The Commercial Careers Portfolio’s function is to educate Deakin law students on the pathway to becoming a commercial lawyer in corporate law firms. This is primarily fulfilled by interfacing students directly with employers, and publishing informative articles and publications that assist with clarifying what employers are seeking from penultimate applicants. The portfolio runs the majority of its initiatives in line with the current clerkship application process, stipulated by the Law Institute of Victoria guidelines.
The portfolio ran the following initiatives in 2016:
- Seasonal Clerkship Guide (November to May);
- Commercial Skills Seminar: Networking (March to April);
- Commercial Careers Fair (January to April);
- Meet the Professionals Night (February to May); and
- Mock Interviews (May to July).
The Portfolio also promotes upcoming opportunities for students including events run by law firms themselves, events run by the LIV, and other information that may be relevant for students.
Directing the Portfolio is a tremendous but rewarding challenge. It is challenging because all of the Portfolio’s initiatives fall within Trimester One. This means a very time-consuming and intense Trimester for the team as it prepares for initiatives almost all at once. The position is incredibly rewarding because it exposes you to commercial law firm recruiters and gives you insights on a saturated and competitive industry. However, the reward will only come to fruition if you exercise initiatives impeccably, as your term of leadership is a direct indication to prospective employers of what you are, or are not, capable of. This role puts your professional reputation at stake.
Requisite Experience and Skills
To be successful in this role you must be organised, able to delegate effectively, and have an acumen for business communication (considering the role involved coordinating events with Australia’s biggest commercial law firms). In conjunction with strong business communication skills, you must be a positive representative for Deakin law students as you are, to a certain extent, the flagship for the Deakin law brand. This brand is a salient feature in assisting Deakin law students to compete with graduates of other universities.
Work begins for the Portfolio in November and does not relent until Mock Interviews conclude, usually early July.
Over summer, the work includes preparation and planning of initiatives with the Director of Sponsorship and the President. This refers to confirming event logistics, dates, sponsors, running sheets, formats and sourcing material for the Seasonal Clerkship Guide. Summer preparation is absolutely mandatory for the successful implementation of initiatives. March will usually involve 15-25 hours of work per week, April and May, 30-40 hours of work per week, and June and July, 10-15 hours of work per week. The majority of this work is communicating with the Commercial Careers Portfolio, the DLSS committee, sponsors, the School of Law and venue managers.
In conjunction with communicating to a range of external bodies, clear and concise communication with the Marketing and Communication portfolios are essential in ensuring students are exposed to the Portfolio’s initiatives.
Finally, as a member of the committee, you also have a responsibility to attend Committee meetings, and all other committee events (competition finals, seminars and parties).