Clerkships and Traineeships

LIV Seasonal Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines

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The LIV’s Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines were established in 2009 to ensure consistency and fairness throughout 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. Law students are strongly encouraged to read over the Guidelines in preparation for applying for clerkships.

For any queries in relation to the Guidelines, please contact Sam Dipnall, Young Lawyers Coordinator on (03) 9607 9370 or by email at

What is a clerkship?

A clerkship is an intensive work experience program that many firms and government departments offer to law students.

Typically running between two and three weeks, clerkships are the ultimate opportunity to “test-drive” your legal career in a particular area of interest and expose yourself to potential employers. A large number of firms recruit their graduate lawyers from clerkship intakes.

When should I apply for clerkships?

Law firms prefer applications from penultimate year students, that is those who still have a year to go studying. For example, a penultimate student in 2018 still has study to complete in 2019, and would complete their clerkship over the 2018/19 summer or in the winter of 2019. They would then be looking for a graduate role in 2020.

Where can I search for clerkship and traineeship opportunities?

The Law Institute of Victoria has a fantastic Clerkships Registry every year that advertises clerkship openings from across the state. You should also take a look at individual law firm websites, and general Law Student databases like BeyondLaw or SurviveLaw. You should also consider attending the Annual Careers Dinner hosted by DLSS Geelong! This event is an essential networking opportunity with local law firms like Maurice Blackburn, Harwood Andrews, Coulter Roache and more! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information about the 2016 Dinner.

Where can I find out more about clerkships?

The Law Institute of Victoria’s Traineeship and Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines have been established to ensure fairness throughout the recruitment process. Victorian law firms, and other organisations that recruit graduate lawyers, can elect to be signatories to the guidelines. The Guidelines set out the dates upon which signatory firms can make offers concerning seasonal clerkships and graduate offers for the following year. Each firm sets its own application and interview dates. Please note that Signatories to the Guidelines are not obligated to offer a traineeship or clerkship each year, but are obliged to follow the Guidelines in the event that they do. These guidelines have an in-principle endorsement from the Council of Legal Education.

Law Institute of Victoria Website

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