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Clayton Utz

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

John Park

6.30 AM

My productivity tends to be higher during the morning so I like to wake a bit early. I make some breakfast, get ready for work and hop on the bus with some tunes.

8.00 AM

I get into the office, put my lunch away into the fridge and make myself some coffee from the coffee machine in our break room (can't complain about free coffee!). I grab some fruits and biscuits to nibble on until lunchtime.

Clayton Utz - Coffee cup on a coffee maker machine

8.10 AM

I check my emails and start making a to-do list, depending on how urgent the tasks are. Usually, I would have some tasks that I need to finish from the day before which might carry over into today. I am currently a grad in the Public Sector team in Canberra, which consists of a corporate team and a litigation team (of which I am in the latter).

Clayton Utz - Young male lawyer's desk with computer screens, telephones, and chair.

8.30 AM

I get ready to draft a prospects advice in a merits review matter in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal where we act for a Commonwealth government department. I start by going through the section 37 'T' documents (which the paralegals have helpfully compiled for me), which is a bundle of all relevant documents that was before the original decision-maker, to see what the issue is and what the applicant is claiming should be the correct and preferable decision.

10.30 AM

When I notice my concentration wavering a bit, I make my way to the kitchen for another coffee, picking up my grad colleagues along the way. We chat about how our day is going and what we have for the rest of the day.

10.40 AM

I get back to my desk and a lawyer has sent me an urgent task to compile a list of authorities which has to be filed with the Federal Circuit Court today. I put my draft prospects advice aside and begin compiling the authorities, which involves locating reported versions of judgments, collating these and having them ready to file online on the Commonwealth Courts Portal (along with physical copies we can take to hearing).

12.00 PM

I have finished with the list of authorities and the draft prospects advice, which I have sent to the lawyers on the file for their review. I return to drafting a statement of facts, issues and contentions (a SOFIC) which I had started yesterday in another Administrative Appeals Tribunal matter. The SOFIC is essentially a written submission which sets out the facts, the law and the arguments as to why the Tribunal should determine the matter in our favour.

12.45 PM

I am feeling hungry so I go to have lunch. Most of the other grads go for lunch around this time as well. We sit around the bench and do the quiz in the Canberra Times and The Australian. Everyone has quite diverse backgrounds so we (usually) do quite well.

Clayton Utz - Young male lawyer walking out the office with colleagues.

We then go for a nice walk around Lake Burley Griffin, which is only a five-minute walk away from the award-winning Nishi building (where our offices are located) in the NewActon precinct which was designed and constructed by one of our clients.

Clayton Utz - Young male lawyer's photo of Lake Burley Griffin

1.45 PM

I return from lunch and confirm that I am sitting in on an interlocutory hearing at 2.15 pm with a Senior Associate by telephone with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have a matter dismissed. I review the background material and make sure I have all the relevant files so that I can hand these to the Senior Associate if they are needed during the hearing.

3.00 PM

The interlocutory hearing has concluded and the Tribunal member has decided in our favour. The Senior Associate did very well in explaining the relevant provisions and why the outcome as a matter of law was inevitable. I start preparing a decision report which outlines what happened in the hearing.

Clayton Utz - Young male lawyer's desk.

3.30 PM

I've now finished all my tasks in my to-do list. I remember that I have been asked to prepare a thought leadership content article (called Insights) by my Partner and have already compiled some cases and commentary that I think will be relevant. Knowledge Management (KM) is an integral part of practice at Clayton Utz. I start reading and begin to draft the article.

4.30 PM

A lawyer gives me some instructions to do some research into cases which have looked into a particular phrase in Commonwealth legislation. I start planning out the research (which platform, what key phrases and some important cases in that area of law) so that I can dive straight back into it tomorrow morning.

5.15 PM

I do a final check of my emails, compile my to-do list for tomorrow and do a walk around the office to check whether anyone would like some help with anything before heading home for the day.

5.45 PM

I do some grocery shopping and walk down to the bus stop to get home.

6.30 PM

I get home, cook up some dinner and take some time to relax before bed.