I completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney and began working as a Paralegal at Colin Biggers & Paisley in May 2017. This year, I commenced my first rotation in the Graduate Program, joining the Corporate and Dispute Resolution practice group.
Life as a Graduate - What you should expect in the Graduate Program.
Starting the day!
I usually get into the office at around 8.30 am, touching base with the junior solicitor and senior associate in the Employment and Safety team. The diverse nature of the Corporate and Dispute Resolution practice, extending over a number of practice areas, provides a wealth of experience and exposure for someone at my level and means that no two days are the same.
My morning is fast paced as I begin prioritising my tasks for the day. I find the mornings when I am able to attend court the most enjoyable as it gives me an opportunity to work with a number of very skilled litigators on some very interesting matters. It is only my first rotation and I have already had an array of invaluable court experience, ranging from class action proceedings arising from the liquidation of a major retailer to hearings in the Court of Appeal or employment disputes in the Federal Court.
The morning a senior associate asked me to do my first ever court appearance still remains the most memorable; a simple yet daunting task.
After returning from court, I dive straight back into other matters and cases with my team. During my first rotation, I have been assisting the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation to provide pro bono advice to a number of organisations in the not-for-profit sector on their obligations under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).
It is around lunch time that I usually head out to the gym. Fortunately, there is a gym conveniently located in our building. Colin Biggers & Paisley definitely has a culture that encourages its staff to get out and have a break; no one is chained to their desk. There is nearly always social sport happening, be it a touch footy or soccer competition, and you'll often see staff running off to these at this time.
Afternoons as a Graduate!
In the afternoon, I have learnt to expect the unexpected! I often find myself working on research tasks or urgent court documents that need to be filed. Recently, I received a call from a partner in Brisbane to prepare an advice that required me to cover a range statutory and common law duties applicable to our client. The trust that the partner ultimately had in me to turn the advice around in such a short time frame was encouraging and is a testament to the supportive culture at Colin Biggers & Paisley.
The day really doesn't end when the work is done. I often get the opportunity to attend an event or function - be it a young professionals wine-tasting hosted by one of our clients, a photo exhibition organised by the Marrickville Legal Centre at our office, or a dinner with the other graduates in the program.
What is it like at Colin Biggers & Paisley?
I was instantly struck by the Colin Biggers & Paisley culture, finding authenticity and a strong work ethic underpin the actions of everyone here. The opportunities you are given and the people you work with is what makes Colin Biggers & Paisley special. Everyone is highly supportive and I have found that my work is always noticed and appreciated. As a graduate, I have faced challenges and been handed responsibilities that allow me to develop and become a better lawyer every day. The graduate program has given me such a terrific start to my legal career.