Callum Maher - KWM

Callum Maher

University of Newcastle
Rotation : Projects & Real Estate and Mergers & Acquisitions
Callum studied Juris Doctorate at University of Newcastle

Taking part in the clerkship process is a big decision to make but I assure you that it’s definitely worth it, especially if you end up at KWM.

The application and interview process:

KWM’s application process is unique. Notably, it’s all about you. You’ll get to answer questions aimed at showcasing exactly what sets you apart. Anxious about interviews? Don’t be. My interviews at KWM were by far my most relaxed; my interviewers seemed more interested in getting to know me and talking about my experiences rather than formally assessing me. Want to know what working at the firm is actually like? Between all the different events, you’ll have more than enough opportunities to gain a candid insight into what working at KWM entails.

The work:

Working at KWM is an incredible experience. You’re working with some of the very best lawyers in Australia for some of the very best clients. Practically, this means that you’re constantly exposed to challenging and engaging work under the comforting supervision of a highly-experienced team. Both teams worked hard to get me involved; from the get go I was brought on board and felt like I could make a real contribution. This involved attending teleconferences with blue chip clients, conducting a range of business and legal research tasks, and drafting client-facing documents.

The culture:

Summarising the work culture at KWM is a difficult task. It’s multifaceted. It permeates throughout the entire firm and is reflected in KWM’s stellar reputation in the legal marketplace. At KWM, you work hard and take pride in your work, but there’s so much more to it than just that. There’s a real sense of community within the practice groups.

The support:

Aa a summer clerk at KWM you’ll be allocated a buddy for each rotation. They’re your first port of call throughout the clerkship, and are more than happy to answer all of those questions that you aren’t comfortable asking your partner or a senior associate. This isn’t to suggest that they’re unwelcoming either; in both of my rotations, both the partners and SAs that I worked with went to lengths to ensure that I was comfortable with my work. I was also given constant feedback on my work, and was consistently provided with the wider context of what I was doing. 

Pro Bono and community:

KWM doesn’t limit you to working in commercial law. There are various opportunities to take part in pro bono work, whether it’s with Salvos Legal in Lakemba, or attending with a volunteer duty solicitor at the Downing Centre.

The social life:

You’ll bond with your fellow clerks through the huge amount of events that are organised over Summer. From clerk sport, to clerk lunches, Friday night drinks, the KWM Christmas Party, inter-firm mixers, and the (in)famous Clerk Cruise you’ll have plenty of time to get to know your clerkship group.

Why I chose King & Wood Mallesons:

Cultural ‘fit’ will be mentioned throughout the process, and as much of a cliché as it is, it’s true.  What stood out for me was how the value that KWM places upon achieving excellence, fostering collaboration, and embracing change is embodied by its staff. The solicitors that I met throughout the process were brilliant, approachable, and personable. I had real conversations during cocktail nights and interviews that assured me that KWM was genuinely interested about finding out about who I was as a person, not just as a potential clerk.

My clerkship vs. my expectations:

My clerkship was so much more than what I expected it to be. Everything from the high level of involvement I was afforded to the amount of trust placed in me by my supervisors, constant feedback, and opportunities to really become a part of the firm absolutely blew me away.

Who would I recommend a KWM clerkship to:

If you want to work in a firm where achieving excellence isn’t just some lofty goal, but a reality of daily life, this is the firm for you.  If you want to work in a firm where your development is taken seriously, where you’re constantly challenged and supported to learn and grow, this is for you.  If you’re passionate about being the best that you can be, KWM is the place for you.