This past summer, Hanneke had the opportunity of clerking at MinterEllison as part of the ten-week clerkship program, completing two rotations in the Workplace and Dispute Resolution teams.
My work was challenging, diverse and extremely interesting. In each of my teams, I assisted colleagues, from graduate to partner level, across a variety of matters. In the Workplace team, I was particularly involved in matters surrounding discrimination, unfair dismissal and industrial action. In the Dispute Resolution team, I was exposed to various pieces of commercial litigation on matters of law that I had little familiarity with. Although daunting at first, exploring new areas was very rewarding. I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of collaboration and strategic emphasis of the work. Some of my tasks included conducting legal research, assisting with discovery, creating proofs of evidence and drafting correspondence to clients. I was invited to attend court hearings and sit in on client meetings, which although may have been slightly stressful for the lawyers, was very exciting for me.
They were friendly, approachable, and always willing to share their knowledge. No question was ever a silly question, and I had a great mentorship system. In both teams, I was assigned a buddy and supervisor who made a conscious effort to share feedback with me and assist me with any queries. MinterEllison place a great deal of importance on making their clerks part of the team, and I found that everyone was eager to get to know me. Being the summer and Christmas period, the clerks were invited to all the various social events. The multiple Christmas parties, networking evenings for young professionals and the table tennis competition were all fantastic opportunities to network with the rest of the team.
The ten-week duration of the program was an ideal period to get immersed in the teams’ most intriguing matters and allowed me to really get a feel for how they operate. There were also several information and training sessions that spanned across the entire clerkship. These ranged from seminars about teamwork to learning how to create ChatBots. We were even involved in a ChatBot building competition with the MinterEllison clerks from other states. Unfortunately, Perth did not take out the Crown, so hopefully the 2020/2021 clerks can make up for it!
My advice to anyone participating in a clerkship would be to be yourself, don’t feel like you need to know everything, and enjoy every minute of it. Clerking is an invaluable learning opportunity that gives you insight into the operation of law in reality, while also being a way to meet new people and work on the skills that will assist you for the rest of your career. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have them and show an interest in the areas you think you might enjoy.
MinterEllison is a great firm to begin your career. Good luck!