We value your career. That’s why we create opportunities to get to know you. We’ll welcome your fresh ideas, include you as part of our client team from day one, and enjoy celebrating your success along the way.
Location: Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown
Areas of expertise: Duncan Cotterill has grown to become one of the leading law firms in New Zealand, servicing all areas of law.
Staff: 48 partners, approximately 300 employees
Contact: Charlotte Holmes, Senior Recruitment Advisor
Opportunities for students
We offer a number of summer clerk and graduate opportunities each year across our 5 offices reaching from Auckland to Queenstown. Our summer clerk programme runs from November to February, and our graduates join the firm in March.
We invest a lot of time in making sure our graduates and summer clerks have a rewarding experience and are given the tools they need to become excellent lawyers. Therefore, we are very proud of our achievement and being listed as winners of the Law category for the Grad New Zealand Top 100 Graduate Employers list for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
What to expect as a summer clerk or graduate:
- Regular partner interaction and feedback
- Challenging and interesting work opportunities, including early interaction with clients
- Multiple levels of support from peers, colleagues, partners and other professionals
- Training and development
- Buddy and mentor programme
- Great professional support networks
- Competitive remuneration
- Great culture
- Pro bono and community involvement opportunities
About the firm
Duncan Cotterill has grown to become one of the leading law firms in New Zealand. We have achieved this because as a firm we are very clear about where we are heading and what we want to achieve. We have a strong set of values, and we are totally committed to working alongside our clients to help them achieve their goals.
Like you, we take opportunities when they arise. It’s this enterprising attitude that’s led us to set up and grow offices in five distinct markets. It’s helped us to build an energetic, diverse and collegial partnership. And it’s what’s attracted enterprising people and organisations to work with us … time after time.
Working at the firm
Duncan Cotterill is a full service law firm with offices in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown. We employ approximately 300 people, and have 48 partners nationwide. It is our enterprising attitude that has led us to set up and grow offices in four distinct markets. It’s also helped us build an energetic, diverse and collegial partnership. It is what has attracted innovative people and organisations to work with us.
As a summer clerk or graduate, you’ll gain insight into what it’s like working for a forward-thinking law firm by working alongside our lawyers and partners from day one. We will expose you to a variety of challenging work and our diverse clients from the beginning. You will also contribute to pro bono work that draws on the firm’s knowledge and expertise to benefit charities, people, local communities, and organisations that align with our core values. We relish the enthusiasm and fresh viewpoints that summer clerks and graduates bring to our firm’s culture. We are large enough to offer our graduates a diverse range of work across different specialties but nimble enough to give them exposure to partners, senior lawyers, and clients. We offer support for your professional study (at graduate level) and ongoing training and development in an inclusive and supportive work environment.
We live and breathe our values at Duncan Cotterill; He Tangata, Enterprising, Excellence and Authenticity. We value your career. We’ll welcome your fresh ideas, include you as part of our client team from day one, and celebrate your success along the way.
Meet Max Calvert
Graduate, Duncan Cotterill’s Auckland office
“Both my team and the wider firm are supportive and friendly, and rotating through the teams as a Graduate is a great opportunity to build relationships throughout the firm.”
Where do you work now?
I work in Duncan Cotterill’s Auckland office, as a Graduate in their litigation team.
What career steps have you taken to get to this point?
As a student, I worked several summer jobs over my University breaks, including a summer clerkship at Duncan Cotterill in 2021-2022. I joined Duncan Cotterill full time right after finishing my degree.
What kind of work have you been involved with at Duncan Cotterill?
At Duncan Cotterill I have been involved with a variety of work as I have rotated through the teams, including some employment, health and safety, commercial, construction, and medico-legal disputes and a number of insurance matters.
What do you enjoy about working at Duncan Cotterill?
One aspect of working at Duncan Cotterill that I particularly enjoy is the people that I work with. Both my team and the wider firm are supportive and friendly, and rotating through the teams as a Graduate is a great opportunity to build relationships throughout the firm.
What has been the most challenging part of working at Duncan Cotterill?
The most challenging part of working at Duncan Cotterill has been shifting gears between the style of work that I had become used to in my time at University and the realities of legal work in practice. Relative to University, practice is more fast-paced and the work more time-sensitive, and that has taken some adjustment.
What is unique about working at Duncan Cotterill?
Duncan Cotterill is unique due to the number of offices that the firm has across the country. This means that staff have the opportunity to build relationships and seek support from colleagues from Wellington, Nelson, etc. in addition to their own offices.
What is the social life like at Duncan Cotterill?
Duncan Cotterill has a number of events and opportunities on the social calendar throughout the year, including social sports, morning teas, and other events organised by our fantastic Social Club.
Did anything surprise you while working at Duncan Cotterill?
As a junior, I was surprised by how willing senior team members were to take time to give me an opportunity to learn a new skill or observe their work. I have found that many team members readily take time to provide opportunities to juniors, in addition to their own workloads.
What has been your favourite experience at Duncan Cotterill?
My favourite experience working at Duncan Cotterill has been the opportunity to meet with and assist clients early in my legal career. Whether in the context of a mediation, investigation, or interview, there have been plenty of opportunities to get a better feel for the people that I am helping, which humanizes the work that I’m doing day-to-day.
What is your advice to other students who would like to work with Duncan Cotterill?
Come to work with an open mind. As a full service firm, Duncan Cotterill exposes juniors to a very wide range of work, meaning that there is plenty of opportunity to find out what interests you so long as you keep an eye out for it.