It's a great kiwi tradition to do your OE. We will soon be wishing bon voyage to one of our junior team, Ashleigh Ooi. We managed to snag her to ask her about her time with the firm before she sneaks out the door!
Coming from another boutique firm upon graduating, Ashleigh joined the firm with a fixed idea of what she wanted to achieve. Over two years, this perspective and focus changed and slowly opened up to whole new world of opportunities.
Three words to describe your experience of the firm
- Challenging (in a good way!)
How have you changed both professionally and personally since joining?
Where I started and where I am now (on a personal and professional level) are markedly different. Nothing really prepares you for starting out as a junior lawyer, not only in terms of the work and but also just navigating the idea of being in the corporate world. Hudson Gavin Martin really helped me to find my place in the legal profession. It helped that the team has a genuine passion for what they do, which forms the basis of the firm's culture. No one takes things too seriously and no matter what role you have, everyone is treated with the utmost respect.
What have been the highlights?
Professionally, the type of work that I have been involved in for someone at my level has been next to none. I have been exposed to some of the most challenging, ground breaking and unique work - from high profile copyright litigation to advising some of the most innovative businesses in emerging areas of technology. A definite highlight has been working with clients in areas of law such as space and satellite, which was not something I ever imagined doing!
On a personal level, the friendships that I've made at the firm are lifelong - we all have a solid connection and will definitely keep in touch.You're heading overseas, where are you going and what's on the horizon?
I'm heading over to London to work for another technology / commercial practice similar in size, working with cutting edge clients. I know that Hudson Gavin Martin is a great firm especially when you're just starting your legal career, but it wasn't until I started to actively look for a role overseas that I noticed the extent of the firm's reputation. The firm's expertise has been globally recognised and we are ranked highly in legal directories. It was this recognition that piqued the interest of some of London's leading firms (including Magic and Silver Circle) who approached me for prospective roles.
What advice would you give to someone starting out? - Three tips I would give are:
Be realistic about what you're getting into. The legal profession can be hard work and it's very different to university - suddenly you realise how little you actually know! This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's good to be aware of this going in.
That being said, while it may be tough starting out, if you persevere then your time and effort will be rewarded. In my experience, the pay-off is completely worth it in terms of the work you'll get to do, and the opportunities you'll have available to you in your future career.
Be open minded. While it's good to have goals and objectives for your career, don't be closed off to new and unexpected opportunities and always be open to change. You might find that your path as a lawyer is different to what you expected at university - and you might even find it is better!