Updating Results

Clyde & Co

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Monica Fitis

One week I could be prepping for a court case, observing in court and strategising with senior lawyers and the next week I could be reviewing a dense brief of evidence and drafting an advise on prospects to a client.

What's your job about?

I work in the Sydney office in the Work Health and Safety team lead by Michael Tooma, Alena Titterton and Kiri Jervis. This practice involves crisis management and advising clients on health, safety, product safety and security compliance issues. As a Law Graduate, I assist senior lawyers on a variety of matters. This ranges from Coronial Inquests, Civil Litigation matters, regulator prosecutions and advice. Some tasks that I complete on a daily basis are drafting emails to clients, reviewing briefs of evidence and drafting chronologies and evidence matrices. I also sit in on client meetings, meetings with Counsel and internal meetings that discuss the next steps. I diarise meetings and court dates, update files and prepare briefs to Counsel. Most recently, I have been involved in a big Coronial Inquest, I was provided with the opportunity to sit in Court with the lawyers and barristers, listen in on strategy meetings with the client and liaise directly with Counsel. That opportunity was great because I was able to see how specific work products that I had completed in preparation for the Inquest came together and how it was useful to our client's overall strategy.

What's your background?

My parents divorced when I was 12 and throughout my high school years, I lived with my grandparents, my mum and my younger brother. I went to a co-ed high school in the Inner West of Sydney. When I finished high school in 2014, I decided to commence a double degree in Economics and Law at the University of New South Wales. I started my first law job during my degree. I was working as a Paralegal at a small Family Law and Property Law firm in the CBD. This followed years of working in retail and as a secretary and administrative assistant in other industries. I got my job at Clyde & Co by interviewing for a paralegal position in the Cyber team, I helped the Cyber team with some document review, however, this was only temporary. I really enjoyed working at the firm so I asked HR if there was any other position available and I re-interviewed and got a permanent paralegal position in the Knowledge Management team. I gained invaluable experience in the world of legal research by working with Leona Blanco (Clyde & Co's Australian National Knowledge and Information Manager). As I was in the final year of my studies at university, I applied for Clyde & Co's Summer Clerkship Program in 2019 and from there I was offered a full-time Graduate contract working in the Work Health and Safety team. I have been working in the team since December 2019 as a Law Graduate.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Of course! Anyone could do this job, you just have to have the right determination, passion to be better and ability to learn from your mistakes. I believe that anyone can be anything they want to be if they put their mind to it. A good thing about this job as well is that you learn every day. You just have to have the right core values and determination and that will assist with your learning experience.

Suppose someone wants to do the same job as you do, would that be also possible with a different background?

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about this job is that I get a diverse range of experiences with each matter I get assigned. One week I could be prepping for a court case, observing in court and strategising with senior lawyers and the next week I could be reviewing a dense brief of evidence and drafting advice on prospects to a client. Whilst, of course, there are tiring moments in my job, some late nights and stresses. I find it so fulfilling to see the final product sent out or the case being heard in court. Another cool thing about my team is that we celebrate each other's achievements. We have team drinks to celebrate a team members birthday, engagement, admission ceremony or even the success of a case.

What are the limitations of your job?

Some limitations include working on the weekends, missing out on some dinners because I am working late and also finding it hard to do things for me – like working out. Another limitation is that I have conflicting tasks and I have to learn how to prioritise and delegate work. In these instances, I speak to the senior lawyers and tell them of my conflicting tasks and they talk amongst themselves to delegate the work properly. Other times, when work is unable to be delegated, I have to work extra hours to complete said task.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

 If I were to advise myself as a student at university, I would tell her to:

  • Travel: Once you start full-time work it is very hard to set aside time to travel. I fit in some travel before I started work and I am really thankful that I did.
  • Learn how to live with failures: You are going to make mistakes in your job. It is normal! Learn to accept your mistakes because you learn from them and you will never make them again. It took me a while to accept this and I wish I learnt it earlier when I was a student.
  • Grow your network: The friends you make at university will become your network when you enter the workplace. The friends that I met at university are all pursuing their own careers which may cross over with my own. Advice that I would give myself is to nurture those relationships because you do not know how that relationship may benefit you in the future.