What’s your role?
I am a Law Graduate in the Statutory and General Insurance teams of Hall & Wilcox in Brisbane
Where did you grow up? What's your background? Where did you study?
I grew up in Maitland, New South Wales and went to Maitland High School. I really enjoyed legal studies at school and had considered a career in law, but it was Biology that I really loved. So after school, I completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Newcastle majoring in biology. I spent my honours year researching foetal development, which led me to work in reproductive biology laboratories in Newcastle and Sydney. It was an amazing experience, but my curiosity for law had never really gone away. So after a few years, I enrolled in postgraduate Law with the University of Queensland and graduated in 2018.
Can you tell us a little bit about your employer?
Although I had worked in many different jobs, I had not worked in a large firm before, and I really had no idea what it would involve. When I started I was assigned a buddy and a mentor - both of whom made my transition into firm life a breeze. They were always available for me to check-in and ask all the little and big questions, and were happy for me to work on their files.
Over a year in, Hall & Wilcox has exceeded all my expectations. Put plainly, our teams are supportive and motivated, and they take the time to teach. Our open-plan spaces mean I can learn from others as they work. We dress for our day. We work from home if that works best… although it is quite difficult to compare home to our new office spaces!
What does your job involve? What are your responsibilities?
The graduate program has been excellent. I have rotated through our two Insurance practice areas and gained invaluable exposure to each.
My roles and responsibilities have varied across the rotations. My job has involved everything from drafting court documents to attending client meetings. I have carried my own files, supported others during complex litigation, reviewed and summarised highly sensitive information, undertaken research for internal and external stakeholders and attended mediations and settlement conferences.
Throughout these roles, my ongoing responsibility is to be genuine, engaged and curious. I am expected to ask questions, and to do the best work I can.
How did you choose your specialisation? Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?
In the final years of my degree, I spent a bit of time volunteering and really thought community legal services and pro bono work would be the job for me. However, to get some corporate experience, I volunteered as a paralegal in an in-house team of an insurance company and just loved it. However, the two are not mutually exclusive, as the Hall & Wilcox Pro Bono program means I can maintain my connection with community legal services across a broad spectrum of matters outside my specific specialisation.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely. It is not my background which helps me do my job, the key is being engaged, having attention to detail and the drive to reach the best outcome for our clients. My non-traditional background brings a diversity of experience and perspective to the role. It is a variety that brings vibrancy and resilience to a team.
You never know, it may just be that thing you learnt from a previous degree, or a previous job, which gives you the insight your client really values.
What are the limitations of your job?