Danielle Lukic, Graduate in Litigation (Perth office)
Gilbert + Tobin is a leading independent corporate law firm, practicing in a number of different areas including Energy + Resources, Litigation and Corporate Advisory (Perth office). I commenced at G+T as a paralegal in Energy + Resources and have recently transitioned into my first graduate rotation in Litigation.
Much of my day-to-day work involves drafting, whether it be a statement of claim, an affidavit, an outline of submissions or briefs to junior/senior counsel. Whilst the tasks themselves may appear to be same, the areas of law to which they relate are incredibly varied. I would describe an exemplary day as one which involves court attendance, particularly for matters I have worked on quite intensely. The opportunity to follow my work from initial instructions through to witnessing the final outcome unfold in court has been very satisfying.
I was born and have grown up in Perth, Western Australia. In 2010, I commenced my Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics at the University of Notre Dame Australia. During my tertiary studies, I was a volunteer law clerk at the Fremantle Community Legal Centre, where I regularly assisted the duty lawyer at the Fremantle Magistrates Court. This enabled me to assist those in the community that are socially and economically disadvantaged, which improved my communication skills and my ability to relate to people. The position also required me to maintain standards of professionalism even in the most confronting situations. I was also fortunate enough to both study and work abroad. In 2013, I completed my final semester of Economics at the University of Portland, Oregon in the U.S and the year after was offered a research internship at the Institute of Economics Affairs in London. Collectively, these experiences have shaped me to be a more independent and adaptable individual. Thus far, I have found this to be the most useful skill in that the matters before you can, and often do, take unexpected turns.
Yes. Today, law firms are operating in an increasingly fierce and competitive market in which providing innovative legal solutions is an important differentiator. Being in a diverse team/work environment is useful in that each person has their own unique way of approaching a legal problem. Similarly, having a wide range of opinions means few stones are left unturned and the overall solution provided is likely to be more creative.
I believe the biggest challenge during the student/graduate transition is coming to terms with how little a law degree actually prepares you for practice. Ironically enough, this is what I have liked most about my job thus far – the fact that I’m constantly learning.
A career in law frequently demands the completion of complex work within tight deadlines. As such, it may be necessary to work outside standard business hours from time to time. Everyone deals with these busy periods in their own way and my advice would be to explore what works for you.