ABL is the premium Australian commercial law firm clients turn to for advice and support on their most complex legal matters, high stakes transactions, litigation and commercial decisions. With a reputation built on a long history of success, our lawyers are often at the centre of law reform and regularly advise on landmark matters.
Our firm advises entrepreneurial family-owned businesses, ASX listed companies, private clients and international corporations. We enjoy long-standing relationships with a select group of other professional advisors − including accountants, hedge funds, insolvency practitioners, private bankers and equity firms as well as overseas-based specialist law firms.
We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver innovative strategic guidance and solutions to complex problems related to our clients' commercial interests, legal position and reputation.
We organise our practice groups to allow our lawyers to be broad generalists and our groups are split between transactions and disputes. From the client perspective, our services cover:
We are well known for being the go-to firm when it matters. We pride ourselves on providing strategic guidance and solving complex problems related to our clients' commercial interests, legal position and reputation. This means that our lawyers are exposed to interesting and varied work where they can fully utilise their skills and potential. We do not try to be everything to everyone − rather, we strive for excellence in our chosen areas of expertise
Our internal structure is also a little different to our competitors. Our lawyers are trained to be 'generalist specialists' – able to straddle a range of different legal matters, as opposed to only being super specialised in a narrow field. Working in a broad based practice group this way, you'll work across the full range of matters that the group deals with.
In Victoria, we have three clerkship intakes that coincide with university holidays (November/ December, January/February and June/July). We aim for a maximum of 12-15 clerks in each intake, so you won't get lost in the crowd.
Our clerkship program is a condensed version of our graduate experience - you'll be immersed in our culture, be given real work and responsibility, real contact with Partners and clients in meetings, calls and court hearings and have the opportunity to make a real contribution to the firm - right from day one.
What stands out in a clerkship application?
When recruiting clerks we look for exceptional people who are seeking, and can provide, something extraordinary. We value academic excellence and intelligence as well as life experience, lateral thinking, imagination and a passion for the law. Good grades indicate not just ability, but also that you have the application and commitment to achieve results.
What type of work can a clerk expect to undertake?
At ABL, our clerkship program has been tailored to reflect our graduate traineeship program, providing you the opportunity to experience first-hand life as a lawyer and our unique culture. Working closely with Partners and lawyers, you'll attend relevant meetings and telephone calls with clients and attend court hearings. You'll be involved in interesting national and international matters and cases - anything from multi-billion dollar transactions and corporate collapses, to defending class actions.
What does the firm look for in a seasonal clerk?
We have found that the people who are successful in law and at ABL are those who also present themselves in a confident manner and demonstrate an ability to relate well to others. We look for people who use initiative and accept shared responsibility for their career development. The other personal qualities we consider desirable are the willingness to learn, a sense of humour and preparedness to assume responsibility.
Description of the graduate program:
At ABL, we are very proud of our in-house graduate training program. Our grads don't go offsite to PLT (Leo Cussen or College of Law) − instead they learn from our best and brightest Partners and Senior Associates, who are leaders in their respective fields. The Supervised Legal Training (SLT) program is designed to be practical, engaging and upskill our lawyers for practice, based on guidelines set out by the Counsel of Legal Education.
The training program is a real point of difference, and something our graduates genuinely enjoy about their overall graduate experience. Training is scheduled around once a week. This means that you aren't away from the office for long periods of time, and can be involved in matters throughout the duration of your graduate year.
If the idea of rotations makes you dizzy, our single practice group experience provides you with not only a breadth of experience but also the depth of investment in your development. For instance, a placement in our commercial group will see you exposed to joint ventures, share sale agreements, equity capital markets, takeovers and much more. The placement means you'll be treated as a permanent member of the team and have genuine investment in your development – being immersed in current matters, be exposed to clients, and make a real and meaningful contribution.
It is important to make the right career choices. ABL is a commercial law firm that gives graduate trainees the flexibility to either become outstanding generalists, or specialists in their chosen practice area. At ABL, it is the hope that every graduate trainee will one day become a Partner.
How many graduates does the firm typically take?
ABL takes on approximately 20 graduate trainees per year. While we participate in the 'priority offer' system, where graduate offers are initially made to those who have completed a seasonal clerkship with us, we also look to market applications following this priority offer process. The number of market graduate roles available will depend on how many graduates we appoint in the priority offer process.
To ensure you can commence in the following March, we only consider candidates in their penultimate year of study at the time of applying for a clerkship. Please ensure you put down your relevant completion date when applying.
For further information about clerkships at ABL, visit www.abl.grad.careers
We participate in the Law Institute of Victoria's guidelines, and the step-by-step process to applying for a clerkship is below:
If you are offered a clerkship position, we apply a first-in, best-dressed approach to allocating intakes. Once you accept your position, you can select which intake you'd like to participate in.
The Melbourne clerkship intakes are:
Please address your application to:
Hayley Brown, Human Resources Manager
Arnold Bloch Leibler
Level 21, 333 Collins Street