Graduates & Summer Clerks

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Shape your career with Simpson Grierson

Our applications for a summer clerk or graduate role have now closed. If you have applied for a role, we will be in touch by 18 April.

Simpson Grierson is a great place to start your career. As a summer clerk or law graduate you’ll work alongside some of Aotearoa’s leading lawyers and have the opportunity to get involved in real client work, advise on leading commercial transactions and tackle major projects.

We’ll give you plenty of support and opportunities to shape your career. 

The summer clerk experience

If you’re in your penultimate year of Law School, you are eligible to apply for a summer clerkship with us.

As a summer clerk you will rotate through two different teams, one before Christmas and one after. This gives you the opportunity to experience two different areas of law and decide where you want to begin your career. In your first few days as a summer clerk, you’ll be based in our Auckland office where we will welcome you to the firm and you’ll get to network with each other over some fun activities.

A lot of our summer clerks also join us as law graduates after they complete their degree.

The graduate experience

Our law graduate cohort is a mixture of people who have summer clerked with us and students we hire into law graduate roles. 

You will start by doing your professional legal studies for the first three months and will then join your team in April, where you will be placed permanently into a team and have the opportunity to get involved in meaningful client work.

You’ll get access to a comprehensive two-year training programme that has been described externally as 'leaps ahead' of our competition. None of our law graduates have fee budgets, which means you can settle into your new role without too much pressure.

You'll experience two rotations as a summer clerk and will be placed into a team as a law graduate.

Our firm is structured around National Practice Groups, which cover all areas of commercial law. This means you’ll get breadth and depth of experience across the country.

As a graduate in the banking and finance transactional team I was involved in lots of property finance transactions: conducting LINZ, PPSR and Companies Office searches, discharging securities, drafting documents, and attending to registration of securities upon settlement. Through this work I built strong relationships with several clients who I would communicate with almost daily.

Once I gained greater understanding of the nature of the work, throughout the year I became involved in larger scale and more complex transactions, was involved in searching and reviewing security arrangements to a greater degree, and in more challenging lending and security arrangements.
- Greer Bonnette - Solicitor

You can find out more here.

Being a law graduate and one of the few juniors on the construction team exposed me to a wide variety of work. The construction team is known to do both ‘front end work’, eg project development, and ‘back-end work’, eg leaky building claims.

Some of the work you do as a construction law graduate includes stringing together a chronology of documents to understand how a dispute arose, proofreading a piece of advice, attend client meetings/functions and drafting court pleadings for Council. Through doing different bits of work, you are able to expand your toolbox of knowledge. 
- Joeli Filipo - Solicitor

We also advise on significant international projects. You can find out more here.

The Auckland commercial team does a broad range of transactional legal work ranging from M&A to day-to-day corporate governance matters. Juniors in the team work for all three partners and will be involved in reviewing and drafting agreements, company administration, assisting with large-scale transactions and advising on ad-hoc commercial and legal queries. 
- Johnny Bates - Solicitor

As a graduate lawyer in the corporate team, much of my experience involved assisting the team with drafting and reviewing agreements, attending client meetings, and aiding the team with complex transactions such as merges, acquisitions or capital raises for industry-leading clients.
- Zoe Drake - Solicitor

Being a grad in the tax team has often involved complex research, statutory interpretation, and critical thinking. It has also given me a good understanding of the complexities and importance of taxation across all parts of the economy and the significant cross over between tax and other areas of law. You will experience a steep learning curve, but as a grad, there is no better way to learn than to jump in the deep end. You’ll be supported by experts and come out of your graduate programme with greatly enhanced legal skills and knowledge.
- Latesha Metzler - Solicitor

You can find out more about the deals and projects we've worked on here.

The employment team's work is mixed between litigation-based tasks (such as drafting submissions/documents, research, and preparing documents for the Authority/Court) and advisory work (which includes research, presentations or reviewing documents such as employment agreements). Most tasks are varied, and it is rare to advise on/research the exact same issue twice! 
- Pema Gyeltshen - Solicitor

You can read more about our work here.

No two days look the same in the IP/ICT team. I was involved in drafting advice, dealing with data breaches, filing and maintaining trademarks for companies like DB Breweries and Bumble (including drafting submissions to IPONZ and the occasional cease and desist), and reviewing and drafting commercial agreements.
- Priya Prakash - Solicitor

You can read more about the work we've done and who our major clients are here and here.

As a graduate in the commercial litigation team, I was involved in work across a range of practice areas. These included general contractual disputes, property disputes, defamation and media law, privacy and cyber-security, and emerging technologies. My involvement in each matter varied, ranging from conducting research, drafting court documents, corresponding with clients, or even being given the reigns to manage smaller disputes.
- Tom Hammond - Solicitor

As a grad in the public law litigation team, I worked across a range of litigation and advisory matters. On litigation matters, I was involved in a lot of document management, evidence preparation, drafting of court documents, and had my first High Court appearance. Advisory matters involved lots of legal research and drafting practical advice for our clients. 
- Louise Goodwin - Solicitor

Have a read of our varied examples of work here and here.

