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A day in the life of...
Melbourne graduate Mikaylie Page

May 2022: Mikaylie Page, a graduate lawyer in our Melbourne office has kept a diary of her working day. Read her account of life as a graduate at White & Case and find out why her job is so international.

7:00 a.m.: I'm not a morning person but I'm a big breakfast person, so I often prepare breakfast the night before and leave it in the fridge. That way it's easy to grab on my way out of the door when I inevitably press the snooze button one too many times.

I catch the tram to work, so it's the perfect time to catch up on all my favorite podcasts, or to chat to my friends and family.

Mikaylie Page

8:45 a.m.: Most people start to come in around 9:00 or 9:30, but I like to get in early. I generally spend the first ten or 15 minutes of my day checking my emails and writing a to-do list for the day. This keeps me focused and helps me keep track of the tasks coming up for the week. Keeping my inbox organized, so having time to file away my emails and finish my time entries, makes me feel like I've gotten off to a good start for the day.

9:15 a.m.: I am doing my first rotation in the Land, Environment and Planning team, so we mostly focus on environmental approvals for large infrastructure projects. However, it is varied and you can never really predict what will be coming your way, and you can be sent research tasks on close to anything. Today a lot of my work, I think, will focus on two big infrastructure projects.

9:30 a.m.: At the moment the team is really busy, as we are in the middle of a long hearing. Each morning we have a quick catch-up with the barristers and the White & Case team to make sure we are all across the documents coming in, and the action lists that we need to make sure we all complete and file on time.

10:00 a.m.: I'm helping with the preparation of one of our expert witnesses, working directly with one of our partners to make sure that our witness is prepared to give evidence in the hearing tomorrow. Yesterday I spent time making sure that I understood what the contentious issues were and what our expert's evidence is before heading into the meeting.

​​Mikaylie Page

10:45 a.m.: Time for me to get stuck into some of the research tasks I have on my desk. I start with one that is due tomorrow afternoon, with an aim to have it finished by the end of the day. Some of the other juniors and I have divided up the work so that it is more manageable.

12:00 p.m.: It's about this time that the other grads start working out the lunch arrangements in the group chat. Today I brought my lunch, so I head into the kitchen to join the growing crowd sitting to eat together. Lunch conversations are some of my favorite times to get to know people from all over the office.

1:00 p.m.: I get an email asking for help with an urgent task for a client meeting happening in a few days. I put my other research to one side for a moment, after speaking to my colleagues to let them know, and jump into it. I have a call with the partner and senior associate to get some context on the project and the brief, and then we divide the work so that we can get it done in the short timeframe we have. Working for such a big firm means that you get to research different jurisdictions every day.

3:00 p.m.: About this time, I have organized to grab a coffee with one of the senior associates and we head on down to one of the favorite cafes not far from the office. They make the best chai latte, and I find it is the perfect afternoon motivation.

3:30 p.m.: I get back to my desk and finish off the first half of the research question. I know that the partner wanted to see a progress update this afternoon, and I expect that there will be some tasks coming in from the end of the hearing at 4:30.

5:00 p.m.: As my team walk back from the hearing, I manage to catch them quickly ahead of the full hearing debrief at 5:00. I make sure that I have my tracker open so that I can keep on top of the tasks that have been completed, as well as any new tasks.

Mikaylie Page

5:30 p.m.: Tomorrow I will be taking notes for the hearing most of the day, so I sit down and finish off the last section of the research before sending it off to my colleague, so that she can compile everyone's work into one table to send off to the partner.

6:00 p.m.: Usually I finish my day at around 6:00 and get home in time to go for a walk or a bike ride around my neighborhood. I am new to Melbourne, so I'm enjoying getting to know my suburb in the evenings.