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
  • 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

2021 program cycle | 2022 program cycle | 2023 program cycle | 2024 program cycle | 

Summer 2 clerkshipJan - FebJan - Feb Jan - Feb Jan - Feb
Autumn clerkshipApr- MayApr - MayApril - MayApril - May
Winter clerkshipJun-JulJun - JulJun - JulJun - Jul
Legal Careers Expo9 May  10 MayMay 
Applications open for clerkships18 Jul  17 July15 Jul
Applications close for clerkships by 5pm AEST12 August 11 August9 August
Offers made for seasonal clerkships12 October11 October9 October
Offers for seasonal clerkships must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST13 October12 October10 October
Spring clerkshipAutumn intake offered insteadAutumn intake offered insteadAutumn intake offered instead
Summer 1 clerkshipNov - DecNov - DecNov - Dec

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2023

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.

2023 Participating firms in the Seasonal Clerkship program

Graduate Program

Key dates

2021 program cycle | 2022 program cycle | 2023 program cycle | 2024 program cycle | 

Graduate program commencesFebruaryFebruary February February
Legal Careers Expo9 May  10 MayMay
Offers made to current staff/vacation clerks for graduate employment8 August  7 AugustAugust
Offers for graduate positions to current staff/vacation clerks must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST9 August 8 AugustAugust
Applications for Graduate positions open (open market)15 August14 August15 July
Applications for graduate positions close (open market)26 August25 August12 August
Offers made for graduate positions29 September28 SeptemberSeptember
Offers for graduate positions must be accepted or declined by 5pm AEST30 September29 SeptemberSeptember

Dates to be confirmed in November/December 2023

2023 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