Summer Clerk, Webb Henderson
“I feel very privileged to work with some of the best lawyers in their field. What is also refreshing is the amount of trust the partners place in the team; there’s no one hovering over your shoulder and always plenty of help available.”
What kind of work have you been involved in at Webb Henderson?
Since joining Webb Henderson as a summer clerk in November 2020, I have completed various research pieces for the corporate and finance teams here in New Zealand, and the telecommunications team in Australia. I was also fortunate enough to be involved in a few acquisitions and other exciting matters.In addition to work, I have had plenty of internal training on contract drafting techniques, what happens in mergers and acquisitions, and the ins–and–outs of life in a law firm in general.
What do you enjoy most about working at Webb Henderson?
Definitely working with the team. Webb Henderson has assembled a great team of people who know how to work hard and have fun while they’re doing it. Everyone on the team helps each other; it is very much a collaborative effort. I feel very privileged to work with some of the best lawyers in their field. What is also refreshing is the amount of trust the partners place in the team; there’s no one hovering over your shoulder and always plenty of help available.
What was the most challenging part of working at Webb Henderson?
As a mother of 2–year–old, the transition from full–time university student to full–time work was quite the challenge–the working schedule is not quite as flexible as your student timetable! Thankfully, there were many parents here at the firm who completely understood the time in takes to get you and your family into a healthy work/life routine. Another personal challenge is being confident in the work I produce. It can be unnerving when you submit a piece of work and it’s returned marked up with red pen, but you learn not to take it personally and instead realise the feedback improves your skills.
What are the social opportunities like at Webb Henderson?
I arrived just in time for the Christmas party and other end of year events here at the firm, so I’ve had ample time to get to know everyone on a more social level. During the week you’ll often find us at a local café for coffee during the week or a local baron Friday for drinks.The team has a few keen bakers, so we have weekly sweet morning tea to top off our week. While these smaller weekly gatherings may not be an official part of our job, it fosters a sense of camaraderie, making work a lot more enjoyable.
What makes Webb Henderson different from other firms?
Webb Henderson is my first taste of working in a law firm, so I don’t really have anything else to compare my experience to. However, I’ve talked to my other friends clerking at bigger firms and I am grateful my first experience is at a boutique firm. That’s because I can learn the job more intimately and be a part of the larger transactions with NZX–listed clients. I also enjoy being closely connected to all the partners in the firm. I don’t think you will hear of many summer clerks who know all the partners in their firm and also have them know a bit about you.
What has surprised you about working at Webb Henderson?
How chill the team is. As a complete newbie to the legal industry, I expected a law firm to be a stressful environment and have equally stressed-out lawyers. And because Webb Henderson is a firm of high calibre, the workload does get heavy, but the partners and the team have modelled that work pressure should never get in the way of being a good person. If anything, it is because Webb Henderson has curated a team of good and genuine people that the work the firm produces is such high-quality, garnering awards like Deal Team of the Year, Boutique Law Firm of the Year and Employer of Choice, at various times.
What has been your favourite experience whilst working at Webb Henderson so far?
On a personal level, it has been really inspiring to see the mothers on the team have successful careers and still make time for family. As someone who cherishes family, it gives me hope that having a successful career and having a healthy family life is possible. On a professional level, I have enjoyed the on–the–job training. Not only have I received the latest practical legal training by the best in their field, but I have also received great career advice. There is only so much you can learn in a lecture theatre.
What would be your advice be to students wishing to apply to Webb Henderson?
Make a mean sausage roll; everyone loves a good sausage roll!
Seriously though, know yourself. While knowing the law and having the relevant skills is important, equally important is being a good team player. The job is more collaborative than you would think, so knowing who you are and how you’re going to fit into the team is vital.
To learn more about Webb Henderson and opportunities available for students, follow the link below –