The Benefits of Getting Involved: A Chat with 2017 Law Interview Challenge Winner, Farah Al Majed

By Mia Casey

When you’re at uni, it can be hard to get a true idea of what working in your dream industry will be like, let alone what area you’d like to work in. We all build up ideas in our minds about what our workplace will be like – maybe it’ll involve large corporate offices, open plan seating, and the latest in swivelly desk chair technology – but unless you’ve undertaken extensive internships across industry, it can be hard to know what to expect. That is why it’s so important to get involved in industry-related activities while you’re still at uni; so you can find the companies you want to work for, that will be the right fit for you.

Farah Al Majed did just that. During our August-long Festival of Future You, we held our inaugural Law Interview Challenge which aimed to give law students the opportunity to hone their interview skills, and connect with professionals from a variety of law-related industries. Farah, upon submitting her video to Vieple, and completing a series of mock interviews, was crowned the winner after the live interview finale and audience vote.

As part of her prize, Careers connected Farah with a number of industry professionals who kindly agreed to share their advice, contacts, and experience with her. These professionals came from leading organisations including Dowson Turco Lawyers, the NSW Crown Solicitors Office, and PwC. After winning the Challenge, Farah got in touch with us to let us know how she was enjoying her prize:

Talking with Dowson Turco Lawyers: the benefits of having a mentor

“I have met with Nicholas Stewart from Dowson Turco Lawyers, and he has been wonderful in every way. Not only has he given me advice relating to my degree and career, but we’ve been able to talk about topics we’re both passionate about. He’s helped me get into contact with people who are part of committees and organisations that I would be interested in working with. It’s good to have that support from someone who has been through it all and is happy and successful. It really puts things into perspective.”

Practical experience with the NSW Crown Solicitors Office: the benefits of seeing theory in practice

“I have also attended two court days with Liz and Debra from the NSW Crown Solicitors Office for two different matters. It was really interesting to see the law I’ve been studying for 4 years applied in a court room. The Crown Solicitors Office is definitely a place I would like to work in after graduation and Liz organised for me to come into the office and have a chat about her experiences which will be great to hear about.”

Office visits with PwC: the benefits of discovering different workplaces

“My meeting with Geri and Fiona at PwC was great! I came into the office when they had puppies come in for R U OK day and it was the best way to start my morning. The office looked amazing and the environment was very different to what I expected a corporate firm to be like. It’s definitely different to your traditional firms and I will be applying for their graduate positions as well. Fiona gave me so much insight into the legal department there and the work that was done.”

Her key takeaway?

“Overall the package is great in many ways. It has helped a lot not only in building my network but getting a clear sense of what area of law I want to work in and where I would like to work. I hope it continues and more opportunities are added to the package and more students engage in it.”

Where to from here?

“Since completing the package, I have built a wider professional network that extends beyond the area of law that I’m interested in and allows me to keep my options open for the future once I graduate. My meetings with Nicholas continue and he’s offered me any help I need which is really motivating, especially having someone who has been through the process of studying, graduating and finding employment.

My plans for after graduation are to continue volunteer work with legal centres but to definitely apply for the graduate positions offered at Legal Aid NSW. My dream job basically is to work for a firm, legal centre or organisation that strongly supports my belief in social justice and I will strive to get that dream job.”

 

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Author: Mia Casey

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