Isobelle Watts

Support also comes with the freedom of autonomy

By Isobelle Watts

Listen to my story. 
02:14 MIN


Experiencing new cities and cultures has always been a passion of mine, and working with Clayton Utz has helped fuel that passion.

Following a summer clerkship in Canberra I was scheduled to commence the Clayton Utz graduate program in 2013. But I was offered an internship at The Hague at the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Luckily, Clayton Utz was very accommodating, and they allowed me to postpone the start of my program.

I was really impressed with how supportive the firm was, even though international criminal law does not align with the areas of law that I was to be involved with at Clayton Utz. This is just one example of how the firm values diversity of experience.

After completing the internship, I was lucky enough to be selected as the Clayton Utz graduate to participate in the year-long Foreign Legal Traineeship at the Japanese firm, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. I ate way too much of sushi and ramen and was exposed to a wide range of matters, clients and also areas of law. To get this sort of experience at such a junior level is pretty extraordinary and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity.

I returned to the Canberra office in early 2015 to finally start as a graduate. After gaining some valuable government experience and being admitted to practice, I became interested in working in a different market and asked to do a rotation in the Sydney office. Once again, Clayton Utz was very supportive and approved my relocation to Sydney for six months, where I am now enjoying working with the Real Estate team up here.

This is my second six-month rotation out of three, and it has exposed me to a variety of activities, as well as valuable insights into the firm's culture. The graduate program here is well structured and I've been particularly impressed with the level and quality of mentoring.

My Clayton Utz mentors have all remained true to balancing expert guidance with the freedom of autonomy, giving me the motivation and knowledge to become a better lawyer. I believe that if you work hard, behave with integrity and produce a high standard of work, then you are well on your way to having a fulfilling career. 

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