“Building the law firm of the future requires exceptional people, those who are challengers. If you are ambitious and ready to take on significant challenges from day one, we’d like to hear from you.”
Areas of expertise: Real Estate, Environment and Planning, Construction, Banking and Finance, Corporate and Commercial, Private Wealth, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Employment, Tax
Staff: 36 partners, 125 lawyers, approx. 210 total people
Opportunities for students
We work hard to offer summer clerks a great environment for working and learning, and we will help you develop so that you add value to the team. We provide our summer clerks with the opportunity to rotate between two teams over their time in the firm, providing a broader understanding of the work we do and how our teams operate. Before the programme begins, we hold a summer clerk seminar series event, so that our summer clerks have all of the details they need to make an informed decision about their rotation preferences.
Working at the firm
Dentons is part of the world’s largest global law firm, and a leading law firm in New Zealand. We are a firm that embraces change and has unparalleled access to legal expertise in over 80 countries. We have the largest global reach of any firm in New Zealand, with unparalleled access to legal expertise in over 80 countries. This expands from not only to lawyers and clients, but also to global technology support, diversity initiatives and talent management. This means the opportunities are endless for our people!
Meet Jacca Chang
Summer Clerk 2022/2023, returning as a Law Graduate in 2024
“From my first week at Dentons, I felt valued and supported, while also challenged with a variety of interesting legal work. Everyone, from the juniors right through to the seniors, made me feel comfortable and welcome, and I left the summer with a wealth of new lessons and experiences to draw from.”
Where do you work now?
Currently, I’m working at Dentons part-time as a Corporate Services Intern and will be returning in mid-2024 as a Graduate in the Corporate and Commercial team.
What career steps have you taken to get to this point?
Throughout my time at university, I worked various non-legal part-time and casual jobs tutoring and in student
engagement at the University of Auckland. I also tried to get involved with a variety of different clubs and societies on campus as a way to gain practical experience and make connections.
What kind of work have you been involved with at Dentons?
Over my summer clerkship, I rotated in the Corporate/Commercial and Employment teams. During my time in both teams, I helped with legal research, proofreading/reviewing documents, and was able to attend a few client meetings here and there! From 2023, I also stayed on part-time as a Corporate Services Intern and have helped with various administrative tasks across the HR and Business Development/Marketing Teams.
What do you enjoy about working at Dentons?
I loved getting the opportunity to meet so many new people and hear about their experiences. It was fascinating and inspiring to learn about the different paths that people have taken to get to where they are, and I felt like I absorbed so much knowledge from everyone I came across. Everyone is also so welcoming and supportive, which made Dentons such a warm and comfortable environment to come into every day.
What has been the most challenging part of working at Dentons?
The main challenge I experienced at the beginning of my summer clerkship was adjusting to the ins and outs of working in an office environment and approaching the shift from academic, university work to actual legal work. It was my first time working in an office, so everyday felt like a new learning experience– whether it was learning how to properly draft an email or how to navigate Microsoft Teams and Outlook. It also definitely took some time to adjust to the different style of legal writing/research, but by the end of the summer, I felt way more confident about my ability to approach these kinds of tasks, especially due to all of the amazing support I received.
What is unique about working at Dentons?
The culture and work-life balance. Even though you do feel challenged and stimulated at work, everyone, even the most senior partners and executives, are understanding and actively encourage the aspects of your life outside of work. You also get an opportunity to get to know almost everybody, so you feel a real sense of community at Dentons, while still getting the benefits of working at a large firm.
What is the social life like at Dentons?
The social culture at Dentons is super relaxed and there’s a great variety of social events you can join. Every week, there’s a firm-wide morning tea or After 5 drinks, which are super great ways to get to know people in a more casual setting. There are also social sports games throughout the year, as well as a few bigger annual events, like the Mid-Year Ball, end of year Christmas party, and a crafts/pottery night.
Did anything surprise you while working at Dentons?
How friendly, grounded and genuine people in the firm were! Everyone, from juniors right through to senior partners and executives, were always willing to answer any questions I had and made my time at Dentons a super enjoyable experience. From my first week, I felt like a valued member of each team I was part of. I was also pleasantly surprised by the scope and level of legal work we could take part in as well as how collaborative each team is – it was amazing to get work from different people in every team and get insight into the sheer variety of legal work the firm is involved with.
What has been your favourite experience at Dentons?
The themed Christmas Party was one of my favourite experiences at Dentons. It was such a fun night to be able to dress up, have good food, and celebrate the end of the year, while also getting to know more people in the firm. I also really enjoyed my time overall as a Summer Clerk and I loved all the opportunities we were given to just have fun with our cohort, like getting to go to an Escape Room together and even taking part in a Les Mills spin class, while also being able to immerse ourselves in different practice areas.
What is your advice to other students who would like to work with Dentons?
Don’t doubt yourself – you’ve made it so far already! Be proud of all the work you’ve done so far and most importantly, embrace what makes you unique. There’s no singular path you need to follow to work at Dentons, so don’t be afraid to be yourself and focus on your unique strengths and experiences.