Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Sponsor Logo

As a summer clerk, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in our many practice areas and get involved in client facing work. You will enjoy learning alongside experts in their field, working with clients from the get-go and having hands-on experience with exciting and stimulating projects.

Location: Auckland, Wellington

Areas of expertise: Full-service law firm with particular expertise in Banking and Financial Services, Corporate, Real Estate, Construction, Litigation and Insolvency

Staff: 45 partners, and 300 total staff

Contact: Vanessa Syme (HR Manager) , Auckland
PO Box 105 249, Auckland City 1143. PwC Tower, 15 Customs St West, Auckland 1010
Adele Holden (HR Manager) , Wellington
PO Box 2793, Wellington 6140. 125 The Terrace, Wellington 6143

Auckland-based law students can get ahead of the pack through our intern programme, which provides third-year law students the opportunity to gain practical, paid legal work experience in our Auckland office during the academic year (March – September).

Opportunities for Students

Make an impact. Help shape New Zealand’s future.

Does working in a top tier law firm with international offices and a down to earth culture appeal to you? Apply now to join one of our graduate programmes, and kick start your career.

As an intern, summer clerk or graduate, you will be given real opportunities – opportunities to grow, learn and succeed while working with some of the most experienced lawyers in New Zealand. You will receive the training and support needed to reach your goals.

You will experience first-hand the type of work you could do as a lawyer with us. We aim to empower you to kick start your career, while being challenged, yet supported, and providing you with an environment of constant learning.

At MinterEllisonRuddWatts we are not looking for people to fit a particular mould. Academic results are just one piece of the puzzle, and we recognise the strength that diversity brings to a team. Work experience, life experience, extra-curricular activities, sporting participation, music and the arts, and travel are all important criteria to us. We want you to bring your whole self to work – individual strengths and diversity is what builds our teams to be so successful.

Law students can apply for our summer clerk programme in March of their penultimate year of study. Our summer clerk programme gives law students from all over New Zealand the chance to spend their summer break from university learning what life is like inside a top tier corporate law firm. Not only does this give you the chance to experience what it feels like to be a practising lawyer and do real work for clients, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn about our clients, our business, and our unique culture. You will also meet other law students from around the country, expand your networks and make some great new friends along the way. We typically employ about 20 to 25 summer clerks each year.

We also employ new graduates, however the summer clerk programme is our main source of graduate recruits. Graduate level candidates are encouraged to apply during the summer clerk recruitment round in March each year.

Auckland-based law students can get ahead of the pack through our intern programme, which provides third-year law students the opportunity to gain practical, paid legal work experience in our Auckland office during the academic year (March – September).

Find out more about our work opportunities at

About the firm

Our purpose is to help shape New Zealand’s future.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts is an independent, top tier New Zealand law firm with excellent connections in Australia, and around the world, including as a member of the World Law Group – the most elite global network of independent firms providing borderless collaboration and global expertise.

We have offices in Auckland and Wellington, with 45 Partners and more than 200 legal staff. We are proud of our rich history, and our position as a trusted adviser to Kiwi and global businesses for more than 140 years. In the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific rankings our firm is tied in top place for band rankings with 12 Tier 1 rankings. We are also in first place for the most ranked lawyers (47).

As the business world rapidly evolves, everything we do is underpinned by a constant focus on continuous improvement and delivering innovative solutions. We are seen by the market as being progressive and forward thinking, with a constant eye on the horizon to help our clients really get the best results for their business.

As one of New Zealand’s leading law firms, we think beyond the law, applying commercial knowledge and innovative thinking to some of New Zealand’s most high-profile transactions, projects and disputes. With a deep understanding of our clients, we tackle problems from all angles, meaning we always find the best solutions.

