DLA Piper New Zealand

About us

DLA Piper is a Global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world. We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients and contributing to the communities we operate in.

We hire students studying


Available Positions

What makes us different?

Innovation and Law
DLA Piper has spearheaded many innovations in the legal sector. So much so, we were named Law.com’s ‘International Law Firm of the Year’ in 2020, because of our commitment to innovation through new products and services. Recently, we introduced Law&, delivering solutions beyond traditional legal services to help our clients succeed in the modern business environment. From consultancy to cutting-edge AI, it integrates technology with first class commercial and legal expertise.

High Profile Work

DLA Piper offers the opportunity to do work that matters. Here are just three recent examples: 
  • Advising the Auckland Council group on its participation in the trans-Tasman As One bid to secure co-hosting of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup;
  • Advising Discovery Inc. on its acquisition of MediaWorks’ TV business comprising of: free-to-air channels, Three, Bravo, Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV; streaming service ThreeNow; and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub, and;
  • Assisting Sean Parker in his win with the Overseas Investment Office to purchase a third of Weta Digital.  

Supportive Culture
We may be one of the biggest law firms in the world, but it never feels like that. You will find yourself in a close knit, diverse and supportive team, where partners will take an interest in your development. We pride ourselves in our friendly and collaborative culture where everyone is approachable.
Strong Sector Experience
We value the importance of providing sector expertise to our international clients. Our sector approach promotes cross-practice and cross-jurisdiction working and ensures we are strengthening the engagement we have with our key clients. As a firm we are proud to actively support 15 sectors which we are continually investing in.

Global Service and International Opportunities
Because our clients are often global, we have to be too. DLA Piper was the first global business law firm to operate in New Zealand, giving us a key point of difference. Sharing our insights, we work together across borders and jurisdictions in more than 40 countries across the world to provide a seamless service to our clients. As well as having a global team of experts at your disposal, this will mean real opportunities to work abroad and gain international exposure.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion underpin how we live our values and everything we do. We believe that everyone has a voice, and that everyone’s voice counts. We are committed to providing an inclusive working environment and culture across our firm where everyone can bring their authentic self to work. We welcome the unique contribution that each person brings to our firm which is why over a third of our people are active in one of our four D&I committees: 
  • IRIS: Promoting an inclusive work environment for colleagues who identify as LGBTI.
  • HIP: (Heritage and Identity Project), enhancing inclusion for all races and cultures while recognising the uniqueness of Māori as tangata whenua.
  • THRIVE: Promoting and enhancing our workplace agility and wellness (including mental health).
  • LAW: Leadership Alliance for Women Group, our network that plays an integral role in our vision for a gender balanced and inclusive firm.
Our people own our D&I journey.

Our Thrive Commitee hosted a panel discussion where the firm listened and collaborated with a panel of New Zealand's leading voices on health and wellness.


Give something back

Every lawyer is encouraged to perform at least 35 hours of pro bono work each year. Additionally, our people are allocated two days a year to participate in firm-organised volunteering activities in the community.

We are proud to be one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono legal services. For you, it’s an opportunity to help vulnerable people in your community. Working with law centres and frontline agencies, you could find yourself providing advice on topics such as asylum and immigration, unlawful detention, or even business advice.

There’s also the opportunity to help further afield too. New Perimeter, our non-profit affiliate enables our lawyers to provide pro bono legal assistance in underserved regions around the world. Our Global Scholarships Programme for undergraduate law students from the UNs’ 50 Least Developed Countries provides students with access to role models, work experience, mentoring and financial assistance.

Additionally, to deliver on our commitment of providing equal opportunity and breaking down barriers faced by under-represented groups when entering the business of law, we have partnered with The Prince’s Trust NZ in 2020 to launch our Head Start New Zealand programme. This is a 1-5 year programme backing secondary school students through tertiary education and providing mentoring, internships and financial support.

Jane and Nancy with DLA Piper buddies


Graduate and Internship Opportunities

DLA Piper deliberately offers a handful of sought-after summer clerk and law clerk openings in New Zealand. This means you will experience a first-class journey, with full participation in real work. Partners and senior lawyers will support you with genuine help and encouragement. Applications are open to students in their penultimate or final year at University.

In addition to our clerkship opportunities, we also run an Insight Programme for students not eligible to apply for clerkships. The Insight Programme is open to students in their antepenultimate year of study. This equates to the 3rd year of study for students completing a 5 year degree. The Insight Programme has been designed to give you an insight into life at a global commercial law firm.

