What's your job about?
Wilson/ryan/grose Lawyers provide a wide variety of legal services to the Queensland community, and personally, I am involved in our area of Employment and Workplace Relations Law.
My work involves assisting the other solicitors in our workgroup with their matters – including attending client interviews and taking instructions, undertaking research, drafting required documents and other general administrative tasks. Every day is different, so there is not necessarily a “normal” day. Our clients can call us up with one question regarding the payment of Annual Leave and we can provide that advice and finalise that file in 30 minutes, or we can manage a claim for Unfair Dismissal through the Fair Work Commission which may take several months to complete.
I recently assisted in a matter that began in the Fair Work Commission, went through the Queensland Human Rights Commission, and was finalised in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. That matter was ongoing for over 12 months, start to finish, and I am glad we were able to achieve a pleasing result for our client.
What's your background?
I was born in Townsville and have lived here my whole life! I went to Kirwan State Primary School (which was right next door to my house) and then Ryan Catholic College for High School, graduating in 2014. I commenced university the next year at James Cook University studying a double degree Bachelor of Law / Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and went through my degree with people who are now some of my best mates!
For almost the entirety of my university life, I worked at Intersport (started as Sportscene) as a salesman. I am an absolute sports-nerd so that was a casual job I loved! On a more practical note – that job forced me to have to go up and be able to strike a conversation with strangers from a young age, which I believe has really helped with my ability to communicate effectively with clients at the beginning of my legal career.
I have been employed with my current firm for just over 12 months now – I was employed straight out of university. I undertook a period of work experience prior to my final exams and I was lucky enough that I was placed in the department where the firm was looking to hire a graduate the following year. I like to think that I made a good impression during my work experience, and that this really helped when it came to me applying for the graduate role. The rest is history!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
You do require legal qualifications to be able to do this job. However, the rest of my background is not crucial.
It is not essential that you are a local, but you do need to understand the employment needs of businesses and employees in regional areas as opposed to the metropolitan areas as they are vastly different.
I do believe that most important skills you should have when it comes to this job are good social skills as well as the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and written – otherwise how would you build a relationship with your clients!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
What I love the most about my job is that in our area of law, we can also act as quasi-HR consultants while we assist with our client’s employment matters. We don’t simply assist with ensuring your contracts are legal - we also undertake workplace investigations into complaints, assist with staff training and support our clients with their employee relations processes. It’s a more personal approach, and I really enjoy it!
What are the limitations of your job?
In this job, there are strict time constraints – this means there are days where you have to come in early, stay late, and even sometimes work on weekends. This is not a job where you can clock in at 9am and leave at exactly 5pm. It is very important to maintain a good work/life balance if you can foresee a career in the legal field.
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