Allens Confidential podcast

Clerkships, legal tech and app development

At Allens, Integrated Legal Solutions (ILS) is the team responsible for providing cutting-ledge legal technology solutions.

In this episode, clerks Eric Gonzales and Adrian Brett reflect on their experience rotating into ILS, and provide some insider tips and tricks for applying for clerkships, including keeping a healthy dose of perspective, and whether to discuss full-body rashes at interviews. Eric and Adrian tell hosts Geneva Sekula and Roseanna Bricknell about working in a world where law and technology intersect – of always engaging in design thinking and looking to the future. They explore all things innovation, technology and automation, from what it's like developing apps  to building 'logic trees', and reveal that you don't have to be a tech wiz to enter this exciting area.

What did we talk about?

  • What's the day to day like as a clerk at Allens?
  • Experiences working in the Innovation and Digital Services team 
  • The importance of thinking outside the box 

This episode is part of our 2020 series. 

Listen to the episode

Read the transcript

Roseanna Bricknell  Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Allens Confidential. We have an extremely exciting episode for you lined up today. We've got two wonderful summer clerks who are involved in a rotation at the future of the firm. The biggest-growing area this firm has got: a team called ILS. And what is that team? What do they do there? These questions and more to be revealed with wonderful Adrian and Eric, who have joined us today. So, to kick off our session today, what podcasts do you listen to?

Adrian Brett Well, aside from this one, I listen to a podcast called My Millennial Money. Essentially what it is, is it's a podcast where three young millennials get on every week and talk about issues which are facing young individuals, and they talk about how they can sort of budget their money and navigate the financial system as millennials.

Roseanna Bricknell  What's the best lesson that you've learnt from listening to it?

Adrian Brett Well, that's a good question. I didn't know about the parental guarantee that you can get when you are looking for a mortgage. So, I'd probably say that's probably the best lesson.

Roseanna Bricknell  All right, red hot tip.

Adrian Brett Yeah.

Roseanna Bricknell  Great, and how about yourself?

Eric Gonzales If I'm being honest, I'm not too much of a podcast person but if I had to chose one it would one of those philosophy podcasts on Spotify, you know; I'm a bit of a nerd, so some of the zany sort of experiments that they think of. Yeah, I mean, I'm a humanities kid, so, philosophy and history have always been my thing, so ..

Roseanna Bricknell  I love that view. What's an interesting thought experiment that they've discussed on one of those podcasts, if you can think of one?

Eric Gonzales Gosh.

Roseanna Bricknell  I know, I'm putting you on the spot.

Eric Gonzales So, if you had two teleporters, and you enter one teleporter and it destroys your body and your body is rematerialised in the other teleporter but you retain all of your memories, are you still the same person?

Roseanna Bricknell  I was going to say, is this an episode of The Simpsons, you know, where he .. where Bart goes in … is Bart still Bart? I guess one of the things that we hear from future clerks all the time is how much they love hearing the experiences of current and former summer clerks, because you guys actually know what's happening. You've understood the process, you been through it, you're now in the firm, you can actually speak to that experience. So, I'd be really interested to hear from your perspective, you know, how was the recruitment process, how did you find it, what did you learn along the way.

Adrian Brett I'd say that the recruitment process was more stressful than I thought it would be. It is a very long and tough process but I feel now, having come through the other side, like it's definitely been a rewarding process. I really am happy that I came to Allens, and the process sort of made me realise that Allens was the best fit for me and, yeah, like, I think if you are a young law student and you want to sort of progress in your career, the clerkship process is a great way to do that. But, definitely, I would recommend, you know, doing your research, taking the time and giving the process the time it deserves because, yeah, preparation is key.

Roseanna Bricknell  What kind of preparation did you do?

Adrian Brett Look, I would say that I obviously learnt a bit about the people that were interviewing me when I got to the interview stage, but before then, I'd read a bit about what the firm does on their website. I obviously listen to Allens Confidential, very important …

Roseanna Bricknell  Tick.

