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Henry Davis York

  • 100 - 500 employees

Alexandra Greig

1) What's your job about?

We're an independent Australian law firm with talented lawyers and professionals. Our clients are primarily from the financial services and government sectors.

I am a Law Graduate in the Banking, Turnaround and Insolvency group, where my main responsibilities are to work with the Lawyers, Senior Associates and Partners on the matters I'm involved in, and to ensure that the junior lawyer work is completed in a way that satisfies the needs of our clients.

A typical day for me might involve drafting affidavits of witnesses for upcoming matters, winding up companies via a statutory demand, attending court, or researching legal avenues to help our clients. Throughout the day I would also attend meetings with my colleagues, either for briefings or a simple team catch up to see how everyone is travelling on the matter. It's a collaborate role, but one which carries with it individual responsibility at the same time.

Insolvency is at times a very exciting area of law, and there is always something new happening, whether it be new client matters or a change in the law that requires us to think about the ways in which we help our clients achieve their objectives. It is also an area of law that is spoken about a lot in the media, often with high profile insolvencies being announced - and there is nothing better than being involved in something that everyone is interested in. Not only is it exciting, but it also forces you to work to the best of your abilities.

2) What's your background?

I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney and completed my schooling at Loreto Kirribilli on Sydney's North Shore. I think my teenage year were an important stage in my life, as it was where I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer, and when I finally realised the qualities that it would take to get there. My sporting journey allowed for me to develop determination and drive, and my later school years taught me the meaning of hard work, and that once it's over, you can reap the benefits of all the time you put into achieving whatever goals you're striving for. I have also been fortunate to travel quite a bit, and whilst it is amazing to see the world, what is even more important to me is that travel has allowed me to embrace all different types of people and culture, and it has helped me become adaptable in my legal career.

I became a Law Graduate at Henry Davis York after completing a summer clerkship with the firm over the 2014/'15 summer. I was then fortunate enough to work as a paralegal throughout my final year of University in 2015, which allowed me to build my skill set before starting as a Graduate in 2016.

3) Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely. Provided that they have a law degree, anyone from any background could become a lawyer. It does not discriminate, in theory or in practice. There are however characteristics which I think would benefit someone in starting their legal career, with some of these being: resilience, a desire to learn, motivation and enthusiasm. The law can be dry at times, however, if someone has the desire to learn more, or the enthusiasm to do all of the 'boring' jobs to build their skill base, then the law becomes exciting and something that is ever changing.

4) What's the coolest thing about your job?

What I love most about my job is that I am given confidence from my team that I can complete even the most daunting and confusing of tasks. It can be nerve-wracking and worrying at times, but when the team behind you is helping you through, yet allowing you to figure it out for yourself, it becomes a source of motivation and drive. Another great part of my job is the ability to be so hands on with the work that we are doing - an example being attending meetings with witnesses in order to draft their affidavits. There is no better way to learn than to be present and to participate. But to be given the chance to learn so many new skills, and be a part of so many new matters, this early in my career, is something that I love.

5) What are the limitations of your job?

I guess the big limitation to being a Law Graduate is actually securing the role in the first place. With so many law graduates out of University, it can be a daunting time applying for jobs and sitting in numerous interviews. But, once that hard bit is over, limitations in terms of growth are almost non-existent, and a willingness to learn will ensure that. Sadly, sometimes working on weekends is part of the job, but at the end of the day, you know you are doing that in order to achieve your clients objectives and the team is always appreciative of that kind of sacrifice. There is also quite a bit of responsibility that comes with the job, and you do need to learn to own up to your mistakes and find the best way to fix them. However, this responsibility only makes you work harder and learn faster - so it's definitely not a bad thing!

6)  3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student... (Go back in time and meet yourself at university... What would you advise him or her?)

1. Get involved and enjoy yourself. That part of your life only lasts so long!

2. Stay healthy, active and social (maybe not too social(!!)).

3. Keep smiling. People will then smile with you and there is no better feeling that making people smile and laugh.