The first thing I see after snoozing my alarm three times is a work email with the subject ‘Yeet’ and a meme. I roll out of bed, consider what could possibly count as ‘corporate wear’ in 43-degree heat when you have to take photos for this article (a bit meta) and shower. Twenty minutes later, I’m on the train into the city.
I arrive at work and check in at my flexi-desk. I am currently in the tax team as a graduate. My mentor and I swap some choice words about memes (we’ve been arguing the definition of ‘millennial’ and the conjugation of ‘yeet’ all week).
We have breakfast available every morning but Fridays are special - it’s bagel day! I’m slow off the mark so I grab myself a bowl of mushrooms and bacon with cream cheese on toast. I balance everything back to my desk and catch up on emails. I normally field emails as they come in throughout the day and plug away at my bigger tasks.
This morning I am using the Austax Private Binding Rulings database to research the Federal Commissioner of Taxation’s view about transfers of property into and out of special disability trusts and when there is a capital gains taxation event. In my opinion, the user interface and search function is more powerful compared to the Australian Taxation Office’s Legal Database (#nerd). Before long I’ve located some relevant rulings to supplement my reading of the legislation and I begin working on a quick email memo to the lawyer who asked for my help.
It’s time to brave the masses and grab some chocolate. The sweet treat is particularly calming today because I am about to meet with one of my supervising partners and People & Culture to discuss my settlement preferences. After a year of hard work in many different teams, the graduate program is drawing to a close and I will be taking my first steps on my career path. Fingers crossed!
The conversation went well - now to play the waiting game. I head back to my desk and get stuck into my next task. I am largely managing a company incorporation and an application for deductible gift recipient status, whilst also working closely with a partner across a number of matters. We are almost ready to incorporate the company but I contact the client to sort out a few small details first.
My colleague comes and grabs some folders from the partner sitting next to me - ‘some light weekend reading’ he says cheerfully. I say ‘okay, Hermione’ and he shoots back ‘Strike 3’ amid office laughter.
It’s lunchtime! Today I forgot my packed lunch, so I duck out for takeaway to bring back to the level 10 kitchen. I meet up with a bunch of friends from all over the firm - from Client Solutions, Payroll and Corporate & Commercial. We sit around for almost an hour, discussing how good roast beetroot salad is if you grow your own and what could be an environmentally sustainable replacement for alfoil. There’s always something bizarre or interesting being talked about!
I return to my desk and review the research advice I was writing in the morning with slightly fresher eyes. We place a lot of emphasis on clear communication and I find reviewing twice leads to the best results.
I’m halfway through when a new email flashes in the corner of the screen - our celebrity client has just called me ‘Tara’. I pause the review and swap to this matter, a charity trust fund. We need to establish the trust so we can get an ABN and bank account, then the funds raised by our client through a successful GoFundMe campaign can be safely transferred. It is a tight timeframe. We’ve already created a draft trust deed and the next step is a lot of paperwork to finalise things.
I’ve also previously researched fundraising licences in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Now it is time to put that research into action by drafting the applications. This takes up most of my afternoon but I want to finish it so the two partners I am working with can review the applications over the weekend or Monday. The client is coming on Tuesday to sign the seven or so documents to ‘settle’ (establish) the trust, apply for the ABN, open the bank account and the multiple applications of course. Phew!
Each practice team at Hall & Wilcox has its own daily quiz tradition. Two other grads and I corral the joined forces of the Banking and Financial Services team, the Corporate and Commercial team, the Tax Team and the Business Development team. There is a roster across the national graduate program as to who is writing quiz for the day (from the newspaper, then a reader’s question and a Who Am I? question). Today we ask what unusual warning was released in Miami recently? Forget drop bears - watch out for dropping iguanas! Apparently the weather has gotten so cold the iguanas become immobile and fall out of trees. We chuck chocolates at people for answering the most difficult questions.
On any other day, I would head back to my desk after quiz and finish up whatever task remains - leaving around 6.00 pm or maybe a little later. However, we always have Friday night drinks! I tie up some loose ends quickly and then get a glass of wine. The junior lawyers mainly go along and there is a revolving door of special counsel and partners too. I hang out with some friends from the Property & Projects team before heading off to a friend’s birthday party.
Truly Fridays are the crème de la crop.