Why Baker McKenzie?
As a law student reaching the business end of my degree, identifying the drawcards and differences between the top firms in Australia was a daunting task. I was fortunate to receive an offer from Baker McKenzie. As a firm with a renowned global presence, it promised to provide exposure to major Australian matters for both domestic and international clients as well as cross-border work involving offices from across the globe. The Summer Clerkship provided me with an insight into the Firm’s Australian presence and its multi-jurisdictional work across various practice groups. During my rotations in the IP/Tech and Dispute Resolution practise areas, I had the opportunity to work on cutting edge Australian matters that also influenced international operations. I also had the opportunity to explore the Firm's Pro Bono and Community Services practice and to pitch and organise my own project. The diversity of experience on offer at Baker McKenzie is highlighted by the International Clerkship program. I undertook my international clerkship in London and experienced firsthand the full international force of the Baker McKenzie brand.
Sydney to London
Leaving Sydney during an unseasonably cold winter was a great decision. This was made even better when London was showcasing a rare few weeks of sunshine just as I touched down. Having just graduated from university, I was looking forward to living and working overseas in a completely new city. However, I didn’t fully appreciate how much I would learn and experience in my month-long adventure in London.
The International Clerkship Experience
During my time in London, I rotated through the Dispute Resolution team. The London office is the largest Bakers office worldwide. This, combined with a Disputes team that was incredibly energetic and completely packed to the brim with major cases and arbitrations, there was no shortage of new experiences each and every day. I had the opportunity to compile and review evidence briefs to identify issues with evidence and legal arguments relating to a major arbitration taking place in the Middle East. I researched options to minimise public liability risks relating to the supply chains of a major US corporation's operations in the UK. I also drafted advice regarding the product liability risks facing medical manufacturers in their domestic and international business. Other tasks included identifying privileged documents in response to the service of documents requests and undertaking legal research into domestic and international transactional and dispute resolution matters. I was also lucky to be working in the London office at a time where the Disputes team was trailing new technology-assisted review software. The experience gave me a behind the scenes insight into the implementation of innovative technologies in the legal industry.
Life in London was not just limited to the office. Having never been to London, or Europe, before – it was a particularly exciting trip. I joined the Firm’s futsal squad which, in a football-fanatical country, was a challenging step up, to say the least. Outside of sport, walking along the Thames to work, working by day and catching whatever took my fancy on the West End by night was incredible. I spent hours at the Tower of London and the Churchill War Rooms, saw a giant squid in the vaults of the Natural History Museum, ate at as many food stalls as possible in the Borough Market and visited iconic places like Stonehenge and Oxford on weekends. With the International Clerkship taking place between the Summer Clerkship and the beginning of my Graduate Program, I took the opportunity travel for the next 4 months around Europe visiting France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Germany, Iceland and capping off the adventure by catching the US Open Final in New York.
It is largely unheard of to have the opportunity to travel for work as such a young lawyer. Baker McKenzie's International Clerkship experience is another offering that sets Baker McKenzie apart. The Firm actively demonstrates a commitment to providing the best experiences and learning & development opportunities for its youngest lawyers to become the best lawyers that they can be – right from the start. I’ve learnt an incredible amount through the program and become close friends with my colleagues in London; people who I speak with almost daily. I am still buzzing from how lucky I am to have had such an opportunity and can’t wait for the next chapter in my journey at the Firm as a Graduate.