Great minds think differently
At Arnold Bloch Leibler, we believe great minds think differently. From your very first day, you will work alongside thought leaders in the profession on important and complex cases that will provide opportunities to flex your thinking, offer direct input and gain in-depth knowledge.
Arnold Bloch Leibler is the 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.
Key dates:APPLY NOW
Applications open: Monday 4 July 2022 at 9.00 am
Applications close: Sunday 14 August 2022 at 11.59 pm
Seasonal Clerk experience
At Arnold Bloch Leibler, your clerkship will provide you with a unique insight into the experience you would have as a Law Graduate. You will quickly become immersed in our culture have the opportunity to work on active matters and be given real responsibilities. You will have direct contact with partners and clients in meetings, calls and court hearings.
Want to what it's really like to work at Arnold Bloch Leibler as a Seasonal Clerk? Hear from some of our previous Seasonal Clerks below.
"As a clerk and a paralegal at Arnold Bloch Leibler, I've had the opportunity to work alongside partners and lawyers on interesting and exciting matters. I've found the team demonstrates a genuine interest in your work and ideas. Partners are willing to ask for your opinion and it has given me the confidence to tackle the hard questions and build on my skills as a trainee lawyer."
David Wein, 2021 Seasonal Clerk
“I have worked at Arnold Bloch Leibler for a few years now. I joined the firm as a HR assistant prior to completing my seasonal clerkship, following this I had the opportunity to work as a paralegal in the commercial team, where I experienced firsthand the level of involvement from the partners in your development as a young lawyer. I’m now looking forward to beginning my graduate year in 2022. The opportunity to work with interesting entrepreneurial clients was a standout thing for me in my clerkship. And I really enjoyed that I was exposed to real client work from day one.”
Stephanie Aitken, 2021 Seasonal Clerk
Great minds enjoy a challenge
At Arnold Bloch Leibler, our lawyers are exposed to a wide range of interesting clients and complex matters. This exposure enables them to build their expertise and legal and commercial acumen.
We encourage our people to bring their whole selves to work each day, recognising that diversity of thought, background and life experience all contribute to our distinctive culture and the solutions we deliver to our clients.
Our internal structure is different from our competitors. Our lawyers are trained to be ‘generalist specialists’ and are able to straddle a range of different legal problems, as opposed to only being specialised in a narrow field.
Working in our practice groups this way, you will be exposed to a diverse range of matters. For example, you might choose to be a finance lawyer, working across corporate finance, property & development finance, restructuring and insolvency. In addition to your core finance work, you will also be exposed to broader commercial transactions like shareholders and joint venture agreements, equity transactions, fund management and financial services – instead of specialising in just one of these areas.
This approach allows our lawyers to maintain a client-centric focus which is at the core of what we do.
So, what is the downside?
Hard work and the ability to think differently - you need to cover more ground and be attuned to a broader range of issues. The feedback from our lawyers is that, whilst more challenging, the satisfaction that comes from achieving excellent outcomes for our clients is rewarding and propels their career at a faster pace than would otherwise be the case.
From a client perspective, our aim is not to service all our client’s legal needs − rather, we position ourselves as the lawyers to turn to when everything is on the line, where strategic decisions are needed and when ‘out of the box’ commercial thinking is required.
The people we hire reflect these requirements - they want to work on the most challenging and complex work in the market.
Great minds are mentored by the best
You will be assigned to a practice group and a supervising partner. Your supervising partner will be responsible for your development as a lawyer throughout your graduate year.
You will be involved in a wide variety of matters and will work closely with all partners in your team and you will benefit from real work experience and direct client contact. We believe it is this direct contact that sets you apart from your peers in the profession. To further support your progress and development, you will also be matched with a mentor and buddy.
Our Seasonal Clerk program
What can you expect from our program?
From day one as a Seasonal Clerk, you will work alongside our teams on active matters and be given real responsibilities to see how we support our clients.
During your clerkship, you will be invited to attend dinners with current Law Graduates as well as lunches with other practice groups across the firm. You will have the opportunity to experience a day with one of our clients, providing a unique opportunity to learn more about their work, why they choose Arnold Bloch Leibler and what they look for when they come to us for legal advice.
Throughout your clerkship, you will be allocated a supervisor and a buddy who will be your go-to support people for any questions that arise day-to-day.
When is Arnold Bloch Leibler's clerkship intakes?
In Victoria, Arnold Bloch Leibler offers three clerkship intakes each year to coincide with the university holidays: November/December, January/February and June/July. Within the LIV’s ‘priority offer’ system, we then take Law Graduates who have clerked at the firm.
