Early Careers Stories | 24 August 2023

Four things I’ve loved about working as a graduate in insurance law

I am a graduate here at Hall & Wilcox in Perth, and have just completed my first rotation of three. This one was in Insurance Recoveries, a team that assists insurers and their insureds to recover any losses incurred as a result of the actions of someone else.

My experience within the Insurance WA team here has been overwhelmingly positive, showing me that it is a very underrated practice area with a world of opportunities. Before starting my graduate year with Hall & Wilcox, I felt unsure about what to expect or what a career in insurance law really looked like.

While I had received a brief introduction to the practice area through an elective at university, I found that insurance law wasn’t talked about or highlighted as much as other areas of legal practice, and it felt little known by my fellow classmates.

Before moving into my next rotation, I wanted to reflect on my observations and what I’ve loved most about working in the Insurance WA team.

1 Interesting and rewarding work

Throughout my time in the Insurance WA team, I’ve had the opportunity to complete work on a range of matters that have a real impact on people, not just companies. This includes everything from assisting insurers and insured people to recover their losses from a motor vehicle accident to helping families and business owners to rebuild and start over again after losing their homes or property in a fire. Not only is the work varied, but having the opportunity to work in an industry that can help people pick themselves up again after being knocked down is incredibly rewarding and one of my favourite parts about working in the Insurance WA team.

As a graduate at Hall & Wilcox, I am often given the opportunity to attend court with the lawyers in my team, as well as to complete many different practical, hands-on tasks, under the supervision of my mentor and team leader, such as drafting letters, speaking to clients, taking witness statements, drafting court forms, completing research, reviewing documentary evidence and assisting in preparing advice to clients. This is all very exciting, interesting and valuable experience that I’ll be able to lean on throughout my career.

2 The relationships

The Hallmarks of Hall & Wilcox help to create a very warm, open and supportive culture that translates into our work and client relationships. While with the Insurance WA team, I’ve been able to witness the close, longstanding and positive relationships my team members hold with their clients and how this helps to resolve matters quickly and on the best terms possible for all parties. Many of our insurance clients are sophisticated legal professionals themselves, and take a commercial approach to resolving disputes. These attributes have made participating in client interactions and conferences as a graduate a very unique, insightful and enjoyable experience.

Internally, as a graduate at Hall & Wilcox, I work closely with my mentor, supervisor and team members and am often given the opportunity to attend the many networking and professional development events that are available to lawyers. I am encouraged to learn, try new things and build on my skills regularly within a very supportive team environment.

3 Endless opportunities

Insurance covers almost all aspects of life. This means that, as an insurance lawyer, you are given the unique opportunity for career-long exposure to a variety of different issues and industries. Hall & Wilcox has a very broad insurance practice, including corporate insurance, general insurance, disability claims, medical malpractice, marine insurance and statutory insurance. As a graduate here, you are given the opportunity to rotate within these speciality areas and try any areas that you are interested in. Many of the different specialities often interact with each other, providing even greater opportunities to try something new.

4 Great work-life balance

Working closely with insurers often means that work is confined to business hours, making it much easier to predict your workload and maintain a positive work-life balance. While not exclusive to the Insurance WA team, the respect for work-life balance is also reflected in the culture and support that you are given at Hall & Wilcox.

The firm takes an active approach in ensuring that each person is well supported and can uphold a life outside of work. This has made entering my graduate year and learning to balance full-time work with maintaining social and outside commitments and completing my Practical Legal Training a much easier and natural task.

My next rotation with Hall & Wilcox is in the Private Clients team, assisting business owners, trustees, families and individuals on many different matters related to their personal affairs. I am looking forward to this and the many different opportunities to come. Notwithstanding, I feel fortunate to have been able to work with the Insurance WA Recoveries team and look forward to learning more about insurance law and its different speciality areas throughout my graduate year.

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