Updating Results

Clayton Utz

4.4
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Adrian Vosk

The fact I can bring my whole self to work and be myself and I am provided challenging and meaningful work, which lets me focus on becoming the best lawyer I can be.

What's your job about?

I have completed two of three rotations as part of the graduate program at Clayton Utz (CU) in the Corporate and Major Projects & Construction (MPC) transactional teams, including extensive pro bono work throughout. Within each area, I have assisted in:

Corporate

  • Company restructuring and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) - to fundraise via an initial public offering. This included drafting aspects of the prospectus, project management, research, drafting board and shareholder resolutions, liaising with the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) and lodging company name and company type change documentation
  • General corporate advisory - varied sectors from logistics/freight, agricultural, health services, ASX listing rule compliance advice and drafting of market disclosures, corporate governance policy drafting and related advice
  • Negotiating and drafting - private share buy-back and underwriting agreements for our private company and investment bank clients respectively.

MPC

  • Project managing social housing procurement and ongoing project document drafting, assisting senior lawyers with negotiations and being the main client contact
  • Preparing tender procurement documentation and contract review and drafting for major prison, hospital, light rail, airport and other major infrastructure projects
  • Research within areas of corporations, building, contract, planning and insolvency law
  • Business development activities and research to prepare pitches and gather a deeper understanding of CU's expertise.

Pro Bono (Homeless Law and Justice Connect)

  • Drafted submissions and appeared in VCAT on several occasions
  • Assisted in infringements matters
  • Advised one of our not-for-profit clients on their corporate governance policies
  • Acted for clients in consumer credit transactions, working with the senior legal team to draft advices and work with an external financial counsellor.

What's your background?

As a South-Eastern suburban Melbournian, I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic local public co-ed high school, living in a suburb close to friends and family. 

Throughout high school and to this day, I have been an avid sportsperson and love my music. Playing the double bass in school and community orchestras and running marathons has exposed me to diverse, interesting people. Travelling on exchange to Germany in high school and attending a semester abroad in the Netherlands were highlights throughout my studies.

Despite my work experience in the legal sector during uni being limited compared to my peers, I was fortunate to have exposure as a paralegal in a semi-government institution. 

I enjoyed varied roles during my studies as a children's trampolining instructor, umpiring local football and working in hospitality. Throughout university, I treasured campus life; one of my most rewarding roles was my health and wellbeing coordinator role at my university's law students' society.

I obtained the CU graduate lawyer position through the seasonal clerkship process comprising:

  • an online application and subsequent in-person interview; and
  • one-month clerkship in the Melbourne office (Summer 2017) working in both the Banking & Finance and Commercial Litigation teams.

I also stayed on as a paralegal in the Forensic and Technology (FTS) team over 2018 while I finished my last few university subjects.

My continued work throughout 2018 at the firm cemented why I wanted to work as a graduate at CU. The longer I stayed, the more I became immersed in firm life, the great social atmosphere, the touch football, fun runs and inter-firm competitions, the diversity and inclusion events, education workshops, and community fundraisers. It's a place I am challenged, can be myself at work and am constantly learning.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

There is no typical background of an employee that works at CU. One of the best aspects of the firm is the diverse experiences everyone brings to the team. My grad group is a prime example of that. In addition to making the office a dynamic and enjoyable place to be, our differences assist us to provide creative solutions to challenging problems. 

I have found the following characteristics desirable for a junior lawyer/grad:

  • positive attitude and eagerness to learn - everything is quite difficult at first and we will always be challenged, but having a positive 'go-get-'em' attitude (e.g. confidence to ask thoughtful questions) always inspires willingness from anyone to help
  • attention to detail - this is a must. While I'm still growing my practical experience, I try to do the best job I can in any task (big or small), to get the little things right that I can control
  • curiosity - always wanting to know more, to read the latest news articles and current awareness resources, to carefully consider the law and to think critically. This can really deepen your knowledge in an area and more speedily progress your substantive skills.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

There are many things I enjoy. The fact I can bring my whole self to work and be myself and I am provided challenging and meaningful work, which lets me focus on becoming the best lawyer I can be. The amount of trust given to me, especially throughout my MPC rotation is empowering. I have direct client contact and already draft negotiated contractual terms. The collegiate atmosphere, especially within my graduate group, means I always have a great company at lunchtimes and have a solid support network.

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest learning curve of my job has been adjusting to general full-time work after university life. Additionally, working in a busy transactional team means there are tight turnaround times. That does mean it's not a traditional 9.00 am to 5.00 pm role. However, the exceptionally busy periods are not standard and for the most part, especially in the early stages of my career, the added time invested has helped me to personally develop my skills and grow at a faster rate.

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

A few tips for future me if I was currently a student would be to:

  1. grasp any opportunity offered to you with open arms - be it to volunteer in the community, engage in an internship (doesn't have to be law-related), attend an exchange, get involved in uni life, pick up a musical instrument or a sport - the diverse people and groups, the great relationships you form will help to shape and guide your future
  2. travel, travel, travel - my time spent on exchanges and in South America before committing to full-time work was special to me, something I will never forget. Look after yourself, rest and go on an adventure!
  3. spend time with family and friends - surround yourself with great people who motivate, encourage and support you to be your best and to be accountable for achieving your goals.