Russell Kennedy Lawyers is a leading Australian law firm with offices in Melbourne and Sydney. We provide our clients with market-leading expertise, outstanding service and exceptional legal solutions.
Russell Kennedy works for a broad range of clients. Our clients are from all levels of government, private and public companies and not-for-profit organisations. We have significant experience across the following industry sectors: Aged Care and Retirement Living, Not-for-Profit, Health, Property Development, and Government.
The success of Russell Kennedy is based on our strong client relationships fostered over many years, this success is underpinned by a strong and committed team. We encourage a professional and committed work ethic while recognising the importance of a positive working environment that facilitates collaboration and empowers our people to reach their potential.
We have a diverse workforce, we promote diversity of thought and respectful participation of people across all roles and levels of the firm.
We are committed to making a difference for our clients by providing exceptional legal advice in our sectors of focus. We build strong, long-lasting relationships with our people and our clients to achieve positive change within our community.
Our three fundamental key values are:
At Russell Kennedy, we are very proud of our collegial culture and we work hard to recruit people that we believe will flourish in our environment.
We recognise the importance of obtaining successful work-life integration. The firm's greatest asset is its employees, therefore it is important that we create an environment that supports a diverse and flexible workforce. We encourage a professional and committed work ethic while recognising the importance of an enjoyable working environment and a balanced lifestyle.
We promote our work-life integration by having a flexible working policy, which provides all staff with the opportunity to apply for flexible working arrangements. The firm has adopted an 'all roles are flexible approach' unless there are reasonable business grounds why the role cannot be flexible. These arrangements can be to assist with an employee's childcare requirements, to assist with looking after elderly family members, or other personal commitments such as their local church, community centre or sporting activities.
Russell Kennedy promotes a workplace culture that actively embraces and fosters diversity and inclusion. Our aim is to create an environment at Russell Kennedy that is characterised by equal access and respected participation of all groups and individuals. This is regardless of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, age, religious differences, personal circumstances, abilities and disabilities, socioeconomics and sexual orientation.
We want our people to feel included and confident in bringing their whole selves to work, to an environment where their talents are nurtured, empowering them to contribute to the success of the firm.
Russell Kennedy is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and has a number of initiatives to ensure that we continue to actively encourage diversity in all its forms.
Our commitment to inclusion and diversity is evident with Russell Kennedy forming a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The Committee sets the firm's diversity and inclusion strategy and sponsors initiatives to promote diversity in the workplace.
As experienced and enthusiastic supporters of pro bono, at Russell Kennedy, we are committed to make a difference and create positive change in our community. We see Pro Bono as an ethic of service to the legal system, democracy and the public good. In addition to the traditional pro bono legal services our lawyers perform, many of our staff also volunteer their time with committees, boards and various community-focused roles.
For Russell Kennedy, pro bono legal work involves the provision of free legal services, which will enhance access to justice for disadvantaged persons or organisations and/or promote the public interest. We provide pro bono legal assistance to not-for-profit organisations, disadvantaged and marginalised people, and to refugees and asylum seekers. We are committed to providing access to justice for people and to strengthening the capacity of organisations to provide pro bono legal services within their communities. Russell Kennedy actively identifies areas of unmet legal need and develops programs to address those needs in consultation with the broader community of Community Legal Centres and Legal Aid organisations, as well as Law Institute of Victoria committees and other key bodies.
Since 2011, Russell Kennedy has been a signatory to the Australian National Pro Bono Target of 35 hours per lawyer per year, and we have proudly exceeded the Target in recent years. In FY15/16, the firm delivered 42 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer, in FY16/17 48 hours per lawyer, and in FY17/18 36 hours per lawyer.
We assess pro bono referrals in light of their relevance to human rights principles. We also pay tribute to our staff through the annual presentation of our Pro Bono Award to a member of our team who has significantly contributed to our pro bono efforts.
Our Seasonal Clerks will have the opportunity to preference and rotate through our Pro Bono team.
Our Seasonal Clerkship Program is designed to give you a real taste of life at Russell Kennedy. We have designed the program to be informative and interesting to help you decide whether you would like to apply for a Law Graduate position.
From the outset, clerks are paired with a Mentor and a Buddy in their allocated Practice Group who will ensure that they receive the necessary support to get the most out of their time with us.
