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2024/25 Seasonal
Clerkship Programme

Apply now

About this programme

Our in-person paid clerkship will show you what we do, how we work and the impact we make in Australia and across the world.


Explore the intersection between law and business. Discover how an international law firm makes an impact in Australia and across the world. Develop the foundation of skills you need for a global legal career. You’ll do all this and more in our clerkship in one of our Australia offices. 

This isn’t just a chance to shadow our lawyers. You’ll play a real role in our teams and take on real responsibility from day one. Whether attending court hearings, working with clients or developing your professional network, you’ll experience the cutting edge of the legal sector and how law can unlock potential across the world and in your own career. That includes seeing how a purpose-led organisation makes a difference through our pro bono work and sustainability commitments. 

The clerkship is your chance to see if law is a career you can thrive in. You’ll also develop your personal and professional skills through experiences that will be valued in any sector you choose to continue into. We’ll ask you to choose your preferred practice groups when you apply and will try to assign you to one of these for the programme.

During the clerkship, you’ll: 

  • Work on a variety of interesting challenges across different sectors. 
  •  Join a diverse and friendly team while collaborating with colleagues across the world. 
  • Have opportunities to engage with initiatives beyond your role, including technology, sustainability and pro bono work. 
  • Develop essential business skills through our extensive learning programmes and supportive culture. 
  • Be supported by a strong network of supervisors, buddies and mentors to develop confidence and identify your own personal and professional goals. 
  • Be part of an international early careers community full of talented colleagues who’ll become part of your global network. 
  • Enjoy a working environment where your wellbeing is always a priority and your workload will be managed to ensure you can always deliver your best.

What do we look for?

You don’t need any legal experience for this programme. We look for people with the skills for success at DLA Piper and in a legal career. These include:

  • A motivation to work in the legal industry.
  • Taking pride in every aspect of your work, where no detail is too small.
  • Connecting with others to create strong, lasting relationships.
  • Adapting your approach depending on the situation and in the face of any obstacles or setbacks.

Am I eligible?

  • You’ll be a current law student in your penultimate or final year of undergraduate study at an Australian university.

  • You’ll have the right to work in Australia for the duration of the programme (37.5 hours per week, as per the Legal Services Award). We are unable to sponsor visas for the clerkship, and only accept applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

  • Only one application can be made per year.

  • You don’t need any legal experience for this programme.

Key dates

  • Summer: Nov – Dec 2024
  • Winter: Jun – Jul 2025
  • Applications open: 15 Jul 2024
  • Applications close: 9 Aug 2024
  • Summer: Nov – Dec 2024
  • Winter: Jun – Jul 2025
  • Applications open: 1 Jul 2024
  • Applications close: 11 Aug 2024
  • Summer 1: Nov – Dec 2024
  • Summer 2: Jan – Feb 2025
  • Applications open: 24 Jun 2024
  • Applications close: 28 Jul 2024
  • Summer 1: Nov – Dec 2024
  • Summer 2: Jan – Feb 2025
  • Applications open: 10 Jun 2024
  • Applications close: 7 Jul 2024


At DLA Piper, we are committed to making reasonable adjustments and removing disability-related barriers. This is so everyone, irrespective of a visible or non-visible disability, neurodivergence, a long-term health condition or injury, has an equitable opportunity to succeed in our recruitment process.

If you think you may need adjustments or additional support to enable you to participate in our recruitment process, please get in touch with our Early Careers team and we will be happy to support you.

We understand that sharing your needs with us may feel daunting. We will have an open discussion with you about what will work best for you in the recruitment process, and you only need to share what you feel comfortable with. Our team will ensure that the information you provide will be treated confidentially. The information will only be shared with others involved in the process, on your approval, and where necessary.

We will use the information you share to put adjustments in place for you at any stage, or at multiple stages, of the recruitment process. This is to enable you to perform to the best of your ability, and to have an equitable opportunity to perform and thrive.

Bridge background.

Recruitment roadmap

Application form

Complete our application form to give us some key information about you. We’ll also ask you about why you’re applying to DLA Piper. And we’ll ask you to submit a CV and your academic transcripts. Submitting a cover letter is optional.