Adrian Brett Pro tip for the people that are looking to apply to Allens, definitely listen to the podcast. And, yeah, aside from that, talk to people who work at the firm, try and get a vibe as to what the firm is like, what the culture's like and what the people are like. That's what I really liked about Allens, is that it just felt as though the culture and people that work at the firm is a really big fit for me.

Roseanna Bricknell  Did you stalk anyone who was interviewing you on LinkedIn who had LinkedIn Premium?

Adrian Brett Not LinkedIn Premium, no, but I did look at people's LinkedIn beforehand. Yeah, I have a funny story from that. The person who was interviewing me, Veronica Siow, she actually doesn't know this, but I, when she was interviewing me for my first-round interview, I found an article, I think either on the AFR or maybe on Lawyers Weekly about her, and it was, like, a Q&A session and they essentially asked her a bunch of questions, and I remember one of the questions was about what her favourite dish was, because she mentioned that she can cook, and I can't remember what dish it was, but I was, like, very close in the interview to asking about the dish, but I'm very glad that I avoided that question and kept it a bit more professional.

Roseanna Bricknell  You just suddenly work it in, like, oh well, my favourite food just happens to be …

Adrian Brett Yeah, I don't know what she is going to think if she hears this now but, yeah .. yeah. So I did a bit of research on the people but not too much, you know, you want to come off as genuine and not rehearsed.

Roseanna Bricknell  Not a stalker.

Adrian Brett Not a stalker as well, yeah.

Eric Gonzales Yeah, I mean, I would echo what Adrian said about the process being a lot more stressful than I expected it to be. You know, I think it was very emotionally draining because I had thought I had to project this stereotype of a law student who could recite every transaction and every dispute in the AFR but it really wasn't like that at all and I think I realised that a bit too late in the process. I think in terms of preparation, of course read Allens' website and, you know, attend all of their campus events but I think it requires a lot of self-reflection as well. So, why do you want to do commercial law? Is Allens the right place for you and, basically, who you really are. I know it's very profound, but I think it really helps for personal brandings.

Roseanna Bricknell  And who you are .. is not your body?

Eric Gonzales Is not your body .. it's 20/20.

Roseanna Bricknell  Learning experiences. I mean, I agree, that was definitely my experience as well, and now we're talking several years ago, but I kind of still latch on to that feeling of anxiety and just being, like, I don't know what I'm doing and how can I possibly get through this process. I mean, do you have any little tips on being organised or preparing for interviews that helped you along the way or that people told you about while you were interviewing?

Adrian Brett Yeah, absolutely, I mean, for me, actually during the application process I was overseas for the whole month.

Roseanna Bricknell  Oh my God.

Adrian Brett When applications were open, so, I was travelling around Europe and pretty much every day, like, after coming back to the hotel I'd be on my computer doing research, doing my application. So, that definitely took it out of me, but, like, overall it was a very rewarding process. In terms of tips for being organised, just make sure that you allocate enough time to it; like, people go back to uni at the same time when interviews start, and so all of a sudden, you've got a million things coming up, and so the best thing I would suggest is just make sure that you allocate enough time to do your research, prepare any questions that you might want to ask the people who were interviewing you, so that you can get the best understanding of what the firm's about, because, at the end of the day, the interview is not only for the firm to get to know a bit about you, but it's also for you to get to know a bit about them and to see whether you fit within the firm.

Roseanna Bricknell  Yep. Very wise and I think the questions point is a great one, because in basically every interview, at some point, they're going to turn to you and say, do you have any questions for us, and it's really good if you do have questions, not just to look as though you're prepared but because you should generally have questions that you should feel empowered to ask.

Adrian Brett Absolutely, yeah.

Eric Gonzales I think, by the same token, definitely stay organised but don’t be so rigidly organised that it puts a strain on all of your relationships. During semester, you know, people would want to hang out with me, and I'm, like, no, this is my whole life on the line. And it is an important step in your career. But it's important as well to keep things in perspective, you know, this is just a blip in a very long life that you will lead. Wow, I'm coming out with all of ...

Roseanna Bricknell  Insightful. Nine am and you are on it. And so then, I guess, the big question: why Allens, why did you decide to come here?

