With us, you'll be a part of everything
From the very start, you'll be client-facing, gathering insights across diverse matters.
You’ll be working in highly specialised teams, equipped with the resources you’d expect from a market leader.
You’ll be able to work collaboratively with colleagues and clients, bringing your unique insights to the table.
With expertise across a wide variety of sectors, geographies and specialisms, our progressive approach differentiates us, driving better outcomes for our clients and the communities we serve.
Find out more about what life at Herbert Smith Freehills is like. We’ve shared some of our case studies and graduates’ stories below.
ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VICTORIA’S MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
Mental illness affects people of all ages, from all backgrounds and locations, and Herbert Smith Freehills saw that it was important to have a diverse range of people working on the matter. As well as involving team members from our Disputes, Corporate, Finance, Real Estate and Projects, and Alternative Legal Services (ALT) groups, our team was a mix of senior, mid-range and more junior lawyers, analysts and support staff.
The range of personal experiences, backgrounds, expertise and passion of the team members allowed them to offer additional insights and to work with witnesses in a sensitive and understanding way. This diversity resulted in a highly engaged and effective team who delivered additional value to the client.
Read about James Gray’s experience working on the matter below.
James Gray, Solicitor and Co-Chair of the Melbourne IRIS Network
What was your role on the matter and what topic did you work on?
I was in the core team, so was really involved with preparing about 90 witnesses to appear before the first round of hearings. One of the focuses of the hearings was the mental health of the LGBTI community In Victoria and I got to help prepare all of the six witnesses who came before the Royal Commission that day. This is something pretty personally Important to me, as I'm the co-chair of the IRIS network here In Melbourne, and topics of LGBTI mental health are something that I really care about.
It was a really experience as I got to work with some Victorians who are prominent in this area including Ro Allen, who is the Victorian Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Dr Ruth McNair, an academic and GP who provides mental health care in the community, and Associate Professor Michelle Telfer, who spoke about her work as the head of the gender service at the Royal Children's Hospital. It was a challenging matter, I learned a lot, but also hopefully made a pretty important contribution to the mental health system and how it cares for LGBTI Victorians.
What was the advantage of having a personal affinity to the topic and a diverse team?
I think one thing I was able to add was that I came to preparing for this round of hearings with a lot of knowledge about the LGBTI community and some knowledge about mental health in this space. It was really important to have the language so you could conduct yourself appropriately and know what the expert witnesses you were talking to were talking about, I think that's something that I was able to bring.
The strength of the Herbert Smith Freehills team was that we were a really diverse and versatile team. We were called on to prepare on a huge range of topics and luckily we were able to offer some expertise and specialisation because of that diversity. It was more than just having a bunch of good lawyers who were well studied in the law, or who had worked on royal commissions before. The personal experiences we brought to the matter were equally important.
Studying law was a last minute decision at the end of grade 12. I (thankfully) thoroughly enjoyed studying law, although, even by my penultimate year I remained unsure as to whether I wanted to practice law. My experience as a vacation clerk offered an invaluable insight into the type of work, people and experiences one may encounter whilst working at Herbert Smith Freehills. I was glad to see the similarities between my time as a vacation clerk to a graduate.
I have two roles within the firm; I am a solicitor in both the Projects practice, working on major renewable projects, connected and autonomous vehicles and other infrastructure projects; and the Digital Law Group which is a specialist team of lawyers providing bespoke legal advice on the opportunities, risks, ethics and regulatory requirements of emerging technologies.
Since I started at the firm, I have learnt so much about the future of law and the opportunities for lawyers to develop new legal skills and products in the digital age. Being able to research and contribute to the development of these new products, such as the introduction of smart legal contracts and digital legislation has been a significant opportunity in my development and learning as a junior solicitor.
I am so grateful for the firm’s commitment to innovation and technology, and the sincere investment of time and effort in these opportunities for lawyers at all levels.
My pathway to the legal profession is about as unconventional as they come. As I had always wanted to be a soldier, I ended up signing the dotted line shortly after my 19th birthday to enlist as a Rifleman in the Australian Army. I discharged from the military six years later so that I could study full-time at university. I enrolled in a double degree in law and criminology and never looked back.
I first joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a vacation clerk in December 2017. Among the group were former engineers, teachers and community workers all of whom had decided to pursue a career in law much later into their adult lives (much like myself).
Instantly, that demonstrated that the firm appreciates the value of hiring people with varying experiences, perspectives and skillsets.
Towards the end of 2019, I submitted a proposal for the firm to sign the Australian Government’s Veterans’ Employment Commitment and to add a Veterans’ Network to the firm’s diversity portfolio. Due to Herbert Smith Freehills’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, the proposal was well received. The firm is now an official signatory of the Veterans Employment Commitment and the Veterans’ Network now sits proudly alongside the firm’s existing Family, Flexibility, Gender Equity, LGBT+ and Multiculturalism diversity networks.
I feel both honoured and privileged to be part of such an inclusive and progressive firm.