Thinking about working and studying at the same time?

This is what a “typical” day looks like for a Law Student working at Farrar Gesini Dunn

5.30am – Often the day starts with some exercise (apparently doctors say it’s good for you) although admittedly sometimes the snooze button gets a workout instead, especially around exam time.

8.30am – Day commences at the office and phones start ringing, we make sure our fish are fed and we grab our laptops and locate a place to sit (one day we can be sitting next to a fellow assistant, the next day we could be sitting next to a Director , we utilise an activity based environment)

9.15am – Daily meetings happen within our “Pods”. At Farrar Gesini Dunn we work in teams and check in with each other on a daily if not hourly basis.

9.30am – Preparing our Solicitors for their day. Whether it be a: Collaborative meeting, Conciliation Conference, Appointment to sign your Will, new client appointment or heading off to Court for a Final Hearing, we make sure the Solicitors have everything that they may possibly need to run their day efficiently (and that usually includes coffee as well)

10am – Our mornings vary depending on the day. On an average day we may be preparing briefs for counsel, sending out letters, distributing collaboration documents to all parties, taking a phone call from our clients, making sure their matters are progressing and that they have the necessary support and even writing blog posts.

12.30 pm  – Lunchtime is often utilized by us for additional study time (more often than not), this time is also often used to top up our caffeine levels and maybe sneak in quick turn on the office swing.

1.30pm – Checking emails, responding to queries, sending out correspondence, making sure solicitors have everything they need and making multiple phone calls which may include, but are not limited to (note: using legal language already!) the following: psychologists, accountants, barristers, the Courts (for example: Federal Circuit Court, Supreme Court, Magistrates Court and/or the Family Court), other law firms, super funds and other government agencies.

3.30pm – Often involves a ‘light jog’ (or mad rush, depending on the time) to the Court Registry, to file, collect or otherwise deal with any potential court documents. Online filing of documents is thankfully making this less common.

4pm – Review and prepare for the following day. Making sure that solicitors are prepared for the next day and anticipating what may be required for the rest of the week. Being paperless also enables us to work remotely (which is advantageous when studying full-time).

5.30pm – A sprint to get to University, (or if it is one of the rare days off – a study session usually takes place). Luckily for us our central location means that University isn’t too far away and our lecturers are lenient to (occasional) tardiness.

8pm – Class is out for the day or study session over. We often arrive home late in the evening, have a short break and then continue studying (our brains are occupied with “law” pretty much 24/7).

Evening – bedtime (finally!), often dependent on what we have on, but we all aim to get as much sleep as possible.

No two days are ever the same, we gain significant exposure to various law matters on a daily basis and all strive to one day apply the knowledge we have obtained at Farrar Gesini Dunn to become successful Family Lawyers and Estates Specialists.

By: Linda Kaczmarek & Madeline Hill

Linda and Madeline work as Assisting Secretaries at Farrar Gesini Dunn, Canberra Office.