In NSW, expressions of interest are available year-round on our careers page.
What do we look for in candidates?
At Arnold Bloch Leibler we look for Law Graduates who are seeking to contribute something extraordinary.
We value good grades and a sharp intellect as our work is complex and intellectually challenging – but our shortlisting process does not end there. We value life experience, lateral thinking, commercial acumen, resilience, imagination and a passion for the law.
We appreciate people who use initiative and can accept shared responsibility for their career development, with a willingness to learn and a sense of humour.
What is the application process?
Our application process is straightforward, so you will need to make an impact right from the start.
We require you to submit a covering letter, a copy of your CV and an academic transcript.
The emphasis on a considered covering letter is critical. It is an opportunity for us to get to know you, how you are different, and discover why you would like to work at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
What is the interview process?
We hold a 30-minute interview with two partners and a human resources team member. It is informal and positioned in a way for us to get to know you, figure out what motivates you and discover what you are looking for.
It is a two-way dialogue, not an interrogation. Our interview process reflects the type of firm we are, and the value we place on your individuality.
Following your interview, we will invite you to have a coffee with one of our law graduates or junior lawyers. This is the time for you to ask questions about our culture, our work and your potential future with Arnold Bloch Leibler.
Great minds learn through experience
At Arnold Bloch Leibler, enduring professional development is part of our DNA. We believe in life-long learning and continuous improvement. Our approach is founded on the principle that we never stop learning.
Much of our training is hands-on and practical, because that is the way people learn best.
Unlike other firms, we have developed our own accredited Supervised Legal Training (SLT Program) for your graduate year. It consists of more than 50 sessions that are delivered almost entirely in-house. The sessions are led predominately by our own highly skilled and experienced partners and lawyers, along with specialised facilitators who are experts in their field. The content is practical and hands on with case studies and working groups.
Our specialised SLT program is something that our graduates genuinely enjoy during their first 12 months at the firm.
Our approach to your learning and development is underpinned by four key pillars:
Great minds give back
Giving back to the community, by making a real and valuable contribution, has always been one of our core values. We have a stand-alone pro-bono practice group, which all our lawyers are given the opportunity to be involved with.
The firm engages with many not-for-profit and charitable organisations that are active in community, social, health, research, religious and environmental sectors.
The firm is deeply committed to indigenous constitutional recognition and reconciliation, with over a third of all pro-bono hours provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities.
This was recognised in 2017 when we were awarded the prestigious Lawyers Weekly Pro Bono Program of the Year for our unparalleled work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations. This was reconfirmed in 2020 when partner Peter Seidel was awarded the Lawyers Weekly Pro Bono Partner of the Year award for his extensive work in support of our public interest clients.
National Pro Bono Target
As reported in the Australian Pro Bono Centre's 13th Annual Performance Report of the National Pro Bono Target, Arnold Bloch Leibler undertook the highest average number of pro-bono hours of participating law firms in Australia. We acted for more than 200 public interest law clients and the matters we worked on varied from test case litigation to corporate governance, tax and commercial advice, as well as administrative law and contractual advice.
The 75 hours of pro-bono work carried out on average by our lawyers was more than double the national average of 36.4 hours for Large Firms, and more than double the National Pro Bono Target of 35 hours.
Peter Seidel, Public Interest and Native Title Partner
“We view and utilise the law as an instrument of social justice. It is not simply what we do - it is part of our identity as a firm, valued and respected by our clients, partners and staff across the board. It’s in the DNA of each and every one of us at ABL.”
Bridgid Cowling, Public Interest & Native Title Special Counsel
ABL’s commitment is firm-wide and runs really deep - from the leadership provided by senior partner Mark Leibler, right through to the enthusiasm of our seasonal clerks, and across professional and support staff. The length and depth of relationships we build with our clients and the passion we put into our advocacy is unparalleled.
Great minds are committed to diversiy & inclusion
At Arnold Bloch Leibler, our approach and longstanding deep commitment to diversity and inclusion has been, and always will be a significant aspect of the firm’s culture.
Our aim is to be a workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging and where individuality is respected, valued and harnessed.
We are committed to providing our people with equality of opportunity in realising their professional and personal aspirations while providing our clients with the very best outcomes. Our clients come to us recognising the value of innovative thinking. The level and quality of creativity we offer is a distinct by-product of our approach to diversity and inclusion.