Adrian Brett I think it goes back to that previous point where I felt as though there was a culture fit and the people that I met during the process really made me feel as though I could be one of them. Especially during interviews, the interviewers that I had, and I made a great connection with all the interviewers, they made me feel as though I'd be a good fit for the firm, and at the same time they made me feel as though they wanted me to join the firm and that really shone through during the process. So, for me, I guess it was a pretty easy decision to make because the firm just made me feel welcome. They made me feel appreciated and, yeah, I just felt as though the opportunities that were ahead of me were so great by joining the firm. Yeah.

Eric Gonzales Yeah, absolutely, I mean, the process was focused on getting to know us; you know, at my first-round interview I was comfortable enough to tell my interviewers that I got a full-body rash dancing in the Mardi Gras because of biodegradable glitter, which was a latent allergy that I'd developed. So …

Roseanna Bricknell  How far into the interview were you when you dropped that story?

Eric Gonzales That was, like, 30 seconds in, I think.

Roseanna Bricknell  Yeah, what was the context for that?

Eric Gonzales I feel like there was no context, the context was nerves.

Roseanna Bricknell  Hi, nice to meet you, I've got a full-body rash.

Eric Gonzales She's, like, okay.

Geneva Sekua  When's the time when you had to overcome a challenge? Like, let me tell you …

Eric Gonzales Oh gosh. So, it was very relaxed and, you know, I developed a genuine friendship with my buddy, Cat, and I remember, you know, the day that I had to accept my offer I was deciding between a few firms, well, that's a bit of flex … decision and I was panicking to Cat, I was like, oh God, I'm not smart enough, you know, I'm not like x, y, z person who's come before me, I don't really belong here, and she came down to meet me and, you know, she was, like, no, like you are obviously smart enough to be here, you wouldn't have made it this far if you weren't, and right after that conversation I went to my computer and accepted my offer. So ..

Roseanna Bricknell  Got goosebumps, that's such a lovely story. Well, we're all really happy that you did choose Allens and that you're here, and we hope that you're enjoying it, and I'd be really interested to hear, you know, how did your expectations align with the reality. Now that you're at Allens, do you think it lives up to what you expected it to be or have you found anything to be very surprising or challenging or different?

Eric Gonzales God, I thought it was going to be a lot more competitive during the clerkship; you know, during the process I think it's easy to get in your own head and you notice everyone else networking so effectively and you're, like, oh my gosh, it's going to be really intense, the cohort's going to be really competitive, and even coming in we have such a large cohort, we have 53 clerks, and I thought I'd have to fight everyone else to get a grad role but that's really not the case at all. You know, a lot of people ask me why is Allens' cohort so big and I'm, like, well, I don't know, but I think, if anything, it's a positive reflection on the firm; you know, Allens made the same number of offers as other firms but it just so happened that a lot of people accepted and I think that's great for Allens. Honestly.

Roseanna Bricknell  Yeah, and I should say, from our perspective, we're so excited to have a big group of you here. I mean, the firm, obviously, it's a great place to work and we, you know, we're happy people, but when the clerks come, there's just this injection of enthusiasm and energy that, you know, is really special to us and we really look forward to having you here. So, to have this great big group of enthusiastic people, it's been really exciting for all of us here as well, and I hope people make you feel that way.

Adrian Brett Yeah, for sure. I'd have to say, similar to Eric, I thought it was going to be really competitive coming into the firm; when we found out about the number of clerks, there was a bit of anxiety around, is it going to be really competitive, is everyone sort of going to be fighting each other for a job or whatever. But at the end of the day, from literally from 9 am on day one on the Monday, everyone came in and everyone was super friendly, and the way I see it is that everyone here is extremely talented in their own right, and I think everyone just really chilled out and just wanted to get on with their own work, but at the same time, become friends with each other. And that, that really made me quite happy that everyone here is actually normal, everyone here, you know, they're not law robots, everyone is really friendly and, yeah, it's really good. I'd say the firm is a very social one, which I really like as well because, obviously, everyone here works really hard and, you know, that's why Allens is one of the best firms in the country. But at the same time, it knows how to take care of its people.

