Allow us to cultivate the skills and attributes you will need to launch your legal career
Applications are now closed for our 2019 / 2020 Clerkship Program
Experience the collegiality, energy and creativity that defines life at Finlaysons.
Our unique program stands apart from the rest. Offering the perfect balance between guidance and independence, it is structured to keep you engaged whilst promoting your natural talent for innovative thinking.
Working alongside some of our most talented and recognised practitioners, in their areas of expertise, on real matters for real clients your learning experience offers you an insight as to how the practice of law is conducted in the real world.
You will be offered a 12-month contract working 3 days per week with the flexibility to accommodate your ongoing study commitments. We typically recruit our graduates from our program, so if your clerkship is successful you may be offered a graduate position upon completion, as well as the opportunity to work casually while completing your studies and GDLP.
We pride ourselves on a genuine learning experience that is a continuing commitment to the development of our people, woven into every aspect of life at Finlaysons.
We have a comprehensive on-boarding program, as well as opportunities to become involved in regular tailored skills building sessions, internal CLE sessions, and access to our practice group training and business skills training sessions.
Your toolkit of expert coaches and buddies to guide you through a range of learning opportunities, job shadowing, and hands-on experience will enable you to quickly become equipped with the resources required to become one of our future talents.
Our program will nurture your professional growth in ways that are entertaining, as well as informative.
We strive to support you both professionally and personally.
We support a work/life balance and encourage participation in our health and well being program and sporting, community focused or personal interests.
We have fun and celebrate our successes. We hold regular firm and social club events, and you are always welcome to join your colleagues for Friday evening drinks to wind down at the end of a busy week.
We want to work with accomplished individuals who have hobbies and interests away from work, so think about what makes you stand out from the crowd.
We are committed to the principles of workplace diversity and equity which includes recognising, respecting and valuing individual differences. We encourage candidates from all walks of life to apply.
You will need to be able to manage a varied workload, whilst maintaining an appreciation of the complexities, all of which provide the foundations of excellent client service.
Your Cover Letter, CV and Academic Transcript can be submitted online at Finlaysons Career Portal.
Discover what’s possible. Surround yourself with professionals who want to foster your growth.
Successful applicants will be invited to an informal forum to hear from our current clerks and participate in an information sharing session to find out more about our unique clerkship experience. Afterwards, introduce yourself to and network with our senior practitioners.
Following the Meet & Mingle, a select group of applicants will be invited to attend a formal interview from which our new crop will be chosen.
“The one year clerkship program at Finlaysons has been both a rewarding and inspiring experience. From the full time week of on-boarding to the monthly skills building sessions, the whole team here has assisted in helping new clerks transition from university to a professional workplace. Beyond that, our coaches and ‘buddies’ make sure we know the ‘ins and outs’ of each department as we rotate through the firm. It was actually the rotation program that drew me to apply at Finlaysons and it has proven to be an absolute highlight. It gives a rare opportunity to experience a wide variety of law, from assisting on complex interstate land transactions to trademark applications to banking and finance disputes. At law school it can be hard to determine where your interests lie so the chance to gain practical experience across so many fields cannot be understated for a young graduate.”
– Fumi Baughan , Graduate Lawyer and 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“I was initially hired by Finlaysons on a short-term contract basis and subsequently applied internally for the Clerkship Program. One of the most attractive aspects of the program is the fact that it runs for 12 months. A lot of other firms only offer a short-term “summer” clerkship program whereas Finlaysons structures its program to ensure that clerks can learn a lot during their time whilst also contributing towards, and integrating with, the firm. Perhaps my favourite part of working at Finlaysons is the learning opportunities which stem from a firmly ingrained “open door” culture whereby clerks are easily able to approach senior practitioners for assistance with tasks, or broader issues in general. Further to this, Finlaysons also implements an effective “buddy” and “coach” system as part of its program to ensure clerks are never left wanting for help should they need it. I could not recommend this program more highly.”
– Michael Rydon, Graduate Lawyer and 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“The Finlaysons’ clerkship programme is a very rewarding experience! The hands on legal work from Day 1, the ability to rotate through all of the departments of a commercial law firm and not only learn from high quality practitioners, but to also play a role in several matters and trials, instils the fundamental skills needed to become a successful lawyer.”
