Russell McVeagh

About Russell McVeagh

Russell McVeagh is a leading New Zealand law firm, known as the go-to team for tackling complex legal problems. We challenge ourselves to be leaders, not only in our day-to-day work, but in culture transformation in the legal industry. Our team are passionate and committed to excellence across everything we do. Our training is second to none and, above all, we value difference and support all our people to thrive.

As a full-service firm, our practice groups work seamlessly to support a wide range of clients, drawing on our expertise across the full spectrum of corporate advisory, banking and finance, litigation and disputes, real estate and construction, tax, public law and environmental law matters. We take the time to listen and develop a deep understanding of our client's ambitions.

Every year we offer students a number of opportunities in our Auckland and Wellington offices through our dedicated clerkship and scholarship programmes.


We hire students studying

Law

Available Positions

Russell McVeagh Values


Russell McVeagh Values

Sustainability

We take active measures to improve our firm's ecological footprint, from removing disposable cutlery, glasses and cups from our kitchens and installing recycling and composting bins throughout our offices, to working with our building managers to optimise energy efficiency through zoned and timed lighting and air conditioning.

Our Sustainability Committee is always looking for opportunities to improve our environmental performance, challenging the firm to adopt new sustainability practices and educating staff on what we, as a firm and as individuals, can do to make a difference. The committee regularly engages staff on initiatives such as cycle-to-work challenges, hosting seminars and panel discussions on sustainability issues and giving away reusable multi-use bags for shopping. We have also joined the Ākina Foundation's fwd: programme, which is New Zealand's first social procurement marketplace, to ensure our purchasing decisions have positive social, cultural and environmental effects.

You can read our latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report on our website.


Work in the Community

Everyone at Russell McVeagh has the opportunity to contribute their time, skills, or resources towards making a difference.

Each year, our teams are encouraged to spend one workday volunteering for a charity of their choice. As a firm, we also support our people to organise fundraisers and events for causes they're invested in, ranging from bake sales for Breast Cancer Awareness, a charity drive for donations to the Auckland City Mission, Movember or Sweat With Pride – our calendar is packed with opportunities to get involved.

Our summer clerks are also encouraged to organise a charity drive each year and come up with creative ways to raise awareness and money for an important cause.

RMcV Law Clerk Programme

Russell McVeagh Law Clerk Programme

Our law clerkship is a fantastic opportunity for students who have graduated and are ready to begin their careers at a leading commercial law firm.

You can apply to work in either our Auckland or Wellington offices where you will be offered our full support during your first year. We provide a fantastic induction and training programme, mentoring, learning and development opportunities, a work buddy, and the chance to get involved in firm initiatives. You could get involved in our community work, internally or externally, and join a committee, e.g. sustainability committee or one of the streams of the diversity and inclusion committee, you could volunteer at a community law centre and much more!

We're proud to say that a law clerkship at Russell McVeagh has been the starting point for many brilliant careers. The experience and training we provide is internationally recognised - many of our people have chosen to work overseas at some of the world's top firms, before returning to Russell McVeagh. Beginning your career at Russell McVeagh is a fantastic opportunity to gain real experience and make your mark on the world.

What our past law clerks say:

"One of the best parts of the law clerkship programme was the extensive training and development programmes offered by the firm. This included panel discussions with junior solicitors giving honest and practical advice for starting out in the firm, mental health workshops and lunchtime yoga sessions, fortnightly trainings on developments in the law, and a one-on-one coaching programme for our personal development. The opportunities for personal growth in this firm are unparalleled."

"One of the best parts about the law clerkship has been simultaneously having a good deal of trust and responsibility placed on us and our abilities, while always constantly feeling supported and encouraged. I've had the opportunity to work on large range of different projects, working in a small team where each member has an important role to play; the opportunity to learn from and with a team of passionate lawyers has been such a tremendous opportunity, and has helped me not only build my legal skills, but also my confidence."

"I have made life-long friends across all areas of the firm. The experience of starting your career with 20 other like-minded graduates has allowed me to develop a support network which means the world to me."

RMcV Summer Clerk Programme

Russell McVeagh Summer Clerk Programme

Summer clerkships are an amazing way to gain real work experience in commercial law. At Russell McVeagh, our clerkships are designed to give you as much experience as possible during your summer. We offer a fantastic induction programme, ongoing training, a buddy to show you the ropes and make sure you're settling in, as well as regular catch ups with the HR team and an appraisal at the end of the summer.

