Sam Lee King & Wood Mallesons Summer Clerk

Sam Lee

University of New South Wales
Summer Clerk
Sam studied Commerce/Law at University of New South Wales

Summer clerk intake: 2017/18
Areas of rotation: Banking & Finance and Dispute Resolution

As a summer clerk at KWM, you’ll have the opportunity to work on important, complex commercial law matters from day one; to work as part of an amazing, inclusive team; and to get an unparalleled headstart on your commercial law career at a firm that truly values your professional development and personality.

The application and interview process:

KWM’s application process is all about getting to know you, and helping you put your best foot forward – there is no ‘ideal’ or ‘cookie-cutter’ personality or candidate the firm is looking for. Right from the outset, there was a real sense that the firm wanted to find out who I was, what my personal passions and experiences were, and what drove me personally.

The interview process is extremely personal. I have very fond memories of discussions about my love of mooting and my (dubious) taste for music.

KWM’s application process is incredibly applicant-centric. It’s all about helping you put your best foot forward, answer all the questions you may have about the firm, and get a real insight into what a career at KWM might look like for you.

The work:

My KWM clerkship experience completely exceeded my expectations. As a summer clerk, you won’t just be scanning or proofing, but you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in interesting work. I assisted with drafting advices and submissions very early in my rotations. You will also be relied upon as an important part of each team, and enjoy surprising levels of responsibility that will provide you with opportunities to learn important skills and develop key insights.

The culture:

Whenever I’m asked about the culture at KWM, I love to say that the people at KWM ‘take their work seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously’ and it’s a brilliant way of describing how the firm operates.

The firm has a highly professional culture with a sense of excellence and ambition that permeates everything within the firm. This also goes hand in hand with an incredible team ethic that really resonated with me. The staff at KWM are like one big team – whether it’s the concierge, research team, lawyers or café staff – everyone is incredibly supportive of one another, and always happy to go the extra mile to help each other out.

Everyone has a great sense of humour and, as a global firm which values diversity, it was fascinating to be able to work with people from very different backgrounds.

The support:

Providing support to junior lawyers is a key aspect of the firm’s ethos.

In addition to a supervising partner, each clerk is assigned a buddy – usually a junior lawyer who is able to answer any questions you may have. You also have a development coach, who is typically a senior lawyer who provides you with regular feedback and often monitors your workflow to ensure you receive both interesting and diverse work during your time in the team.

Pro Bono and community:

KWM has a very strong focus on pro bono opportunities. In the first few days, we met the firm’s Head of Pro Bono and were introduced to many community partners and organisations with whom the firm has strong relationships. The firm is always on the lookout for ways to improve its involvement with community causes and organisations.

The social life:

Between inter-firm clerk sports and kayaking on Sydney Harbour, there are plenty of social activities that you’ll be able to engage in. Getting to know your team, your fellow clerks and the other members of the firm is a huge focus of the clerkship – and it’s all aimed at providing you with a fun-filled summer and helping you become a part of the KWM team.

Why I chose King & Wood Mallesons:

It was meeting KWM staff and experiencing the ethos and values of the firm through the process that really swayed me.

Getting to know the firm and its people helped me picture what a commercial law career at KWM might look like for me. I genuinely felt that the firm would invest in me, focus on my development, and give me the opportunities to learn and challenge myself– in this respect, picking KWM was an easy choice.

Who would I recommend a KWM clerkship to:

If you want to work at a firm that will really invest in your professional development, give you the opportunities to be the best commercial lawyer you can be, and to work with an amazing team, then you can’t go wrong with KWM.