Rare Recruitment Contextual Recruitment System (optional)

We use Rare Recruitment’s Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) and ask all candidates to complete a contextualised information survey, which is not mandatory. The CRS allows us to understand each candidate’s achievements in the context that they have been gained. We understand that not all candidate’s achievements look the same on paper – and we want to recruit the best people, regardless of their background.

Online assessment

‘Discover DLA Piper’ is a strengths-based assessment designed to test your cognitive and behavioural strengths that align to a graduate role at DLA Piper. 

You’ll complete real life examples as if you were a clerk or graduate. There are two video interview questions at the end of the assessment. The online assessment is untimed, and you can complete it at your own pace, although we do recommend completing it in one sitting. It takes ~50 minutes in total to complete. Once completed, you’ll be sent an individual feedback report outlining your key strengths and development areas.


If you’re successful in the online assessment, you’ll be invited to our office to complete two, 30-minute interviews. These strengths-based interviews will assess your motivations for and alignment to the role you’ve applied for. They’re focused on the behaviours that are important for success at DLA Piper. The interviews are your chance to demonstrate your strengths and help us get to know you better. 

In each interview, you’ll meet with a Partner, Senior Associate or HR Manager. Before the interviews, you’ll also meet informally with our graduates and solicitors to learn about DLA Piper and ask any questions you have. These informal conversations are not assessed.  

Firm insight event

Following the interviews, you’ll be invited to an informal breakfast networking event in our office. All candidates attending the interview stage are invited to this event to meet our people and learn more about our firm. You won’t be assessed during this event.

Ready to shape your future with DLA Piper?

Apply now

Frequently asked questions

How many graduate positions do you offer each year?

We offer approximately 25 graduate positions across Australia each year. 

When do your graduates commence with the firm?

The graduate programme starts in mid-February for all graduates nationally. 

Do you offer international opportunities?

As a global firm, we offer a range of international opportunities supporting you to deveop a global mindset, share knowledge and work collaboratively across borders. This includes the types of matters and clients that our clerks and graduates work on, as well as the international experiences our people participate in, such as international conferences, secondment opportunities andlearning and development opportunities.

Do you offer international secondments?

We are committed to providing our colleagues with the opportunity to experience working internationally. Secondments benefit our clients, our business and our people. We offer both short and long term secondment opportunities and launched the New Deal in 2022 which has 4 global secondment programmes that colleagues can participate in.

We prioritise opportunities for our lawyers at the 1 – 3 year level to have an international experience as we understand that living and working in a new location and experiencing a new culture provides fantastic personal and career opportunities. 

How many clerkship positions do you offer?

We offer approximately 50 clerkship positions across Australia each year. 

When can I apply for the clerkship?

You should apply for the clerkship two years before you are eligible to start the graduate programme. This means applying in your penultimate year (year 2 of a three-year degree, or year 3 of a four-year degree). 

How do I apply for a clerkship or graduate position?

If you complete our clerkship, you’ll be considered for a graduate position. We fill all of our graduate positions through priority offers made to candidates completing our clerkship in the year prior. 

Can I apply for a clerkship and/or graduate position in multiple offices?

No, you can only apply to one position in one office each year. 

Can I do a clerkship in one office and apply to another for a graduate position?

You should apply for a clerkship in the office where you would like to complete your graduate programme. 

Is there minimum academic entry criteria?

No, we have no minimum academic entry criteria. 

I did not study in Australia. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately not. Eligibility for our early careers programmes in Australia is limited to people studying Australian law degrees.

Can I apply to DLA Piper if I require a work permit to work in Australia?

Unfortunately, no. Current eligibility for our early careers programmes in Australia is limited to Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

Will I need to show my exam certificates?

You’ll need to provide evidence of your academic achievements (e.g. exam certificates/transcripts) when submitting your online application.

Can I practice before sitting the online assessment?

Yes. There are practice assessments online, which we encourage you to complete before sitting the assessment. 

Can I add in any mitigating circumstances on my application?

Yes, we encourage you to detail any mitigating circumstances on your application. You may be asked to produce documentary evidence. 

Do all DLA Piper offices in Australia have all the practice groups?

No, however we practice a wide range of business law services – please refer to our website for a full list of our services in Australia. 

Do you hold open days?

We run a ‘Discover DLA Piper’ event in each office between May and July. You can find further details in the Events section of our website.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Please contact our Early Careers team who’ll be happy to help.