INTERN, 2018 | Paralegal, 2018
I have recently completed my third year studying a Bachelor of Business (Finance)/Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney.
The opportunity to undertake an internship at Colin Biggers & Paisley was awarded as the first place prize in the 2018 UTS Law Interview Challenge. In a hall with over twenty interviewers, I was challenged to undergo a series of mock interviews. The top three performers were called to answer an additional question in front of a live audience to determine the winner. I was thrilled to win the competition and start my internship.
The internship spanned a period of three weeks across four practice groups: Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Construction, Property and Insurance. I shadowed graduates across each group and received valuable insights into the daily tasks of graduates at Colin Biggers & Paisley. I quickly learnt that each day meant a new set of challenges.
On my first day, I was introduced to the Dispute Resolution team and found everyone to be welcoming and supportive. Off the bat, I was allowed to get stuck into an interesting matter involving a dispute between a developer and sub-contractor. I assisted with legal research, writing case summaries and memos to explain my research concisely. I received valuable feedback on my work, formatting and writing style. It was exciting to apply my theory-based knowledge from university as I recognised familiar themes from my studies. I was surprised by the number of opportunities I was given as an intern to get involved in real matters.
I was also given the opportunity to observe and take notes in court. Notably, with the Insolvency team I was able to witness Senior Counsel in action during a cross-examination. I was fascinated by his tactical methodology and reasoning throughout the day while he interacted with the examinee and the judge.
The team at Colin Biggers & Paisley went the extra mile to welcome me. I found that senior staff were more than happy to spend the time to bring me up to speed or to explain complex legal principles. I was also able to tag along for team meetings and client calls. With the Property team, I was given the opportunity to work in-depth on two pro bono research tasks. I was regularly given autonomy in my work and received useful feedback and mentoring. I thoroughly enjoyed the working culture at Colin Biggers & Paisley.
Overall, I found the experience to be extremely valuable. I gained exposure to areas of law that I would not have otherwise. The experience has given me an insight into the often captivating nature of litigation as well as the fascinating inner-workings of transactional matters.
Now, in my ongoing role as a paralegal within the Corporate and Dispute Resolution practice group, I continue to gain a wide-range of experience by performing work across teams, including research, drafting, and review tasks. Primarily, I complete work for the Commercial and Corporate transactional and advisory team and Commercial Litigation team. However, I also have gained exposure to the Transport and Logistics team, Employment team, and Restructuring and Insolvency team. In turn, I have been afforded the opportunity to expand upon the knowledge I gained as an intern through exposure to diverse areas of law, such as privacy law and international transactions.