This article was written in May 2020, when K&L Gates was operating under mandatory work from home protocols. We have tried to give you the best indication of what a 'Day in the Life' is like at our firm, and have reflected on what a typical day looks like for our people when we are working from our offices.
I typically get out of bed at this time and start my day by taking my dog for a walk. I find that it is really important for me to make time for exercise as it leaves me feeling ready to take on the day ahead.
Arriving at work - first stop is the coffee machine! Once I have made my morning coffee I log into my computer to check my emails and daily calendar. Whilst I am not required to get to work at this time, I use this additional time to have breakfast and get an idea of what the day ahead might look like.
I can see that my supervising partner has asked me to complete a task by close of business today, however, I also am aware that one of the events in my calendar today is a teleconference with an international client that is with another partner in my group. I let my supervising partner know that I have a teleconference with another partner in our team this morning and will begin their task following this teleconference. I also make a mental note to let the other partner know that I have a task due today for my supervising partner. It is important to communicate your workload with the partners that you are working for so each partner is aware of your current workload and you can work with the partners to determine the priorities of the tasks you have been set.
The partner, another lawyer in my team, and I attend the teleconference with a US-based client regarding the orderly shutdown of their Australian company. Being a global commercial law firm enables us to work on a multitude of projects with both international and domestic clients, some of which are referred from other offices based on client requirements. I take a file note during the meeting and make a point of discussing any tasks that come out of the teleconference to confirm those that I should take on. I also confirm the priority of these additional tasks with the others that I have been assigned.
Following the teleconference, I start working on the task requested by my supervising partner. I have been asked to draft security documents for a client that is financing a purchase of a commercial property. Drafting security documents is a common task for a junior lawyer in the banking and finance team. This requires a review of the facility agreement (the agreement that sets out the terms and conditions on which a loan is to be made available to a borrower) to determine the required security documents. The security documents typically consist of a mortgage (security over real property), a general security agreement (creating an interest over a personal property which is registered on the Personal Properties and Securities Register) and a guarantee and indemnity (under which the guarantor secures the obligations of the borrower under the loan).
Having finalised the relevant documents I arrange a time with my supervising partner to discuss and settle the documents so that they can be sent out to the client. Whilst I also work closely with the other lawyers in my team, I often work directly with partners which provides me with great exposure and experience. I also have direct interaction with clients which allows me to build by legal communication skills.
I usually have lunch around this time as I find I am more productive in the mornings. For a break, I take a walk around the block to get some fresh air, sometimes with fellow colleagues if they are available.
When I return from lunch I see that I have received an email requesting expressions of interest for a pro-bono task researching domestic violence laws for an international client. I reach out to note my interest in the task and await further instructions. As a junior lawyer, I am often approached to participate in pro-bono matters and have found them to be both interesting and rewarding tasks. They also provide a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from various teams in both domestic and international offices.
I receive a telephone call regarding a presale review that we are undertaking for a client that is financing a development. I stop by the special counsels' office from our real estate team to see if he is available to discuss the presale review which I have drafted. I enjoy the variety of work that being in the banking and finance team brings and the opportunity to work with other teams. This variety is one of the reasons I chose to settle in the banking and finance team. I make the required amendments to the review and arrange for it to be sent to the client.
I commence work on the tasks that I was assigned following the teleconference. Due to the many different matters covered in winding down a company these tasks vary from contract reviews to the preparation of court documents for litigious matters. I make a note of any queries I may have and conduct some preliminary research into these issues so I can present possible solutions to the partner for his consideration.
Having finished drafting the relevant documents I print them off and deliver a hard copy to the partner as he prefers. I ask if he has time to discuss the issues I have identified and run over some of the less complicated issues with him and arrange a time tomorrow to have a more in-depth discussion about the outstanding issues.
After a brief chat with my supervising partner, I finish up the most pressing tasks from today's teleconference and provide the documents in hard copy to the partner.
Having addressed the more urgent matters of the day, I check in with the rest of my team to see if anyone else needs anything from me tonight before heading home. I catch the train home, take my dog for another walk to unwind and start preparing some dinner.
Time to relax on the couch with a TV show and slowly make my way to bed around 10.30 PM ready to start again tomorrow
* This article was written in May 2020, when K&L Gates was operating under mandatory work from home protocols. We have tried to give you the best indication of what a 'Day in the Life' is like at our firm, and have reflected on what a typical day looks like for our people when we are working from our offices.