Graduate experiences

Our clerk and graduate program offers real opportunities for career progression. Here’s what some of our other clerks, graduates and new lawyers have to say on what makes Piper Alderman’s program unique.

My Graduate year provided me the opportunity to explore a variety of practice areas and the chance to work with experts in those fields. The rotational nature of the program meant that I gained exposure to transactional, advisory and litigious work as well as the broad range of industries that the firm services. This experience was invaluable for guiding my decision for which team to settle in at the end of the year. I was trained and mentored by people who really cared about my development and my technical skills improved dramatically while I also gained great working relationships and friendships. Being a Graduate during 2020 was unique, working remotely for a large part of the year. The firm and the individuals working here were not only supportive and encouraging of my learning during that time but also actively fostered a sense of belonging and community in the context of a Covid-19 workplace.

Hannah PerrinsLawyer, Melbourne

I started my career at Piper Alderman in 2019 as a clerk. I was hired in a ‘general’ capacity, whereby I was able to help out a number of teams across the firm and get a feel for the various practice areas. I accepted a graduate role in the real estate team in 2020, and have since been mentored by a highly experienced and assiduous team of senior lawyers. From the beginning of my time at the firm, I have had the opportunity to work on a wide breadth of matters, engage directly with clients, and contribute to completing every task and solving any problem in a meaningful way. The support and collegiality that I have experienced at Piper Alderman is second to none, which has made my graduate program a particularly rewarding one.

Georgia MatthewsLawyer, Brisbane

I started at Piper Alderman as a Law Clerk in the litigation team in September 2020, before commencing a graduate role in the same team in November 2021. From day one, my team and the firm have ensured that I feel challenged, supported and excited in my work. One of the many great things about Piper Alderman is the variety of work that you undertake as a junior and the extra responsibility you may be able to take on. Some of the work I have done as a clerk and graduate includes attending and participating in a 6 week hearing in the Supreme Court of NSW, assisting in drafting court documents, developing claims, undertaking various interesting research tasks and much more. The Sydney office also has a great social aspect to it, and throughout the graduate program I’ve been fortunate enough to establish good working relationships and friendships with colleagues in my practice group as well as others.

Thomas NichollsLaw Graduate, Sydney

Being a Law Clerk at Piper Alderman has provided me with the best possible opportunity to advance my career in the law. Having the opportunity to work closely with the most skilled and highly respected practitioners in the industry is an invaluable experience which has allowed me to continually develop my knowledge and skills. Often I work on complex regulatory issues which our clients have entrusted us to advise them on. I have never been made to feel as if my capabilities are limited by my job title and, on a regular basis, I am corresponding with clients and practitioners from our five offices. Recently, we have been assisting a client with a ‘ground-up’ operation which has been very satisfying to see the breadth of work involved in getting a new lender into the market.

Jack DeanLaw Clerk, Adelaide

The graduate program at Piper Alderman has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to develop as a lawyer through collaboration with partners and lawyers at all levels, direct client engagement, a broad range of tasks and responsibilities and regular feedback on my work. Being exposed to diverse matters and evolving areas of the law, having my insights valued and being both challenged and supported by my colleagues has made the graduate program a very engaging and fulfilling experience.

Gina GutwirthLaw Graduate, Melbourne

The graduate program at Piper Alderman has been both challenging and rewarding and has taught me a number of invaluable skills that will help me succeed as I transition to a first year lawyer. The firm is eager to involve the graduates right from the beginning and not only have I had the opportunity to be involved in a number of complex matters, but the partners have also given me the opportunity to build professional relationships with the firm’s clients, for example by allowing me to author my own work and by involving me in client meetings.

Olivia De AngelisLaw Graduate, Melbourne

My law clerk and graduate experience has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to develop professionally by working with highly skilled lawyers, through direct client engagement and by receiving regular feedback and guidance. The supportive, approachable nature of the senior lawyers at Piper Alderman ensures that as a junior, I am always learning, being challenged and engaged. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a clerk or graduate at Piper Alderman is the complexity and diversity of work that you are exposed to, which provides continuing opportunities for professional development and growth. As a bonus, working in the Brisbane real estate team means that you will often drive past buildings you have provided advice on, which provides a tangible sense of achievement.

