Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES + SERVICES | CAREER ONE - Laura Tri­este

WHETHER it be an ex­cit­ing TV show or the pres­tige of the ti­tle, there are many rea­sons peo­ple want to be­come a lawyer with­out much idea of what it ac­tu­ally in­volves.

This is why Kemp Strang lawyer Nick Noo­nan said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple in­ter­ested in a law ca­reer to get work ex­pe­ri­ence as soon as pos­si­ble.

Mr Noo­nan said a sum­mer clerk­ship at Kemp Strang he did as a univer­sity stu­dent in 2001 helped him de­cide to pur­sue the law side of his com­merce law de­gree.

“Com­bined law de­grees were seen to be bet­ter de­grees at the time, (but) I ended up be­ing quite suited to the le­gal side of things,” he said.

He started work­ing as a para­le­gal for the com­pany be­fore be­com­ing a so­lic­i­tor in 2006 and spe­cial­is­ing in em­ploy­ment law.

“It’s a good cross sec­tion of work. You get some of the juicy tales – peo­ple’s jobs are fun­da­men­tal to their lives,” Mr Noo­nan said.

When mat­ters do go to court, Mr Noo­nan said de­spite what you saw on TV, be­ing or­gan­ised, thor­ough and at­ten­tive to your clients was more im­por­tant than hav­ing an im­pas­sioned no holds barred ap­proach.

“Some lawyers are taught that be­ing ag­gres­sive and mak­ing no com­pro­mises can as­sist you,” he said.

“Some of it is not glam­orous at all. With a lit­i­ga­tion mat­ter, a lot of it is ad­min­is­tra­tive – putting to­gether reams of doc­u­ments, ten­ders, pag­i­nat­ing.”

Mr Noo­nan said it was bet­ter to think of the big­ger pic­ture and be a team player.

“A lot of young lawyers might just fo­cus on the work that they are do­ing and of­ten there is an in­cen­tive for them to go to another firm for more money,” he said.

“But I think there’s a lot more scope for ad­vance­ment if you de­velop good re­la­tion­ships.”


Nick Noo­nan is a part­ner at Kemp Strang Lawyers in Syd­ney CBD.

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