You will be placed in two teams in either our Auckland or Wellington offices where you will be involved in real work with our lawyers. You'll have the chance to be heavily involved in interesting work, transactions, cases and client meetings, plus firm-wide trainings and briefings. You'll also be involved in a range of social and charity initiatives across the summer.

Our summer clerkship programme is open to students in their penultimate year of study. Many of our past summer clerks join us as law clerks once they've completed their studies. If you're hoping to start your career at Russell McVeagh, we highly recommend applying for a summer clerkship.

What our past summer clerks say:

"The support I received from my team and buddy over my summer clerking with Russell McVeagh was invaluable. It was incredible how much they helped develop my personal and legal skills over such a short period of time."

"Working as a Summer Clerk at Russell McVeagh gave me invaluable hands-on experience and provided me with a clearer idea as to how what I had learnt at university applied into real legal practice."


Highlights from 2021/2022 Summer Clerk Programme


Team Building Days


Our 2021/2022 summer clerks spent a lot of the summer working remotely, however, once restrictions were lifted, we enjoyed team building days with both our Auckland and Wellington groups. Our Auckland summer clerks ventured out to a cooking school called Good from Scratch run by acclaimed chef Michael Van de Elzen and his wife Belinda in Muriwai. In teams of five, our clerks had to create a dish from scratch in 30 minutes utilising the extensive offering of fresh vegetables from the onsite garden. The team was then rewarded with a lunch cooked by Michael and his team before heading home.

Russell McVeagh Team Building Days

Our Wellington summers spent their team building day putting their paining talents to the test with a PaintVine session and lunch in the city.

Russell McVeagh Team Building Days PaintVine


Mock Trial


Another exciting part of the summer clerk programme is our mock trial. The mock trial takes place at the end of the summer and the clerks have regular advocacy skills training leading up to this to make sure they are prepared. The trainings are run by our senior litigation lawyers and teach the summer clerks skills such as how to open a case and prepare a cross-examination. This year the mock trials were run on Zoom.

RMcV Scholarship Programme


Russell McVeagh Scholarship Programme

Russell McVeagh was the first law firm in New Zealand to recognise talent and achievements of young people through a dedicated scholarship programme. Every year a limited number of scholarships are awarded to law students across the country.

Through this programme we provide financial support, pastoral care, mentorship and a great network of young and experienced professionals to lean on, especially when making big career decisions while at law school. As a scholar at Russell McVeagh, you will:

  • Receive $2,000 a year to go towards the study costs of your law degree;
  • Have a mentor and a buddy to provide you with support, guidance and practical help during your time at law school;
  • Have the opportunity to summer clerk in our Auckland or Wellington office in your penultimate year of study;
  • Be connected with other Russell McVeagh scholars at law schools across the country; and
  • Be invited to various Russell McVeagh functions, including catch up events throughout the year.

We are looking for students with strong interest in commercial law, drive and ambition, and who are sharing our values of Respect, Curiosity, Excellence and Tenacity.

What our past scholars say:

"The scholarship programme was a great support network throughout university. It was great to meet fellow scholars throughout my degree and wonderful to build up relationships with senior leaders of the firm from the beginning. Further, the financial support relieved pressure, allowing me to focus on my studies."

'The scholarship programme provides great insight to life at a commercial law firm, before getting started. It provides pastoral support, mentorship and an experienced network to lean on, especially when making big career decisions while at law school. I felt like I had a strong relationship with the firm before beginning full time work, and this made the transition from university that much easier."

"I would recommend the scholarship programme to anyone looking for a practical view into the realities of legal work. The scholarship programme provides the insight that law school doesn't."

FAQs


Application Process

What programme should I apply for?
You should apply for our law clerk programme if you plan to finish your university studies at the end of 2022 and will be ready to start as a law clerk in early 2023.

You should apply for our summer clerk programme – to join us as a 2022/2023 summer clerk – if you are in your penultimate (or second to last) year of university studies, planning to finish in 2023 and to be ready to start your first permanent role in early 2024.

2022 scholarships are open to university students in their third year of law studies.

Does Russell McVeagh recruit law clerks outside of the main recruitment campaign in March?
Occasionally we have law clerk vacancies outside of our main recruitment round. When this occurs, the vacancies are advertised on our website and social media channels.

What does the recruitment process look like?
There are four stages to our recruitment process:

Step 1:
Application
Appy online for the programme you are interested in here.

