Updating Results

Gadens

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Elizabeth Gregory

Be willing and enthusiastic to learn - having a positive attitude is key.

Where did you grow up? 

I am a Sydney girl born and raised. I moved to Melbourne for university straight after high school and lived on campus for a couple of years. Living out of home for the first time in a new city was a big adjustment!

Throughout university, I had a number of casual jobs and interned at various boutique and mid-sized law firms. I was also lucky enough to participate in a three week intensive subject on Economics and Business Law, which was taught in Shanghai and Hong Kong during my second year of law. 

How did you get to your current job position? 

I got to my current position after completing the 2019 Grads@Gadens program. During the program, I rotated through the Corporate Advisory and the Banking and Finance: Corporate and Institutional teams. 

I was recently placed in the Corporate Advisory team at Gadens after completing my graduate year.  

How did you choose your specialisation?

Before starting at Gadens, I worked at a large firm where I was part of the Corporate and Real Estate team. I really enjoyed my time in the Corporate and Real Estate space so I was keen to continue exploring this interest at Gadens. When I came to Gadens, my first rotation was in the Corporate Advisory team and my second rotation was in the Banking and Finance: Corporate and Institutional team.

I was quite torn at the end of my grad year as to which area I would preference as I enjoyed both teams for very different reasons! For me, a career in the Corporate Advisory space was really exciting because of the breadth of opportunity and exposure to so many different streams of work. 

What was your interview process like? 

The interview process consisted of a phone interview, a first-round interview, a second-round interview and a cocktail evening. Each of the interviews was very conversational and relaxed. The first round interview consisted mainly of behavioural questions, whereas the second round interview, with a Partner and the HR Manager, was much more conversational. I found the second round interview to be more of a discussion where I had the opportunity to learn a lot about Gadens and the type of work the firm undertakes. 

What does your employer do?

Gadens is a commercial law firm.

What are your areas of responsibility?

As a junior lawyer, my main responsibility is to provide support and assistance to the more senior members of the team. I often work directly with partners, but also work very closely with the special counsels and senior associates in my team.

Can you describe a typical workday?

As cliché as it sounds, there is no typical workday! Every day starts with a team coffee run, which is a great way to catch up with my peers, but also to stay in the loop with what everyone in the team is up to. From then I could have any number of tasks, these could include drafting and preparing documents, attending meetings and sometimes some research. Often urgent tasks come up so I have had to get really good at juggling competing deadlines and working under pressure.

I am currently working on a few large transactions so I have been working through all of the documentation and assisting the team to make sure that completion can happen on time. 

What are the career prospects with your job?

As a lawyer, I truly think that I can go anywhere with my job. The possibilities are endless; many lawyers continue in private practice, some go in-house, others leave the industry completely. Everyone chooses their own path, which is really exciting as a junior!

Could someone with a different background do your job?

When I finished law school, I didn't have any commerce or business training but have managed to find my feet in the world of commercial law. As our industry is so diverse, I don't think there is any particular background that you need.  

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now? 

I'm not too sure, if I had to choose another career I would like to try out event planning!

What do you love the most about your job? 

I love the variety that comes with transactional work. I most enjoy working on transactions, rather than advisory work, as I have the opportunity to do a range of different tasks; from drafting and preparing documents to project management. It's quite exciting feeling a part of your client's growth. I also love the adrenalin of working on a big deal and being part of a team. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

The unpredictability (although I also see that as a big pro) as it's often hard to get a gauge on workflow. As a junior, I have been lucky enough to get a lot of responsibility and get stuck into substantive work, so sometimes it can feel stressful. That being said, I have always felt that I have had the support and guidance of my more senior colleagues. During my grad year, one of the special counsels in my team said to me to always seek out help if I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed. The more senior members in your team have done this all before and will always be a lot better at managing their time and stress levels!

Weekend work and late nights are not the norm, but when things come up, everyone pitches in to help.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  1. Don't be afraid to ask questions – there's no such thing as a dumb question.
  2. Be willing and enthusiastic to learn - having a positive attitude is key.
  3. Seek out opportunities. Take responsibility for your career and what you want.