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A day in the life of...
Melbourne graduate Nolan Lee

May 2022: Nolan Lee is a graduate in our Melbourne office. He's kept a diary of his working day. Read on to find out about what a graduate lawyer actually does and what's most enjoyable about the job.

8:00 a.m.: I'm a bit of a night owl, so I need my morning sleep. Luckily, I live a stone's throw away from the office. I wake up, get ready and walk to the office, all the while listening to some upbeat music to wake me up.

9:00 a.m.: I arrive in the office and log onto my computer, praying that there aren't too many emails in my inbox—could be 10, could be 100. I guess this is what happens when you're working in a global law firm and your colleagues, clients and counterparties are scattered throughout different time zones. I file away all of the emails in my inbox, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Nolan Lee

A portfolio refinancing of a windfarm and a pipeline is scheduled to close next week. It's my role to keep track of everything: which documents are in agreed form; which documents are getting amended at the last minute; who needs to sign what and by when. I open my spreadsheet and update the progress of our work. At various times throughout the day, someone will ask me where we are on a certain document, and I can answer within seconds.

11:00 a.m.: An associate in our Sydney office has asked me to do a first cut of an intercompany loan agreement for a windfarm and battery project. I locate the relevant precedent, search the depths of my brain to access any remnants of the corporation law unit from university, and give it a go. My goal right now is for the associate to get back to me with a "good to go, no changes" email.

I get hungry quite early, so I take a quick break and grab a fruit or a snack from the kitchen.

12:30 p.m.: Nine times out of ten, I go out to buy lunch. But I always check the kitchen first. There's often fresh sandwiches and salads up for grabs—first come, first served. When there aren't any, I send a message to my grad cohort group chat. Even if everyone else brought in their lunch from home, there's always someone up for a stroll.

2:00 p.m.: It's about 11:00 a.m. in Singapore, so I start getting some emails from my Singaporean colleagues. It looks like the Indian seated arbitration is going ahead, which means I get to submit research memos to my senior associate. I'm just about to start my research when I get an urgent task to proofread a document. I quickly give a heads-up to the Singapore team, flagging that this new task is urgent. Fortunately, the research task isn't as time-sensitive, so I can put a pin on that and focus on the urgent stuff first. It's times like these that I'm grateful to work with team players with good communication skills.

Nolan Lee

3:00 p.m.: I send off my edits to the document and head to the conference room—a couple of the grads and associates volunteered to organize a fun run between the Melbourne and Sydney offices, and it's time to touch base on the preparations.

3:30 p.m.: It's time to pick up where I left off with that research memo. After a bit of digging around, I notice I have a couple of clarification questions I want to run by  a senior associate before the end of the day.

Nolan Lee

5:30 p.m.: It's a normal day and I clock off around 5:30 p.m. I usually go for an early dinner, followed by bouldering on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and volleyball on Wednesdays and Fridays.