Clerk and graduate experiences

Our clerk and graduate program offers real opportunities for career progression. Here's what some of our other clerks, graduates and new lawyers have to say on what makes Piper Alderman's program unique.

James Bailey

Law Clerk, Sydney

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I was given the opportunity to work as a Law Clerk as part of the Corporate team in early 2018, and have not looked back since then. From day one, I have been involved in various matters for both my primary department and in litigation, offering me a fantastic opportunity to develop both the theoretical and practical skills required of a lawyer, within an accommodating environment. Despite the role being my first in a law firm, the mentoring and encouragement provided by countless experienced colleagues(both within and beyond my practice team) allowed me to quickly settle in and work on the complex (yet rewarding) tasks that Piper Alderman encourages clerks to become involved in. In particular, the continuous personal interaction with senior practitioners has allowed me to develop my legal problem-solving skills and understanding at a rate which I had never envisaged so early on in my career. In addition to the enhanced responsibilities bestowed on clerks, the firm is extremely flexible, insisting that a balance between work and full-time study is prioritised, and offering assistance to achieve this wherever possible.

Emer Sheridan

Law Graduate, Sydney

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I began as a Law Clerk in the Infrastructure and Projects Team in the penultimate year of my degree. From the beginning of my time at Piper Alderman I have seen that my co-workers, supervisors and the firm as a whole are genuinely interested in and committed to the development of Law Clerks and other junior staff. As a Law Clerk you will be given interesting tasks which will enhance your research and drafting skills. No two days are the same and you are challenged to produce quality work with care and efficiency. However you will also have lots of support from your team and no question is too trivial to ask! I would recommend a clerkship at Piper Alderman to any law student looking for an exciting and rewarding experience in commercial law.

Denise Burloff

Lawyer, Brisbane

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I had the opportunity to work as a Law Clerk at Piper Alderman whilst I was studying at university. As a Law Clerk, I was given the flexibility and support to work part-time during the university semester and focus on my studies during the stressful assessment and exam period. I was lucky enough to work with every practice group in the office. This was a great opportunity as it allowed me to work with many talented people and exposed me to different areas of law. It also meant that no day was the same. Towards the end of my degree, I accepted a Law Graduate offer in the Projects & Infrastructure team.

Liam Higgins

Lawyer, Adelaide

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The best part of my experience as a law clerk was the opportunity to continually learn and grow. From the outset I had the opportunity to be involved with matters spanning a wide range of commercial transactions. These experiences greatly enhanced my skillset and has made the transition from a clerk to a graduate a very smooth and natural process. The one on one contact with senior practitioners provided to you as a clerk to on a daily basis will rapidly improve the ways in which you approach challenges and solve complex problems. My advice is not just to ensure you have excellent attention to detail and an ability to balance competing priorities, but to ensure you demonstrate a willingness to learn and to be part of the team!

Jonathon Wenham

Lawyer, Adelaide

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My journey to Piper Alderman was through the Bob Piper Scholarship, I happily accepted a later offer of work experience, even more happily accepted an offer of an indefinite clerkship and was delighted to accept a graduate contract four months ago. Determination is perhaps the ultimate quality for a clerk. It’s definitely required to get through both the periodically punishing pressure of law school and the difficulty of finding a position as a clerk or a grad in this extremely competitive market. It’s all possible, but you have to be persistent! My days can be chaotic, especially in busy periods but that’s what makes it fun – the constantly changing nature of the work.

Philip Chow

Associate, Melbourne

Philip Chow, Law Graduate

From my first day as a law clerk, and then as a law graduate, I have had the invaluable opportunity to be actively involved in a variety of matters in areas such as intellectual property, mergers and acquisition, and litigation. While the learning curve was steep, my colleagues have offered incredible support throughout every stage. The exposure to real work from the outset made my transition into a graduate role much less daunting. This unique experience has further assisted my university studies and places me in a great position to start my career as a lawyer. I would recommend Piper Alderman’s clerk and graduate program to students who are eager to have a challenging but rewarding start to their legal career.