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Women at White & Case Mentoring Program in Australia

April 2022: What's it like to work as a lawyer, in Australia and internationally, and what are the challenges and opportunities for women in particular? If you're a pre-penultimate female law student (first year of any JD program or third year of a double degree undergraduate) in Australia, the Women at White & Case Mentoring Program opens for applications in August 2022.

This is your chance to engage in open discussions with women from White & Case who have worked in the industry. You can expect to discuss career aspirations, progression and challenges and get advice from mentors based on their own career journey. The program runs from September to July annually, with applications opening in August 2022.

Current graduates and previous mentees, Carla Brown and Tina Sharma, tell us about their experience of the Women at White & Case Mentoring Program.

To start with, what did you like about the program?

Tina Sharma: I enjoyed having the opportunity to have open, honest discussions with my mentors. I did not know any lawyers prior to the program, so being able to get a realistic insight into navigating the legal industry, especially as a woman, was invaluable.

Carla Brown: The program gave me the opportunity to connect with aspirational and compassionate women in a leading global law firm. The program was flexible and informal which enabled me to develop an authentic relationship with my mentor, where I felt comfortable being open and honest with my career goals, experiences and challenges.

What was unexpected or surprising about the experience?

CB: The program expanded my professional network more than what I was expecting. I was able to meet other lawyers at White & Case through the mentoring program, which gave me valuable insights into different practice areas, the great culture at White & Case and how other lawyers had navigated a career in law.

TS: How generous everyone at White & Case was with their time! For one of our monthly meetings, one of my mentors who was based in Melbourne came up to Sydney to grab a coffee with me. I also had the opportunity to meet other lawyers at the Firm across both the Melbourne and Sydney offices.

How has it influenced your future career plans?

CB: I was studying the Juris Doctor part-time and was considering a career change from accounting to law. The mentoring program gave me the confidence to make this change and apply for the Winter Clerkship program at White & Case.

TS: It confirmed that a career in commercial law was right for me. I was always on the fence about being a lawyer, having heard about the long hours and steep learning curve. However, after experiencing the supportive culture at White & Case for myself, I felt more confident in making that choice.

Do you think you benefited from the program?

TS: My mentors were incredibly supportive of my decision to become a lawyer and apply for a vacation clerkship at the firm. They helped proofread my application and guided me throughout the interview process. Now that I’ve started as a graduate, they are a key part of my support network and still stay in touch.

CB: I finished the program feeling more informed about a career in law, how to enter the legal profession and the opportunities at White & Case. I felt more confident that I was pursuing the right career and choosing the right firm for me.

What do you think mentors get from sharing their own experience with the next generation of women lawyers?

CB: It provides mentors with an opportunity to reflect on their own careers and help others to achieve their career goals. Mentors can also develop leadership skills and learn about the challenges facing law students.

TS: As cliché as it sounds, both of my mentors are passionate about what they do and love their job. Being able to share their experiences, the good and the not-so-good, means the next generation can make an informed choice about becoming a lawyer.

Why should current female students apply to the Women at White & Case Mentoring Program?

TS: I highly recommend that any female law student considering a job as a lawyer, especially those who may not know many people in the legal industry, apply for the program. It is a truly unique opportunity to gain insight into a global law firm such as White & Case, the type of work lawyers do and to expand both your professional and support network.

CB: I would encourage anyone (including Juris Doctor students) who are curious to learn more about working in law and White & Case and are willing to put in the time and effort to develop a relationship with their mentor.

For more information about our next Women at White & Case Mentoring Program, visit our careers site.