Queensland Law Society

Graduate & clerkship guidelines



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Early career lawyers

Seasonal Clerkship & Graduate Recruitment

We know making decisions around graduate or seasonal clerkship placements can be overwhelming.

That’s why on 9 June 2020, Queensland Law Society hosted a Queensland Legal Recruitment forum to discuss the Clerkship and Graduate recruitment cycle in Queensland. Attendees included representatives from 20 firms which offer clerkship and/or graduate programs, universities, practical legal training (PLT) and legal education providers.

As a result of these discussions, QLS has amended our Seasonal Clerkship and Graduate Recruitment Guidelines and the Seasonal Clerkship and Graduate recruitment cycle.

The updated guidelines aim to provide students and firms transparency and consistency through the legal recruitment process and allows you the time to simultaneously consider offers received and make an informed decision that is right for you.

Key changes include:

  • The introduction of an Autumn clerkship for the 2020/2021 program
  • Replacing the 2021 Spring clerkship with an Autumn clerkship in 2022 as an ongoing change
  • Moving Queensland Clerkship recruitment activity from March - May to July - August from 2021 onwards
  • Moving Priority Graduate Offer dates to July 2021 as an ongoing change, with Graduate open market following immediately afterwards (in August/September).

The recruitment “cycle” will effectively commence with clerkship recruitment in July/August with programs operating across Summer One, Summer Two, Autumn and concluding in Winter. Priority graduate decisions for commencement in the following year are then made in early August with open market commencing immediately afterwards.

This means that firms who only offer summer programs will have to wait until July/August to make their priority offers with open market opening shortly thereafter. This allows students more time to research and consider where they intend to pursue their legal career.

This shift also better aligns with the recruitment cycles of our Victorian counter-parts at the Law Institute of Victoria.

Key dates and current list of signatory firms are noted below.


Application process

Each participating law firm has its own application process and clerkship offerings. Not all firms offer all four clerkship offerings. Click on the firm you are interested in from the list below for information on their application pathway.

For practical advice on writing resumes and cover letters, refer to the tip sheet.


Seasonal Clerkship

Key Dates

2021* 2022*
Summer 2 Clerkship  - Jan – Feb Jan – Feb
Autumn Clerkship  - Apr – May Apr – May
Winter Clerkship  - Jun – Jul Jun – Jul
Applications open for clerkships Monday 2 March Jul – Aug Jul – Aug
Legal Careers Expo
Applications close for clerkships Friday 27 March August August
Offers made for seasonal clerkships Thursday 9 July September September
Offers for seasonal clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST Friday 10 July September September
Spring Clerkship Aug – Sep Autumn intake offered instead Autumn intake offered instead
Summer 1 Clerkship Nov – Dec Nov – Dec Nov – Dec

*Exact dates to be confirmed in December preceding year.

2020 program cycle

2021 program cycle

2022 program cycle


Participating firms


Graduate Program

Key Dates

2021* 2022*
Graduate program commences  - February February
Legal Careers Expo
Offers made to current staff/vacation clerks for graduate employment Wednesday 26 February August August
Offers for graduate positions to current staff/vacation clerks must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST Thursday 27 February August August
Applications for Graduate positions open (open market) Monday 3 August August August
Graduate positions (open market) close date Monday 17 August August August
Offers for graduate positions can be made Monday 14 September August August
Offers for graduate positions must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST Tuesday 15 September August August

*Exact dates to be confirmed in December preceding year.

2021 program cycle

2022 program cycle

2023 program cycle


Participating firms


Becoming a participating firm

Firms taking part in this initiative support Queensland’s legal student community and benefit from increased exposure to universities and students and a streamlined recruitment process.

To become a participating firm, please contact students@qls.com.au.


Join now