Seasonal clerkship and graduate recruitment

We know making decisions around graduate or seasonal clerkship placements can be overwhelming. As your member organisation, we want to streamline this process for you as much as possible.

That’s why QLS has created the QLS Seasonal Clerkship and Graduate Recruitment Guidelines. 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 for 2021

  • 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, the application process and current list of signatory firms are noted below.

Seasonal Clerkship

Key dates

2020 program cycle | 2021 program cycle |  2022 program cycle

 2020 20212022*
Summer 2 Clerkship- Jan - FebJan - Feb
Autumn Clerkship- Apr - MayApr- May
Winter Clerkship- Jun - JulJun - Jul
Applications open for clerkshipsMonday 2 March Monday 5 JulyJul to Aug
Legal Careers Expo-26 July 2021July
Applications close for clerkshipsFriday 27 MarchFriday 13 AugustAugust
Offers made for seasonal clerkshipsThursday 9 JulyThursday 7 OctoberSeptember
Offers for seasonal clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5pm AESTFriday 10 JulyFriday 8 OctoberSeptember
Spring ClerkshipAug to SepAutumn intake offered insteadAutumn intake offered instead
Summer 1 ClerkshipNov to DecNov to DecNov to Dec

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2021

Application process

Each participating law firm has its own application process and clerkship offerings. Not all firms offer all 4 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.

Participating firms in the Seasonal Clerkship program


Graduate Program

Key dates

2020 program cycle | 2021 program cycle |  2022 program cycle

 2020 20212022*
Graduate program commences-FebruaryFebruary
Legal Careers Expo-26 July 2021July
Offers made to current staff/vacation clerks for graduate employmentWednesday 26 FebruaryMonday 9 AugustAugust
Offers for graduate positions to current staff/vacation clerks must be accepted or declined by 5pm AESTThursday 27 FebruaryTuesday 10 AugustAugust
Applications for Graduate positions open (open market)Monday 3 AugustMonday 16 AugustAugust
Applications for Graduate positions close (open market)-Friday 27 AugustAugust
Offers made for Graduate positionsMonday 17 AugustThursday 30 SeptemberAugust
Offers for Graduate positions must be accepted or declined by 5pm AESTTuesday 15 SeptemberFriday 1 OctoberAugust

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2021

Participating firms in the Graduate Program

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