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Herbert Smith Freehills

4.4
  • #6 in Law
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Linda Nguyen

6.00 AM

After snoozing my alarm multiple times, I reluctantly roll out of bed and get changed to take my dog out to the park. 

7.00 AM

After realising I spent way too long marvelling at other dogs, I rush home and quickly get ready for the day. I hop onto the bus and start scanning through my emails, but not before I read through the latest news headlines.

8.00 AM

My day at work starts with my morning ritual at Smooth Operator, my favourite coffee shop. I visit Smooth with my friend, another solicitor in the Projects team, and order a coffee and toast. We sit and chat about what’s on for the day and any weekend plans, before having to head back to the office. 

8.30 AM

As part of our graduate program, you get to complete three six-month rotations in three different teams. I previously rotated through the Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions team and am now in my second rotation in the Banking and Finance team.

Luckily for me, the Banking and Finance team are usually late starters and roll in at a time that suits them. After getting back into the office, I use the quiet time to clear my emails and start planning my to-do list for the day. 

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Young female professional sitting on her desk.

9.30 AM

As most corporate lawyers will tell you, there is no ‘typical day’ in the life of a lawyer at a commercial law firm. This morning I get called into my partner’s office and jump on a client phone call for a new matter. After the phone call, my partner gives me further background on the matter and instructs me on all the documentation required for this financing. In this matter, we are acting for a large mining client who is looking to borrow a casual billion dollars from a syndicate of different banks around the globe. As a learning experience, I get to have the first crack at drafting the Syndicated Facility Agreement, which is the main loan agreement for this transaction. 

Work in the Banking and Finance team usually involves transactional work, including drafting contracts as opposed to legal research. Juniors in the team are typically responsible for reviewing and drafting agreements, drafting ancillary documents such as resolutions and verification certificates, drafting legal opinions and getting involved in due diligence.

11.00 AM

I take a break from drafting and have a quick tea and biscuit break in the kitchen with a fellow grad in the Corporate team as my stomach is rumbling for lunch. 

12.00 PM

It’s finally lunchtime! Today we are attending a graduate CLE session where we get to upskill on different areas of law over lunch. In today's CLE, a lawyer from the Corporate team gives us a presentation on various aspects of mergers and acquisitions law.

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Two young professionals sitting while another professional explaining on the board.

12.45 PM

After the CLE, I head out with a few of my fellow grads to enjoy some much needed Vitamin D. We head out for a nice walk around the block, to enjoy some time out of the office.

1.00 PM

I head back into the office and go up to our client floor for our monthly Perth Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee meeting. As a graduate at Herbert Smith Freehills, we are encouraged to get involved in a range of different internal committees. In our office, these include the social, wellbeing, community, and diversity and inclusion committee. 

I often look forward to the D&I meetings, as it’s a chance to have meaningful conversations with people who are passionate about creating a more diverse workplace. As a member of the D&I Committee, I’ve organised a celebratory Lunar New Year lunch, a national Islam awareness event and an International Women’s Day campaign. This supportive and inclusive culture is at the heart of our firm and is one of the main reasons why I am proud to work here.

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Young female professional having a meeting with colleagues.

1.45 PM

I head back to my desk, reply to a few Skype messages and start to prepare for a 2.00 pm client meeting. My partner tells me he would like me to come along to learn about the client’s plans for an upcoming refinancing that I would later be assisting with. Although there wasn’t much to prepare for the meeting, I quickly undertake some research into who the client is and the industry the client is in. This is for my own benefit so that I have some sort of background walking into the meeting. 

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Young female professional shaking hands with the client.

2.00 PM

When the client arrives, we head up to the client floor as my partner introduces me as the graduate in the team. Discussions start about the client’s intentions for the refinancing and the issues it is facing whilst doing a corporate restructure. My role in these meetings is usually to observe and take notes. Once the meeting is done, I debrief with my partner and ask a few questions on any confusing concepts discussed in the meeting.   

3.00 PM

When I get back to my desk, I am flooded with Skype messages from colleagues on the floor reminding me it’s ‘Tea at 3’ time! A few of us take a break from work and head to the kitchen to make ourselves a tea (or coffee) and have a quick catch up. 

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Young female professional making coffee at the kitchen.

3.30 PM

Feeling caffeinated and rejuvenated, I head back to my desk and continue my earlier drafting of the Syndicated Facility Agreement. I get stuck on a few points and decide to ask my buddy and partner a few questions. They are both very happy to answer my questions and guide me in the right direction.

Herbert Smith Freehills Graduate - Young female professional sitting on her desk while male colleague pointing at the computer screen.

6.30 PM

After a solid day of drafting, I check in with my team to see if anyone needs help with anything else this evening. Judging from my team’s responses and my own workload, I decided to call it a day. After heading home and cooking dinner, I tucked into bed and enjoy the latest Netflix show to wind down.