Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I am a recent UNSW Arts/Law Graduate and currently waiting for admission as a lawyer. I started off university pursuing a Commerce/Law degree, as it seemed like the most versatile degree at the time. I didn’t enjoy Commerce, so I switched over to an Arts degree majoring in International Relations and minoring in Economics. This pathway enabled me to pursue my interests in foreign affairs, diplomacy and the international political economy, and also allowed me to go on exchange to the UK, really incentivising the six long years I was in University.
Where were you at with your studies and career at the point you first connected with Yegal?
In early 2019, I had come back from exchange, just finished a work experience program at a law firm exploring Employment Relations and Dispute Resolution, and was contemplating whether I would want to dip my feet in corporate law. I had never really seen myself thriving in a corporate law space but didn’t want to discount it based on ‘feel’. I first connected with Yegal through a friend who introduced me to the team, and not long after I expressed my interest, Yegal was able to find a placement for me at Clyde & Co.
Tell us about your experience with Yegal?
My experience with Yegal has been very seamless and rewarding. With my first placement at Clyde & Co, I was able to gain insight into what working in the corporate law space was really like. It’s always a juggling act for students managing work commitments/availability around university study. Yegal was really accomodating in helping me to manage my first placement around my studies which took a lot of the pressure off. One of the takeaways for me was that paralegal work in big firms tends to focus on ediscovery or document review. Having been through that phase now I can see in hindsight that these are vital skills that will be required even at an associate or senior associate level.
After working at Clyde & Co on a number of projects that ranged from a few weeks to a few months, I did an internship at one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. Yegal appreciates paralegals who commit to the projects you sign up for, but also understands that law students are curious and may want to explore other areas or take up other opportunities where they arise. Once the internship came to an end in February 2020, I reached out to Yegal once again to find out about upcoming work projects. Despite the very volatile job market as a result of Covid19, I secured a short-term position at a boutique property law firm with Yegal’s help. Following this, I was matched to a placement at Wotton+Kearney in February 2021.
What was the main benefit of getting to experience different areas of the legal profession while you were still studying?
As law students, we’re introduced to a lot of book-based knowledge and theory, but practical experience is not something that can be taught. Being ambitious and seeking out practical experience whilst studying enables you to leave University with a better idea of where you stand. I left University knowing which areas of law I would or would not want to pursue further and this, I believe, saved me a lot of time.
What was the outcome of your most recent placement?
My most recent placement with Yegal was with Wotton+Kearney for a 10-week project. After the project concluded, W+K offered me a full-time position as a Law Graduate. I am currently working in the General Liability team working on a range of matters including construction, personal injury and property damage.
What’s the best part about working at Wotton+Kearney?
The culture and people at W+K are great. If there’s anything that makes working enjoyable, it’s definitely the people that you do the work with.
What advice would you give to any students thinking of applying to Yegal Paralegal?
I definitely would recommend it. As much as it’s important to have good grades and maintain your studies, practical experience is just as valuable – both for personal insight and with regard to future employability. If you’re looking to just gain some experience, or even just to get big law firm names onto your CV, Yegal is a great pathway. If you’re looking for a placement that might lead to a permanent role with the firm, that is definitely something that is also possible.
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