Conor McCavana, Lawyer, Perth shares his career journey, hints and tips.

Conor is a lawyer in MinterEllison’s dispute resolution team in Perth.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I chose law because I love court work, and I’m happy to say that the partners here support that and give me opportunities to appear in court.

What rotations have you done?

I’ve had the chance to rotate in: PIC (Projects, Infrastructure and Construction); Competition, Risk and Regulatory; Insurance and Dispute Resolution. The length of MinterEllison’s graduate program, from clerkship to lawyer, has allowed me to try enough areas that I’ll feel confident picking the right practice area for me.

Have you undertaken any secondments?

Yes! I have been working one day per week at a community legal centre providing employment law advice. It’s been a great opportunity to develop client- facing skills, and I’m glad MinterEllison emphasises creating lasting impacts in our community. I’ve heard directly from the CLC clients how valuable that service is, and I’m happy to be a part of that.

What was the last major project you worked on?

A Commission of Inquiry in Papua New Guinea (PNG) into the process of PNG obtaining a US$1.3 billion dollar loan to participate in the PNG LNG project.

It is a large matter with scores of witnesses and terabytes of documents.

The partners on the matter were happy to have me and other juniors involved in preparing summons to witnesses, digging into the evidence, and drafting chapters of the final report.

So how did you start your day today

I worked from home because I prefer it when I have tasks that require long stretches of uninterrupted focus. I had breakfast and made myself webcam-presentable for a team meeting. We had a check in on how everyone is feeling and talked about what the week has in store for us. I had some small tasks to get off my desk: emailing a client for instructions, drafting a summons, and updating some submissions. Then I got stuck into reviewing documents ahead of a public examination in a few weeks. I’ll be assisting counsel at the examination because I’ll be across the documentary evidence.

Firms will look for people who are a good fit for them. Do the same thing – look for a firm that will be a good fit for you.”  

Do you have any advice for those going through the clerkship process this year?

It (almost) goes without saying, but be yourself. Firms will look for people who are a good fit for them. Do the same thing – look for a firm that will be a good fit for you.

Get as much practical experience in law as possible. Not only will you stand out as a candidate, but you’ll also get a head start on your career.


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