REWARDS IN LAYING DOWN THE LAW
ETHIKATE principal lawyer Kate Ritchie fell into her profession after first pursuing police work.
“I didn’t really like lawyers,” she says. “I was going to join the police force but I ended up taking a job because the police look for people with office experience rather than straight out of school.
“I worked for a large construction company and one of the departments we oversaw was the legal department, which I took a liking to.”
Ritchie, who already had a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology), went back to university to study a graduate-entry Bachelor of Laws and Diploma of Legal Practice, fol- lowed by postgraduate study in trademarks law and practice to become a trademarks lawyer.
“Law school equips you with the ability to find answers but not effectively apply the laws yet,” she says. “There is a lot of self doubt and frustration and it’s challenging, but then you start to see the light and it’s quite rewarding.”
She recommends students get work experience before they graduate because employers can tell the difference between applicants with and without it.
“The way (graduates with experience) work with support workers and other lawyers is very different. It’s not just about the grades,” she says.
LEGAL ADVOCATE: Lawyer Kate Ritchie looks after her clients’ legal interests. Picture: NICKI CONNOLLY