Jovan Vukovic and Denise Goh are currently working on a cyber law doc review project with Wotton + Kearney. We caught up with them to find out more about their journey so far and see what advice they have for other law graduates.
Hi Jovan! Tell us about where you are up to with your studies at the moment? Why was this Yegal project a good fit for you?
I am currently in the final year of my law degree at Western Sydney University. I am studying a Bachelor of Laws/Social Science, and am in the process of completing my Honours. My Honours is related to Resource Conflict, and whether Corporate Annual reporting mitigates or exacerbates conflict over finite resources.
Wotton Kearney was very committed to providing training for myself and the other paralegals at the outset. This made us feel comfortable in the role. Wotton Kearney has a wealth of training resources, and great corporate culture, to ensure that every employee (ranging from junior paralegals to senior lawyers) is supported and appreciated.
Denise, what can you tell us about the variety of matters you’ve worked on at W+K? What technology have you been using?
We have been very fortunate to have been engaged on some very exciting projects during our time here at Wotton + Kearney. The breaches I have worked on have involved diverse from dealing with medical practices to architectural firms. We have mainly been using Canopy technology, which is a really sophisticated legal technology.
It proactively helps us identify important information, shortening the time taken for us to review the document, and allowing us to focus on the more contentious issues. The team of lawyers including Ronny Raychaudhuri and Jorge Nicholas were very helpful in showing us the ropes too!
Jovan, how has this project changed your perspective on what working in a law firm would be like?
My experience working in a paralegal role has largely been within the scope of contracts, leases and commercial law. Due to these experiences, I had some assumptions about the legal profession and the overall inflexibility or difficulty in maintaining a work/life balance. Since joining WK, I have personally seen unquestionable support, understanding and empathy. This has altered my overall perception of working within the legal profession, as employees at WK seem to be genuinely satisfied with their careers and the level of support they receive.
Due to having a heavy study load from my honours, Wotton Kearney was also very accepting of my study schedule, as well as providing additional resources to ensure I was upskilled in various tasks. I was personally trained in using ExpertTime, and also in accessing Citrix and Canopy. Wotton Kearney ensured that I was given room to grow and was trained on an individual level, making sure that I felt like I could perform at my best.
Denise, Cyber Law is a growing focus area for young lawyers given the use of emerging tech in all walks of our life. What are your personal insights on the practice of cyber law?
Cyber law is an incredibly new and exciting field, especially as more and more of us have access to and know how to use the internet. But whilst most of us “know” how to use the internet, we don’t really see the dangers of it and don’t really have good internet hygiene.
My time in the cyber law practice has exposed me to this side of the internet, and has taught me to think more about preventative measures that I can take, and that I can advise my future clients to take, to ensure our safety and privacy on the internet is protected.
Jovan, you mentioned the great support resources at Wotton + Kearney for paralegals. What advice were you given from direct reports during the project?
Jorge Nicholas was an immense help. He was always available to answer questions, and was always able to provide 1 on 1 training to ensure that I fully understood how to complete the work required. I was able to contact him via text, Microsoft Teams or email, and he was always prompt in replying.
Even within the wider review team, Jorge was always encouraging and able to answer questions that ensured that all of us within the team understood how to go about a task, as well as whether we needed assistance with particularly lengthy documents. Regardless of how many documents you had reviewed, Jorge was always compassionate and understanding, which ensured that the team felt supported and were able to complete our best work.
Denise, do you think students and paralegals should try to gain industry experience in law firms during their undergraduate years? What has this experience taught you?
100% yes! More than just giving you a practical perspective on what the practice of law is like outside of university, it teaches you new skills which you can carry on to different aspects of your career. The W+K experience in particular has taught me how important it is to never assume anything.
In university we are often told to presume facts when you are not provided with them. In the practice of law however, it is so incredibly important to get things right and to ask questions wherever needed rather than assume. The team at W+K has been so incredibly helpful in this regard, supporting me through the entire process, helping me learn and grow.
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