– George Femia, Graduate Lawyer and 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“Clerking at Finlaysons has been an invaluable and rewarding experience. Everyone in the litigation team has been extremely helpful and are more than willing to invest time into training clerks. Practitioners allow clerks to get involved on files which means that I have gained valuable insight into how litigation progresses. Further, there is an extensive “on-boarding” program to help clerks understand the firms systems and processes and ongoing clerk training sessions. The clerk training sessions have been extremely useful as I have found that they teach practical skills that I have used every day in the workplace”.
– Erin Puckridge, Graduate Lawyer and 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“The opportunities that I have been given at Finlaysons have been, and continue to be, invaluable. Within the very first month of my clerkship, I was assigned to a trial, where I was provided with a significant amount of hands-on experience and exposure to civil litigation within South Australia. I assist a number of partners and senior practitioners with interesting and legally complex matters on a daily basis and I continue to look forward to a new challenge each day. I thoroughly recommend the Finlaysons Clerkship to any law student that is looking for a truly unique experience.”
– Steven Ellis, Graduate Lawyer and 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“The Finlaysons clerkship program is a fantastic educational opportunity for those looking to gain insight into life as a young legal professional. The experience is challenging, yet profoundly rewarding, with clerks rotating through four departments under the guidance of experienced buddies and coaches.
Being twelve months in duration, the program sees clerks regularly attend skills building sessions and social events, thus providing regular networking opportunity and an insight into the firms culture. This, as well as the opportunity to contribute to real-life matters alongside established legal professionals, makes for an unparalleled experience.”
– Jordana Mintz, 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“As a clerk at Finlaysons I have been extremely fortunate in the amount of exposure that I have had to various types of tasks. I have appeared in Court, helped on numerous trial matters, joined in on meetings with clients and assisted with Pro Bono cases. Furthermore, as with the nature of law, I have also performed a number of research tasks, spent a lot of time reading and analysing documents and drafting letters to clients. The exposure that I have been lucky enough to have is due to Finlaysons truly being an encouraging environment to learn and grow, shown by their commitment in providing skill building seminars and in-firm training courses. Overall I have had a fantastic experience at Finlaysons and believe that it has assisted with my development as a lawyer and will have a lasting impact throughout my career.”
– Adam Hamilton, 2018/2019 Law Clerk
“In addition to providing an amazing culture and educational experience, the Finlaysons program is unique in that it is the only program in Adelaide providing the opportunity for clerks to develop their professional skills over the course of a full year. The program exposes you to different departments and allows for a diverse learning experience, all under the tutelage of experienced, yet friendly, buddies and coaches. The Finlaysons’ clerkship program has been instrumental in my growth as a young legal professional.”
– Tom O’Sullivan, 2017/2018 Law Clerk
“So far I have completed eight weeks of the clerkship in the Environment, Planning, Native Title & Resources department. This department was extremely rewarding as I was able to research a diverse range of matters such as space law, food regulations, hedge fencing laws and native title compensation to name a few. These tasks have been particularly helpful in developing my legal research skills. Further, I was able to draft trustee minutes and special resolutions which has really increased my knowledge of corporate law and trusts. My recent rotation into the Insurance Department has provided me with a different experience, with a greater focus on drafting summaries and attending court.
This experience is extremely valuable in helping me decide where my legal interests lie, and what area of law I would be interested in practicing in the future. Gaining practical experience in such a wide variety of areas is a very rare opportunity and I am extremely grateful for this experience.”
– Molly Shanahan, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this clerkship, but it’s been great. I loved my first rotation in workplace, I got to work on a range of super interesting issues and go to court with Will Snow (Partner) quite a lot. I even saw a case to its conclusion – legal proceedings were commencing on my first day, then in my last week the final court orders were served. It was very exciting!”
– Tyson Leung, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“The twelve month Finlaysons’ program is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a variety of areas across the legal sector. The allocation of a dedicated “buddy and coach” provides clerks with access to dedicated departmental mentors. The ability to exhume knowledge, tips, feedback and support allows the clerks to expose themselves to some challenging areas of law, with full confidence. From day one you feel a part of a team. I can’t recommended the firm, or the program highly enough and encourage students considering a clerkship to apply.”
– Alex Dunbar, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“The support provided by my coach and buddy has also been invaluable and has allowed me to excel during my rotations so far and provided me with feedback to improve my performance and skills in the future.
