Develop your legal expertise. Sharpen your commercial focus. Become a trusted adviser to clients around the globe.
What to expect
A clerkship will be your first experience of DLA Piper. On a clerkship, you'll experience what life is really like at DLA Piper. What's more, you'll also be considered for a place on our graduate program.
The graduate program will see you rotating between different practice areas and rapidly acquiring the skills to be a successful lawyer.
During your graduate program have an opportunity to engage in dynamic work across a range of sectors. Working alongside experienced lawyers, you'll develop your commercial acumen as well as your legal expertise. You'll also be encouraged to do pro bono and community work; not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will develop your skills in leadership, teamwork and communication.
By the end of the program, you'll emerge with a clearer understanding of where your talents and interests lie. The experiences you'll have gained – and the networks you'll have nurtured – will provide a strong foundation for your future career at DLA Piper.
From mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and venture capital to private and public equity and debt offerings, our global Corporate team assists clients through all stages of their transactions to ensure successful deal outcomes. With 950 corporate lawyers across the world, we are able to help businesses transact across borders by combining a market-leading international practice with specialist local expertise.
Our M&A practice has been consistently executing more deals globally than our competitors. Thanks to this high volume of transactions, we are able to deliver high quality commercial advice to our clients who benefit from the efficiencies derived from our experience.
Our Employment group provides solutions-based advice and supports clients in the day-to-day management of their people-related legal issues and risk.
The group advises on all areas of employment, including trade union and employee relations, discrimination and diversity management, global mobility and data privacy. Employment also advises on legal, tax and regulatory aspects of remuneration, employee share incentives and other benefits, and assists clients generally in designing and delivering their reward strategies. Our pensions lawyers cover every aspect of pension provision, as well as the management of pension disputes.
Finance & Projects
Our Finance, Projects & Restructuring group provides market-leading insight and advice, representing leading investment and commercial financial institutions, public and private companies and government entities.
Our Finance and Projects teams focus on debt finance; energy & infrastructure finance; financial markets; financial services regulatory and projects, where we work on joint ventures and other collaborations. Our aim is to assist clients with finding commercially sound solutions within the political, legal and commercial environment of the host country in which they are operating.
Intellectual Property & Technology
The IPT group focus on various areas such as brands, trademarks & marketing, media, sport, IT, gambling, life sciences among many more. The practice provides both litigation-related and strategic commercial advice to a wide range of industry sectors, helping clients from technology and pharmaceutical companies to banks and financial institutions.
We develop asset management and protection strategies designed to help clients manage risk, continue growth and protect market share around the globe. We understand the commercial issues and pressures that arise from IP disputes or related negotiations, and we provide innovative and strategic solutions to handle them.
Litigation & Regulatory
DLA Piper's Litigation & Regulatory group comprises dispute resolution lawyers and regulatory specialists in more than 30 countries. Our group helps clients reduce the uncertainties involved in disputes through innovative and commercial dispute resolution strategies, and effective case management. We have the proven ability to deploy large, cross-border teams on major international disputes.
The globalisation of business is resulting in more cross-border disputes and extraterritorial application of legislation. We have the local strength and knowledge to advise on specific legal, cultural and procedural issues.
DLA Piper’s Real Estate group is the world's largest real estate practice, and is consistently top-ranked by publications and directories globally.
Real estate is the built environment - everything from offices and residential units to retail centres, logistics hubs and healthcare facilities. Almost every single DLA Piper client has real estate needs, be it as a core investment or as an underlying asset. We aim to meet the needs of all of these clients and ensure that their holdings and investments add value to their businesses.
Our Restructuring lawyers develop innovative restructuring solutions that deliver commercial results. We advise on all matters relating to public and private companies in underperforming and distressed situations. Our experience also extends to contentious issues arising from restructurings and insolvencies.
We have significant experience of advising clients on investigation, enforcement, litigation and asset recovery on a multi-jurisdictional basis. Our client base encompasses debtors, lenders, government entities, trustees, shareholders, directors, and distressed debt and asset buyers and investors.
The group helps tax departments of multinational companies to address the complex challenges of international commerce and business operations. We advise on a wide range of tax issues: inward and outward investment, private equity deals, structuring for corporate and real estate acquisitions and disposals, transfer pricing planning and documentation as well as executive and employee compensation packages.
Our Tax lawyers draw upon the experience of colleagues in numerous areas of law, which further strengthens the capabilities of our tax practitioners, resulting in fully integrated advice to our clients.
Learning and development
All our people have access to formal training courses – ranging from technical courses, business, systems and skills training, to continuing legal education.
Our award-winning International Career Academies provide our lawyers with an opportunity to learn and enhance professional skills at key stages of their careers, while developing their internal networks across the firm.
Diversity and inclusion
At DLA Piper, we know that diversity and inclusion isn't just about each and every one of us having a voice. It's about the collective power of bringing those many, varied and different voices together. Harnessing the differences in who we are, what we've experienced and how we think, for the better. Promoting equality and progressing because of it.
