Clerkships are painted as the ultimate stepping stone into a career as a lawyer. Many law students seem to define their success by whether they get a clerkship at a top tier firm, but this can be extremely damaging considering how competitive clerkships are to get into. I spoke to…
Ask any clerk and they will tell you that the worst part of being a clerk is the application process. Clerkships pay well, they foster a great work ethic and learning environment – but it comes at a price.
I wanted to talk to someone who is quite senior in the industry about the process, so I met up with Nicholas who is a partner at a law firm and clerked while he was studying at UTS.
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After rounds and rounds of interviews, social functions where every move of yours is assessed, and psychometric testing, the offers for clerkships are sent out. I asked Nicholas what helped him prepare for being a clerk.
“I think UTS prepared me for the clerkship process. It gave me practical skills at uni, enabled me to interrogate legal matters to a higher level than I expected. It also helped me understand the role of law in society and enabled me to communicate my skills better to *people interviewing me for clerkships.”
I found out that the reason clerkships are so competitive is because they are the most linear way into a graduate position. But Nicholas doesn’t believe they are the be all and end all.
“If you don’t get a clerkship, it doesn’t matter. There are so many other parts to becoming a lawyer.”
Interested in engaging in politics and social reform? Nicholas also told us about his career as an LGBTQI+ lawyer.