Judges' Clerks positions for 2021

Faculty of Law


Contact info: Applications should be forwarded in e-copy to Yael Philander, Executive Assistant to the Dean, Auckland Law School by Monday 16 March 2020 at noon.
Contact email: y.philander@auckland.ac.nz.

If you were unable to attend the Information Session then you can find a recording from the session below.

Students with outstanding grades, who will complete their undergraduate law degree studies this year, are invited to apply for positions as Judges' clerks which will become available in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of New Zealand early in 2021. The appointments will generally be for two-year terms. Those appointed will be expected to stay in the role for the entire period.

The role of Judges' clerk is to undertake legal research at the direction of the Judge or Judges to whom the clerk is allocated. Clerks write legal opinions and collate authorities on particular points. They provide comments to Judges on their draft judgments. They also write summaries of recent decisions of the courts and provide analysis of issues arising in particular appeals or first instance hearings undertaken by the Judges of the courts in which they work.

Positions as Judges' clerks in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal principally involve working with a single Judge, but there will be some work of a more general character undertaken for all the Judges of those Courts. In the High Court, Judges' clerks generally work for two or three judges.

The present starting salary of Judges' clerks on appointment at all levels is $49,118 pa with opportunity to progress in six-monthly increments to $63,100 pa.


Applicants are invited to submit a curriculum vitae, a record of grades achieved in their University courses of study, and the names of two referees (at least one of whom should be an academic lawyer) who may be contacted in relation to suitability for appointment. This material should be accompanied by a short covering letter saying why the applicant would like the position. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR STUDENT ID AND NAME APPEAR ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YOUR APPLICATION. Applications should be forwarded in PDF format by email to:

Yael Philander
Executive Assistant to the Dean
Faculty of Law
Email: y.philander@auckland.ac.nz

The deadline to apply is: NOON on Monday, 16 March 2020.

In keeping with the wishes of the judiciary, the Law School will participate in the application selection process. Applications received will be forwarded to a Law School committee composed of current academic staff. The Committee will interview top candidates. These candidates will participate in 15-minute interviews (to be held early in the week of March 23). Following the interview process, the Committee will forward candidates for the consideration of the Judge who administers the process on behalf of the respective courts.

It is intended that candidates finally short-listed for positions with the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal will be interviewed on 21 and 22 April 2020 and offers of appointment to those positions made soon thereafter. Once those appointments have been made the High Court judges will interview a fresh short-list of applicants for positions with that Court. High Court appointments in this year’s round will be for positions in the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Registries.

In selecting suitable persons, the Judges will be looking for the following

  • High level of academic ability and commitment to handle confidential information and materials with absolute discretion at all times.
  • Good organisational skills and proven ability to prioritise and manage workflows.
  • Ability to handle important relationships with skill and sensitivity.
  • A professional and focused approach to work.
  • An ability to use, and willingness to learn, computer-based research tools.
  • Self-motivation and initiative.
  • The ability to grasp unfamiliar concepts and undertake multi-tasking.
  • Lateral and divergent thinking ability.
  • Ability to work co-operatively with colleagues and court staff in formal and informal situations.
  • Ability and commitment consistently to produce quality work.
  • Regard for human rights and dignity including gender, ethnic and cultural equity