What's your job about?
I have completed two of three rotations as part of the graduate program at Clayton Utz (CU) in the Corporate and Major Projects & Construction (MPC) transactional teams, including extensive pro bono work throughout. Within each area, I have assisted in:
Pro Bono (Homeless Law and Justice Connect)
What's your background?
As a South-Eastern suburban Melbournian, I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic local public co-ed high school, living in a suburb close to friends and family.
Throughout high school and to this day, I have been an avid sportsperson and love my music. Playing the double bass in school and community orchestras and running marathons has exposed me to diverse, interesting people. Travelling on exchange to Germany in high school and attending a semester abroad in the Netherlands were highlights throughout my studies.
Despite my work experience in the legal sector during uni being limited compared to my peers, I was fortunate to have exposure as a paralegal in a semi-government institution.
I enjoyed varied roles during my studies as a children's trampolining instructor, umpiring local football and working in hospitality. Throughout university, I treasured campus life; one of my most rewarding roles was my health and wellbeing coordinator role at my university's law students' society.
I obtained the CU graduate lawyer position through the seasonal clerkship process comprising:
I also stayed on as a paralegal in the Forensic and Technology (FTS) team over 2018 while I finished my last few university subjects.
My continued work throughout 2018 at the firm cemented why I wanted to work as a graduate at CU. The longer I stayed, the more I became immersed in firm life, the great social atmosphere, the touch football, fun runs and inter-firm competitions, the diversity and inclusion events, education workshops, and community fundraisers. It's a place I am challenged, can be myself at work and am constantly learning.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
There is no typical background of an employee that works at CU. One of the best aspects of the firm is the diverse experiences everyone brings to the team. My grad group is a prime example of that. In addition to making the office a dynamic and enjoyable place to be, our differences assist us to provide creative solutions to challenging problems.
I have found the following characteristics desirable for a junior lawyer/grad:
What's the coolest thing about your job?
There are many things I enjoy. The fact I can bring my whole self to work and be myself and I am provided challenging and meaningful work, which lets me focus on becoming the best lawyer I can be. The amount of trust given to me, especially throughout my MPC rotation is empowering. I have direct client contact and already draft negotiated contractual terms. The collegiate atmosphere, especially within my graduate group, means I always have a great company at lunchtimes and have a solid support network.
What are the limitations of your job?
The biggest learning curve of my job has been adjusting to general full-time work after university life. Additionally, working in a busy transactional team means there are tight turnaround times. That does mean it's not a traditional 9.00 am to 5.00 pm role. However, the exceptionally busy periods are not standard and for the most part, especially in the early stages of my career, the added time invested has helped me to personally develop my skills and grow at a faster rate.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
A few tips for future me if I was currently a student would be to: