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Thomson Geer

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Catie Raymond

One of the best things about my job is knowing that you are helping clients achieve their goals, whether personal or business-related.

What's your job about?

Thomson Geer is a large corporate law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We work with a wide variety of clients, ranging from small private organisations to large ASX-listed companies. Our firm covers areas such as intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, employment and workplace relations, banking and finance, environment and planning, property and tax.

I am a lawyer in the Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions team in the Adelaide office. Our team works on both corporate and advisory matters and, in particular, assisting clients who are looking to buy and sell businesses with the legal side of the transaction. Most acquisitions are confidential and conducted on a tight timeframe, which makes the work all the more interesting.

My role is to assist the partners and senior lawyers with anything from research tasks, to drafting transactional agreements, to assisting companies with their internal management systems. As a graduate lawyer, I get the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks across numerous matters at once. Each day is different, which makes coming to work exciting.

What's your background?

I grew up in the inner northern suburbs of Adelaide and went to Wilderness School. Throughout my high school years, I tossed up a range of career options including architecture and engineering. In the end, I chose law almost by default, as it allowed me to keep my options open. I went straight from school to university, where I studied a double degree in law and international studies. I have had the travel bug for as long as I can remember, so spent my university years planning my next overseas trip around my studies. I managed to fit in a six month exchange to the Netherlands and two trips to the USA and Canada.

Throughout my university years, I volunteered in a community legal centre, undertook legal work experience and worked part-time as a clerk for a small Adelaide law firm. These roles ultimately helped me to realise what a rewarding and diverse career I could have as a lawyer.

I was a clerk at Thomson Geer in the 2016/2017 summer clerk program and was offered a graduate job for 2017. Thomson Geer has a 12 month graduate program consisting of two rotations. I spent my first rotation in the Environment & Planning team, which gave me a fantastic exposure to leading renewables technology and other environment matters around Australia, and the opportunity to interact with clients. I spent my second rotation in the Corporate team, where I am now as a lawyer.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Definitely. There is no single perfect fit for a corporate lawyer – you just need a passion for problem solving, the ability to think outside the box and a law degree. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is meeting people from different backgrounds and Thomson Geer recognises that diversity creates a stronger and better work environment.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of the best things about my job is knowing that you are helping clients achieve their goals, whether personal or business-related. I would consider this to be the most rewarding aspect of advisory and transactional work.

What are the limitations of your job?

Although the perks outweigh the limitations, it can sometimes be challenging to manage the pressure of achieving billable targets, keeping on top of work and maintaining a work/life balance. As a result, I have become an incessant list maker since starting fulltime work!

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Don't spend all your time on your studies. Employers look for graduates who have explored other hobbies and interests and have a well-balanced life. That's not to say you shouldn’t focus on your studies, but branch out and find other areas you are interested in.
  • As cliché as it may sound, create your own path. Don't just follow the person in front of you because you think that's what a legal career should look like.
  • Make the most of internships, volunteering roles and clerkships while you are at university – for your own benefit. The earlier you start, the more time you have to explore your career options.