Ashlee shares her experience as a graduate in Sydney

What opportunities have you been given during your time in the graduate program?

As a graduate I have been offered a variety of opportunities to develop my career as a corporate lawyer. I have co-authored a paper outlining MinterEllison's view on a new ruling issued and the implications for developers in the industry. I have driven client meetings and from those meetings, drafted submissions on behalf of our client to apply for a private ruling.

Internally, I have developed strong networks by joining various sporting teams and attending events held by our Junior Lawyers Committee. I have co-presented to the junior lawyers and have been a buddy to the clerks who have rotated through my team.  

From a technical perspective, I have developed well-rounded and foundational skills from the internal training sessions offered through the graduate program and collectively, these sessions have helped mould me into both a technical and approachable lawyer.

What did you find the most rewarding part of the graduate program?

The most rewarding part of the graduate program has been that I get to experience the program with an exceptional cohort of people who I can honestly say are not just my colleagues, but lifelong friends. Entering the corporate world can be a challenge and having a good bunch of people around you to understand and support you is invaluable.

I would also say that everyone at the firm is approachable and is willing to listen, explain...and even willing to answer those 'simple' questions.

How has the firm supported you in the transition from university to firm?

Transitioning from full-time study to full-time work can be difficult as it requires you change gears and put everything you've learnt into practice, but the lawyers at MinterEllison are exceptional at what they do and approachable at the same time.

The level of support received from both junior and senior lawyers throughout the firm has been very welcoming – people readily reach out, see how you are going, arrange coffees and are available to answer all questions.

What tips would you pass on to the next group of graduates through the door?

First and foremost, show a genuine interest in every task you are delegated. The people here are passionate about what they do and when they see the same fire and drive in graduates, they are excited by it and get you involved. You also gain responsibility and eventually you will be a quintessential part to a headliner transaction.

Secondly, be self-aware and develop your personal brand. It's great to be involved with the firm and meet people you work with who have similar interests to you. The firm has a lot of great opportunities that are offered to junior lawyers, so bite the bullet and become a name and face people recognise across the firm.   

Finally, fear and self-doubt are obstacles to unlocking your full potential – be confident, have a go and ask questions.

How have you experienced innovation at the firm?   

Innovation is at the forefront of MinterEllison's strategy and this is a key reason why I chose the firm. Initiatives are constantly being introduced by leadership to advance the firm and juniors are encouraged to participate in these initiatives and shape the future of the firm. Changes such as the open plan layout, flexible working options and tech savvy solutions to corporate governance and compliance are some examples of how MinterEllison is evolving over time. With Tony Harrington's appointment as CEO of MinterEllison, positive and innovative changes are being made - it's really an exciting time to be a part of the firm and grow with it!

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