Recent highlights for the firm include:

  • National Firm of the Year for Gender Diversity at the Asia-Pacific Women in Business Law Awards 2023.
  • Named as a top employer in the NZ Lawyer 5-star Employer of Choice 2023 list.
  • Named New Zealand Deal Firm of the Year at the 2022 Australasian Law Awards.
  • Voted by clients as ‘Best Provider to Financial and Insurance Services’ in Australasia in the prestigious Beaton Client Choice Awards 2022.
  • Awarded New Zealand Firm of the Year, along with National Firm of the Year for Gender Diversity and Talent Management at the Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2021.
  • Named as the Employer of Choice at the New Zealand Law Awards 2021.
  • Partner Stacey Shortall named as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to the law and the community in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday honours list.
  • The first law firm to publish our gender and ethnic pay gaps in a public register as part of
  • Established Ngā Karahipi Whakaeke – the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Awards Programme to encourage greater diversity in the law profession.

Working at the firm

Our people are what makes us a leading New Zealand law firm, bringing diversity of thought and deep industry experience.

We were named as the Employer of Choice at the New Zealand Law Awards 2023, reflecting our continuing efforts to create a workplace where our collaborative culture and diversity of thought work together to deliver exceptional outcomes for our clients.

We were also awarded excellence awards for Large Law Firm of the Year and Employer of Choice at the New Zealand Law Awards 2020, which our Chief Executive, Andrew Poole, says is a great acknowledgement of the value we create for our clients, and the commitment that everyone in our team brings to their work.

At MinterEllisonRuddWatts we are proud to attract and develop exceptional talent. We are passionate about what we do and are always seeking to find better ways to do things. We believe that we have a fantastic bunch of people at our firm. We all share a mindset of working together, driving innovation, and thinking collaboratively, while understanding our clients’ needs and providing them with technical and commercial solutions that meet those needs.

Our unique culture creates greater collaboration across our firm and ensures we seamlessly service clients with our commercial solutions-based approach. This approach also encourages a broad career path for our people, with more opportunities to work across multiple practice areas, meaning our lawyers develop a breadth of skills that future proof their careers.

We work with a full range of clients – predominantly large corporates, banks, government entities and substantial privately-owned businesses – on some of New Zealand’s most complex and technically challenging deals and transactions. We also lead on numerous trans-Tasman transactions through our affiliation with the MinterEllison Legal Group.

Right now, there is a powerful opportunity to propel a historic culture shift towards greater sustainability in support of people, business and the planet. We are embracing this opportunity at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. To create the sustainable future we want to see, we commit to three pillars built upon te taiao (environment), ngā tāngata (people) and ngā tikanga (practices). The three pillars see us playing our part in a low emission, circular economy; contributing to social empowerment; and using our position as strategic advisers to positively shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s future.

Underpinning everything we do is our value of waka eke noa – respect individuality, work as one. Maintaining a safe, supportive, and inclusive workplace is an ongoing priority for our firm. We are confident of our strengths, but like all businesses, we acknowledge that we are on a journey. Developing and nurturing a culture built on values of openness, honesty, equality, respect, acceptance, flexibility, wellbeing as well as health and safety, has seen us build towards our vision of being the firm of choice for exceptional people – a firm where all employees can thrive and give their best with confidence.

Vijay Chand Headshot

Meet Vijay Chand

Law Clerk, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

“Working alongside and learning from standout, top-tier lawyers and support staff has been an invaluable experience for developing my skills at the start of my legal career”

What kind of work have you been involved with at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

Over my two summer clerkships at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, I rotated through the Banking and Financial Services team and the Corporate and Commercial team because I knew I wanted to work in transactional, front-end law. Following my final university trimester, I returned to the Banking and Financial Services team as a full-time Law Clerk.

From the get-go, I have been involved in the wide range of work that the Banking and Financial Services team does—from pure banking transactional work for both lenders and borrowers, insolvency and recovery action, to financial services and public finance advice.

Given the client-service nature of the profession, no day is ever the same but some of the regular tasks I have been involved in include drafting loan agreements and ancillary documents, reviewing security arrangements and advising on their enforceability, carrying-out and settling mortgagee sales, and researching and advising on the range of financial services legislation (such as the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013), as well as plenty of other research tasks for the team.

