Are you an penultimate-year or final-year law student? Our vacation clerkships are a fantastic insight into life at a world-leading commercial firm, offering close mentorship, client experience, and the chance to work on real-world projects, cases and deals. Many of our graduate positions are filled by vacation clerkship students so this is a great chance to get ahead in your career.
What you'll do
During our immersive clerkship program, you’ll gain hands-on experience within one of your preferred teams. You’ll contribute to our pro bono practice, work with cutting-edge technology through our innovation projects, and deliver real work for prestigious clients. You’ll also enjoy close graduate and partner mentorship support and a chance to form networks with future colleagues. At the end of your clerkship, you’ll have a chance of being selected for a position in our graduate program.
“I felt HSF appreciated my different experiences and found that the other clerks and people at HSF were such a diverse bunch, some similar to me. I had a rather scary image in my head of what a big commercial law firm looked like, so I was surprised to find that, everyone at HSF - and I mean everyone from HR, the lawyers, admin staff, IT support, knowledge support, to client services - were all so supportive, strikingly warm, and caring.”
Sara Komatsu, 2022/23 Vacation Clerk
Please see below for the application dates for the city you intend to apply to (multiple applications will not be considered). We welcome applications from international penultimate-year and final-year students, providing that you can live and work legally in Australia by the time of your clerkship.
Please only apply to the office where you intend to start your graduate career.
Our vacation clerkships and graduate programs are available in the following cities. Please only apply to the office where you intend to start your graduate career.
BrisbaneEach year we offer 25-30 summer and winter vacation clerkships. Applications for 2023/2024 programs open 17 July 2023 - 11 August 2023; offers are made on 11 October 2023.
MelbourneEach year we offer 60-70 summer and winter vacation clerkships. Applications for 2023/2024 programs open 3 July 2023 - 13 August 2023; offers are made on 18 October 2023.
PerthEach year we offer 30-35 summer and winter vacation clerkships. Applications for 2023/2024 programs open 26 June 2023 - 30 July 2023; offers are made on 15 September 2023.
SydneyEach year we offer 30-35 summer and winter vacation clerkships. Applications for 2023/2024 programs open 5 June 2023 - 9 July 2023; offers are made on 13 September 2023.
Graduate mentoring SupportNavigate the first step of your career with partner and graduate mentoring support
WorkshopsAttend workshops and presentations covering all our practice areas
Pro bono practiceContribute to our pro bono practice
Technology Work with cutting-edge technology through our innovation projects
Network Meet and network with people across the firm
How to apply
Online application Your application should include a cover letter, CV and recent copy of your academic transcript. We’ll also ask you a few questions about your interest in Herbert Smith Freehills and commercial law.
Optional diversity questionnaireHerbert Smith Freehills is proud to use the Rare Contextual Recruitment System (CRS). The CRS allows us to understand each applicant’s achievements in the context that they have been gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper – and we want to recruit the best people, from every background.
Online questionnaireShortlisted candidates will be invited to sit an online psychometric questionnaire to assess how you like to work and where your strengths lie. We recommend answering as quickly and honestly as you can.
Attend an information eventShortlisted candidates will be invited to an information and networking event to get to know us, ask questions and start to connect with Herbert Smith Freehills graduates, lawyers, and partners.
InterviewThe interview is a chance for us to get to know you and your reasons for wanting to work at Herbert Smith Freehills. Our preference is face-to-face and we can accommodate video interviews where needed. The interview is intended to be a two-way process and provides an opportunity for you to see what it would be like to work with us, as well as for us to get to know you.
As part of our Global Adjustments Commitment, we are committed to the inclusion of all individuals participating in the application and interview process. This includes providing tailored reasonable accommodations to those who require them. You can request accommodations at each stage of the assessment process. If you would prefer to discuss beforehand, please reach out to your local Graduate Recruitment Consultant.