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Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Rosie Cham

6.25 AM

I get up for a gym class, get dressed, and roll out the door (not every morning, but I’ve definitely chosen to describe my most productive day). If I’m going to the gym I pack my work clothes and make my lunch the night before so I can get up as late as possible and still make it to the gym. Luckily, since I moved back to Melbourne from Canberra the gym is still walking distance from my apartment!

7.50 AM

I leave the gym and jump on a tram down Bourke Street to work. I spent last year in Canberra as a graduate with AGS and have now settled in the Melbourne office in the Dispute Resolution practice, so I head to the office to shower and change.

8.30 AM

I’m at my desk. I open up my emails while I eat my yogurt and have a look at the to-do list I left myself last night – a couple of hours of research for a Freedom of Information (FOI) dispute, a couple of hours of document review for a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation and some short court documents to write in a migration matter. I’m technically in the Information Law team but since the Administrative Law team is so busy I usually spend some of my time helping them out too! I’m happy about this since it’s really interesting work and changes up the kinds of matters I’m working on. I’ll do my research this morning while my brain is still awake and save the document review for my afternoon slump.

AGD Graduate - Young female lawyer working at her desk.

9.00 AM

Quick coffee break with another junior in my team! I decided to try to not buy any coffee this year and it lasted one day. 

11.00 AM

An email comes in from a Senior Executive Lawyer (SEL), forwarding some further information the client has provided for an affidavit in a migration case I’ve been helping out with. The affidavit is due today so I switch over to quickly update what we have with the new information and send it back to the SEL.

AGD Graduate - Two young professionals having meeting.

12.00 PM

I’m hungry so I get my lunch out of the fridge and eat it while I read a case. In Canberra, all the grads had lunch together every day at 12.30 pm on the dot, and we would usually have taken the full hour to eat and chat – I miss it! I’m a bit busier as a first year, so I tend to have a quicker lunch break and go for a walk around the block and get distracted with internal messages to and from my grad friends every couple of hours.

1.45 PM

I’m deep in my document review and a reminder pops up that one of the lawyers in my team has invited me to watch him appear in a final hearing at the Federal Circuit Court today. I still have a fair bit of work to do this afternoon but I feel like it’s worth it to go observe as I haven’t been to this kind of hearing before, so it will be a good learning experience. 

AGD Graduate - Young female lawyer reading a book at the library.

2.00 PM

I pop across to the Federal Court building (it’s less than a 10-minute walk from the office) and find my colleague waiting for the courtroom to open. He gives me some background about the matter while we wait to go in.

2.15 PM

The hearing goes for about an hour. It’s good to see how they happen in practice and to get a feel for the expectations of the solicitors appearing – I’m hoping to get some practice appearing myself in the next couple of months but the real thing feels like a bit of a step up from mooting at uni! 

3.30 PM

The decision is reserved so we head back to the office via a late-afternoon coffee and debrief about how the hearing went. It’s really good to get a perspective from someone who is only a year or two ahead of me, and I’m excited about the bread-and-butter litigation experience I’m going to get in this team. 

3.50 PM

We’re back in the office and I find some emails from the SEL and the client about the affidavit from earlier. It’s a bit of a race against the clock to finalise the details and get it back to the SEL to settle, but between me, the SEL and a very helpful Legal Assistant we get the affidavit done.

4.45 PM

Nearly 5.00 pm already! I have a look at my to-do list to see if there is anything that needs to be finished today and decide to tick off some of the other short court documents so I can have a less stressful start tomorrow. I haven’t drafted the same kind of document before, but I check through some precedents and end up with something that I’m 85% sure is what I was supposed to do. I send them off to the Senior Lawyer supervising me to be settled.

5.30 PM

The office is starting to empty out and it’s time for me to go too! I pack up my desk and yell goodbye to the people left on the floor, then head on out to my evening.