Key priority areas
We have three key priority areas in relation to diversity and inclusion at Arnold Bloch Leibler:
initiatives like flexible work practices, mentoring and gender pay equity, we are continuing to take practical steps to achieve this. We seek to provide equal career opportunity for everyone, encouraging our women to progress in their careers and ensuring appointments at every level within the firm are merit based.
Amongst other initiatives targeted towards supporting the career progression of our women, we run a ‘Coffee Roulette’ program for our early career female lawyers, through which graduates and lawyers are provided opportunities to meet with senior female role models within the firm over an informal coffee. This program is intended to strengthen female networks within the firm and promote long-term mentorship.
ABL is also committed to engaging in community outreach with a gendered focus, including through the firm’s involvement and collaboration with Pathways to Politics – an initiative of the Trawalla Foundation, the Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia and the University of Melbourne (amongst other partner universities) that aims to address the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics. We are providing a series of “skills building” seminars for alumni and current participants of Pathways to Politics, which leverage off our subject-matter expertise in areas such as Defamation, Citizenship, Asset Protection, and Bullying & Sexual Harassment. All staff are encouraged to volunteer and get involved in this program.
All members of the LGBTIQA+ community are welcomed and supported at ABL. We recognise that fostering a safe and inclusive environment for the LGBTIQA+ community enhances the productivity, job satisfaction and tenure of our employees. ABL has a range of initiatives to support and celebrate our LGBTIQA+ employees and create a workplace of allies. This includes training and education and a dedicated Pride Committee which co-ordinates internal and external events.
Reconciliation and Indigenous empowerment
Having been the first law firm to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan in 2008, we have long been a beacon to others on the topic of reconciliation and the empowerment of Indigenous people in Australia. Our reconciliation and Indigenous empowerment efforts and activities are recognised and valued by our partners, clients and the firm overall as a central element of what we do. Such initiatives include the ABL Indigenous Solidarity Network (AISN) and regular internal events, such as NAIDOC Week celebrations.
Great minds have global reach
A leading Australian business publication once described Arnold Bloch Leibler as the ‘only small firm in Australia with mega firm status’. We are a relationship firm.
Complementing our legal expertise, ABL has built a strategic network of relationships with Australian regulators, media and current and former government officials spanning the breadth of the political spectrum, which we use to achieve our clients’ objectives. We are renowned for advising entrepreneurial businesses locally and across the globe. A sample of our recent work includes:
What are the prominent areas of our practice?
Our firm's structure allows our lawyers to be broad generalists, with transactions and disputes often spanning practice groups.
From the client perspective, our services cover:
- banking & finance
- corporate & commercial
- dispute resolution & litigation
- native title & public interest law
- property & development
- private wealth law
- restructuring & insolvency
- intellectual property
- workplace advisory, and
- white collar crime & investigation.
Where is Arnold Bloch Leibler located in Australia?
We have offices in Sydney and Melbourne, however we embrace technology and service clients nationally and internationally.
How many partners does Arnold Bloch Leibler have?
We have 43 partners nationally.
What are the key dates of the seasonal clerkship process?
Applications open: Monday 4 July 2022 at 9.00 am
Applications close: Sunday 14 August 2022 at 11.59 pm
How many clerks does the firm take, and when do the clerkships take place?
In Victoria, we have three clerkship intakes that coincide with university holidays (November/ December, January/February and June/July). To maximise the career-building opportunities for each clerk, we accept approximately 15 clerks in each intake.
Do you do rotations during your clerkship and if so, how long for?
We find the best way to make the most of your clerkship is to get you involved in matters in a meaningful way – and the most effective way to do this is to place you in one team, with a dedicated supervisor and buddy to get you involved in hands-on work from day one. You’ll be treated as part of the team and have the opportunity to make a real contribution. Of course, there will also be scope to try out taking on some work for matters outside of your allocated practice group, to ensure you explore all of the opportunities that exist at Arnold Bloch Leibler. While you will be placed in one team for your clerkship, our teams work together fluidly, and we work closely with our colleagues in our Sydney office.
Does the firm accept non-penultimate applicants?
Arnold Bloch Leibler is a proud signatory to the LIV guidelines for applications in Victoria. To ensure you are at a level that you can really get the most out of your clerkship, we only consider students in their penultimate year of study. In NSW, our preference is also for you to be in your penultimate year, however, you can apply at any time for a position in our Sydney office via our careers page.
How do I choose a department once I have secured a clerkship position?
Along with your offer, you will receive a practice group area preference form. Our human resources team will allocate you to a practice group based on your preferences and the needs of the firm.
Most clerks receive their first preference and if not, the human resources team will work closely with you to allocate you to another suitable group.