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Seasonal Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines

The below information should be read in conjunction with the 2018 LIV Seasonal Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines.

Established in 2009, the LIV’s Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines ensure consistency and fairness through the legal recruitment process.

The Guidelines set out the dates upon which signatories can make offers for seasonal clerkships and graduate positions for the following year. The Guidelines have an in-principle endorsement from the Victorian Legal Admissions Board.

Signatories agree to make their offers according to the dates and times specified in the Guidelines; however, firms will allocate their interviews dates and times at their discretion. Firms that are not signatories to the Guidelines are not obliged to comply with them.

Law students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Guidelines, as well as the legal recruitment process throughout their studies.

The LIV Young Lawyers can provide you with general information about how the Guidelines operate, but cannot offer you any direct advice on the terms of any employment offers made to you by signatory law firms.

The 2018 Guidelines, key dates and current list of signatory firms are now available to download:

Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines

When to Apply

Firms prefer applications from penultimate year students (those completing their second last year of their law degree). These are students who are:

  • commencing their final semester in 2019
  • eligible to commence a graduate position in 2020 and can therefore be considered under the priority offer system for traineeship positions.

In 2018, offers of seasonal clerkships made pursuant to the Guidelines cannot be made prior to 10am, Eastern Standard Time, on Thursday, 18 October 2018.

Key Dates

  • Applications open no earlier than 9am Monday, 9 July 2018.
  • Applications close no later than 11.59pm Sunday, 12 August 2018.
  • Firms set their own interview period.
  • Offers for seasonal clerkships made from 10am Thursday, 18 October 2018.

Traineeship Guidelines

When to Apply

Firms accept applications from final year students; that is, those commencing their final semester in 2018 who are eligible to commence as a graduate in 2019.

Key Dates

  • Applications open at 9am Friday, 10 August 2018.
  • Applications close 11.59pm Sunday, 26 August 2018.
  • Priority offers made between 10am Tuesday, 7 August 2018 and 12pm Wednesday, 8 August 2018.
  • Market offers for traineeships made from 10am Monday, 8 October 2018.

How to Prepare for Employment

Receiving seasonal clerkship or traineeship offers is a significant step for many students as they work towards finishing their law degree, and obtaining a graduate position. Offer days are also busy periods for signatory law firms/organisations and their representatives.

For these reasons, maintaining effective communication between yourself and any firm/organisation representatives who make you an employment offer is important for ensuring that you make a positive impact in the legal recruitment marketplace.

Here are some tips to help you best manage this process: 

  • Before the offer period, you should review the applications you made to law firms.
  • Be prepared that you may receive more than one seasonal clerkship or traineeship offer and take the time to consider your preferences in advance.
  • Make sure you are available across all of the contact details you provided in your job applications, such as your mobile phone, work phone and email address.
  • In respect of seasonal clerkship and priority offers, consider clearing your work or study schedule for this day to help you be better prepared and more responsive to firm/organisation representatives.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from firm/ organisation representatives such as your availability to commence the role you applied for.
  • If you receive, and are holding, a number of seasonal clerkship or traineeship offers made under the Guidelines, please consider the business needs of the firm/organisation representatives that you are speaking with, and ensure you work collaboratively with them as you consider and respond to all offers you receive within the requisite time provided by the Guidelines.
  • Be proactive in developing a positive working relationship with all persons you speak with throughout the recruitment process and across the legal profession by maintaining your professional courtesy at all times.

For more information, please read the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions