Meet Colin Yuan

Colin clerked in Sydney during the Summer Clerkship program in 2019. Hear more about what attracted him to the firm and what his advice is for law students thinking about a clerkship at Maddocks.

What attracted you to join Maddocks as a clerk?

I was attracted to Maddocks because it was a good sized Australian firm that had market leading practice teams. The size of the firm meant I could make a difference and contribute in meaningful ways. During the interview process it became clear the firm was made up of down to earth, approachable and experienced people. This was really important to me as I felt I could be supported, enjoy who I work with and learn a great deal along the way.

From your first day you felt…

Welcomed, impressed and supported.

What did you do in your first week?

As a clerk you receive comprehensive training in your first week. The training we received included workshops on effective legal writing, conducting research and taking instructions. This ensured that we were able to hit the ground running and feel confident in our abilities.

We also had the opportunity to gain a more in depth feel for the firm by having a meet and greet with the CEO and listening to each practice group provide an overview of their team and the type of work they do.

What rotations did you complete and what sort of work did you do?

I completed two rotations during the clerkship program. My first rotation was in the Employment, Safety & People team where I was able to attend conciliations and various client meetings. These were extremely interesting as I was able to observe the way partners worked with our public and private sector clients to navigate complex situations. I also undertook challenging research and assisted the team on various probono matters for the Homeless Person's Legal Service, including a discrimination claim.

During my second rotation in the Public Law team I undertook research on a wide range of matters including native title claims, the NDIS scheme and local council’s planning law rights and responsibilities. I also prepared materials for various government agencies and was lucky enough to attend both the Land and Environment Court and the Supreme Court.

How were you supported during your clerkship?

When you start your clerkship at Maddocks you are assigned a buddy who is a graduate lawyer, and a coordinator who is a senior lawyer. Both the buddy and coordinator helped to make me feel included, provided me with enough work and reassured me to ask questions.

Did you get involved in any other firm activities during your clerkship?

Every Monday night the clerks in my program participated in interfirm sports and activities. We ended up playing touch football, soccer, netball and volleyball. The firm also does a lot of work in the community and as a result I also got involved in volunteering at the Homeless Person's Legal Service and attending an LGBTIQ Empowering Allies workshop.

What advice would you give to a potential Maddocks Seasonal/Summer Clerk?

If you want to work with great people in a supportive environment and learn from experienced lawyers then I would encourage you to apply for a clerkship. It's important to have fun during the clerkship, build great relationships and take everything in.

Want to hear more from past graduates?

Read more about them.

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