Amelia KramerLaw Graduate, Brisbane

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year (and a bit!) with Piper Alderman. The experience I was able to gain during my graduate year rotating through different teams, getting used to different work styles and gaining different perspectives on legal practise made my experience all the more richer. The partners and juniors of all teams are very approachable and willing to share their knowledge and guidance – they really make you feel like part of the team. The only disappointing aspect is there weren’t more Hawthorn supporters, but the valuable experience I gained has more than made up for it.

Sam WilliamsLawyer, Melbourne

Having joined the firm as a Law Clerk in September 2018, I experienced genuine support, guidance and mentorship from junior and senior lawyers throughout my undergraduate clerkship. After undertaking a 12 month judges’ associateship, my clerkship experience made the decision to return to Piper Alderman as a Law Graduate easy. Commencing as a Law Graduate within the Corporate Team, I had the opportunity to work on a range of matters both within Australia and international jurisdictions. The support and guidance from senior practitioners at Piper Alderman is, in my view, a unique strength of the firm. Every step of the way through my graduate experience and beyond I have felt supported to grow and develop professionally.

Sam O'NeilLawyer, Brisbane

The best thing to me about Piper Alderman is that the opportunities available to me are not limited by my job title. As a Law Clerk in the Projects & Construction team, I have been immersed in a wide range of matters which has allowed me to draft legal documents, communicate directly with clients, and provide input on advice and strategy. Working alongside such skilled lawyers means I am constantly learning something new, and leaves me with a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. Every person is approachable and friendly and this has made my transition into the firm a particularly enjoyable one.

Caitlin AstillLaw Clerk, Brisbane

The broad graduate program in Melbourne exposes graduates to multiple teams at once, which is a great way to build a comprehensive understanding of how different areas of law interact in practice. The structure of the program has exposed me to most teams and partners in the Melbourne office and giving me the opportunity to learn from multiple senior lawyers and partners whilst I discover which practice areas are a good fit for me once it comes time to settle next year. In addition to the work of a graduate and social events organised by the firm, I have felt supported to grow and develop as a young legal professional through firm-organised networking events and initiatives, and being encouraged to be involved in external industry events and associations.

Scott CoffeyLawyer, Melbourne

Being a Law Clerk at Piper Alderman has been an excellent opportunity to challenge myself and learn in a supportive and welcoming environment. I have had the opportunity to work on complex and large-scale litigation matters during my time in the Brisbane litigation team. Having this exposure so early in my career has been invaluable. My experience at Piper Alderman has been particularly rewarding because the senior practitioners ensure to involve juniors in matters in a meaningful way. As a clerk, I have undertaken a wide variety of tasks, some of which include, drafting articles for publication, drafting court documents, undertaking research and developing claims. The Brisbane office also has an exceptional culture that has allowed me to build great working relationships with colleagues in multiple practice groups.

Julia HegartyLaw Clerk, Brisbane

Going through the graduate program at Piper Alderman was an invaluable experience for me. It allowed me to be exposed to a variety of interesting matters and gave me a level of responsibility that ensured I had ample opportunity to learn and grow at the firm. The graduate year also allowed me to learn from and build relationships with a variety of senior practitioners that has held me in good stead in my transition to a lawyer at the firm.

Patrick SextonLawyer, Melbourne

I started at Piper Alderman as a Law Clerk in the penultimate year of my degree in 2017. From the very beginning, I have been involved in rewarding and interesting matters while working alongside colleagues and supervisors who are highly experienced and supportive. Piper Alderman has given me opportunities to challenge myself and provided me with the tools to ensure my long-term development as a lawyer. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience and am now looking forward to embarking on the next step in my career as an Associate

Emer SheridanAssociate, Sydney

I started with Piper Alderman as a Law Clerk in September 2020. I found that my transition into a graduate role in November 2021 was natural, and this is a testament to the training and development opportunities I have been given right from the beginning of my time as a clerk. I have been involved in a variety of legal work that both challenges and interests me. That has involved direct contact with counsel and clients. I have also been welcomed into a supportive and flexible team who are always willing to answer questions and share their knowledge.

Christina AthanasopoulosLaw Graduate, Sydney