Georgia Dobbyn - Paralegal
Why did you want to work at Slater & Gordon?
I found myself as a fourth year Arts/Law student having very nearly perfected the art of pouring beer. I realised then I needed legal work experience. I applied for numerous jobs before working as an assistant to an eccentric barrister. I was thrilled to be given a position at Slater & Gordon soon after.
In my interview with Ben Phi, I was immediately motivated by both his down to earth character and his genuine enthusiasm for the work that Slater & Gordon do. Both of which, proved to be an accurate representation of everyone here at Slater & Gordon (or on level 10 at least).
What is it like to work at Slater & Gordon?
Working at Slater & Gordon is fantastic because from the moment you arrive, the people are so warm and receptive. Our strong sense of community is inclusive of everyone from paralegals through to the practice group leaders.
While I have been given a considerable amount of responsibility at times, I have never felt out of my depth or unable to ask for help.
Describe your day to day tasks in your role as a projects paralegal.
Day to day tasks have ranged from distinct research tasks when I was working part time, to more ongoing team tasks now I work full time. Tasks have included calling clients and assisting in drafting witness statements or reviewing discovered documents. My most recent work has been on a class action case that is being run between Slater & Gordon offices here and in Perth. Last week, we all worked as a team to compile a list and index of documents that are relevant for the expert witnesses.
What do you consider to be the most important skills in an effective paralegal?
There are the usual suspects:
If you’re lost or confused just communicate that to anyone around you – make the most of having such a kind bunch of people about because not every workplace will offer that!
But then something that will trump most skills:
Willingness to help
If you can come to work with a genuine willingness to help with anything and everything – no matter the task, you will reap great reward! This includes learning the inner working of the firm but also engendering friendships. These friendships serve to benefit you professionally too because inevitably those friends happily take you under their proverbial wing and impart wisdom!
What has been your best experience in the department so far?
The highlight of my time here has been working as a team on my most recent case to solve any little obstacles that appeared. The level of comradery that these experiences create is when I am the most engaged and excited by the work and also when I learn the most.
How has your work at Slater & Gordon shaped your understanding of the law and the role of a lawyer?
Slater & Gordon has very much shaped my understanding of the law in its practical application. When I arrived I had no clue what a directions hearing was and now I do! Just one of many triumphs of my time here – learning things I never learnt while studying law. It has also helpfully shaped my understanding of not just the role of a lawyer but the sort of lawyer I hope to be.