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Johnson Winter & Slattery

  • 100 - 500 employees

Blake Hunt

JWS has a high partner to lawyer ratio, allowing me to learn and work with senior lawyers with great experience in their fields.

What does your role entail?

As an Associate at JWS, my role covers a wide variety of legal work across different practice areas including Intellectual Property, Dispute Resolution, and Competition Law to name a few. At JWS, junior lawyers are encouraged to get as much experience as possible in different areas of the law to become more knowledgeable lawyers and to find your ideal specialty. On a day to day basis, I am reviewing contracts, preparing court documents such as affidavits, or doing a range of legal research and drafting tasks.

What is the most rewarding aspect and the most challenging aspect of your role?

For me, the most rewarding aspect is also the most challenging. Working across multiple areas and experiencing different parts of the law, I don’t have one day that is the same as the last and I am constantly being exposed to new legal issues and challenges to solve for our clients. I find it extremely rewarding to have a role with such variability, but it also requires me to manage my time and workload effectively in order to switch between tasks.  

What journey lead you to this role?

I definitely didn’t take the “standard” path to becoming a lawyer. I studied a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and Law (Honours) at Macquarie University, while working part-time. During my first few years of uni, I interned for a couple of different law firms and even worked in a bottle shop, but I primarily worked as a Legal Recruitment Consultant in a recruitment agency, learning the legal world from the other side of the interview chair. After a psychology honours year in 2018, I finished my degree in 2019 and landed my first full-time role at JWS as a Summer Clerk. From there, I started as a Law Graduate in 2020 and became an Associate in November 2020.

What advice would you give your university aged self?

  1. Try and gain as much experience as possible in the field you want to work in and don’t get disheartened if jobs are hard to come by as a graduate.
  2. While university gave me a great foundation of knowledge, studying from textbooks is often so different to actually working in the field, whether that be law, HR, or any other career. It can really help to gain experience during university to make sure it is the right career for you.
  3. It can also be really difficult to land your first full-time graduate job, and I had to make countless applications before I found the right fit for me. Don’t let rejection dishearten you as everyone goes through it, and often there are just so many good applicants that it can be hard to get noticed. Keep putting in the effort and take in the feedback that is given and the right opportunity will eventually come to you.

What have you learnt from this role?

The role has taught me so much more about the law, managing full-time work and even just myself as a person. I have definitely found a love for the challenge that the legal world presents, particularly the variability of a lawyer’s role and the ability to work with a range of different people and clients. It has also taught me the importance of time management, communication, and the need to maintain a good work life balance.

What attracted you to this role?

I was really attracted by the culture that JWS presented and the opportunity to gain experience in multiple areas of law. JWS has a high partner to lawyer ratio, allowing me to learn and work with senior lawyers with great experience in their fields. JWS also has a great collegiate culture and everyone is happy for you to knock on their door and ask them any questions about a task or their area of work.

What personal qualities are required for success in your role?

Life as a lawyer requires a lot of dedication and hard-work to make sure you are always best representing your client and fulfilling your duties as a legal practitioner. It also requires adaptability to changing circumstances, great communication skills and a passion for learning new things.