Updating Results

Thomson Geer

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Seshika Paiva

There is a very clearly defined career path for lawyers at Thomson Geer, whether the aspiration is to become a Partner of the firm or to go down a different path.

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Dandenong in Melbourne. I completed high school at Sacred Heart Girls' College in Oakleigh, beginning my university studies in 2013. During my university studies, I worked part-time as an administrative assistant at an engineering firm and later as a legal assistant at a law firm. Throughout university, I also volunteered at my local community legal centre.

How did you get to your current job position?

During my penultimate year of university, I completed a clerkship with Thomson Geer's Property & Projects team. After my clerkship, I commenced work as a law clerk with the Construction & Infrastructure team providing assistance with discovery for litigation matters, and applied to become part of the firm's Graduate Program through these opportunities.

How did you choose your specialisation?

I am currently completing a rotation in the Employment & Safety team in the firm. The firm's graduate program is geared towards expanding the skills of graduate lawyers across a range of practice areas. As part of my graduate year at Thomson Geer, I have had the opportunity to complete rotations with the firm's Property & Projects, Construction & Infrastructure and Employment & Safety teams. As I am nearly at the end of my graduate year, I feel that I am placed in a good position to choose my specialisation as I have now completed three rotations.

What was your interview process like?

I really liked that Thomson Geer had a fresh and interesting approach to the interview process, with the first round being a video interview. This gave me an opportunity to consider the questions before responding. The questions covered a range of areas from legal to current affairs. Those lucky enough to get through to the next stage were then invited to a Firm Information and Networking Evening, which was a great opportunity to engage directly with Partners on their current and recent work and learn more about the firm.

What does your employer do?

Thomson Geer is a national corporate law firm with more than 550 people and is one of the largest law firms operating in Australia.

What are your areas of responsibility?

My daily activities range from drafting advices, undertaking research on a variety of topics, assisting with property settlements, drafting documents, attending hearings and attending client meetings. From the start of my graduate year, I have been involved in a variety of interesting and challenging matters. I have also been very fortunate to be involved in providing pro-bono legal assistance.

Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?

Currently, as a graduate in the employment team, a typical workday for me could include undertaking research, sitting in a client telephone conference with a partner and assisting with the preparation of advice. The last thing I worked on was undertaking a review of a global client's employment and safety policies for its Australian office.

What are the career prospects with your job?

The sky is the limit! There is a very clearly defined career path for lawyers at Thomson Geer, whether the aspiration is to become a Partner of the firm or to go down a different path.  

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely!  Thomson Geer's employees come from various backgrounds and experiences.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

The idea of being a chef appeals to me!

What do you love the most about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is being able to work within a specialised team but also be able to refer to and seek assistance from other specialised teams. For example, I am currently in the Employment & Safety team and we often seek assistance from the disputes and superannuation teams within the firm. The collaborative nature and sharing of knowledge that comes with the role make my job very interesting and enjoyable.

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

The industry is dynamic and fast-paced therefore there is a need to quickly adapt to the changing legal environment. This may seem daunting at the beginning, however, I have quickly learnt that the supportive environment fostered at the firm makes this role less challenging. There are some occasions when additional hours are required as with most professional jobs, but this is balanced out by flexibility when needed to juggle other commitments.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? 

  1. Have balance – make the most of three month university holidays and pursue personal interests and hobbies.
  2. Network – build relationships with individuals in the legal industry and other industries as these individuals often have valuable insights, experiences and connections that they are more than happy to share with students.
  3. Experience – employers look favourably on students that have work experience, either voluntary or paid.