Meagan is a 25 year old graduate working as a solicitor in Environment and Practice at Mallesons Stephen Jaques. She graduated in 2009 from the University of Sydney with a combined Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Law.

Where are you working now and what does it involve?
Solicitor in the Environment and Planning practice at Mallesons Stephen Jaques. My work is a combination of environmental litigation (liaising with clients, undertaking research, preparing court documents, advice and correspondence, and representing clients in court) and corporate transactional work (undertaking environmental due diligence for clients intending to invest in Australia).

What was the most useful aspect of your degree which led you to this job?
The fact that my degree was in Law, which is essential to practising as a solicitor.

What was the most useful aspect of your university that led you to this job?
Reputation - Sydney Law School is highly regarded by all top tier law firms.

Did you ever think you would be doing this job when you started university?
Not when I started university. I originally aspired to be a diplomat, not a lawyer. Towards the end of my Law degree, I decided to apply for summer clerkships at a number of law firms to get a sense of what it would be like to work as a lawyer, without fully committing to a career as one. I had a positive clerkship experience at Mallesons, and subsequently joined the firm as a law graduate.

What career plans do you have beyond this job?
Beyond my current job, I intend to practise as a lawyer in the fields of public international law and human rights. I will shortly be undertaking a Master of Laws, specialising in Public International Law, at the London School of Economics, after which I hope to intern at a relevant non-government organisation, and return to Australia to work in the public service.

What advice would you give to new university students hoping to find a similar job to the one you have?
Don't just work hard and get good grades (though this is important); keep up your hobbies too - the big law firms look for interesting and accomplished all-rounders. Be proactive about your career - attend careers fairs, get involved in a law firm's student mentoring program, and do some pro bono work at a community legal centre - these kinds of things will give you a good insight into being a lawyer.