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The grad files

The grad files

Trevor Hyde, 22, Raj Lawyers What did you have to do to get your position?Hyde was first introduced to Raj Lawyers at the Sydney Law Careers Fair last year. At the time he was in his final year…

Trevor Hyde, 22, Raj Lawyers

What did you have to do to get your position?

Hyde was first introduced to Raj Lawyers at the Sydney Law Careers Fair last year. At the time he was in his final year of a combined Bachelor of Science (forensics) and LLB at the University of Newcastle. He took up a graduate position in January.

After sending in his CV via email, he was interviewed by Raj Lawyers general manager, David Payne. About a week later he was contacted by Payne for a second round interview, which led to psychometric testing, which included tests ranging from personality assessments to non-verbal reasoning tests and numeracy tests. After another interview, he was made an offer.

Work done so far

Hyde started at the insolvency and debt recovery division of the firm and has been working under the supervision of one of the partners in charge of that division. “I’ve been given some files to handle on my own, under his supervision. I have been doing quite a bit of work in the debt recovery field.”

Advice

The first priority should be to “try and get a clerkship”. He says many of the firms do not advertise their graduate positions as they will draw them directly from the clerks they have appointed in previous years. He doesn’t “ever recall an advertisement in any of the newspapers” for the clerks positions. It is very important to “keep your ear out” for positions that are available and send out applications to as many firms as you can.

Christopher Palmer, 25, Middletons

What did you have to do to get your position?

After completing an LLB and LLM at the University of NSW and attending the College of Law a few years ago, Palmer worked at a top-tier firm in a clerkship position. He has been at Middletons for a just over a month now.

He saw a position at Middletons advertised on Seek in December last year. After applying online, he was asked to attend a breakfast where about 70 prospective applicants were present, with a partner and a senior associate per every six to eight applicants.

After another interview with a member of the HR team, he was offered a position within two weeks.

Work done so far

After experiencing work at a top-tier firm, he says Middletons is a lot more interested in training young lawyers. “In my first week, I went to two client meetings. That was fantastic.”

Other work has included drafting agreements, deeds of changes, security for an underwriter and drafting contracts.

Advice

He says it is very important to plan your approach and start having a good look at what’s available and decide the firms where you want to work “very early”. Then find ways to meet as many lawyers as possible within each firm.

Benjamin Teh, 24, Freehills

Application process

Teh completed his undergraduate degree at UNSW. While still in his penultimate year of university, he started at Freehills as a summer clerk at the end of 2002 and took up a graduate position in August last year.

He applied through a standardised application process that most of the top-tier law firms use to fill clerkship positions, and after several interviews, received an offer from the firm.

Once he’d finished his clerkship, Teh worked at Freehills for two days a week as a paralegal until he finished his degree.

What work have you done?

Teh is currently about eight months into a rotation in banking and finance. This is the first of two year-long rotations as a graduate. During his time in banking and finance he has been working on matters including project financing, debt restructuring, private equity transactions and structured financing.

Advice

“The first [thing] I would stress is the importance of having a well balanced application. So, for instance, Freehills looks at people who not only are strong academically, but also have other interests outside their areas of study… You have to demonstrate that you have a passion for a career in commercial law.”

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The grad files
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