I would love to say that I start my day with a morning run at 5.00 am however, I have learnt that sleep is a necessary commodity for a junior lawyer. Instead, I wake up at 7.00 am with breakfast and a coffee at home before jumping on the ferry with a podcast at the ready.
I am in my second rotation in the Major Projects and Construction team. The team filters in within the next hour - no one minds when you arrive, so long as you do your work. I am greeted by my supervising partner, 'Hey Boss, do you have time for a coffee?' We venture upstairs to our internal café (Café Clutz) where we order a coffee and chat about our current matters. Café Clutz is a go-to for me because all proceeds go towards the CU Foundation (and the view is stunning).
The mornings are a good time to plan and think. I like to look through any emails that have come in overnight and write a plan for the day on a post-it note that I stick on my computer. I also like to tackle any complex tasks early in the morning.
This morning I am drafting an advice on the law of penalties with respect to a proposed abatement regime but, while I am deep in research, a lawyer from the transactional side of the practice group asks whether I can assist with a document inspection in anticipation of settlement tomorrow. This takes precedence, and I spend the next hour reviewing and comparing documents with the lawyers on the other side.
I have a scheduled meeting with my supervising partner and special counsel to discuss a client who has received various notices from the Cladding Taskforce in relation to one of their buildings. The special counsel provides me with the factual background and a rundown of the issues that often arise in cladding matters. We draw up an agenda for the meeting later this week, based on our correspondence, and circulate to all attendees.
I return to my desk and read/annotate the relevant materials in preparation for that meeting. I also quickly read a number of cladding-related articles published by CU for context. These articles are produced periodically by lawyers at all levels within the firm through an initiative called Insight, and they are a great resource when working on a contemporaneous issue of law.
We have an internal communication system that allows us to instant message anyone in the firm across Australia. I use this to work out who I can convince to take a lunchtime gym class with me. The gym is directly across the road, which means you can be back at work within the hour. Lucky for me, my secretary books a class every day so we usually go together. Today we book a Grid Training class and eat lunch on the steps of our building to catch some sun and socialise before heading off.
I settle back into the penalties advice I began this morning and once I have developed my first draft, I step into the lawyer's office who instructed me with my preliminary thoughts and a few questions. Together we finalise the draft and send it to my supervising partner for comment. Within minutes, we are called into his office to provide a breakdown of the advice before sending it to the client.
I take a smoothie break with two other junior lawyers, one of which is on a 6-month secondment, to break up the afternoon and catch up on what they have been up to.
Counsel has requested that we prepare a brief of all authorities referred to in the defendant's submissions in a matter relating to the design and construction of a wind farm. This matter is currently being heard in the Victorian Supreme Court, so we are working closely with the Melbourne office who assist us in preparing and delivering documents.
I use the materials that were provided at our legal research training sessions and the intranet to locate the majority of authorities, but I have trouble finding a couple of UK Court of Appeal cases. I call the CU library who promptly send through the cases I am looking for. I send an electronic copy of the brief to our print room in Melbourne who compile the brief and deliver it to chambers.
The Major Projects and Construction team have a monthly meeting to discuss current and future matters. This is a great opportunity to hear about what the team is working on, check capacity and express interest in a particular matter. Even though I have been placed in the litigation team, I express interest in gaining some transactional experience. After the meeting, a lawyer from the transactional side of the practice group stops by my desk and asks whether I would like to assist with a contract consolidation next week.
Time for some pro bono work - I finalise an application to the Fair Work Division of the Federal Circuit Court and supporting affidavit in relation to an unpaid wages claim and send the documents through to the client for his instructions. Following this, I touch base with my team and ask whether anyone needs any help before I head off.
I end the day with entering my time and filing my emails before heading out to dinner for a friend's birthday. This friend is one year ahead at CU, so we all trickle down to a bar at the bottom of our building before heading off to a restaurant in Barangaroo.
I arrive home and unwind by preparing lunch for the next day/watching my latest Netflix obsession.