One thing that stood out to all of us in our interviews was how welcoming and supportive our interviewers were. Now, three months into our rotation, it is apparent that this was representative of all members of the firm where inclusiveness and collegiality is a driving ethos.
A firm initiative that accurately captures this culture is the ‘Hallmarks’. Our Hallmarks are ‘stay true’, ‘be remarkable’, ‘respect respect’, ‘evolve always’ and ‘better together’. We have found that these are not just empty words and every member of the firm seeks to live by the mentality they each entail.
From our first day, it was apparent how committed the firm is to nurturing this culture and striking the right balance between working hard and enjoying ourselves. We have participated in various initiatives or events designed to do this, including:
Daily breakfast: Every morning the firm provides breakfast – what better way to get to know your co-workers than over coffee and toast?
We dress for our day: Of course, if you have court or a client meeting you’ll need to dress up. However, the option to dress for our day gives us the freedom to dress comfortably and express our individuality.
Quiz: Every afternoon at 5 pm, we run ‘Quiz’. As you can imagine, a room full of lawyers competing for bragging rights and glory can get a little heated, but it is a lot of fun and an excellent way to get to know people outside of our sections.
Open plan design: Our open plan office encourages a flat structure which has helped us to feel comfortable asking our many, many questions. Senior lawyers always give us the time of day and are invested in our learning.
Friday drinks: Every Friday the firm hosts drinks and nibbles, providing us with an opportunity to mingle and chat about the week.
Social events: In our time at the firm so far, we have participated in the ‘Grape Adventure – Around the World’ trivia night and ‘The Hall and Wilcox Amazing Adventure’, racing across Sydney.
Health & wellbeing: The firm encourages us to live active, balanced and healthy lifestyles, offering group fitness, including weekly yoga classes before work and providing corporate discounts for gym memberships.
Sporting events: The firm enters a weekly lunchtime social netball competition where we have the opportunity to compete against other businesses in the CBD. Nothing like a bit of inter-firm rivalry to get the blood pumping!
Pro bono: We are encouraged to get involved in pro bono projects from the get go. We have each helped out on pro bono matters, including preparing employment contracts, mediation preparation, preparing court hearings for refugee matters, preparing advice on judicial review of an asylum seeker matter and a contract termination matter.