12 Mar 2021

internship experience with Murfett Legal

Whilst working as an Intern Law Clerk at Murfett Legal, I undertook tasks which included, but were not limited to, researching the law and applying it to specific client scenarios and drafting documents. I have not had much exposure to commercial law and litigation in the past. In my time at Murfett Legal I was allocated the role of support staff to mainly assist the litigation and insolvency team. I also worked with the property, commercial and taxation teams.  I was able to see the real ‘behind the scenes’ of how a law firm operates.

I feel as though I have learnt a lot of invaluable skills whilst working at Murfett Legal. Not necessarily just about the principles of the law, but about how the law operates. There are many little important details that slip through the cracks when we are studying at university. Understandably so.  We only have limited time where the lecturers must teach us all the content. However, throughout my time at Murfett Legal I have learnt there is far more to the legal profession and working as a lawyer than just legislation and case-law.

When first starting at Murfett Legal I was very overwhelmed. I was truly surprised at how knowledgeable the people are that work there. It was difficult for me to understand that I was still just a student and that this whole process is supposed to be a learning experience and that it was okay for me to feel like that. Everyone at Murfett Legal made a great attempt at helping me utilise this learning opportunity as productively as I could, from the team explaining how court procedures work, and having me sit in on teleconferences and meetings to even letting me sit in at a Hearing for an Application for Special Leave at the High Court of Australia.

Working at Murfett Legal has helped me identify some of my limitations and has assisted in me better understanding the operation of an office and the administration side of things at a law firm. I have had to utilise skills such as:
  • Research and analysing information - when conducting research tasks for the lawyers

  • Oral and written communication – when I had to correspond with lawyers regarding instructions or other support staff and even administration staff and management regarding general inquiries and day to day office tasks.

I developed skills on how to effectively manage my time to optimise billable hours and juggling different tasks. I was also given the opportunity to work on my teamwork skills, as I worked on the same task with multiple lawyers and other clerks or support staff.

The ‘real world’ experience is completely different from the expectation of a third/fourth year law student, who has not had any ‘clerking/clerk-like’ experiences before. My law studies have helped me with understanding the fundamentals of the law, however, I do think there is way more to the profession than just the studies. This internship has proven just that. The administrative side of this experience taught me the operational side of a law firm. A key skill I learnt was how to correctly bill for your time and how to hit your recommended number of billable hours. Other skills such as correspondence with management and accounts as well as email etiquette were also focused on. I knew that confidentiality in a law firm was important and paramount, however, through my experience at Murfett Legal I realised to what extent confidentiality of client information needs to be protected.

I really liked that Murfett Legal included me in seminars and extra training modules that would help me utilise these skills. I would recommend this Internship to any student in order to get insight into what a real lawyer does in their day-to-day work.

For further information or assistance contact Murfett Legal on +61 8 9388 3100.

Note: The above is a summary for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive or constitute legal advice. You should seek formal legal or other professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances before relying on the content of this article.
Author: Chene Delport (Intern Law Clerk)
Murfett Legal is a leading law firm in WA, providing services in litigation, corporate and commercial, employment and workplace relations, insolvency, debt collection, business restructuring, Wills & estates, property, leasing, settlements, liquor licensing and intellectual property.

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