Law Clerk opportunities:
Who:           Law Clerk positions are available for students in their final year of study.
Where:        We have positions available in our Auckland and Wellington offices.
When:         Flexible start date based on your personal situation. 

Summer Clerk opportunities:
Who:           Summer Clerk positions are available for students in their penultimate year of study.
Where:        We have positions available in our Auckland and Wellington offices.
When:         The summer clerkship fits around the University break. Typically, the clerkship starts mid-November and finishes late-February. 

Insight programme:
Our Insight Programme is designed to give you an insight into life at the first global business law firm in New Zealand. During this three-day immersion, you will have the opportunity to hear from the firm’s senior leaders, participate in professional skills training, gain an in-depth insight into our practice groups, and attend networking events.
DLA Piper are offering a handful of third year students this first-class opportunity:
Who:            Our Insight Programme is open to students in their antepenultimate year of study. This equates to the 3rd year of study for students completing a 5 year degree.
Where:         We have positions available in our Auckland and Wellington offices.
When:          The Programme runs for three days during the August / September break.

In your application you will be asked to provide:
  • Covering letter detailing why you would like to work for us.
  • CV, detailing your work experience, community involvement and outside interests.
  • Academic transcript.
  • Indicate a preference for either our Auckland or Wellington office or let us know that you're open to either location.

Confirm whether you are a:
  • final year student seeking a law clerk position.
  • penultimate year student seeking a summer clerk position.
  • antepenultimate year student interested in the Insight Programme.
  • Following your submission, you will be invited to complete a brief video allowing us to learn a little more about you. Please consider this, in your timing when you submit your application.

For further information, please visit www.dlapiper.com/nzgrads
Remember to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 
You can access more information about the programme by clicking here.

Your growth is our growth

Our goal is simple: we want to create the future leaders of the firm. That means giving you the skills you need to become a successful lawyer, but also the experiences to discover where your true interests lie. As you progress, you won’t just develop your legal knowledge. You’ll also develop the commercial, international outlook that’s the hallmark of a DLA Piper lawyer. This will be delivered in a bespoke way to maximize your learning.
What to expect
Your journey at DLA Piper starts with our Best People orientation program, designed to ease you in and get you acquainted with our culture. It will equip you with the necessary knowledge and tools to start your career on a firm foundation.
You will then undertake two rotations in different practice groups, where you’ll work alongside people at all levels of the business, including partners. Learning through practice and observation you’ll get a real feel for commercial law in practice.
Upon your successful completion of the rotations, you will join a permanent team, and complete your legal professional studies.

Work in the community
We’ll encourage you to do both pro bono and community work; not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will develop your skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.

Supporting you
Throughout your clerkship, you will be supported by a supervising senior lawyer or partner who will provide you with regular guidance and feedback. You will also have a buddy who will help you make the most of the opportunities the firm has to offer.

Learning that never stops
Once qualified, you’ll continue to learn through real-life commercial practice. You’ll also have access to knowledge centres, technical courses, and business skills training. Likewise, our International Career Academies will help you continually enhance your professional skills while developing your internal networks across the firm.


What we look for

Our people come from a diverse range of backgrounds. We don’t have a set profile for our law clerks – that’s what sets us apart. Not only does this allow us to serve our diverse clients better; it opens up a range of different and unique perspectives.

You will have a real passion for developing a career as a lawyer and take an active interest in commercial law. Beyond this, we’ll be looking for candidates who are naturally inquisitive, have plenty of drive, and can show a genuine commitment to their chosen career path.

Your personal qualities will be important too. If you can provide tangible examples of your abilities in these areas, you’ll have a greater chance of success.

LEADERSHIP: Takes control and initiates action by giving direction and taking responsibility.

TEAMWORK: Works effectively with individuals and teams, and provides a consistent role model for organizational values.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS: Builds positive relationships by communicating, networking and influencing effectively.

ANALYSIS: Gets to the heart of complex issues and problems through clear analytical thinking.

CREATIVITY: Applies creativity to develop new and innovative solutions.

ORGANISATION: Is able to provide clear and effective delivery of projects.

ADAPTABILITY: Response to change positively and copes with setbacks.

COMMERCIAL OUTLOOK: Pays attention to commercial factors and opportunities.

Why DLA Piper?

Why DLA Piper