Roseanna Bricknell  Now, we'll get into this in a bit more detail in a minute, but I think something that people really also want to know is what kind of work do you actually do as a summer clerk. I mean, what's your experience been like. Do you think people are sort of giving you tasks that they've made up, are you doing the work of lawyers. How have you found that and what kind of work have you been doing?

Eric Gonzales I thought I'd be a glorified paper pusher, but in reality we have been given a lot of juicy tasks. It doesn't feel like the lawyers have suddenly concocted this task out of nowhere to keep us busy, there really is a lot of work to go around. So, I think the lawyers really try to get you involved on really big matters to get you that exposure and in a whole range of .. of industries as well. So, as you may or may not know, Allens has a non-siloed approach, which means that you rotate through a practice group rather than through a smaller sub-team, so you would rotate through projects rather than–

Roseanna Bricknell  To a specific partner?

Eric Gonzales Yeah, exactly, so you get to work with a whole variety of people, and I think that's been really great for me.

Adrian Brett Yeah, absolutely. I think that there has been so much work for all of us to do; especially given the number of clerks, it's been really good. Like, on our first day, we came down to our practice groups to meet all of the lawyers and partners, and they were so excited to find out when we were actually on the floor, because our first two days were in training and, yeah, they were really excited for us to actually start working. I was really surprised how the partners and the senior lawyers within the firm, as well as the grads, get us involved in a variety of matters. Been really exciting. I have done quite a lot of work on the Foreign Investment Review Board, which was really interesting and, yeah, it's … I feel as though in MAC, which is where I rotated, there is ... there was a lot of work, but there's a lot of different work the lawyers, the grads, and the partners and the senior associates get to do.

Roseanna Bricknell And so, what's the process after that, because I know when I clerked, I would, first of all, be crippled by anxiety of, like, I don't know how to law, you give me this task, now what do I do. Have you found that people have given you helpful feedback or sort of taken the time to explain to you, well, this is actually what I'm asking you for and this is why it matters, and then, after you've done it, they say, okay, great, and here's what you could differently or this was a great thing that you did?

Adrian Brett Yeah, absolutely. The lawyers take a lot of time out of their day, not only to give, like, really good instructions as to how the task can be done properly, but at the same time they'll sit with you afterwards and give you constructive feedback, which is really valuable. I found that when I got to sit down with the lawyer that gave me work and get the feedback off them, it really allowed me to sort of finetune my skills, work on things that needed to be worked on … and I found that that entire process has just continually made me a bit more confident in my abilities, and I feel, from week one to week five, I've been a lot more confident with the work that I've doing for the firm.

Roseanna Bricknell  That's great.

Eric Gonzales It really didn't matter how big or small the task was, even if I were proofreading a letter, you know, I would have the whole transaction explained to me and I would be thinking oh my gosh, this is so not necessary, you know, you don't have to this, go back to your busy, important work and I'll go back to my little task but, no, that was very generous, so every lawyer has been very generous, so far.

Roseanna Bricknell  I remember when I started as a grad, you know, and I didn't have any matters yet because I'd just started. One of the senior associates asked me to come in and talk about this matter and I was, like, great, I'm being put on a matter, and she gave me, like, this 30- or 40-minute explanation and it was really complicated. I'm taking notes. And the end of that whole process, she was, like, so can you please proofread this. And I was, like, wow, I really didn't that need that background for this, but thank you so much. And I felt part of the team from day one. So I'm really pleased that you guys are having a similar experience.

Adrian Brett Yeah, and it's been really great because there are so many other things that, as clerks, we can get involved on. Like, for example, today I'm actually going to the Homeless Persons Legal Centre, which is really exciting, I'm looking forward to that .. there's clerks' sports, which is really fun, you get to, you know, represent Allens and, hopefully, beat all of the other firms. My team hasn't been doing so well, but one of the other Allens team is undefeated, which is really good.

Roseanna Bricknell  Really.

Eric Gonzales Not my team. It's not my team.

Roseanna Bricknell  Did you have try-outs? How do they have this one really good team?

Eric Gonzales It's random allocation, so I believe. But, yeah.

