Herbert Smith Freehills
has taken out first prize as Australia’s top legal graduate recruiter and believes that attracting graduates is vital to the firm’s continued success.
HC Online sits down with Andrea Bell, Herbert Smith Freehills HR Director to talk about the secret behind their successful graduate program.
Bells says a rigorous mentorship program, an inclusive culture and the opportunity to work at the coal-face on complex legal cases are all reasons why the firm has been voted number one in a survey of Australian graduates.
“Our ability to offer our graduates the best opportunities to learn, grow and be challenged is what makes us stand-out,” Bell told HC Online.
“Graduates are attracted to the firm’s global reach and the opportunity to work on some of the most complex, interesting and challenging matters and transactions,” she says.
Harnessing the support and enthusiasm of the firm’s top legal talent to pass their knowledge to the next generation of lawyers is also an essential part of their graduate program, Bell says.
“Our partners and senior associates prioritise their roles as coaches and mentors,” she says.
“We offer unparalleled training and development, the opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s best legal minds and the prospect of gaining invaluable international experience via our graduate global secondments program.”
Offering an inclusive, diverse and supportive culture also complements the firm’s graduate program, Bell says.
“With the legal graduate market in Australia so competitive, the best of the best graduates will only choose to join firms that have a highly compelling graduate program, and rightly so.”
For Bell, great recruitments should possess the qualities of intellectual curiosity, confidence, clarity of thought, the ambition to grow personally and professionally, and the ability to develop exceptional working relationships with clients and colleagues.
“We look for students who want to pursue a career in commercial law, who have a sense of the bigger picture, and who demonstrate a commercial awareness,” she says.
“We also work hard at maintaining and evolving a fantastic culture because we know how vital it is to attract and retain talent.”
Bell advises HR professionals to seeking to attract top young talent to invest significantly in their graduate program to ensure their workplace is seen to offer graduates the best opportunities to learn, grow and excel.
“It’s also important to enable them to feel as though they’re challenged, and can begin adding value from Day 1,” she says.
Why global firms value graduate programs
Can you spot an engaging leader in the crowd?
How QBE fuels innovation with graduates
Imitation won't drive engagement
Leading global law firm