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Allens' clerkship recruitment process


Just starting your law degree and want to know more about the journey ahead? In your penultimate or final year and applying for clerkships? Then read on for a guide of the Allens recruitment process, as well as some insider tips and tricks from our Early Careers team!

1. Online application

After you have done your research and decided that you want to apply for a clerkship at Allens, the first step is submitting your online application. We'll ask you to upload your CV, cover letter and academic transcript.

You will also then have the option to complete the Rare recruitment questionnaire. Rare is a contextual recruitment tool that draws on your educational, socioeconomic and personal information that you provide us with. This enables us to better understand your achievements in the context of your personal circumstances, beyond what we may see on your CV. Rare is our way of equalising the playing field for everyone entering the legal profession. We don't expect or want everyone to look and be the same, and we want to hear your story.

The next step is completing our assessment. The assessment comprises two components - a cognitive assessment and a behavioural, strengths-based component, which provides an insight into the work we do and a taste for what working at Allens is like, while giving us an additional data point during the screening process. The assessment is designed to give you a realistic job preview – we won't ask you about shapes or numbers! It's not timed either, so you can stop and start as needed.

Early Careers hack: we want to debunk the myth that you need legal experience to get a clerkship offer, because it's not true. We see strong applications from students all the time who have only ever worked in hospitality or retail (for example) but have clearly demonstrated skills and attributes that we look for. Focus on framing up those transferrable skills and experience. Also, proofread…proofread…proofread! Attention to detail is a critical skill we look for in our lawyers.

2. Interview

If your application progresses to the next stage, you'll be invited to an interview and our flagship event: 'Allens Insider Access'. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Allens before your interview, and to form connections with our people. You will also be paired up with a junior lawyer as a 'buddy' to help you navigate the process, get a feel for our culture and ask any questions before your interview. The interview is a chance for us to get to know one another better; we will want to hear about your university and work experiences, extracurricular involvement, career aspirations and interest in Allens.

Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth have a one-round interview process. Sydney has two interviews, as they offer a longer clerkship program. In your interview(s), you'll meet with two people from our interview panel – comprising Partners, Managing Associates, Senior Associates and our recruitment team. Following the interview, you will meet your buddy to catch up over a coffee. In Sydney, there is also one final cocktail event after the second interview where you can reconnect with the people you’ve met along the way, and also celebrate your success on getting this far through the process.

Early Careers hack: the interview process is just as much about you getting to know us, so come prepared with some thoughtful questions (ie something you wouldn't be able to find out on our website). Not only do interviewers find it engaging but you will also be better equipped to know if Allens is the right place for you, too.

3. Clerkship offer day

After interviews comes clerkship offer day! On this day, you'll learn the outcome of your application and interview. Offer day can be a melting pot of nerves, excitement, disappointment and deliberation (from both the candidates and the Early Careers team!). Usually, offers will be made in the morning and you'll have a deadline by when you'll need to formally accept. This varies from state to state, so make sure you are clear as to when this is – we'll make sure we keep you well informed on next steps and important dates throughout the process. If you do receive a clerkship offer, you are on track to gaining some amazing experiences as to what life is like as a commercial lawyer at Allens!

Early Careers hack: if you have interviewed at multiple firms, you may be fortunate enough to receive multiple offers. If this is the case, make sure you have established your top preferences and be willing to be flexible as to which intake you will clerk in. On the other hand, if you are unsuccessful in receiving an offer, try not to be too disheartened and stay in touch with the firm – you never know what the future holds.

4. Graduate offers

After you have completed a clerkship, you are eligible to be considered for a graduate offer. While you'll need to express an interest in our Graduate Program following your clerkship, you do not need to formally apply for a graduate role. All Allens offices adhere to the relevant Law society/institute and firm agreed dates, so make sure you mark your calendar for offer day! Our graduate program runs for two years and comprises two 12-month rotations, giving you in-depth experience working in different practice groups before 'settling' in your third year at the firm. In each practice group you will have a performance coach (typically a Partner) and a buddy (typically a second-year graduate) to guide your development and support you throughout your career journey. Along the way, the firm will also support you in completing your Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (with admission typically taking place mid-year), as well as providing you with learning and development opportunities and resources so you can continue to develop your legal, technical and business skills. We also recognise that settling into a new job can be challenging and Allens takes the health and wellbeing of our people seriously. To support your wellbeing, we have a framework that consists of four key focus areas: mind, body, culture and connection. This framework means caring for your wellbeing is at the centre of our policies and practices; we want everybody to feel that their workplace is a safe place and they can bring their whole self to Allens.

Early Careers hack: on offer day, try to make sure you are available to take calls (if possible) and have somewhere quiet to talk. Make sure you also know where you would most like to end up working as a graduate (should you receive multiple offers) and why you want to accept that offer over others. Often firms will ask where you accepted and why – it's handy to be prepared to answer that, should you feel comfortable doing so.

Stay in touch

We hope the above provides you with an insight into one of the pathways from student to clerk to Allens Graduate. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please don't hesitate to reach out to student.careers@allens.com.au. Keep an eye on our Graduates - Allens page for upcoming opportunities and further information. Good luck!