I have found the clerkship program at Finlaysons to be very rewarding and I have been privileged to be exposed to a variety of tasks and to be trusted with completing various work for clients and practitioners. It is evident that Finlaysons fosters a culture of continuous growth and that practitioners are willing to expose you to tasks that will challenge you in order to improve and add to your professional skillset.”
– Courtney Dolphin, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“Clerking at Finlaysons has already proven to be a unique and valuable experience. The supportive environment of the firm is unlike any other. The first week of on-boarding allows you to get to know how the firm operates and takes you through everything you need to know in order to get started on your first rotation. This support is then carried on throughout the clerkship, with coaches and buddies offering continued guidance, feedback and opportunities. I have already had an unparalleled experience at Finlaysons.”
– Maddison Briggs, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“Coming into the clerkship program I was excited to get exposure to a broad range of legal work through Finlaysons’ rotational clerkship program. My first eight weeks at Finlaysons flew by! Being involved with hands on legal work since day one has been fantastic and I am continuing to experience new challenges every day.”
– Bentley Anderson, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“The Finlaysons’ Clerkship program has already given me so much more practical experience in the last two months than I ever could have acquired from law degree alone. I have been able to gauge how litigation is conducted in real life, and gain an unparalleled experience before even graduating law school. So far I’ve attended court countless times, drafted court documents, written letters to clients and analysed a plethora of evidence for our ongoing cases. The training and resources available to clerks are second to none, and I can’t stress the professional yet family natured work environment the firm has. I’d highly recommend the clerkship program to anyone considering it, it will be an opportunity you will not regret.”
– Alexander Hamam, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“My work has given me the opportunity to practice applying what I learned at university to the subtleties of real-world problems. As a dedicated clerk in the Tax & Revenue team, I have had the chance to engage in a variety of work within the company, while learning the trade first-hand from experts around me. No matter how silly the question, my wonderful and supportive team are always there to guide me towards an answer. Finlaysons is committed to the development of its staff through a variety of events, such as skill-building sessions and networking nights, and I have found these to be great opportunities for meeting like-minded people and broadening my professional perspective. The clerkship program has been a unique experience that I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in a career in this field.”
– Christine Vu, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“One of the great things about the program is being relied upon to engage in practical tasks that matter. In my short time at Finlaysons, I have been required to draft court documents, write letters of advice to clients and instruct counsel on matters proceeding to trial, amongst many other tasks.
I really enjoy the fast-paced nature of the work and the friendly and competent colleagues I get to work with. I would highly recommend the Finlaysons Clerkship program for anyone interested in gaining legal experience in a fun and professional environment.”
– Peter Pedler, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
“Coming into the clerkship, I was looking forward to getting some ‘real world’ experience and being able to use the skills I learnt at university in a practical sense. I have thoroughly enjoyed assisting with a broad range of tasks on client matters across a number of different areas of law. All areas are very different but I have enjoyed the diversity of issues and tasks arising from each area.”
– Mikayla Wilson, 2019/2020 Law Clerk
- Is our program structured or unstructured?
We pride ourselves on offering a combination of real legal work, training and development and mentoring. We provide a structured program commencing with a quality on-boarding,hands-on experience, job shadowing and formal training throughout your clerkship.
- Who will supervise me?
You will have a different partner, special counsel or senior associate act as your coach together with a buddy who will be your “go-to” person in each department.
- Will I have an opportunity to work in more than one practice area?
The program provides an opportunity for you to experience the law across our numerous specialist practice areas. You will rotate through our Commercial, Litigation and Property departments every three to four months. By working with colleagues from different practice areas, you will be able to stimulate and challenge your thinking.
- What kind of work will I do?
You will be engaged in a diverse range of legal transactions and participate in interesting work that involves research, drafting documents and providing general assistance. You will also have the opportunity to attend briefings and work directly with clients.
- What happens at the end of my placement?
At the conclusion of each rotation, your coach will provide you with constructive feedback. You will leave Finlaysons with a clear understanding of how you have performed. We also want to engage with you about how you found our firm and your placement and welcome your contribution to improve our program.
- Do clerkships lead to a job as a law graduate?
Most of our graduate lawyers are recruited from the clerkship program. We find this a very successful way of recruiting as you have had an opportunity of experiencing life here and we have had the opportunity of assessing your talent and cultural fit.
- How many working days will I need to commit to?
For continuity and workflow we request clerks to be available part time 2-3 days per week. We understand that flexibility is key, so we will work with you to accommodate your study commitments each semester.