Allens Confidential podcast

The road less travelled: busting the myth of the 'typical lawyer'

How does someone end up in the law?  

In this deeply personal episode, hosts Mel and Tahlia speak with two of their fellow lawyers - Virginia Dore and Paddy O'Brien - about their significantly divergent lives, backgrounds and eventual paths to legal practice. It's an honest, heart-on-the-sleeve discussion that puts paid to many of the persistent stereotypes about lawyers, law students and life in a corporate firm, covering everything from childhood trauma and homelessness through to the expanding definition of diversity, the vital role of mentors and the empowering process of being your whole, authentic self in the workplace. 

We'd be lying if we said this episode didn't involve some crying. From everybody. So...tissues at the ready.   

This episode is part of our 2022 series.

Listen to the episode

About the presenters: Melissa Camp and Tahlia Rodrigues


As a child Melissa was told she would talk to a brick wall if it looked at her in the right way. As fate would have it, that brick wall would be Allens lawyers. Melissa clerked in 2019/20 and is now in Corporate M&A while also completing her Masters in Global Competition & Consumer Law. She describes law as a 'perfect fit' as it allows her to talk for a living and bankroll both her dogs' knitted sweater wardrobe and gourmet snack habit.


Tahlia is described by the Legal Admissions Board as a 'qualified lawyer' and by her junior school report cards as a 'disruptive class clown who distracts others'. They're not mutually exclusive. A former clerk in 2019/20, she is now rotating through the Intellectual Property team and quietly listens to Hans Zimmer scores at her desk in order to encourage productivity. 

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