Step 2:
Assessment
If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to take part in our assessment process. This involves a short online video interview for us to get to know you better and online testing to assess your likely strengths, potential areas for development and working style.

Step 3:
Interview
If you have completed the assessment successfully, you will be invited to an interview. This is an opportunity for us to get to know each other. You will be interviewed by one of our partners and a member of the HR team.

Step 4:
Outcome
We will contact you to talk you through the outcome of your application. If you are being offered a role with Russell McVeagh you will receive a call from us followed by your official offer letter.

How are outcomes of each step of the recruitment process communicated to candidates?
We communicate outcomes to our candidates at each step. We do that via email at steps 1-3 and via email and a phone call at steps 3-4.

How do I apply? What information do I need at hand for completing my application?
You can apply here. You will need the following to complete your application:

    1. A copy of your academic transcript (can be an unofficial copy).
    2. Your CV.
    3. A cover letter.

Do I need an official copy of my academic transcript for my application?
You do not need an official copy of your academic transcript – an unofficial copy will suffice.

What does it take to be a successful candidate?
We are looking for enthusiastic, well-rounded students who have strong interest in commercial law, have been successful academically and have applied themselves outside of studies where possible – working while studying, community roles, sports, leadership, etc.


Assessment Process

What is the assessment process at Russell McVeagh?
The assessment process consists of two parts – a short online video interview for us to get to know you better and online testing to assess your likely strengths, potential areas for development and working style.

What does the video interview involve?
You will be asked to answer two questions, with the focus on your interest in commercial law and Russell McVeagh, your values, your achievements, and any challenges to date.

What does the online testing involve?You will complete two tests. The first measures your ability to reach logical conclusions based on your analysis of abstract information. The second is an interactive game that assesses attributes and competencies that are critical to success at Russell McVeagh.

How do I complete the assessment?
When your application is shortlisted for assessment, you will receive an email from us confirming it, followed by two emails from our assessment providers with detailed instructions. Video interviews are hosted on Vieple, a video interview platform, and online testing is facilitated by Propel.

How do I prepare for the assessment?
You might like to prepare answers to a few questions you think you could encounter and practise in front of a family member or friend. For the online testing, we will share practice tests with you.

What if I have technical issues submitting my application or completing my assessment?
If you have any technical issues, please contact Grace Bennett on (09) 367 8269 or grace.bennett@russellmcveagh.com.


Interviews

How do I prepare for my interview?
Your interview is not only a chance for us to get to know you, but also for you to get to know us. We recommend you look through our website and familiarise yourself with the firm, read through your CV and be prepared to talk about your background, experience, achievements and challenges, and be ready to ask us a few questions. You might like to prepare answers to a few questions you think you could encounter and practise in front of a family member or friend. On the day of your interview, try to relax and enjoy the process. Be honest and your authentic self, we are really looking forward to meeting you!

What do I wear to my interview?
For many of you, this may be your first interview. We recommend you dress comfortably but professionally. Our dress code at Russell McVeagh is business casual. Remember you are interviewing for a role in a corporate environment, so ensure that whatever you do decide to wear aligns with that.

What can I expect from the interview?
Our preference is to meet you in person, however, this will depend on health measures in place at the time and any travel restrictions. You will be interviewed by one of our partners and a member of the HR team. We will include names of your interviewers and information on their backgrounds into the email confirming the details of your interview. Your interview will take up to 45 minutes. It will include standard and behavioural questions. You will have an opportunity to ask us your own questions too.

What if I am invited to an interview but the date doesn't work for me?
We will confirm your availability for an interview with you prior to booking it in. We understand that you might have multiple commitments and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What if my application is not successful this time and I would like to receive feedback on it?
We would like to support you as much as we can and are open to providing feedback on your application. Get in touch with the recruitment team at applications@russellmcveagh.com.

What if my application is not successful this time and I would like to apply again?
We would welcome your application for a role at Russell McVeagh in the future if you choose to apply again.


Other Questions

Do Russell McVeagh law clerks start as a cohort at the same time or is it more flexible?
Our law clerks start as a cohort in January every year. If you are unable to commence your employment with us at that time due to study commitments or other circumstances, we will do our best to accommodate an alternative start date for you.

What are the dates of the summer clerk programme?
The summer clerk programme is a 12-week programme. This year it will run from the end of November 2022 until mid-February 2023.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Please send your questions to us at applications@russellmcveagh.com and a member of the HR team will be in touch with you.

