I am an early riser and enjoy starting my morning with an activity before I begin the work day. Some mornings I attend a Pilates class however this morning is perfect and crisp, so I don my exercise gear and venture outside for a jog. While I eat my breakfast, I peruse today’s edition of the Australian Financial Review and The Age on my iPad.
I am now ready for work and head out the door to catch the train into the office. One of my good friends (also a lawyer) lives nearby and we meet on the train. We arrive in the city, collect a takeaway coffee (for me, a soy cappuccino or a STRONG soy cappuccino on days when that extra caffeine is necessary) and then we go our separate ways to our respective offices.
I arrive at the office and head to my desk where I set up for the day ahead. We have recently moved into a spectacular new office which is mostly open plan with a series of meeting rooms and breakout spaces.
I am an associate in the Litigation team primarily assisting with Regulatory, Competition and Consumer law matters. Norton Rose Fulbright allows flexible working arrangements so some days I work from home. Personally, I enjoy working in the office. In particular, as a relatively junior lawyer, I value the learning that can be gleaned from spontaneous conversations in the office with colleagues and I enjoy the office banter. Such interactions can offer a different angle or perspective for a matter at hand, or can provide some inspiration or clarity. Sometimes we work long hours however our team works well together and our work atmosphere radiates a fun vibe.
I review new emails that have landed in my inbox since I logged off the previous day and update my “to do” list with new tasks. In our team, legal matters are often fast paced and so a “to do” list is crucial to keep on top of all that needs to be completed.
I am presently involved in a large matter that has been ongoing for more than eighteen months. The Norton Rose Fulbright team working on the matter often have quick meetings to “take stock” of where we are at and what needs to be done. Our modus operandi is to divide and conquer accordingly. I am allocated the task of preparing and amending a series of documents. As I dive into my work, questions arise, so I consult with the senior lawyers and the partner leading the matter to seek guidance.
Mid-morning coffee excursion time! We are spoilt for choice with an array of excellent cafes near our office building. Today my team members and I venture to one of our favourite cafes. During my time at Norton Rose Fulbright, I have discovered the importance of coffee catch-ups as an excellent way to meet others at the firm including clerks, graduates, lawyers and partners. We also stop by Haighs (which is too conveniently located next door to our building) for a chocolate treat.
An email arrives with an urgent case law research query. I log onto our library database, run some searches and prepare an email summarising the relevant case law.
I am currently working with another associate in my team on a business development initiative involving the preparation of a presentation relating to Privacy Law. My colleague is presently based in Singapore, so we have a Zoom video call to discuss the presentation. Over the next couple of days, while juggling a variety of other tasks, I will continue working on the presentation.
I meet a friend for lunch. Melbourne’s weather is very unpredictable, however today is a beautiful day, so we purchase sushi and bask in the glorious sun. Upon returning to the office, I complete a few quick tasks and manage to partially diminish the “to do” list.
We have a teleconference with a client and our counsel team to discuss the current status of a matter and to plan the next actions required. There are eleven attendees involved in the teleconference. As the most junior lawyer on the call, I am responsible for preparing a detailed file note. My supervising partner and team members are exceptionally inclusive of junior lawyers in all aspects of a matter, fostering a strong sense of investment and engagement across the team. Most days I will be involved in an interesting meeting whether it be with clients, counsel, industry experts providing evidence, interviews with witnesses or attendances at court.
Further developments arise from the teleconference, so again, as a collective we “take stock” and divide all relevant work. Before getting started on the next set of tasks, a colleague and I wander to the kitchen for a cup of tea and a chat – another benefit of working in the office! When we return to our desks, I commence the task of preparing draft court orders, which I forward to a more senior lawyer to settle. Next I log onto Ringtail, a program that manages large quantities of evidentiary documents, to locate a set of documents to review.
A magnificent feature of our new office is an expansive outdoor terrace, which is at the exclusive disposal of Norton Rose Fulbright. Today we have an inaugural barbeque on the terrace and as we chat and mingle, the sun disappears beneath the towering skyline of Melbourne. After a COVID stricken 2020 and the arduous lockdown that Melbourne endured, it still feels like a novelty to mix and enjoy interactions with colleagues without the essential involvement of a screen.
I return to my desk to check my emails and update my “to do” list. All urgent work is complete so I pack my bag and head home.
In the evening I like to slowly wind down so I take Ziggy, my Doberman for a walk (or rather, he walks me) and then settle down to watch an episode of a current TV series before heading off to bed.