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Commins Hendriks Law Clerk Initiative

Commins Hendriks has been proactive over the years in creating career opportunities for young Riverina residents keen to pursue a career in the legal field.

The firm contributes to local schools by offering awards for Higher School Certificate (HSC) students who top their academic achievement in Legal Studies. This is then followed by advertisements being placed in local newspapers advertising for Student Law Clerks.

Under the initiative, HSC graduates wishing to undertake study in law through the Legal Practitioners Admission Board or a comparable course such as Arts/Law Degree at the University of New England or a Business Administration/Law Degree from the University of Canberra, are employed full-time as a Law Clerk.

This allows the students to earn an income, gain invaluable first-hand working knowledge of the law, and study and achieve a qualification. Students who complete their law studies this way are highly sought after because of the practical experience they have gained.

Commins Hendriks covers the cost of the university tuition, as well as providing a contribution to study materials and travelling costs. In addition to the standard 20 days annual leave per year, we also provide each Student Law Clerk with a further two weeks’ paid study leave.

Once our Law Clerks have completed their tertiary studies, they are then admitted to the College of Law. Again the firm covers the cost of the six months of extensive law study. Graduation from College of Law sees our Law Clerks admitted to practice as a Solicitor.

It is always the belief of the firm that contributing in this way to the education process of students will be repaid ten-fold by having dedicated highly educated and experienced Solicitors staying with the firm and contributing to its growth.

Here is what our Law Clerks have to say about their studies and opportunities with Commins Hendriks:

Julianne Carroll

"I commenced employment at Commins Hendriks in 2000 as a summer clerk. I had just completed the third year of my law degree at the University of Canberra and was eager to obtain some practical experience in the legal profession to assist with my studies.

I was fortunate to be exposed to many areas of legal practice whilst working as a summer clerk in 2000 and again in 2001. Having completed my degree in December 2002 I began full-time employment at Commins Hendriks as a graduate at law and I am now a Director with the firm.

The experience I gained whilst working as a summer clerk at Commins Hendriks was instrumental in my ability to go back to University and complete my studies with an understanding of how the academics of law worked in practice. I would recommend a summer clerkship to any student who intends to pursue a career as a solicitor."

Julianne became a Solicitor Director at Commins Hendriks in 2012.

Kristan Somerville

“I took a position with the firm in 2002, when offered the opportunity to work full time, gaining hands-on experience whilst studying law through the Legal Practitioners Admission Board, University of Sydney. I gained knowledge and experience that one cannot obtain from a text book. It was a wonderful and educating experience and I am grateful for the opportunity. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to study law."

Kristan is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Commins Hendriks.

Courtney Hunter
"In 2004 I was given the opportunity by Commins Hendriks to work full time in Wagga whilst studying through the University of Sydney and the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board. The course catered to distance students and those working full time and provides weekend schools as well as an online web campus. The lessons and practical skills learnt whilst working in the industry have effectively complemented my studies and the exposure to both theory and practice I believe has been invaluable."
Courtney became a Solicitor Director at Commins Hendriks in 2015.

Tonya Longmore

"I commenced part time work as a secretary in the Junee office of Commins Hendriks in 1996 and had the opportunity to experience various areas of the practice in both Junee and Wagga offices. Over that time I was encouraged by the Directors to consider further education. In 2008 I commenced the LPAB Course through Sydney University, which assisted me at work, providing me with the theory and history which can be applied to the real life situations experienced by our clients.

I also believe that my time working at Commins Hendriks benefited me whilst studying, as I was able to apply my past experience to enhance my understanding of each subject. With the support of experienced Solicitors, and others who were also studying, I thoroughly enjoyed my work and study with Commins Hendriks."

Tonya was Admitted and became a Solicitor at Commins Hendriks in 2013.

Matt Dombrovski

"I started working with Commins Hendriks in early 2008 as part of the Clerkship Program. As a Clerk, I found that the Diploma of Law course (designed for people going into practice) complemented the work I was doing on a daily basis by providing the theoretical background. It was invaluable in developing my understanding of the law. I would highly recommend the Diploma of Law and Clerkship Program to anyone considering practising law."

Matt was Admitted and became a Solicitor at Commins Hendriks in 2013.