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My winter clerkship with Chapman Tripp


We're really looking forward to welcoming you on board!

Welcome to your winter clerkship with Chapman Tripp!
We are thrilled to have you on board and want to make sure this one-week experience with CT is as smooth-sailing as possible. Creating this private website is one way we hope we can achieve this, so you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips prior to joining us – you can also refer back to it while you are here. Although there is no such thing as a silly question, this site should help give you enough information to refer back to.

What's involved?

Below you’ll see a few of the things you’ll get involved in over the week, as well as some other important information. Your first day with us is Monday 28 June 2021 and your last day is Friday 2 July 2021.

1. Orientation

Your orientation with CT will take place on your first morning with us, with a few other sessions scheduled in as noted below. The majority of your week, however, will be spent with your legal teams learning the ropes and getting involved!


Monday 28 June: Takes place in the morning (PDF with all details in your email)

Tuesday 29 June: Research & library overview, then full day with your teams

Wednesday 30 June: Coffee & catch-up on how the week is going + a winter clerk lunch

Thursday 1 July: Team info sessions (hear about what each team in the firm does), then full day with your teams

Friday 2 July: Review & wrap-up of the week, then farewell drinks

Winter clerking tips

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, we’ve all been there – even if only for five days! You’ll have tonnes of support from your buddy, supervising partner, P&C, your cohort, and CT people in general.
Below are just a few tips to consider and things to know to get the most out of your week with us.





  • There are a lot of people at Chapman Tripp who can support you! Namely, your buddy, supervisor, me (Rose Ritchie) and my P&C team, as well as:
    Your Legal Administrator
    Chapman Tripp Support People – the list of these people are on Connected
  • At the end of the winter clerkship, you may be offered a summer clerkship for 2022
  • Decisions regarding summer clerk offers will be made on your performance over the week, and are made in consultation with your supervisors and other members of the firm
  • Towards the end of the week, you will hear more about each of our legal teams so you get an idea of what we do, which will help you decide preferences for a summer clerkship (where you rotate through two teams over the summer)
  • If you are unwell, please call Reception on 09 357 8976 and inform our Receptionist, Hannah, of your absence – she will notify your supervisor and buddy.
  • Each day begins at 8.30am (except for Monday 28 June, which will begin at 8.45am)
  • Each day ends at 5.00pm
  • Lunch times are for one hour, and generally take place between 1.00 – 2.00pm

Important information


While you are at CT, we thought it would be useful to let you know the competencies that we look out for in regards to whether you are positively demonstrating them across the week. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these competencies and ensure you understand them, as they feed into the summer clerkship too.

  • Communication skills
  • Analytical, organisation & planning skills
  • Motivation & drive
  • Commercial awareness & applied intellect
  • Confidence, attitude & interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer/client service


During your five days, you’ll receive feedback on any work you are involved in.  Constructive feedback is essential for both career progression and personal development, therefore it’s helpful for everyone involved to take a minute to hear the comments and not instantly take them on as criticism; everyone has a number of things to continue to work on, and the more constructive feedback you are prepared to take on board, the more you’ll learn.

Floor plans

There are maps of each floor of every Chapman Tripp office, which note where everyone sits. These are worth having a look at to help orientate yourself with the office – particularly if you need to find a room or person. These can be found on our Connected site here. NB. you will only be able to access Connected once you have joined CT, as this is our internal intranet.


We have a number of firm policies that can be found in full on Connected. We encourage you to read these in full and if you have any questions to please get in touch with myself (Rose Ritchie) or anyone else in our P&C team. Key policies to read include:

  • Standard of dress guidelines: as a leading law firm, we expect all our people to dress in a way that represents working for New Zealand’s top law firm, with relaxed business appropriate attire being the basic standard. We also value diversity and we want you to feel comfortable and included at all times in the CT environment. We ask that you consider what could happen in your day and reflect that in your standard of dress e.g. if you are asked to attend a client meeting without notice,  is your standard of dress appropriate and representative of Chapman Tripp? If you are unsure, your buddy, supervising partner, or P&C will be able to provide some advice.
  • Casual Friday: this is an opportunity to relax your standard of dress for one day of the week and wear jeans and sneakers etc. if you choose to. However, it is important that you still plan what you are wearing based on your schedule for the day e.g. do you have a client meeting to attend? We recommend checking your calendar on a Thursday before you go home, and asking your supervisor or buddy if there is anything important coming up on that Friday that you need to take into account.
  • Anti-bullying
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Health & Safety
  • Confidentiality and privacy guidelines
  • Social media and intranet
  • Te reo Maori
  • Diversity statement & guiding principles


You will be paid for the full five days on Wednesday 30 June 2021. This will be paid by direct credit into your bank account at a rate that is equivalent to an annual gross salary of $45,000 (prorated). Your bank account is the account specified on the New Employee Details form you’ll complete prior to joining CT.

Working with your supervisor and buddy


  • Your supervisor will act as your mentor, guide and coach. You will work alongside your supervisor and learn from their expertise. They will develop your skills and knowledge. General supervisor responsibilities include:
    Delegating meaningful and measurable work
    Providing guidance and constructive feedback on your work
    Inviting you to shadow them to meetings (internal and also client where possible)
    Providing guidance on legal issues
    Building your confidence and knowledge in the legal environment
    Providing feedback on your performance

How to get the most our of your supervisor

  • Being prepared – carry a pen and paper at all times
  • Asking questions – if you don’t understand the answer, ask again for clarity
  • Asking for work – being sure to establish priorities and deadlines
  • Being punctual at all times
  • Doing your own research and applying it to what your supervisor is teaching you
  • Asking for feedback on pieces of work and general performance
  • Discussing with them any concerns you may have (you can also talk to your buddy and P&C)


  • Your buddy is there to welcome you, help you feel at ease and to help you develop your skills and knowledge while you are here. General buddy responsibilities include:
    Introducing you to your team
    Showing you around the floor
    Getting you involved in work they are doing
    Providing guidance on technical issues and building your legal knowledge
    Providing guidance and constructive feedback on your work
    Generally checking in on how you are getting on!

How to get the most out of your buddy

  • Asking lots of questions
  • Asking them to check your work, particularly for clear legal writing and accuracy
  • Asking them to delegate wotk to you so you can boost your learning and help them out
  • Seek their advice – most of them have been through the same process you are going through and will have lots of tips and advice
  • Using them as a sounding board for how to approach your work and set priorities
  • Discussing with them any concerns you may have