Summer Clerkship

Applications for the 2019 - 2020 Summer Clerkship Program have now closed

A summer clerkship with the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch provides a unique opportunity to be involved in formulating government policy, law reform and Parliamentary practice. You will have hands-on involvement in a range of projects from civil to criminal law policy and legislation development.

Some of the tasks you may be expected to complete include:

  • preparing briefing notes for the Attorney General and other Strong Communities cluster Ministers;
  • liaising with stakeholders;
  • conducting in-depth analysis on proposed Bills or policy reform from other Ministers;
  • writing speeches;
  • attending meetings;
  • working with other Government Departments; and
  • conducting research.

A summer clerkship with the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch is suited to students who enjoy working in a fast paced and dynamic workplace, have excelled in a variety of academic and non-academic fields, and are interested in pursuing a career in government or public policy. 

Only candidates who are short-listed for interviews will be contacted.

Your Application

Please submit your application via email at

Applicants are required to be in their penultimate or final year of their law degree. 

 Your application should include:

  • a covering letter addressing all the selection criteria

  • a CV

  • an academic transcript 

  • contact details for at least two referees.

The formal selection criteria used to assess summer clerkship applications includes:

  1. Interest in, and an understanding of, the work of the Department of Communities and Justice;

  2. Experience, gained through paid or voluntary work and extracurricular activities, that would enable you to contribute to the Department;

  3. Good communication and interpersonal skills; and

  4. Strong academic record.

Please explain how you meet these criteria in your application and provide examples, where possible.

Applications must not be longer than 4 pages, including your CV.

Please submit your application as one PDF file. Your academic transcript is not counted toward this total.

The Interview

Summer Clerks will be recruited based on merit selection. To ensure that this process is equitable, interviews are formal, with each interviewee being asked the same set of questions.

Interviewees may also be asked to prepare a written response to a hypothetical problem.

Further Information

If you would like any further information about undertaking a Summer Clerkship with the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch please email

Frequently asked questions


I am not in my penultimate year of study, can I still apply?​

Yes. We accept applications from students in all years of their degree. However, we generally give preference to students who have recently graduated or who are in their final year of study.

Application dates

I have previously submitted an application, do I need to re-apply?

Yes. Applications received from Wednesday 14 August 2019 will be considered for a summer clerkship with the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch.

When do applications close?

Applications received after Wednesday 4 September 2019 will not be considered for a summer clerkship with the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch.

Applying for an internship

Do I need to include certified transcripts with my application?

No. We are happy to accept unofficial transcripts.

Should I include letters of recommendation with my application?

No. We will not look at or follow up references.

Are you able to provide me with feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with feedback on your application. The volume of applications is such that we would require a dedicated feedback team to provide comments on everybody's application.

The program

How many clerks will you be engaging?

The number of clerks we employ for each program will vary. Generally, we accept anywhere between 1-4 clekrs per program.

Is this a paid position?


How long does the Summer Clerkship Program run for?

The Summer Clerkship Program runs for 8 weeks over the months of November - January. Within this period we generally expect each clerk to be available full-time for 8 weeks​ or for an equivalent amount of time if undertaking the clerkship part-time.

Where are the clerkships located?

Clerks will work at our office, which is situated at Level 3, Henry Deane Building, 20 Lee St, Sydney, just next to Central Station.​

I am really interested in the Summer Internship Program, but I also have other commitments throughout the course of the program, is there some flexibility with working arrangements?

Absolutely. Although our preference is for you to maximise your clerkship experience and work full-time, we understand that you may have exams, intensive courses, part-time jobs, or clerkships. We are happy to discuss and accommodate your commitments.​ 

Could a clerkship turn into a permanent job?

A clerkship does not guarantee future employment with the Department of Communities and Justice. However, the clerkship does allow you to engage with the organisational culture, establish networks, and build industry specific skills. These benefits will assist you if you decide to apply for any jobs with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice in future.  

What will I be working on?​

Clerks will perform legal research and writing tasks related to the policy work of the Department. Please see above for further information.

The recruitment process

I just submitted my application, what happens next?

After the closing date, all applications will be reviewed and applicants selected for interview. We will be in touch with applicants who have been shortlisted for interview in early September.

How many interviews will I have to attend?

If you are selected for an interview, there will be one interview that will go for about 30 minutes. Applicants will also be asked to complete a written task.

How are the interviews conducted for interstate and international applicants?

For international and interstate applications we will make arrangements for a telephone or Skype interview.

Do you have any more information about the interview?

Two staff members will conduct the interview. 15 minutes before the interview, we will provide you with the questions that the panel will ask you. You can use the 15 minutes to review the questions and make notes, which you can bring with you into the interview. If you have a phone interview, we will email the questions to you 15 minutes before the interview.

I still have some questions I would like answered?

No problem, send us an email to and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.​