Emily joined Baker Deane & Nutt in 2015 and currently practises in Personal Injury Litigation.
Emily was profiled for our November 2017 Newsletter. Baker Deane & Nutt Lawyers are a WLA ACT Corporate Member.
Why did you join WLA?
Following my admission in 2015 I joined the ACT Young Lawyers Committee to meet other young lawyers and to become more involved in the ACT legal community. It was through my involvement on the Young Lawyers Committee that I discovered WLA and thought that this would be a wonderful opportunity to meet other lawyers at various stages of their careers. At the time I did not know many other lawyers beyond those I worked with and so joining the WLA allowed me to depart from my comfort zone and start meeting some new people. I began attending some WLA events and before I knew it had started to develop a wider network of friends and colleagues in a range of different areas of law.
What WLA event have you enjoyed attending this year and why?
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the WLA events that I have attended and am always impressed with how the WLA is regularly updating their events to suit the needs of its members. A perfect example of a new event that met my needs was the “Come to the Bar” Information Evening held at Blackburn Chambers in June 2017.
My long-term career goal is to go to the Bar, but with this goal comes many
questions about the pathway to the Bar and what life is actually like as a Barrister. When the above event was advertised I jumped at the opportunity – as did many others! The evening provided all attendees with the opportunity to ask a panel of current practising barristers about their individual journey to the Bar in a relaxed setting. It was an incredibly valuable and empowering experience which left many attendees motivated to join the Bar. I am hopeful that over the next few years this will lead to an increase in the number of female Barristers within the ACT.
Who is a professional that inspires you and why?
Following my attendance at the Come to the Bar Information Evening, I left feeling a deep sense of admiration for the female barristers currently practising in the ACT. After hearing their stories of how they juggled their many commitments to get to where they are now, I truly admire their hard work and determination. In addition to coming to terms with their new lives at the Bar, many of these women have taken the time out of their busy schedules to speak at Young Lawyer events with a view to imparting their experiences and in turn educating young lawyers. I have really appreciated how they have discussed their experiences in such an open and relatable manner and look forward to following their journey in the future.
If you could give one piece of advice to your first-year professional self, what would it be?
My advice would be to get a mentor and also to become a mentor yourself. As a young lawyer it is extremely valuable to have the opportunity to meet with a more senior practitioner and to ask questions regarding career progression, different working environments and life as a lawyer in a confidential setting. Conversely, it is equally valuable for law students to have the opportunity to ask a young lawyer about their experience obtaining their first job and how they navigated their way through the final stages of law school.
In my experience, being both a mentee and a mentor has made me a better mentee as I am more aware of the time volunteered by mentors to be involved in the program and also what does and does not work within a mentoring relationship. I would recommend that first- year lawyers become involved in the ACT Law Society Mentoring Program as well as the ANU Women In Law Organisation (“WILO”) mentoring program supported by the WLA. Both are incredibly worthwhile participating in and have greatly assisted me in getting a better understanding of different legal careers available.