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A day in the life of…
Melbourne graduate, Courtney White

What do our Australian grads actually do every day? Meet Courtney White, a graduate based in our Melbourne office working in our Asia EIPAF and Disputes Team. Read on to discover what a typical day for Courtney involves. 

6:00 a.m.

I'm an early bird, so I wake up around 6:00 a.m. and do some exercise (gym, run or yoga). I usually ride my bike to work, so I leave my apartment at 7:30 a.m. I arrive at the office's end of trip facilities by 8:00 a.m., where I get ready and make use of the comprehensive amenities available. 

8:30 a.m.

I am at my desk at 8:30 a.m., which is about an hour before most of my team arrives. I use this time to catch up on emails, work on pro bono matters and get ahead of my work for the day. I'm currently completing my first rotation in the Project Finance team. The Project Finance team works on a variety of different infrastructure deals. At the moment, I'm involved in deals relating to wind farms and roads. 

9:30 a.m.

Once my team arrives, I will either go out to coffee with the junior lawyers or make use of the barista-grade coffee machine in the kitchen while catching up with the other graduates.

10:30 a.m. 

Highly caffeinated, I return to my desk and start on a due diligence report for a wind farm project. I conduct ASIC searches, title searches and litigation searches, and record the results in the report.

12:00 p.m.

My supervising partner asks me to quickly respond to a White & Case associate in New York who is asking for a summary on Australia's Personal Property Securities Register system. I spend an hour researching and drafting the email before I send it off.

1:00 p.m.

At the beginning of the graduate program, there are lots of lunch time training sessions. These sessions include introductions to each practice area (e.g., introduction to Project Finance) and particular industries (e.g., introduction to renewables). I really enjoy these sessions as they are a great opportunity to meet people from other teams, and catering is provided. 

If there is no training session, I will usually head out of the office to lunch with the graduates and other junior lawyers.

2:00 p.m. 

I return to my desk after lunch and another partner in my team has sent me an email asking me to review a Terms Sheet for a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project. We are acting for a consortium bidding to develop the project and we have received comments on our proposed terms from the banks we are negotiating with to fund the development.

I read through the Terms Sheet and discuss it with the partner.

4:00 p.m.

I attend a phone conference meeting with the partner, special counsel and the clients who are calling in from Sydney and Madrid to discuss the banks' comments on the Terms Sheet. The conference rooms in the office are equipped with cameras, microphones and large screens to make communication with interstate or overseas clients seamless. It is very common to work with clients located overseas, and despite some unfavourable time differences, it is a rewarding experience that allows you to develop your international network. 

6:00 p.m.

On a normal day, I will finish up around 6:00 p.m. and ride my bike home. 

Sometimes I need to stay later to complete work. If it is a later finish, it usually means that most of the team is also staying back, so we order food together for dinner. Once I finish up, I catch a taxi home.

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