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A day in the life of…
Sydney graduate, Adam Conwell

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

7:45 a.m.

I'm a bit of a night owl, so I need my extra sleep in the morning. Luckily, I live not too far from the office and if I leave by 8:35 a.m., I can arrive before 9:00 a.m.. No breakfast at home either. I just grab a piece of fruit to munch on as I walk to the bus stop. 

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

I like to "do the rounds" when I get in and say hello to everyone–definitely an advantage of working in a smaller office is that you have pretty close relationships with the entire team, from paralegals up to partners. I have usually reviewed any emails received overnight either first thing when I wake up or on the bus to work–if any are pressing, I'll answer them now. If not, then I might grab a piece of toast, compliments of White & Case, or just settle into work. 

9:30 a.m.

Working in the Project Finance team means that at any given time, I'm usually on at least one large deal that has been going for a month or two and a few smaller deals or deals that are just "heating up". This means that there is a good range of different tasks in any given week– reviewing some company constitutions, helping with pitches, doing niche research, drafting documents or attending signings/closings.

I'll look at my day and prioritise the most pressing work—usually the senior associates or associates will have told me the night before what I need to get them first thing today. Otherwise, if I'm unclear on what needs to be done, I'll go chat with whoever has given me work and get clear on deliverables/time frame.

12:30 p.m.

As a breakfast skipper, I'm usually hungry pretty early, so I'll break for lunch about now—I'm not a big believer in lunch meetings with friends, as I like to cook and I usually bring my lunch. Sometimes I'll go sit in the sun outside on the steps to the office building across the street, or go for a walk to Circular Quay and back just to clear my mind. We also have a pretty good grad crew going these days, so lunch with them in the office yields a good yarn too.

1:30 p.m.

One of the best things about working at White & Case is how close we work with the partners. I'll often go ask one of the partners for a high-level explanation of a deal I'm on or join a call where the partner will negotiate specific terms of the key documents. It's a great part of the day because you really get to understand transactional work better and understand what each of the documents do and why they are required.

Today was an interesting day—I had to figure out how to discharge an old migrated security registration that had been registered against a company that is acceding to a security arrangement for a refinancing of a large mining operation. It required calling the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) directly to understand the process, using the Firm's PPSR account to get everything in place and drafting an email to the client to get their authority to discharge the registration on their behalf.

At the same time, I am managing the finalisation of a due diligence report for a key client who is looking to purchase three solar farms across Victoria and NSW. This involved me gathering responses from different teams in the Firm and then drafting and editing the master report to go to the client. Here is why having attention to detail is key, because White & Case has a house style to adhere to that ensures all work product is of the highest quality.

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

As the office junior, at around 5:30 p.m., I'll do the rounds and organise dinner from Deliveroo for everyone—I'll get a consensus on what cuisine we're having, and then we all sit down together like a big family. After dinner, I'll go back to my desk and finish any outstanding work that needs to be completed by today or progress new work to get into shape for tomorrow. After that, usually around 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., I'm off home to chill or I'm out for a few beers with mates.

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