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 made in 2021

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

The recruitment 'cycle' now effectively commences 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 now made in early August with open market commencing immediately afterwards.

This means that firms who only offer summer programs now 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 | 2023 program cycle

 2020202120222023*
Summer 2 clerkship- Jan - FebJan - FebJan - Feb
Autumn clerkship- Apr - MayApr- MayApril - May
Winter clerkship- Jun - JulJun - JulJun - Jul
Applications open for clerkships2 March 5 July18 JulJul - Aug
Legal Careers Expo-26 July9 May 2022May
Applications close for clerkships27 March13 August12 AugustAugust
Offers made for seasonal clerkships9 July7 October12 OctoberOctober
Offers for seasonal clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST10 July8 October13 OctoberOctober
Spring clerkshipAug - SepAutumn intake offered insteadAutumn intake offered insteadAutumn intake offered instead
Summer 1 clerkshipNov - DecNov - DecNov - DecNov - Dec

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2022

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.

2022 Participating firms in the Seasonal Clerkship program

Graduate Program

Key dates

2020 program cycle | 2021 program cycle | 2022 program cycle | 2023 program cycle

 2020 202120222023*
Graduate program commences-FebruaryFebruaryFebruary
Legal Careers Expo-26 July 20219 MayMay
Offers made to current staff/vacation clerks for graduate employment26 February9 August8 AugustAugust

Offers for graduate positions to current staff/vacation clerks must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST27 February10 August9 AugustAugust

Applications for Graduate positions open (open market)3 August16 August15 AugustAugust

Applications for graduate positions close (open market)-27 August26 AugustAugust
Offers made for graduate positions17 August30 September29 SeptemberSeptember
Offers for graduate positions must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST15 September1 October30 SeptemberSeptember

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2022

2022 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