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Aisyah Farrar

I'm handed over a new task in a Project Finance matter that I'm currently assisting with. This involves reviewing some verification certificates and legal opinions to make sure they align with the underlying finance documents signed last year.

8.58 AM

My morning routine is waking up with approximately eight consecutive alarms, starting at 8.50 AM. I wash my face with cold water, brush my teeth and walk into my make-shift home office as we are all currently working from home. As I've never been a morning person, starting full-time work in the Allens graduate program was definitely an adjustment but Allens is super flexible. Working from home has definitely helped us with this flexibility, especially as someone who thrives off waking up about two minutes before 9 am.

9.15 AM

As obvious as the sky being blue, I'm not a morning person so I trot on downstairs with at least one cat accompanying me and quench my caffeine quota for the morning. Many others in the Banking and Finance (BaF) team here in Sydney also start their days around 9.30 AM, so there's no particular rush to start drafting the legal opinions I have on my to-do list. I've been in the BaF team for 11 months, with my current workload predominantly including fund finance and project finance work, but I've been really lucky to get a wide breadth of work throughout the year.

9.45 AM

As part of the Allens Linklaters alliance, my next rotation is in the Capital Markets team at Linklaters Dubai. I've never stepped foot in Dubai beyond the airport, but I'm really looking forward to a new experience and am really grateful to be an Allens ambassador over at Linklaters. I do have copious amounts of administrative work that I have to get done before leaving, which today includes preparing my checklist for what I want my future humble abode in Dubai to look like. I'm unsure if my requests for large white tiles, a bathtub and a balcony within my specified budget are feasible, but I'll find out later this evening with my wonderful relocation consultant, Helen.

10.30 AM

I'm handed over a new task in a Project Finance matter that I'm currently assisting with. This involves reviewing some verification certificates and legal opinions to make sure they align with the underlying finance documents signed last year. After confirming internally that our comments are good to go, I send them out to the syndicate of lenders to check if they have anything further to add.

11.25 AM

I call a client to confirm a point on a document. When I first started in BaF, I wasn’t sure how much client exposure I would actually get. Very quickly into my first rotation, we were thrown in the deep end and given the opportunity to liaise directly with clients (with the supervision of course!). It's such a great way of building up your confidence and communication skills, and it also ensures you start to understand what exactly the client requires from us as their lawyers. A very fun perk of working in the BaF team is that you aren’t just exposed to clients within Australia, so this means that sometimes you're handed the ever-important task of determining when the best time for a meeting is. If you're calling New York or European clients or counsel, definitely sneak in a little nap as it might be slightly later in the day!

11.45 AM

My cat, Wills, wanders into my home office and asks to be cuddled. I plonk Wills on my IKEA Djungkelsog bear while I continue to review a term sheet and call an associate to confirm a query I have in relation to the documents.

12.00 PM

I realise that my physio appointment is actually today instead of next week, so I frantically get ready to catch my train. I spend the hour-long train ride preparing for my Cornerstone workshop, which is part of our Allens training program. Our workshop this month is about the sale of a company, so a number of graduates from different teams all come together to collaborate on this problem.

1.00 PM

I get to my work desk and my photograph of Queen Elizabeth II is still standing strong on my desk. I notice that a partner in the BaF team has left a book on my desk titled, 'Girl, Woman, Other'. I'm absolutely touched and send a thank you email and can't wait to try to extend my focus from 30-second TikToks (for two hours straight) to 30 minutes of reading a day.

2.30 PM

After my physio appointment, I join a Cultural Awareness Network meeting. We're trying to confirm what sorts of initiatives we would like to pick up and launch for the year. My best friend at Linklaters London has been sending me various religious and cultural greeting cards throughout her secondment, so I mention this is something we should also implement at Allens this year noting that Ramadan is coming up. It’s a small but really important touch which I think fosters all the different backgrounds we have at Allens.

3.00 PM

Cornerstone preparation session is a go with the rest of the grads in our team. We’re all truly humbled at how much we don’t know but also surprised at the knowledge we’ve gathered throughout the year. After about an hour, we have a really good scaffold ready in preparation for our actual workshop on Monday.

4.00 PM

I join a call with BaF grads. It's really nice to have a chat to your grad cohort and check in with each other, especially since it's so much harder now that we aren’t able to meet in the kitchen or go for a coffee-like we would normally in the office.

5.00 PM

I start making my way downtown (home), and realise how grateful I am for working from home. @BigLawBoiz on Instagram has launched a new podcast, so I listen to this on the train ride home.

6.00 PM

Since I've moved back home in preparation to leave for Dubai, I've had the luxury of having my family cook dinner instead of attempting to cook a meal from a Marley Spoon box. I use this quiet time to continue some administrative work and paperwork required to complete my move to Linklaters Dubai. I have a chat with my relocation consultant, Helen, about my ideal apartment. Helen doesn’t end up hating me with my various criteria for my apartment (mostly inspired by my recent Grand Designs binge) but humbles me by saying I should focus on an unfurnished apartment instead of a furnished one if I want to hit my home-search criteria.

7.30 PM

'Dinner's ready!'. I toddle on downstairs to some rice and curry with Netflix's latest critically acclaimed show, 'Hype House'.

9.00 PM

As there is overall less commuting time with working from home, I've made it a priority that I get some form of movement in my day. Some days can be quite long and without the ergonomic friendly standing desks we have at work, I've noticed my posture resembles a cooked prawn. I struggle through my pilates workout for exactly 52 minutes and 38 seconds, have a protein shake, shower and rest downstairs with the family.

11.30 PM

Time to head off to bed, but not before scrolling through TikTok for a few hours before I actually close my eyes with the phrase, ‘are you a Nicki fan?! Am I a Nicki fan?! Pull up in the Sri Lanka!’ echoing in the empty chambers of my brain. Good night!