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19 August 2022

How clerk internships support law graduates

Michael O’Connor

General Manager

We asked our recent law grads, now solicitors, to share their experience as intern’s at Simmons Wolfhagen

Leaving university and entering the workforce can be a very daunting experience. However, a summer clerkship helps bridge the divide between the theory and practice of law. There is often a misconception that clerks will spend their time doing administrative tasks and not engage with the law – this is not the case at Simmons Wolfhagen where clerks are given practical experience.

This year Simmons Wolfhagen have taken on five of Tasmania’s future legal professionals to mentor through their clerkship program. Each took a different path to become a clerk. William first joined Simmons for a two week taster in the summer at the end of his penultimate year of study. This gave William a feel for the profession and the firm. William, Alice, Thomas and Timothy joined the team at the end of their studies for fulltime summer clerkships.

Fulltime work exposes clerks to different areas of the law

The fulltime work allowed the clerks to be exposed to different areas of the law including litigation and commercial. This experience proved extremely beneficial during their undertaking of the Legal Practice Course.

While completing the Legal Practice Course Hayley became the newest addition to the family… law team!

Thomas works with the local government, environment, planning and development team. This sees him assisting the team with a range of matters from planning appeals through to enforcement notices.
Thomas’ favourite thing about working in this area is seeing the progression of a matter. From an initial enquiry, to hearing and/or settlement, Thomas enjoys the process of finding the best solution for the client.

Alice works with our Commercial team and has recently joined the employment and workplace relations team. She helps senior practitioners with a wide range of commercial matters, including drafting documents, researching particular points of law and preparing letters of advice. Her favourite part of working in this area is the broad range of clients and matters – no day is ever the same.

Hayley works with the family law team on a range of matters, including property and child matters. She has enjoyed becoming a part of the family law team and helping clients to navigate the family law process. Family law provides a pathway to a fast paced and diverse job with court-based advocacy, client meetings and negotiations with other practitioners. Hayley has seen first-hand how each client is different and the important considerations in advising a client.

William mainly works with the commercial and estate planning teams. This sees William assisting with a number of commercial matters such as drafting and reviewing leases, undertaking property settlements, as well as researching unusual legal issues. As part of the estate planning team, William regular draft wills, enduring power of attorneys and enduring guardians while also assisting in the client interview process. William enjoys how these areas of practice give him a greater understanding of how the commercial world operates, while also allowing him to have meaningful client interaction.

Timothy, operating from our Launceston office, practises predominately in property and commercial law & wills and estate planning working closely with a number of senior practitioners. Among other matters has been mentored in relation to, residential and commercial conveyancing, general commercial and property matters; and, wills and estate planning.

A wealth of knowledge and support when starting a legal careers

A summer clerkship has provided William, Alice, Thomas, Hayley and Timothy with a wealth of knowledge and support in starting their legal careers and are all extremely happy to be apart of the firm moving forward. It was an opportunity to experience and understand different areas of law and how they operate, rather than the theory, as well as getting used to working life as apposed to studying in a gradual manner.

All five of the 2022 clerks enthusiastically encourage law students to apply for clerkships.

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