THE APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW PROCESS:
In my opinion, KWM had the most relaxed and engaging application and interview process. For each interview stage, I got a call from a firm representative. The interview was largely stress-free, with the interviewers just wanting to find out about me as a person through conversational questions. The second round stage included a range of social activities, including lunch with partners, being involved in KWM innovation week and cocktail nights. All of these combined to create a process which felt like the firm was trying to show how I could fit in, rather than treating it as competition for clerkship spots.
I was fortunate to experience transactional, advisory and some litigious work. All my partners and team members tried very hard to involve me in matters as much as possible, always explaining the larger context of projects and how my work would fit in. In Real Estate, I received a mix of contractual drafting, aiding with settlements and conducting property due diligence. The competition was a great combination of industry research on our clients, researching and summarising technical areas of competition law including industry codes, as well as reviewing contracts for unfair terms.
If I had to describe the culture in one word, it would be inclusivity. Right from the start of the interview process, I felt included by all members of the firm. This continues throughout the clerkship where every single KWM staff member makes a concerted effort to make you feel part of the team, whether it's through a casual conversation at the café, or through partners keeping you in the loop on large matters.
The formal and informal support is unrivalled at KWM, and there was never a moment where I felt that I couldn’t ask someone a question. The formal support through your buddy, development coach and Partner was amazing, with each constantly reaching out to me to see how I was fairing. Informally, If I had a problem, more often than not someone would reach out and help me with a task.
PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY:
KWM involves all clerks in a genuinely engaging group task to re-imagine one of the firm’s key Pro Bono offerings. It is a great chance to work with other clerks and create socially impactful programs that will make a real difference. Additionally, In my team, I was fortunate to provide advice to the Aboriginal Legal Service on Real Estate Matters. This was unique as I was able to draft start to finish a bit of whole advice, undertaking independent research that would genuinely help the ALS provide greater service.
THE SOCIAL LIFE:
The clerkship was almost as much play as it is work, with the firm working very hard to involve clerks socially. Personally, I was fortunate to attend three-team lunches, a team Christmas Party and the highlight of the firm’s annual Christmas party.
Additionally, all clerks are invited to play inter-clerk sport, which is a great way to socialise with clerks from other firms.
WHY I CHOSE KING & WOOD MALLESONS:
The primary reason I chose KWM was the people. Everyone I met from the first firm presentation was a great mix of commercially attentive, legally smart and most importantly, relaxed and easy to get along with. Of course, the opportunity to be involved in the largest Australian and Global Matters was a large drawcard, and my clerkship certainly did provide the opportunity for me to do so.
MY CLERKSHIP VS. MY EXPECTATIONS:
Overall, the clerkship greatly exceeded my expectations in both the enjoyment and quality of work. It is great being part of such a fun group of clerks in the wider context of a welcoming and inclusive firm. The work I was involved in was the first-rate, and I genuinely learned so much for such a short amount of time.
WHO WOULD I RECOMMEND A KWM CLERKSHIP TO:
Anyone who has a passion for the law, who wants to be involved in some of Australia’s largest matters, and most of all who wants to build an amazing network of friends as they commence their legal career!