Your future

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.

Practice groups

Corporate Employment Finance & Projects Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation & Regulatory Real Estate Restructuring Tax

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.

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!

  • Career progression

    Career progression

    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.

    Career progression


    "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."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "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."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "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."

    Tom Heylen

    Career progression


    "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."

    Tom Heylen

    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.

    Scaling Snowdon

    Four of our future trainees, who are joining the firm in September, recently climbed Mount Snowdon for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Finishing the climb in around seven hours, they raised over £2,000 for a fantastic cause.

    Perfect recipe for UNICEF

    Our UK offices recently 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.

    Trailwalker Challenge

    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.

    Great Manchester Run

    A group of trainees in our Manchester office completed the Great Manchester Run: Europe's biggest 10km race with over 300,000 runners.

    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 recently 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.

    Law Ski

    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.