Russell Kennedy offers a seasonal clerkship position to a student with a disability for the 2020 – 2021 Seasonal Clerkship Program, known as the 'Access RK Seasonal Clerkship'. The Access RK Seasonal Clerkship forms part of the Russell Kennedy Diversity and Inclusion strategy, with the successful applicant participating in the Russell Kennedy Seasonal Clerkship Program.
This year Russell Kennedy is also offering a social justice and indigenous identified position as part of our Seasonal Clerk Program.
Both of these new clerkship streams underscore Russell Kennedy's commitment to equal opportunity and to creating a work place that is not only diverse, but one that provides the support and education that makes it truly inclusive. These new clerkship streams sit alongside the existing RK Access program and the mainstream clerkship program.
Our clerks will be doing real work such as drafting correspondence, assisting with research, attending court and participating in client meetings.
Clerks will also be able to attend our in-house seminars for professional development and spend time with our current Law Graduates to learn about their experiences and triumphs. We also encourage our clerks to get involved in the Pro Bono work available at Russell Kennedy.
Seasonal clerks who have performed well in the past, are timely with their work, have strong attention to detail and are mature in their approach. We believe establishing a strong personal brand during the clerkship is vital to their long term success.
We recognise applying for clerkships and traineeships is a stressful and challenging process. We are a committed LIV signatory as we understand the platform provides fairness and consistency for all law students during the recruitment process.
Russell Kennedy offers an 18 month Law Graduate program rotating through 3 practice groups. Our Graduate Program is designed to provide in depth on the job experience working across different teams within the firm. Spending six months in a practice group provides an opportunity to be exposed to different Principals, clients and industries that particular teams work with, allowing Graduates to deep dive into matters and apply skills learnt from formal studies in practice.
Russell Kennedy also partners with the College of Law to complete their Practical Legal Traineeship within the first 6 months of commencing.
Upon commencement, Law Graduates are allocated a Graduate Lead for their Graduate Program. They meet with their Graduate Lead on a regular basis to discuss their career progression, rotations and assist with personal development. In addition to this, we also allocate Law Graduates a Rotational Supervisor and Graduate Support. They will both assist with the transition from university to full-time employment.
What can candidates expect in your recruitment
All applications must be submitted online, via our website russellkennedy.com.au/careers
We will contact shortlisted applicants to participate in a short 5 – 10-minute telephone interview.
Successful candidates will then be invited to participate in a 30 to 40 minute face-to-face interview with a Principal, a Senior Associate and a People & Culture representative.
We also host an afternoon tea for clerks to network with different people across the business and find out more about our practice groups, our clients and our culture.
Naturally, a sound academic record is an important starting point, however, we also look for other attributes such as extra-curricular interests and life experiences outside of your studies. These may include things such as previous work experience, volunteer work, travel, sporting or cultural interests.
Stand out candidates are students who are passionate about their future legal career. We also look for candidates who are confident in their interactions, demonstrate strong people skills, are able to work in a team and are excited by learning and being challenged.
We also like to see our applicants have done some prior research about Russell Kennedy. This includes the type of work we are actively involved in and can clearly explain why you would like to work here. It's important that applicants are able to demonstrate they are able to balance work and study with other interests.
At Russell Kennedy, each person counts. The size of our firm means that everyone is valued and has the opportunity to do meaningful work that matters. We establish clear career goals, expectations and plans for all employees and provide extensive training and development opportunities via our EDGE learning and development program.
Russell Kennedy is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and aims to ensure that in the application of all employment-related policies, practices and procedures, all decisions are made on the basis of merit and fairness. Russell Kennedy is also committed to promoting a diverse and progressive that allows Russell Kennedy to attract and retain the most qualified and suitable employees and principals for the business.
The firm is dedicated to creating an environment that is characterised by equal access and respected participation of all groups and individuals. This is regardless of all differences, including of culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity, age, religion, personal circumstances, physical features, abilities and disabilities, socioeconomics and sexual orientation.
Our Learning & Development Program is designed to give you an edge. We offer programs from a Graduate level right through to Partner level designed to bridge the gap between theory and practical knowledge while focusing on leadership fundamentals. We also assist in connecting our people to both in-house and external mentors to individually collaborate and strive towards goals. We care about our employees' careers and want to empower each person to grow at Russell Kennedy.