As a law graduate, I had the opportunity to complete a diverse range of meaningful work. This included drafting advice relating to the decision-making of local authorities, drafting written submissions for court proceedings, and assisting seniors in my team to prepare for mediations to enact freshwater plan-changes. 
- Liam Stevens - Solicitor

Read more about our work here.

I have assisted not-for-profits and charities to ensure their eligibility to receive various tax exemptions and benefits. I learnt how important all the “behind the scenes” work is for these organisations to continue to operate, and it is an honour to be able to serve our local communities in our capacity as corporate lawyers.
- Latesha Metzler - Solicitor

Read about the organisations we have supported, and our latest Pro Bono Report, here.

As a law graduate in the real estate team, I was involved in various matters from the moment I started. My day-to-day activities were a constant mix of assisting on conveyancing, licensing, and leasing matters for local authorities, such as Auckland Council. I was also exposed to work within the Overseas Investment Act: conducting research, providing draft advice, as well as assisting on the submission of consents on behalf of our clients.

The team does a lot of conveyancing and subdivisions for clients such as Carbon Farming New Zealand and Fletcher Residential Limited. As a graduate, you are asked to assist in preparing due diligence reports as well as undertaking background research into the properties and agreements. 
- Samantha Johnston - Solicitor

Find out more about our work here.

Recruitment dates

07 March 2024

Applications open 12pm

02 April 2024

Applications close 9am

02 April 2024

Applications begin to be reviewed

18 April 2024

Successful applicants invited for an interview

30 April 2024

Christchurch interviews & function

01 May 2024

Wellington interviews

02 May 2024

Wellington interviews & function

07 May 2024

Auckland interviews

08 May 2024

Auckland interviews & function

21 May 2024

If successful we'll make you an offer!

31 May 2024

Acceptances due

Our values underpin a supportive culture where everyone is empowered to deliver outstanding results for our clients and community.

Making sure our people feel supported and included is important to us. 


We will listen to what you have to say, and we encourage you to bring your whole self to work.

Putting People First is fundamental to everything we do. We prioritise wellbeing and build healthy relationships based on mutual respect, trust and integrity.

We always strive to be At Our Best. We deliver excellent service and best outcomes for clients by developing and empowering our people.

And we are Energetic For Change. We seek out, embrace and invest in positive change that benefits our people, clients and communities.

Diversity is what helps an organisation flourish. Which is why we make sure Simpson Grierson is a place where everyone feels their voices matter, their opinions are respected, and they truly belong.

We have a wide range of employee networks to help you connect with colleagues, find support and become allies. Some of our larger networks include our Rainbow communities, Māori and Pasifika communities, Neurodiversity group, Women & Allies group, Asian Languages & Culture group, and various faith groups and cultural groups.

We also have a number of learning opportunities that build cultural competency and challenge unconscious bias.

We are committed to giving back to our community and were the first law firm in Aotearoa to have a dedicated Pro Bono Partner, Shan Wilson. Through our pro bono programme we help disadvantaged and low-income members of the community gain access to legal services.

You can find out more about what we’ve been doing in this space in our latest Pro Bono Report

Frequently Asked Questions

We recruit annually in March. There are some occasions where we recruit later in the year for graduate roles, but it depends on our business needs.

While academic results are important; we want to see the full picture of who you are. This can include details of previous work experience, achievements, volunteer or community involvement, sports, hobbies, language/s or any other transferrable skills. A top tip is to highlight aspects of your CV that make you stand out as a budding commercial lawyer of the future. Please include your contact details as well. We encourage you to submit a concise, one-to-two page CV.

We offer plenty of opportunities for connection. We’ll be attending all career fairs nationwide, so come along if you can. We also have our annual open day around March, which is a great opportunity for you to learn more about us. Email our graduate recruitment lead, Sophia Catley, with any queries.

  • Come prepared - do your research about us and our people
  • Be on time! Aim to arrive early in case of any unexpected delays
  • This is a chance for us to get to know you beyond your CV so be prepared to delve deeper into challenges you’ve faced, times you’ve used initiative, displayed solid work ethic or shown resilience
  • Showcase why you want to be a commercial lawyer in one of the best firms in the country
  • This is also an opportunity for you to find out more about us, so bring along any questions you have
  • Be yourself! We want to get to know the real you so let your own flair shine through

Remember: Most of us have been in your shoes at some point in our careers and we understand that nerves are only natural. We’re a friendly bunch and we’ll try our hardest to put you at ease.

We receive over 700 applications each year, which is why standing out from the crowd really helps you get noticed. Our People & Culture team review every single application first hand. This programme is really important to us, so no AI involved!

You'll hit the ground running with technology and research training, before participating in a bespoke professional development program.

Yes you can apply for more than one office although in the initial application form we do ask for your preference out of the offices you applied for. You will need to create separate applications for every office you apply for, but you can include the same information within each application.

Absolutely not. We don’t expect summer clerks or law graduates to have previous legal experience.

You need to be in your penultimate year to be considered for a summer clerkship. We like to keep consistency within our cohorts so that you build strong peer groups.

Chat with us

Sophia Catley
People & Culture Consultant

Chat with us