Roseanna Bricknell  They've been on your Facebooks, like, who plays soccer reasonably ..

Eric Gonzales Yeah, but it's been really fun … there's just a lot of things the clerks can get involved on. There's a range of committees as well, so you've got the ALLin Committee, you've got the RAP Committee, there are a range of things, range of committees, that the clerks have been able to get involved on, and what's really exciting as well is at the end of our clerkship, the clerks actually are running the charity event and we are raising money for the bush fire relief, which is really exciting, and they'll be a lot more exciting things happening around the firm in the lead-up to that. So, yeah, I just feel, aside from coming to Allens and just doing work for clients, or doing, like, matter-based work, there's a lot of work that we get to do outside of that, which is really great, because not only does it keep us super busy, but it also allows us to broaden ourselves as well within the firm.

Roseanna Bricknell  Yeah, terrific. When we worked at your level, the technology team at Allens was called ALT. I know it's not called that anymore; do you guys want to tell us what it's called and how the team works now?

Eric Gonzales Yep. So, it's undergone a rebrand ... so ALT is now IDS, which is Innovation and Digital Solutions, and that's a relatively new group at Allens. It was only formed in 2019 and I think it consists of three teams, so that's the ILS, which is Integrated Legal Solutions, the Legal Production Lab and the Innovation Centre.

Roseanna Bricknell  And I guess the follow-up, we haven't sort of said this, but you guys know about this team because for the first time you're actually doing a rotation there, which is very special and new and fancy. So, we'd love to hear about, you know, what that is, and why you're doing it. What does that mean for you in your work?

Adrian Brett Yeah, it's really exciting that Allens is offering a rotation in Innovation ... it's a bit outside of the box but so far I've been really enjoying it, and from what I understand no other firms offer a rotation for the clerkship in, like, an innovation team. So we've been doing, like, a range of different things: we have been learning a bit about predictive coding, which is used a lot by the firm, when they're reviewing documents for discovery purposes, and we're developing an app, which, essentially, is aimed to streamline the process of reaching out to people within the IDS team. So, from what I understand, a lot of people in the firm don't really know who the appropriate contact is for when they've got a specific thing they need assistance with.

Geneva Sekua  Yeah, okay. Sometimes, you're, like ... oh yeah, I definitely know. And then they're, like, this is my job, leave me alone.

Roseanna Bricknell  I just know who you are and I like you, so can you help me.

Geneva Sekua  No, often they're just, like, fine.

Adrian Brett But it's, like … what I've sort of realised is that it's the culture of the firm to continue to innovate and make things easier, not only for the firm as a whole, but for the lawyers as well. So, where Eric and I come in is we're trying to develop an app, which essentially is going to make it really easy for the lawyers to send out a request to the appropriate person; essentially, the app will step them through the entire process, they'll put through … put in the information about what they need assistance with and, hopefully, at the end it will direct them to the appropriate person within the IDS team, which should save a lot of time, and at the same time will make instructions for that person in the IDS team really easy.

Roseanna Bricknell That's amazing. And so, do either of you have, you know, a tech background. I think, Eric, you said you did a humanities degree.

Eric Gonzales I do not have any technological ability at all. So, you know, before starting at Innovation I truly thought I'd be, you know, it would be a Silicon Valley type of situation where I'd be coding and all that jazz. And I'm like, yeah, nope, but ... you know, I'm a history graduate and my speciality was medieval women, which is absolutely, it has absolutely nothing to do with app making and app developing, so I think, like, the program we've been using to build apps is very accessible. You basically spend more time conceptualising the app and, you know, considering how a user might experience an app; you start with a question and that might lead you to more answers and more questions. You basically build a logic tree and I think that is a crucial skill that lawyers need across the board.

Adrian Brett Yeah, absolutely. It's quite a funny story with me, I don't have too much of a tech background but I am interested a little bit in tech; but when I was growing up I loved computers, like, I was a weird kid when I was growing up; anyways, when I was young, probably, like, eight or nine, I asked my dad, Dad, what can I do, like, what career path can I take where sort of it's a challenging job but I get to work on computers and do a lot of computer stuff. And he said, oh, why don't you become a lawyer.

