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Graduate program

Top 100 finalist Graduate Employer badge

 

Sparke Helmore is delighted to make it into the GradConnection Top 100 category list for “Most Popular Law Graduate Employers” across Australia.

 

See what our graduates have to say about launching a career at Sparke Helmore

 
Why choose Sparke Helmore?

Sparke Helmore offers graduates a challenging and rewarding way to kick start their legal career.

Working at Sparke Helmore provides all employees with a unique range of opportunities to expand their knowledge, with access to:

  • Market-leading expertise—we are a full service national law firm who work with a loyal and exceptional client base.  You will be involved in matters that will engage you, challenge you and give you unparalleled opportunity to grow and deepen your expertise.
  • Real legal work—from your first day, you will have the opportunity to get involved in legal work that contributes to the firm and its clients.
  • Training and development—a combination of formal and on-the-job training that covers technical and soft skills.
  • Mentoring and networking—we have a proud reputation for mentoring and facilitating relationship building across the firm in a way that fosters personal and career development, networking and the sharing of knowledge, experience and learning.
  • Opportunities to give back—through our Pro Bono and Community Programs.

What do we look for in our graduates?

Our people are key to our success. We are always on the look-out for graduates with potential to progress, who fit with our culture and align with our values, and who demonstrate, among other things, intelligence, interpersonal skills, commitment, energy and commerciality.

Sparke Helmore graduates are:

  • "All-rounders" who engaged in extra-curricular pursuits as well as their studies (our graduates have often excelled at mooting, debating, team sports or student politics in addition to their studies)
  • Team players
  • Clear and concise writers
  • Confident and articulate communicators
  • Experienced in any of the following: summer clerkships, casual paralegal positions, voluntary legal aid experience and tipstaffing

What can you expect as a graduate at Sparke Helmore?

The first year of practising law can be daunting. Our graduates follow a program designed to guide you through the experience, providing you with comprehensive training and mentoring as well as networking opportunities.

The program includes specialised soft skill training to equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to become a capable and well-rounded practitioner. The training covers areas such as time management, business development and firm finances. You will also get to work on high quality, complex matters with leading legal practitioners from your first day.

Our graduates also have access to the firm's mentoring program, which pairs you with a senior lawyer in another practice group, to give you a broader understanding of the firm and its other practice areas.

What past graduates have to say

"I started as a Secretary in Workplace in 2017 and I am now a Junior Lawyer in the Commercial Insurance team, having just completed the Graduate Program. I have always felt at home at Sparkes and felt really supported in my progression from Secretary to Junior Lawyer. I am lucky enough to run my own file load and coordinate pro bono matters for the Perth office. Commercial Insurance is a fast paced practice group where you are exposed to a level of involvement and responsibility that I don't feel graduates receive elsewhere. I have had so many incredible opportunities working with Sparkes, from trial work, appearing at Workcover and preparing large quantum advices, to assisting a range of vulnerable individuals through our pro bono practice"

— Georgia Wilts, Lawyer, Perth, Commercial Insurance

"The Sparke Helmore Graduate Program has been the perfect way to transition from university life to full-time work. In my grad year so far, I have undertaken a broad range of legal tasks and have gained experience in numerous different teams, including the government administrative, commercial insurance, CTP and pro bono teams. For every task, I have received insightful advice from a highly experienced and attentive supervisor and have always felt comfortable asking for help. I have also had the opportunity to go on secondment and work onsite at a Federal Government Agency. My secondment has been a good challenge and a lot of fun. I have been welcomed into a whole new team, which has allowed me to meet and work with a variety of different people, all with unique professional backgrounds.

In addition to offering excellent professional opportunities, Sparkes has an undeniably people-focused culture. I have always felt fully supported by my colleagues as the firm puts the well-being of every staff member above everything else. This makes for a more enjoyable and effective work environment as I am always met with a genuine response if I ever have a question or concern. The firm's commitment to its staff has been clearly illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. My supervisor has made huge efforts to stay in touch through any means possible and the sense of unity usually felt when everyone is in the office has been maintained despite social distancing measures. I have been highly impressed by how Sparkes has handled the pandemic and have felt very safe and secure knowing how much the firm has looked after us during such challenging circumstances."

— James Bernasconi, Law Graduate, Canberra, Government

"I started with Sparke Helmore as a grad in 2020. Ever since day one I have always felt encouraged, fostered and – most importantly - invested in. 2020 was a strange year that resulted in a lot of changes, through that, the firm demonstrated great flexibility and resilience, with an uncompromising attitude to the growth, support and development of its lawyers and graduates. For me, I was rotated into commercial insurance where I was challenged with carriage of high-volume recovery files across four jurisdictions. I appeared regularly as solicitor advocate in small claims hearings and instructed counsel in larger matters. It was impressed on me that COVID was an opportunity to really step up, own my own work, and develop myself to facilitate the best outcomes for clients in what was an even more challenging time for them.

The graduate program here at Sparkes is an invaluable opportunity. The firm is a network of excellent lawyers, a workplace of mutual respect and support, and an environment where your contribution will be recognised and appreciated and where you will achieve real growth."

— Luke Sundercombe, Law Graduate, Sydney, Commercial Insurance 

Looking to join us?

Graduate Opportunities at Sparke Helmore

We recruit graduates in all nine of Sparke Helmore’s offices depending on business requirements. Where graduate positions become available they will be advertised through the ‘Join Us’ section on our Careers Page.

Sydney - Graduates

We recruit our graduates in Sydney in conjunction and in accordance with the Law Society of NSW guidelines (typically between March to June). Historically these positions have included the ability to rotate through two practice groups however this year recruitment of our Sydney graduates will look a little bit different and we will be recruiting graduates who are passionate and committed to a career in one of our specific practice groups, which include:

  • Commercial Insurance

  • Government

  • Workplace

  • Corporate & Commercial

Sydney – Graduate Application Process Key Dates

Key Dates for 2021

Monday 1 March

Applications for graduate positions open.

Sunday 11 April

Applications for graduate positions close at 5:00pm.

Monday 3 May

Interviews for graduate positions commence.

Friday 4 June

Offers for graduate positions can be made.

Friday 11 June

Offers for graduate positions must be accepted or declined by 5:00pm.

If you are interested in learning more about Sparke Helmore and hearing from us and past graduates about starting your career with us please register your attendance at this year’s Sydney Law Careers Fair 2021.

For more information please click here.