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Frequently Asked Questions

Have you got any questions for us? Hopefully our Frequently Asked Questions below will help answer some of those! If we haven’t quite covered your question, please get in touch with us here.

What does it take to be a successful applicant

Applicants who are enthusiastic, have a strong motivation for a career in commercial law, excellent communication skills, a good academic record and are well-rounded individuals do well in our programmes.

What does it take to be a successful applicant

Applicants who are enthusiastic, have a strong motivation for a career in commercial law, good communication skills, a strong academic record and are all-round achievers do well in our programmes.

Which programme is right for me?

If you will be ready to start as a law clerk in February 2022, then you’re eligible to apply for our 2020/2021 summer clerk programme. If you’re a bit earlier on in your studies and you’ll be ready to start as a law clerk in February 2023, then you’re eligible to apply for our 2020 winter clerk programme.

Will the winter clerk programme offer me more than just work experience?

Yes! It’s a short cut to our summer clerk programme. Not only do you get to spend a week at the firm getting involved in real work, but at the end you may be invited back to join our summer clerk programme the following year.

How many applications does Chapman Tripp receive?

In the past few years we’ve received around 400 applications for our summer clerk programme and around 200 applications for our winter clerk programme.

How many winter and summer clerks does Chapman Tripp take on?

We typically take on around 5-10  winter clerks and around 20 summer clerks across our three offices. We keep our intakes small which means our clerks don’t compete and they all have the opportunity to get stuck into real work.

If I get on the summer clerk programme am I assured a law clerk position?

We have the same number of law clerk positions as summer clerk positions, so all of our summer clerks have the opportunity to be offered a law clerk position. Law clerk offers are made at the end of the programme and are based on the individual performance of each summer clerk, as well as team requirements.

Does Chapman Tripp recruit for law clerks outside of its winter and summer clerk programmes?

Our winter and summer clerk programmes act as a pipeline for our law clerk intake each year. Occasionally, there are law clerk vacancies outside of the programmes. When this occurs, the vacancies will be advertised on the Chapman Tripp website, relevant social media channels and via the universities.

Do you actually read everyone's application or do they go through a computer system?

We can assure you we read everyone’s application thoroughly!

What does Chapman Tripp look for when reviewing an application?

We’re interested in a lot of things. A few examples of what we look at include (1) your motivation for a career in commercial law; (2) your academic and personal achievements at school and university; (3) if you’ve taken on any roles of responsibility or leadership; (4) what you’re interested in outside of study; and (5) what makes you you!

Does it matter what I'm studying?

All our applicants need to be studying towards a Bachelor of Laws. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re studying towards that on its own, doing a conjoint with another degree, if you’re doing Honours, if you’ve already graduated with another degree and taken up law afterwards, taken a gap year, or started university straight after school.

Do I need to have A+ grades?

No you don’t. We’re looking for well-rounded students who can show they’ve applied themselves at school and university and have achieved good marks. If there’s a particular mark that isn’t quite consistent with the rest of your grades or extenuating circumstances that have affected your grades, make sure you explain the reason behind this in your application.

Do only my law grades matter?

Our application process only asks you to input your law grades but we do read your application in its entirety, including your academic transcript.

What if I work two jobs or have family commitments and don't have time for extra-curricular activities?

Tell us about your work and your family – we want to hear what you do with your time and why it’s important to you. This could include anything from playing sport, looking after family members, working a part-time job to pay off your student loan, being part of an orchestra, sports team or band, inventing things, being a member of a community or youth group, volunteering at a charity and anything and everything else you do!

Does it matter how old I am?

Not at all. Our programmes are open to any law students no matter what age you are.

Should I read up about Chapman Tripp?

Yes, it will help if you know about the firm when you’re filling out the application so you understand the culture here, what type of work we do and what it’s like to be a part of Chapman Tripp. If you come along to an interview, we expect you to have done your research and ask us relevant questions as well.

How will I know if I have an interview?

We’ll give you a call to let you know. For summer and law clerk applicants, you can expect to hear from us during the week commencing 1 April 2020. Winter clerk applicants can expect to hear from us mid-May 2020.

Who will I be interviewing with?

You’ll sit down with two of our partners and a member of our People and Culture team. You’ll be able to meet your interviewers at the pre-interview networking function and we’ll also make sure there’s one of our junior lawyers to sit with you before your interview, just in case you have any last-minute questions. When you receive your invite to interview email, we will let you know who you will be interviewing with. Check out the panels and they advice they have to give.

Do I need to prepare for the interview?

Definitely! The interview is an opportunity for you to share with us why you want to be a part of Chapman Tripp – and for you to get to know us better too. Know your CV inside out, be prepared to talk about your work and personal experiences (even tricky ones) and come ready to ask us a few questions. Sitting down with a family member or friend and thinking about what types of questions you might encounter and practising what you might say is a good way to prepare.

How will I know if I've been offered a position?

One of the partners you interviewed with will give you a call to give you the great news and then someone from our People and Culture team will be in touch with the finer details. For summer clerk applicants, you can expect to hear from us on 14 May 2020.

What if I receive offers from different law firms, how do I choose?

You should ask lots of questions, attend the firms’ events and trust your instinct. The firm you end up choosing should be the one you feel comfortable with, the one where you connect with the people, and the firm you consider will give you the best start to your career.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

Feel free contact us here for any further questions and one of our friendly People & Culture members will be in touch.

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