Eric Gonzales A computer scientist?

Roseanna Bricknell Vision. He knew one day that would be what was required.

Adrian Brett So, who would have thought that, like, down the track, like 13 years later, I'm working in the IDS team for my rotation at Allens. It's really quite funny reflecting on that and seeing where, sort of, it's taken me. So, like, it's been really exciting seeing what the firm actually does. The firm is definitely leading the pack in innovating within the legal industry, and it's amazing to just see the type of work that the firm is doing to make the lawyers within the firm and, sorry, make the lawyers' jobs easier within the firm.

Roseanna Bricknell Have you had to learn any hard-core computing skills or, is Neo quite easy to use; is it something that, you know, like, me and Geneva could pick up quickly.

Geneva Sekua  No. There's no hope for us.

Roseanna Bricknell We're too old.

Adrian Brett A lot of it is down to how you design the process and how you anticipate the process to play out. So, Neologic is a really user-friendly software and it's essentially been developed for people who do not have coding experience. So, for me it's been really useful because the main part of the process of actually designing the app is sitting down and working out and mapping out how the app's going to work and, I guess, based on that, like Eric was saying, you need to really think outside the box. Do a lot of lateral thinking, a lot of design thinking, and, yeah, with that, the user-friendly sort of plays into that and it actually can be quite easy; once you know how the app is supposed to work, it's quite easy to set it up.

Roseanna Bricknell Do you think you'll go home and design an app yourself?

Adrian Brett That's a good question. I don't know, I haven't really thought of any good app ideas. I was thinking about one yesterday, actually, within the firm, potentially developing a software using AI that can summarise cases so where, essentially, it can read through an entire case, and work out the key summary, work out the key, like, judgment and at the same time, outline how this might affect cases in the future. That's just an idea that I thought of yesterday, I don't know whether it's got any viability but yeah.

Roseanna Bricknell  You should chat with LexisNexis ..

Geneva Sekua  I'm in support of that as an app idea. And while you're there, so this sounds as though you're doing really interesting and innovative work for the firm; it's not necessarily legal work in the traditional way that you would think of it, but what skills do you think you're developing that will help you as lawyers in the future?

Adrian Brett Absolutely; look, I think going back to what I was saying before, it's a lot about thinking outside the box, being a bit proactive and not only thinking about how what you're doing might affect something now but working out in the future how that might play out. So, as a lawyer, obviously, you've got to think of every possible situation that might arise, whether it's in litigation or in a corporate transaction, and so I feel as though working in the IDS team we're doing a lot of that thinking, we're trying to think forward, we're trying to think into the future and work out all of the different scenarios which might play out. And I think that it's a really important skill for future lawyers to have, the ability to be proactive, and be a bit innovative, think outside the box; yeah, it's really key, in my opinion.

Eric Gonzales I think there are two important skills, so the first would be design thinking, so the necessity of putting yourself in the user's shoes when testing an app, I think would translate well into serving clients. You know, you always need to put yourself in the client's shoes and the client's needs, and secondly, I think, a receptiveness to experimentation because your app isn't always going to work at first instance and, you know, Adrian and I attended a design thinking workshop yesterday and that involved interviewing people … and defining a problem, developing a solution and delivering that solution, and the delivery aspect involved a lot of trial and error and I think, you know, I know as a law student I don't like being told that I'm wrong. And so, I think just being open to people's feedback, being open to constructive feedback and, you know, being willing to improve.

Adrian Brett Yeah, and I think, just on that, like, what really impressed me, and I didn't know this before actually joining the group, but a lot of the team members within IDS have, like, legal experience or, like, are or were, practising lawyers, which I think is a huge thing for the firm because the reality is, it's one thing to get, like, someone with tech background in, but if you can apply that in a legal context, I think it really goes a long way as to actually making things a lot easier for the lawyers within the firm, and so, having, like, worked with a lot of the people within the IDS who have legal backgrounds, it's amazing to see the way they think and the way that they are trying to streamline processes within the firm. Make things more efficient … it's quite extraordinary and, like, previously I didn't really know that it was actually a pathway for lawyers to go into this space … and to be into developing legal technology, but it actually is a pathway, which is really cool and, I think for us, it's been really great being part of the IDS rotation.

