Mar 10, 2022
Am curious - what advice would you give a new grad
starting out in your role?
Am really pleased to have Sophie Tremewan join our team this
month to share in our focus on purpose driven organisations,
getting legal structures right, draft contracts where they are
legally safeguarded and help them raise capital from investors.
Sophie is also becoming a property law expert through her work with
Judith Bullin – useful skills!
Am so glad to work with an amazing team which is growing, and
are the only reason I am able to do the things I am involved in.
Thank you Aislinn Molloy, Michael Belay Sophie Tremewan and Emma
There are 10 pieces of advice I had for her as she starts out
(really reminders for myself … ):
- Add value. Always ask ‘how can I make things
better’, by doing more than is expected or requested. If you are
asked to write a memo, draft the cover email that you know is going
to be needed as well. If you mention a resource to someone over a
coffee or on a call, follow up by emailing them a link later. If a
client has a problem, think about whether they are asking the right
questions or if there are other issues they haven’t though about
yet. Be proactive.
- Be curious. Law school prepares you to think
logically but not to deal with the reality of legal practise. There
are going to be questions you get asked that you don’t have the
answers to. Some of them will seem very dull (“What is the origin
of section 22 of the Trusts Act 2019?”). But every question is a
chance to learn something new, so approach them like greeting an
old friend with enthusiasm and curiosity and soon enough you will
discover that answering those dozens and hundreds of questions will
build up over time into a foundation on which you can stand
- Be efficient. Learn to use time well and in
particular look for those bits of time that are wasted. Have a
commute? Perfect time to call prospective clients who want to talk.
Have an interest in a subject area? Why not write a white paper
about it and become known as an expert in that and reach out to
others you admire to ask for their views.
- Be creative. Following on from that last one
always be looking to infuse your work with creativity too. Add a
quote from a poet to that article you are writing. Spend time
thinking about the cover image on the guide “Capital Raising key
legal issues”. We are lawyers, but we can be creative in how we
express ourselves too. I like how Seth Godin puts it this way: “The
distance from can to will keeps getting larger. You can connect,
lead, see, speak, create, encourage, challenge and contribute. Will
you?” I did a short episode on creativity
- Seek impact. We are lucky to meet amazing
founders and purpose driven people and get to help catalyse impact
for them to achieve things and that is a great privilege. Actively
consider the areas you want to become known for and become an
expert in that. Becoming an impact driven lawyer is possible (a
short talk on that
- Assumptions are dangerous. Be careful when
relying on an assumption about an answer, what a client wants, what
someone implied or how long something will take to prepare. You'll
get experience over time but until then always be wary about
- Own mistakes. Yes they will happen.
Acknowledge them and apologise and learn from them, but then move
on and don’t let them drag you down over and over by playing on an
internal repeat loop. I once emailed a "reply all" by mistake that
went to 8,000 people! When I interviewed Michael Mayell for seeds
here he described mistakes as the compost from which success
will grow. I really like that.
- Relationships are key. Think of it like a
spiderweb where we are all interconnected in some way – everyone in
that web has value and one day you may be able to help them (or
they could help you).
- You are a leader. Think of yourself as a
leader right from the outset because you are – at the very least
lead one person, yourself. So start there and that mindset will
help you grow and contribute…
- Have fun. I started my career in 2001 so have
been doing this a while. It’s important to not let the pressure of
work outweigh the having fun part . . .
What advice would you have for a new grad starting in your
role? I'd like to know!