What's your job about?
My firm has many practice areas. I work in Regulatory & Investigations. It's difficult to pin down what we do in one sentence because we work on a variety of different matters. In the last year, I've worked on prosecutions brought under work health and safety legislation, investigations by regulators, coronial inquests, parliamentary inquiries and commercial litigation. We also do a lot of advisory work and compliance trainings for our clients.
I get involved with almost everything (an exception being at the strategy level). I sit in on meetings and conferences, draft and review documents, perform research, prepare memorandums, send correspondence and prepare briefs to counsel and experts. It's rare that I do the same thing two days in a row or exclusively work on a single matter – we usually have lots of things on the go at once.
What's your background?
My parents migrated to Australia from Afghanistan. I grew up in NSW and for most of my life, wanted to become a doctor like my dad until I changed my mind completely in Year 10. I went to the University of Sydney and completed a double degree in B Laws / B Arts. During university, I did a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh. I was also involved in things like the Sydney Law Society's Women's Committee, writing articles for student publications and model United Nations.
My clerkship with Clyde & Co was my first proper foray into private practice. Before that, I'd worked in a community legal centre in Western Sydney, first doing the intake of new clients on the phone and then I took on a role as a tenant advocate. I started out my clerkship with a rotation in the Cyber team and then ended up in Regulatory and Investigations for my second rotation. At the end of my clerkship, I travelled to Japan, before doing a year as a paralegal in the same team, and then another two months in South America before starting work as a full-time law graduate in 2020.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I believe that anyone could do this job as long as they have the core traits of resilience, attention to detail, a willingness to learn and the ability not to take themselves too seriously. Without these traits, working in a law firm is going to be difficult and stressful, regardless of how well you've done at university or how many internships you've completed.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best part of my job is seeing the documents that I work on getting used in a practical context. Whether it's seeing Counsel read and rely on your memorandum of research or an affidavit you helped draft get served in evidence, it's really fulfilling seeing your many hours of work get put to use.
What are the limitations of your job?
A challenging aspect of this job is sometimes needing to juggle work and personal commitments. This is not really a huge issue for me because my team respects work / life balance and also gives us a lot of flexibility, so I can meet commitments in my personal life and my professional life. However, it's definitely an important consideration for someone who wants to work in a law firm – they need to make sure it's the right cultural fit.
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