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DLA Piper Australia

4.2
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Joshua Scoles

Given the broad sectors and services covered by the firm there really isn’t any specific template or conventional background for a “DLA Piper Lawyer”. DLA Piper recognises the value of harnessing varying perspectives and as such places a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

What's your job about?

DLA Piper is a large global law firm with legal expertise in a variety sectors, seeking to cater to whatever our commercial clients need, where ever they need it. The team I’m currently in is Finance, Projects and Restructuring which, as the name implies, covers a wide swath of business sectors but in Perth is predominantly defined by mining clients. This teams job is about assisting our clients in all facets of mining law, from navigating the complexities of applying for mining licences, to negotiating agreements with Royalty and Native title holders. My particular role as a graduate in this team tends to vary, and in my relatively short time at DLA Piper I’ve already done a broad spectrum of different work. On any given day I might be assisting in drafting an agreement or submission, delving into a specific legal concept to determine how they might affect clients, working on Pro-Bono or Native title tasks, or sitting in hearings and meetings. Not only do I get to work on a variety of different tasks, the but there is rarely a day where I’m not working on multiple things. 

What's your background?

I grew up in Perth, Western Australia, where I attended the local public primary and High school.  During school I tried to be a part as many clubs or groups as possible including Scouts, Philosophy Club, Gavel Club, Mock Trials, Drama Club, Choir and a number of social sports. Keeping up with all these activities really honed my passions and provided me with skills for effectively managing my time. Throughout school I always loved sciences and intended to study science at University. It was my High School Philosophy and Ethics teacher that eventually convinced me that I should also consider doing law as well as science. Throughout University I continued trying to take every social and academic opportunity I could.  I started playing social beach volley ball, which I continue to play to this day, and took a number of trips overseas including a trip to Italy for a summer law program. I also participated in a number of law competitions during this time including the Jessup International Law Moot and FDI moot, where I competed in Boston. I think it was these competitions that provided me the impetus to realistically consider a career in law.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely. Given the broad sectors and services covered by the firm there really isn’t any specific template or conventional background for a “DLA Piper Lawyer”. DLA Piper recognises the value of harnessing varying perspectives and as such places a huge emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Even within my team there are a variety of different backgrounds and degrees. This isn’t to say amongst DLA Piper lawyers there aren’t certain common characteristics. I think most lawyers at DLA Piper on some level all have a drive for excellence, attention to detail, inquisitive nature and obviously derive enjoyment from the law.  

What's the coolest thing about your job?

I get to apply critical thinking and real world puzzle solving every day. I really enjoy coming into work each day and be challenged, deal with anything our clients need and continually learn new things. At times this entails lots of reading and drafting, which can be a draining, but when I can finally understand a concept, or synthesise an idea that might help, it’s extremely gratifying. It’s also rewarding that when I do tasks I’m always given a good grounding to understand the context.  I really value that I can see the impact my work has on our clients and the world.

What are the limitations of your job?

The job requires juggling multiple tasks for different clients under deadline pressure. The tasks are also  highly technical requiring you to always be really switched and applying yourself, which is mentally exhausting. As a result of these factors the job can also occasionally necessitate long hours.  This isn’t to say it’s all high stress though, as the team really assists sharing the burden of getting work done. My experience has also been that DLA Piper is really good about allowing for flexible work,  which has been fantastic for me keeping up with Collage of Law Studies and my socials sport.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Apply for lots of vacation clerk programs. As tedious and time consuming as these applications can seem, shooting out applications everywhere gives you the best opportunity to make informed choices when starting your career.
  2. Don’t let social activities fall to the wayside for academia. Activities outside of work and study are character building, provide great training for establishing a work life balance when you start your career, and are going to define your memories of University more than any individual mark.  
  3. Invest in bitcoin.