Practice Group Overview


Here's what some of our junior lawyers have to say about the work they have been involved in across the different practice areas at Russell McVeagh.


Banking and Finance

As law clerks in the Auckland Banking and Finance team, we were exposed to a massive range of industry knowledge and expertise. The team advises on all aspects of New Zealand law that apply to borrowers and lenders, including (but not limited to) debt capital markets, leverage acquisition financing, sustainable and green financing, takeover finance, securitisation, structured derivatives, and project/asset finance. As law clerks, we had a front-row seat to watch how the team navigated the commercial landscape to construct and execute complex, market-leading deals. While at the same time, gaining hands-on experience through attending client meetings and negotiations, reviewing and drafting contracts, and conducting legal research. Being part of the team was a fantastic experience where we were both supported and challenged, as each senior is passionate about their work and invested in junior development.
Tallulah Parker, 2021 law clerk


Corporate Advisory Group

As a law clerk in the Wellington Corporate Advisory Group (CAG), we are exposed to a huge variety of work. The team's work includes advising on complex commercial contracts, mergers & acquisitions, investment in and procurement of large infrastructure projects, as well as technology, transport and energy projects. Being based in Wellington also means a lot of the work we do comes from the Government. As a law clerk, we were brought onto matters from the beginning, for example, attending negotiations and reviewing and drafting contracts. This was great to gain experience and develop the skills we would need going forward. It was also great having senior support and guidance right from the start. The CAG team offers a fun, supportive and exciting place to work. Everyone loves what they do and wants to help you find your way. We are lucky to be part of a team that is so dedicated to its culture and making sure everyone feels valued and respected.
Maggie Burns and Jemima Allison, 2021 law clerks


Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources

The EPNR team engages in a wide variety of work, with law clerks exposed to multiple facets of the team from day one. The team is probably best known for assisting in the consenting and legal preparation of large-scale projects, including housing developments, railroads and infrastructure. A law clerk will often be the first point of contact on these projects, spearheading the caselaw research and document preparation, as well as contacting clients and drafting various documents. This also offers great opportunities for those interested in litigation, with most development projects involving hearings at Council or Court level.

Other aspects of the team include assisting major industry powers in policy and law reform, judicially reviewing Council-level decisions, and assisting in local government affairs such as rates, liquor applications and development contributions. Overall, it is a diverse practice area at the intersection of law, politics, culture, and science. The team take pride in the niche areas of law we are required to specialise in at a moment's notice, and effectively create a relaxed yet dedicated environment.
Hugo Fletcher, 2021 law clerk


General Litigation

Litigation is a dynamic and varied field. The work we do in litigation often intersects with other groups in the firm, which provides a broad range of different workflows. Working in litigation at Russell McVeagh means direct involvement with complex and high-stake cases that change the course of the law, all while learning from some of the best advocates in New Zealand. As a law clerk we are exposed to a wide range of work, including discovery, research, drafting court documents and letters to clients. This type of work allows you to develop and build on your research and writing skills and gain great experience in the process. Everyone is very approachable and wants to help you learn, grow, and succeed. It is a great team to work in and we are lucky to have such a supportive group of people.
Luka Letica and Rosie Judd, 2021 law clerks


Property

The Auckland Property and Construction team is a wonderful place to start your career in the law. Our team works with brilliant clients on the country's biggest property matters, whether they be the leasing arrangements for large commercial estates, development of new housing projects or construction of Auckland's skyline. Despite the team's large size, there is a strong sense of community which means that no one team member gets stuck doing one type of work. Members of the team also frequently get the chance to assist other teams within the firm, such as Corporate with due diligence or EPNR with resource consents. There is always variety, and the excitement of seeing a property that you have worked on makes the work very rewarding. As a law clerk, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and experienced senior lawyers in the Property and Construction field. What makes our team special is that the seniors are all incredibly supportive and will help you be the best you can be.
Jacob Siermans, 2021 law clerk


Tax

The Tax team provides advice and does work across all areas of tax, from income tax to GST to capital gains. As a law clerk, the first year involves a lot of learning supported by weekly trainings on topics in relation to tax. You are exposed to a wide variety of research tasks and start to learn more on transactional tax work by assisting on document reviews and tax advisory matters. The Tax team is a smaller team but tight knit and led by some of the best partners in the industry. It is a positive and supportive environment to work and there is always someone available to provide guidance. The team is very social and has a lot of fun together.
Audrey Gregan, 2021 law clerk


More information on our partners and practice groups can be found here.