Wherever you are from, wherever you join and however long you stay, by joining our firm, you join our family. DLA Piper is striving to achieve a culture where everyone's voice is heard and counts and where everyone can be themselves.
To support with building an inclusive culture, DLA Piper has a number of people networks. These networks are internal communities with an interest or focus on a particular topic and are open to everyone. These are:
LAW (Leadership Alliance for Women):
LAW, our gender-balance network works internally and externally to strengthen the influence, leadership and voices of women at our firm. LAW also plays a key role in helping the firm review processes that improve gender equality.
Iris is our LGBTQ+ network for employees and allies. In addition to providing welcoming support to its members, the group serves as a forum and advisory body on matters of concern to DLA Piper's LGBTQ+ employees. The network, through 'Iris represents' delivers pro-bono outcomes specifically aligned to LGBTQ+ NGOs, individuals and organisations.
Mosaic is our ethnicity and cultural heritage people network. The overall aim of Mosaic is to ensure all DLA Piper employees, regardless of their heritage, culture, ethnicity and background feel valued, supported and able to achieve their full potential.
PACT (Parents and Carers Together):
PACT is our people network for anyone with caring and family responsibilities of any kind, and anyone who wants to find out more about how to support those who do.
Ability is committed to ensuring people with disabilities, and those who care for someone with disability, feel they belong.
Visit the blog section to read more about how DLA Piper trainees get involved with the firms people networks.
Visit our Diversity and Inclusion page to learn more about why this is important to DLA Piper.
A day in the life of a graduate
So what's life like at DLA Piper? Charlotte – on our Graduate Program in Perth – takes us through a typical day.
Coffee: I start the day by getting a coffee from the café across the road from the office. This cafe is a favourite among my colleagues, and is a good place to catch up with people before the work day officially begins.
Emails: Once I'm in the office I check my emails and write a to-do list outlining all my tasks for the day. I'm often working on multiple matters at once, and it is important to manage competing deadlines.
Court documents: I have been asked to draft a chamber summons for an interlocutory application. Since commencing with the firm, I have been able to appear in chambers several times for similar applications.
Client meeting: I attend a meeting with a senior lawyer in my team and a new client. I observe the lawyer taking instructions on the alleged insolvent trading of a company that operates in both Australia and China.
Lunch: I usually have lunch with some of the other graduates in the Club Room - the Perth office lunch area. If the weather is nice, we like to go to a restaurant nearby or sit in the park next to our building.
Research: I have been asked to research specific leasing issues, and consider whether a particular clause of our client's lease agreement gives rise to a claim for damages. I prepare to discuss my findings with my supervisor before they meet with the client tomorrow.
Pro bono secondment: I review the tasks I will be working on during my weekly secondment to a community legal centre. Pro bono can be a great way to make a contribution and gain exposure to different areas of law.
Gym: After work, I usually go to a boxing class that is located near the office. It's a great way to relax and recharge after a busy day at work!
From graduate to the global board
Tom Heylen trained with DLA Piper and qualified into the Corporate practice. He has since worked on a variety of international mergers and acquisitions. He became a Partner in 2005 and sat on our Global Board until December 2016. Now Managing Partner of the London office, Tom talks us through his career.
"I chose to train with DLA Piper because it offered more opportunities than other law firms. You have the ability to drive the business in a particular direction."
"The juniors who you make relationships with when you are young eventually become the seniors. They are the foundations of your network later on in life, so don't ignore that."
"As a partner, you have more gravitas and credibility with clients. The transition in the work is quite natural, as you are already operating at that level."
"I sat on the international global board until December 2016, now I am Managing Partner of the London office. There are multiple facets to my career: I haven't done the same thing from day one. That is one of the joys of it."
More than just work
As a member of the firm, you will have opportunities to take part in social events, join our sports teams and fundraise for the charity of your choice.
Perfect recipe for UNICEF
Our UK offices collaborated to produce a DLA Piper UNICEF cook book. It contained 59 recipes from employees, clients and high-profile figures and all proceeds were donated to UNICEF.
Three teams from our New Zealand office successfully completed the Oxfam Trailwalker Challenge. Going to epic lengths for a great cause, they traversed 50km or 100km in difficult conditions.
Race for the Cure
Our Rome office took part in the Race for the Cure in Rome, in support of the cancer charity Susan G. Komen Italy. The 5km race was the culmination of three days of events around the Circus Maximus.
Good turn for Marie Curie
The IPT team in Birmingham got their hands dirty for a good cause. Spending a day in the compost, they did some voluntary gardening work for the Marie Curie hospice in Solihull.
Trekking the Larapinta Trail
Ten female volunteers took up the challenge to walk into the centre of Australia, organised by LAW, DLA Piper's Leadership Alliance for Women to raise money for Indigenous Community Volunteers.
Cycle for UNICEF
Around 20 offices across Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand compete in the UNICEF Cycle Challenge, raising funds for child justice.
A team of 16 Aussie DLA Piper skiers and boarders competed at the LAW SKI event in Thredbo, with around 300 other lawyers from other major law firms, barristers chambers and corporates.