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A day in the life of…
Solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons
Luci Kjar-Cruttenden studied a Juris Doctor and is a solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons.
I snooze my alarm for at least 30 minutes (yes, I am one of ‘those’ people), eventually roll out of bed, put on my gym gear and go for a run. Despite finding it incredibly difficult to get out of bed, I am a big fan of morning exercise; it wakes me up for the day and unlike post-work exercise, I can’t rely on a plausible excuse (such as dinner with family/friends or too much work) to avoid it.
I start my day at work by having a coffee with the Projects team in the staff cafe – Cloud 49 – which, you guessed it, is on level 49. I have a latte and some toast. The hot topic of conversation in my team is the best performance from our karaoke session last Friday night.
I am currently in my second six-month rotation of the graduate program. My first rotation was in Mergers & Acquisitions and my final rotation will be in Banking & Finance.
Post-coffee, I return to my desk and check my emails, calendar and to-do list. I then attend a conference call with my supervising partner and other solicitors from a law firm in South America, whom we have engaged in relation to a client’s potential acquisition of a mine in South America. We are preparing a due diligence report for our client, which involves reviewing a data room of documents in relation to the asset and identifying the key legal risks associated with the acquisition.
After our conference call, I have a number of tasks to attend to, including drafting an email to our client regarding advice from our local counsel on the most appropriate transaction structure for the potential acquisition. I also have to continue drafting a section of a country risk report, which identifies the risks relating to acquiring and operating a business in the relevant jurisdiction (eg the political and investment environment and the judicial system). I find this type of exposure to different jurisdictions an interesting part of the work in the Projects team.
The Projects team has a weekly catch up to identify and discuss the matters that we’re working on. This is a great opportunity to hear about everyone’s work and any new matters, to let the team know about one another’s capacity and where appropriate, express interest in a particular matter. It is also a good opportunity to flag annual leave, which inevitably leads to a discussion regarding someone’s European getaway.
I attend a graduate training session on insolvency law that is run by an experienced legal consultant from the KWM Melbourne office. These sessions are very common in the KWM graduate program. They are specifically targeted at graduates and often range from technical legal training to career development and practice management.
It’s lunch time and I am starving. I send an instant message to the graduates and we arrange to eat lunch in the courtyard next to our building. It’s a nice day, so there’s a good turnout. After eating, a few of us go for a walk around the block (which we refer to as a ‘blockie’) to get the step count up for the day. We also grab a quick coffee to switch the brain back on before heading back to the office.
After lunch, I attend a conference call with a number of lawyers that work in the not-for-profit sector. A partner in the Projects team, who is regularly involved in pro bono work, is presenting on the reporting obligations under the Commonwealth Electoral Act. I have been assisting with research on this topic and prepared a first draft of a background memo for the participants on the call. It has been a great opportunity to assist on this matter, as it is a completely different area of law. Through KWM, I also volunteer for a community legal service, Youth Law Australia, which involves providing legal information and help to young people via the internet.
I finally return to my desk and a senior associate in my team asks me to assist on a task in relation to a wind farm Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This is an agreement to purchase electricity generated from a wind farm. My task involves reviewing and amending specific clauses of the agreement based on comments received from our client. The work in the Projects team is very diverse!
I send off the revised PPA to the senior associate for her to review. I have a quick tea break and manage to get one of the last Tim Tams in the kitchen.
When I return to my desk, I sit down with my supervising partner to go over the draft email I prepared earlier in the day. We make some changes to the email and send it off to the client. We then gather the team working on the matter for a quick catch up to see how we are progressing with our task list. A solicitor and I are in charge of maintaining this list. I find this simple project management task really helpful in further understanding the steps involved in a due diligence exercise and prioritising the tasks that we have to complete.
I race upstairs to the client floor where we are hosting a seasonal clerk pre-interview cocktail function. I stand in the allocated projects area with other members from my team. It is a great opportunity to chat with law students about the daily life of a graduate in the Projects team at KWM!
I make my way home by walking to Flinders Street station; the incidental exercise clears my mind after a busy day. By the time I get home, I cook a quick and easy dinner and fall onto the couch to watch yet another Netflix TV series.
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