Preparing for offer day

01 Jun 2023
Brooke Wheeler
Recruitment Consultant
I joined Clayton Utz as a Recruitment Adviser in May 2021, having spent the previous two years working in Human Resources. After completing a Commerce degree, majoring in Management and Human Resource Management, I moved to Canada for nine months on a working holiday, and lived in a small ski town named Banff. I love getting to know each clerk and graduate individually, and watching them grow and develop in their careers. In my free time I love being at the beach, and going on road trips!

The lead-up to Offer Day can be both exciting and anxious for everyone. The decision you make on Offer Day, in certain circumstances, can be time-sensitive. Here are my tips to help ensure you are clear on the decision you will make and avoid on-the-day panic and last minute questioning:

Before Offer Day

1. Write a pros and cons list

  • Reflecting back on your interviews and any engagement opportunities (e.g. webinars, networking events, etc.) that you had with each firm, write a pros and cons list for each detailing what you liked about the firm, the role and your thoughts on personal fit.
  • Make sure you clearly identify what factors are important to you, and highlight whether they fit into your pros or cons list for each firm.

2. Work out if you have any more questions, and seek answers before Offer Day

  • Sometimes we think of questions after we've left the interview, and that's completely normal! To help you gain the most clarity ahead of offer day, take steps to seek out these answers.
  • Consider contacting your buddy (if you were given one for the interview process), your interviewer (if they shared their contact details with you) or a member of the Graduate Recruitment team.

3. Make a plan for how you will respond on Offer Day

  • Knowing ahead of time which firm you want to prioritise accepting an offer from can be helpful in the excitement of offer day. It can serve as a good reference point in the event you receive multiple phone calls and emails.
  • Additionally, if you have the opportunity to complete multiple clerkships with different firms (e.g. summer and winter), plan out which period you would want to clerk at each firm. Where a firm requests your preferences in advance, try to line them up so that you don't have to request a change on offer day, as this is often very difficult.
  • Like any good plan though, it's always important to have a Plan B! In the event that your preferred firm doesn't make you an offer, ensure you're clear on who you would accept next, and so on.
  • Understand any time sensitivities that may come with receiving an offer (e.g. responding within 2 hours) so you know how quickly you need to get back to a firm upon receiving their offer. These time sensitivities may be governed by your local law institute.

On Offer Day

4. Ensure your phone is set to ring and your emails are easily accessible

  • Be aware of what time you could expect to receive a call or email from a firm and block out time in a quiet space to take the call/read the email offer.
  • Be conscious of checking your spam/junk folder in case your offer(s) are directed to that!

5. Take time to read through the contract(s) and understand the details

  • Read the contract from start to finish, taking note of elements that are important to you. This could include which clerkship period you were offered, start date for the program, etc.
  • If you are unsure about any details in the contract, contact the Graduate Resourcing Consultant to clarify.

6. If it's helpful, refer back to your pros and cons list to confirm the offer(s) you will accept

  • Now that you know the specific details of an offer, confirm whether this impacts your pros and cons list, and readjust your decision if required.

7. Call the firm to accept!

  • Being conscious of any time sensitivities on your offer, make a call to the firm(s) to accept!
  • In the event you receive more offers than you can accept, make calls to decline offers so that the firm(s) can potentially offer that spot to another individual.
  • Now it's time to celebrate and look forward to your upcoming clerkship!

Even though the above tips relate to clerkship offer day, a similar approach can be taken in the lead up to graduate offer day – just write down the pros and cons from each clerkship you completed!

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.