Roseanna Bricknell  Can I just say, you guys have so much more insight than I did when I clerked. Like, you just understand things in a way that I could never have hoped to.

Geneva Sekua  I mean, we just had to ask about the title of that team. So … you probably have more insight than we have right now.

Roseanna Bricknell  Speaking of you guys having more knowledge than we do, what's your advice to clerks who are going to go through the process this year and coming years?

Adrian Brett Look, I think there would be two things that I'd recommend to future, sort of, applicants: firstly, if you get to the cocktail evenings, make sure that you eat the food. It's good food, it really is; I mean, not that I would know, I didn't really eat much, but I remember, like, leaving the Allens' second-round cocktail evening being so hungry and then I saw on LinkedIn that there were cookies, like on the side, and I was, like, wow, I can't believe I missed that.

Roseanna Bricknell  I had so many of those cookies.

Eric Gonzales What cookies, where are they?

Roseanna Bricknell There was a whole table.

Adrian Brett And there was like a sign which said Allens isn't your standard cookie-cutter firm which, like, it was quite funny as well.

Eric Gonzales Oh.

Roseanna Bricknell Sorry to interrupt, they were so good.

Adrian Brett I don't know, but if I could go back, I would have definitely eaten the cookies. First tip, definitely take advantage of the food, don't go hungry. Second thing, like, just sort of chill out a bit, like it's obviously, it's weird for me to say it now, being on the other side of the process, but I think one of the key, like, things that I wish I hadn't done would be to not check the Whirlpool forums as much as I did … those things are an absolute trap, don't read into them because I've realised throughout the process, and after the process, upon reflection, that you're really not competing against anyone else, you're your worst enemy and don't, like, you really shouldn't focus on what other people are doing. Focus primarily on yourself and how you can better yourself and how you can put your best foot forward in front of the firm. So those would be my two tips.

Eric Gonzales Yeah, absolutely, I agree with both of those tips. Definitely stay away from the Whirlpool forums. Toxic, toxic, toxic, toxic. Yeah, just to echo Adrian's last point, definitely relax. While it's important to put your best foot forward ... don't overthink and over analyse all of your interactions from the cocktail evenings and the networking events. If you slip up, and say a faux pas it's not important, people aren't going to remember it, you know, everyone ... it happens to everyone and I think as law students it's easy to be self-critical ... but if there's one thing that I could change, it would just stop being so, you know, uptight about the whole process.

Roseanna Bricknell  This is very wise words to everyone and I'm sorry you had to learn the lesson the hard way, the food was delicious ... by not experiencing it. But thank you, both.

Geneva Sekua  I don't know if that's the way that you learn how food is delicious normally. Normally, you find that out by eating it.

Roseanna Bricknell  Thank you both so much for joining us this morning. I think you've both had incredible insights into the firm, into the process, and into this new rotation, which I actually was fascinated to learn about. So, we hope that you've enjoyed spending time with us and having a chat with us, and I'm sure everyone is going to be so excited to hear what you have to say, so thank you.

Adrian Brett /
Eric Gonzales
Thank you, thanks for having us.

Geneva Sekua  Thank you very much.

Roseanna Bricknell  Tune in next time for the next episode of Allens Confidential.

Adrian Brett Thanks, guys.

About the presenters: Roseanna Bricknell & Geneva Sekula

Roseanna joined Allens as a clerk in 2014 and was a lawyer in the Competition, Consumer and Regulatory and Disputes and Investigations teams. She lives for the Good Weekend Quiz and has developed a good working knowledge of Summer Olympics host cities because questions on that topic come up a lot. She now works in Civil Regulation at the Australian Government Solicitor. 

Geneva is a Senior Associate in our Disputes and Investigations team. She loves brunch, dogs, Netflix marathons, and giving unsolicited advice. A graduate of the University of Sydney, she clerked at Allens in Sydney in 2015 before joining the firm as a nervous but enthusiastic graduate in 2017.

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