Applying for legal clerkships is a competitive process. Depending on the size of the firm, you will likely be submitting your applications alongside 400-1000 other applicants, many of whom are as well-accomplished and highly-motivated as yourself (if not more). The ratio between applicants and clerks is generally 10:1, meaning approximately 10% of applicants succeed in receiving an offer.
I (Renee) am stating these facts not to discourage or intimidate you, but to encourage you to have realistic expectations on the road ahead and who you are running alongside with. In addition to the competitiveness of the process, there are several other facets of the process worth considering:
1️⃣ The application period is relatively long, so pace yourself.
In 2022, applications will open on 4 July 2022 and close on 14 August 2022.. This gives you roughly 50 days to prepare and submit your applications. This is quite a substantial time-frame, particularly if you were only looking to make a handful of tailored quality applications (more on how many firms to choose from here).
Knowing that this is the duration of time you have is important so that you can manage your time, pace yourself and set achievable goals.
2️⃣ Submitting quality applications require a degree of resilience, self-awareness and initiative.
The one comment I often hear from past applicants is that the process is incredibly draining. This is because most places require you to submit extensive documentation outlining your motivations for, amongst others, the practice of law in general, commercial law, the firm specifically. Some require you to speak about your passions, your biggest strengths, opinions about the legal industry (all in under 300 words!) I'm hopeful that articles within Clerkship Journey Map will help you to maximise on the opportunities to reflect on your experiences, and increase your overall confidence.
3️⃣ You are undertaking a popular, but not exclusive route, of obtaining a job.
It's good to recognise that the clerkship process is but one way of finding a job after University. This means that 0 offers does not equal to perpetual unemployment. I will admit, clerkships are the most common pathways into a large or mid-sized corporate law firm (or other specialised areas such as at the Office of Public Prosecution), but they are not the only way, and these types of firms are not the only employer options available. If you choose not to apply for clerkships, or don't obtain an offer, we provide some other options here.
It is natural to feel like the process sucked if you poured time and energy into the process and don't land any offers. Once again, our hope is that, with the aid of this Journey Map, you will derive benefits from the rigorous process that will be independent from its outcome. This includes sharper application skills, increased resilience, and a better sense of direction in how to job-seek in the future.
❓ Questions to consider