Vacation Clerkships

Vacation Clerks

A vacation clerkship at Jackson McDonald presents a unique opportunity for you to experience life in the firm. This is your opportunity to become part of a practice group, engage in real legal work, and get to know our people through social and community activities.

The firm offers one vacation clerkship during summer, which is three weeks in duration. The vacation clerkship program in itself is part of a wider development offering that commences the moment you walk through the door.

We would like to wish all students the very best with their applications and interviews over the next few months. 

  • The Experience

  • 2017/2018 Dates

  • Applications

  • Shortlisting

  • Taking the OPQ

  • Past clerks

Based on your preferences and the business requirements of the firm at the time, you will be placed in one practice group for the entire clerkship experience. This provides you the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skill within your preferred practice group, and to really settle in and become part of the team. This also encourages you to build working relationships within the team, and observe and participate in real legal work on a daily basis. You will also be invited to engage in various social and community activities during your time with us.

The intent of the program is to provide vacation clerks with a friendly and welcoming experience, consistent with our values and culture, and to provide a great insight into the nature of the work you would be exposed to as a junior practitioner. The allocation of a workflow champion (a partner or senior legal practitioner) and a buddy (a law graduate, restricted practitioner or solicitor) is the best way to create a positive and cohesive learning environment, whereby you are able to experience legal practice and develop practical skills.

While you’re with us, we’ll also ask you to participate in a half day assessment centre which focuses on non legal skills.

Key features of the program are:

  • Practical sessions developed and presented by partners, senior associates, solicitors and support services. These cover professional skills training, career progression, the graduate recruitment process, business development and networking skills.

  • Working directly with experienced legal practitioners on current matters.

  • Opportunities to participate in the firm’s CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Program  which is designed to facilitate a continued focus on the development of our lawyers.

Our 2017/2018 Vacation Clerkship program is due to take place from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 15 December 2017 (3 weeks)

Every effort is made to accommodate our clerks' preferences as to which program they participate in, however there are other factors, such as business requirements. We are confident that no matter which practice group you spend your three weeks with, you will gain an insight into our firm as a whole, you will meet a variety of practitioners and other professionals, and ultimately, you will be better equipped to make important decisions about your future career.

Please make sure to provide your practice group preferences and any additional information to your interviewers during the interview process.

Applications for our 2017/2018 Vacation Clerk positions will open on Monday, 17 July 2017 and close on Sunday, 6 August 2017.

All applications should be submitted via CVMail. We ask you to complete our application form and submit a Cover Letter, CV and Academic Transcript.

Come and speak with us at university events to discuss your application or contact our HR team at any time.

We want your application to tell us about you. Tell us what makes you stand out. Tell us why you’re passionate about law. Tell us why you want to work at Jackson McDonald.

Differentiating between hundreds of applications to find people who would fit best at Jackson McDonald is an important process. Be sure to:

  • include details of your work experience to date;
  • include your experience of university;
  • be clear about what drives you to want to be a commercial lawyer at Jackson McDonald; and
  • pay attention to detail – check your application thoroughly before submitting it.

If you have any queries, please contact Ella Cuccovia, our Human Resources Advisor, on (08) 9426 6736 or email

Please click here to visit the CVMail site.

We want our recruitment process to achieve the best possible outcomes for the firm, and for our candidates. 

Once applications close we will make an initial shortlist of candidates based on the submissions.

Our initial shortlist will be asked to complete an online personality assessment (the Occupational Personality Assessment (OPQ)), which will give us a better insight into how you like to work and how well you might be suited to a role at Jackson McDonald.

Read more about our personality assessment on the next tab.

Once you complete the personality assessment, we take a further look at all the information we have about our shortlisted candidates, including CV, Academic Transcript and personality assessment. We will then offer interviews to a final shortlist of candidates.

The review and interview stage will take place between Monday, 7 August 2017 to Friday, 15 September 2017.

Offer Day is Friday, 22 September 2017.

We have teamed up with CEB SHL Talent Measurement to provide a reputable, reliable and impartial assessment called the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ).

The OPQ is designed to give us a better insight into your natural tendencies and preferences, and an indication of some of the aspects of the role we might like to discuss further with you at interview. For those who join us as clerks or graduates we may also use the results of the OPQ for learning and development purposes.

Please note we have the utmost respect for your privacy, and will not share the results of your assessment outside those involved in the recruitment process or in our training and development initiatives.

For those invited to complete the OPQ:

  • You will be provided with an online link to complete the OPQ in your own time and surroundings.

  • The OPQ will take approximately 25 minutes to complete by answering a number of questions about how you prefer to work.

  • No preparation is required; you should answer instinctively and there are no right or wrong answers.

  • If you would like to familiarise yourself with the OPQ, you can read sample questions by visiting

If you would like further information, please contact Ella Cuccovia, our Human Resources Advisor, on

Ricci Kalmin joined our Insurance & Risk Practice Group as a Vacation Clerk in January 2015. Ricci is now one of our 2016 Law Graduates.

The vacation clerkship is a springboard into understanding life at Jackson McDonald. The Insurance & Risk team exposed me to real work from an early point. Everyone was warm and embracing, and I felt this culture throughout every aspect of the firm. Information sessions and group activities complemented my work and gave me broader insights into the nature of the firm. The experience was highly enjoyable.

Hala Qandour joined our Property, Planning & Finance Practice Group as a Vacation Clerk in November 2014. Hala is now one of our 2016 Law Graduates.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Property, Planning and Finance team at Jackson McDonald. I was constantly involved in work that was challenging and interesting and felt that my contribution was valued. I found the team to be professional, approachable and passionate about what they do. Overall, my vacation clerkship at Jackson McDonald was a rewarding experience that exposed me to some great people and a work environment that I really enjoyed being a part of. 

Raj Logarajah joined our Litigation Practice Group as a Vacation Clerk in January 2015. Raj is now one of our Law Graduates.

The vacation clerkship is the best way to find out if this is where one wants to develop a career. I had a chance to find out about the firm’s pace of work, work culture and expected level of performance. The three-week-long clerkship was not very long but it was sufficient for me to settle down and get a real feel for what it was like to be working in a top law firm like Jackson McDonald. The clerkship also provided me an opportunity to ask questions about my career pathway and advancement opportunities which were constantly on my mind when I was undertaking my law degree.