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Grace Lee Tuck
University of Notre Dame Australia
Grace Lee Tuck studied Bachelor of Laws at the University of Notre Dame Australia and graduated in December 2018
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Guildford in Perth. I did a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Indigenous Studies, and I liked the humanities, politics and advocacy side of it and decided to go into Law as I have a passion for social justice.
I started at Clyde & Co as a Paralegal in 2018 in the Construction team and, and I found this fit well with my interest in international law and arbitration. I loved the work here so I applied for the grad role.
How did you get to your current job position?
I applied for the Graduate Program and I started this role in February 2019.
How did you choose your specialisation?
I did the electives at university in international law and arbitration, and decided I really enjoyed the technical aspects of construction law. Prior to this, I was looking at international law in the area of human rights and diplomacy but decided to pursue the commercial side.
What was your interview process like?
My interview was with a Special Counsel and a Partner and they asked questions such as what were my expectations as a grad, why did I have an interest in construction and what the culture of the office meant to me.
Can you describe a typical work day?
I try and get in a bit earlier and confer with other lawyers about what needs to be done for the day. At the start of the week we have a team meeting in construction. We do a lot of document work and ongoing process of conferral. At the moment I am involved with document collation and drafting, though there are always opportunities to work in other areas if you express an interest to do so. At the end of the day we do an updated task list to let the lawyers know what I have done and what I need to do tomorrow.
What are the career prospects with your job?
At a basic level there is the normal progression from grad to junior associate, associate and then senior associate. Clyde & Co has a really great program to focus on career progression. Some grads in different cities have the opportunity rotate to different departments but in Perth we are a smaller office. We also have the Global associate program where we can go to another office for a week!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely – one of the paralegals in my team has an engineering degree. Construction is quite broad and quite a practical area of law.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I would probably be in community development or project development.
What do you love the most about your job?
I think the scope for learning, we have a good close knit team with a supportive culture and I work with lawyers from all levels within the firm. It's great to have the opportunity to interact with a range of different people with different backgrounds within the legal industry.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job?
You have to be committed to working slightly longer hours as we work on big projects and there are a lot of deadlines, but this comes in waves and we are also encouraged to maintain a work life balance. Having a good attitude and you enjoying the work you do is essential.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?
- Keep up your extracurricular activities for your personal development and mental health
- Network/socialise with people in the field you want to go into. Do research into events you can attend.
- Be open to asking a lot of questions and learning. Don’t be scared to ask questions, it shows you're engaged with what you're are doing.