KWM – the two months went so quickly! I feel lucky to have worked beside so many kind, down-to-earth, brilliant people and I have learnt so much about commercial and government work.
THE APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW PROCESS:
The whole application process went very smoothly. I had a relaxed conversation with my interviewers, which really helped my nerves. I had two interviews and then attended the ‘Inside a Deal’ Information Night, where we had the chance to meet other lawyers at the firm and the other applicants. It gave us an insight into some of the firm’s legal work, such as their work on the Snowy Hydro Scheme 2.0.
As a clerk, you get exposure to great matters – massive commercial deals and important government work. By rotating through Dispute Resolution and Mergers and Acquisitions (which are both very different practice groups), I did a range of legal work. In DR, I did so many interesting tasks– from looking for experts in chicken production to researching the engineering of truck trailers!
In Mergers and Acquisitions, I attended client meetings, both in and out of the office – including a trip up to the Mount Stromlo Observatory – which was fantastic. I also spent a lot of time researching domestic and international space law for one of our upcoming matters.
The office is full of friendly, approachable people who go out of their way to make you feel welcome and part of the team. I have become close friends with the other clerks, which has made the program even more enjoyable.
Throughout the clerkship, we were provided with ample training. This made it easy to transition into the work, and we knew very clearly what was expected of us. Every clerk also gets a ‘buddy’, who is a second or third-year solicitor who can show you around, share their career tips and insights, and discuss any questions over coffee. Having a buddy made it a lot easier to settle into the new practice groups.
PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY:
KWM has a great pro bono program – it’s a big focus at the firm. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for the RSPCA. I attended a meeting at the shelter, sat in on (and contributed to) multiple phone conversations, and spent a lot of my time working on that project. The RSPCA even brought a puppy into the office!
The summer clerks were also involved in a ‘Change Challenge’, where we had to come up with an innovative way to help students in rural and remote areas get access to legal education. It really impressed me how much KWM was focused on trying to make a difference in the community.
THE SOCIAL LIFE:
There are so many social events – from afternoon teas with scones and cheese boards, to triathlons, to lawn bowls, to after-work meetups. I was able to meet so many people through these events. In December we had our annual End of Year party at the National Museum and in our final week, the clerks got to try an Escape Room. KWM really encourages team bonding.
WHY I CHOSE KING & WOOD MALLESONS:
I chose KWM because I knew that I would get fantastic legal training at one of the leading commercial firms in the country. KWM also has a real presence in Asia, which appealed to me. As an international firm, KWM has great internal resources and a wealth of available knowledge.
MY CLERKSHIP VS. MY EXPECTATIONS:
Going into the clerkship, I had an expectation that the clerk dynamic would be competitive. I was relieved when it was the complete opposite – we have all become very close and we support each other. I had also never done any work in Mergers and Acquisitions before, so I was worried that I would be out of my depth. But there was so much support and training, which made the transition easy – I became comfortable very quickly.
WHO WOULD I RECOMMEND A KWM CLERKSHIP TO:
I would recommend this clerkship to somebody who is interested in a range of complex commercial and government work, and someone who would like to be surrounded by down-to-earth and ambitious people.