What do you enjoy about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?  

Since my very first day as a Summer Clerk, I have felt that I was a valued member of the team and of the firm, on a personal and professional level. Working alongside and learning from standout, top-tier lawyers and support staff has been an invaluable experience for developing my skills at the start of my legal career. One of the great parts about being the fresh Law Clerk is that the whole team is excited to have you onboard learning about their areas of expertise and they are eager to share their experience.

What has been the most challenging part of working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

I loved my time at university and learnt an incredible amount at law school, but the actual practice of law is quite different and is a whole new environment and mindset to get comfortable with. University has a strong and consistent structure, although it is also quite isolating because, at the end of the day, it is only you sitting that exam for yourself. On the other hand, legal practice is much more dynamic and flexible, and it feels like doing a “group assignment” every single day.

Coming from five and a half years of university study, adapting to that changed environment is challenging. However, it is important to remember that everybody goes through that change, and the more work you do and experience you gain, the easier and more comfortable you become.

What is unique about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

The people. The people at MinterEllisonRuddWatts make the firm stand out for me. On my first day as a Summer Clerk there was a line during a speech at the welcome morning tea that resonated with me, being: “We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” And every day I see the people at MinterEllisonRuddWatts living that quote.

Coming out of university and into a fast-paced, top-tier commercial law firm was particularly intimidating, but I very quickly felt like I was in the right place for outstanding work, done by down to earth people. I have made strong friendships, not only within my Summer Clerk cohort, but also with the other juniors. I have also benefited from the strong mentorship and guidance from the seniors at the firm.

What is the social life like at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

The firm provides a lot of opportunities to get to know everybody in relaxed settings. To name a few, there is the mid-year ball, an Easter breakfast, the end of year Christmas party, as well as admission celebrations throughout the year. The social club runs quite a few of these events but they also put on spontaneous one-off events, such as a bagel breakfast during the rugby world cup, so there is always something happening.

Individual teams also often organise get-togethers to catch up or celebrate any hard-earned successes. Particularly special is my Banking and Financial Services team’s tradition of occasionally getting McDonalds for breakfast or having “cheap and cheerful” dinners together. The social side of MinterEllisonRuddWatts makes it easy to bring your whole-self to work and connect with the people you spend most of your week with.

Did anything surprise you while working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

How down-to-earth everybody is. Our firm is involved in some of New Zealand’s most high-profile deals, projects, and cases, with committed and incredibly intelligent people. However, everybody is also so generous with their time, and they make an effort to get to know you and invest in your learning. Whenever I have felt unsure about something or have needed a second opinion, I have always felt comfortable asking somebody. It feels good to be able to come into work and see colleagues who have become your friends, and it makes learning with them and from them so much easier as well.

What has been your favourite experience at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

One of my favourite experiences was having the opportunity to go on a secondment as a Summer Clerk. This involved working onsite with a particular client for a week, learning about their business and their legal needs. I got to experience the practice of law from an in-house, client perspective and that has really shaped my mindset as a Law Clerk. For me, the secondment also particularly highlighted that MinterEllisonRuddWatts places a lot of trust and confidence in its juniors as representatives of the firm and provides many opportunities to develop as a lawyer.

What is your advice to other students who would like to work at MinterEllisonRuddWatts? 

One thing I have found particularly important for working in a commercial law firm is the ability to be able to take a commercial lens to legal questions and issues. At university, the focus is on researching or answering the particular legal question. However, in practice, the client is more concerned with how it will affect them and their business, that extra “so what” part of the legal question. The earlier you can start being interested in the commercial world, especially by being alert to things in the news, the better equipped you will be to apply that commercial lens.

In addition, when it comes to the interview stage, you will have passed a lot of vetting stages and your technical excellence will be presumed. Instead, the interview is particularly focused on seeing what your personality is like and whether you would be a good fit for our firm. Interviews can feel overwhelming but try to just relax and be yourself—it is important to know your values and who you are, as well as speaking to your experiences and the things you have an interest in and care about.