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

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

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

I became a Law Clerk at Piper Alderman in my penultimate year in 2019 and have since remained with the Dispute Resolution & Litigation team. What drew me to accepting a graduate role at Piper Alderman was the impressively complex litigation and the collegiate nature of my team. I have had the pleasure of being exposed to many interesting matters and to be closely mentored by highly supportive senior lawyers. These opportunities have helped me to grow as a graduate and has provided me with the necessary skills for long-term development as a legal professional.

Amanda TranLawyer, 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

The Piper Alderman graduate program in Melbourne has given me experience in a number of different practice areas and the ability to work with people across a number of teams based on their unique graduate rotation model. In the five months I’ve been with the firm I’ve done work for five different teams already, often directly with partners, ranging from ACNC applications in corporate, to assisting preparation for Federal Court litigation with the litigation team, to working with trade marks in over fifteen jurisdictions with the IP team.

Morgan TaylorLaw Graduate, 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

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