Candidate Attorney Blogs
Episode 2 (5 November 2013)
"“Unity in our diversity” is a valuable slogan at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa."
“Unity in our diversity” is a valuable slogan at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa. I have recently learned that it carries just as much weight in an international context.
A little over a month ago, l woke up in a new city with very familiar first-day nerves. During the 5 minute walk between my apartment and the Brisbane office (a strange experience in itself), I wondered whether I would spend the next 4 months just adjusting to a new work environment and unfamiliar systems, not to mention the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about Australian Real Estate law!
I soon realised that the adjustment would be far easier than I had anticipated. Part of Norton Rose Fulbright’s “one firm” strategy is to create an international network of firms that operate as similarly as possible across the globe. Not only does this create an external profile that clients recognise and seek out, it promotes efficiency between and within our offices. For me, it meant that I could turn on my computer and know exactly what to look for, where to find it and how to ask for help when I got stuck.
Adjusting to a new team was much like beginning a new rotation at home. My particular team has a reputation in this office for being “outgoing” and they made me feel very welcome. I work for two directors, both of whom appreciate that I come from a different legal context and often require more background information or time to research than my Australian counterparts. For this reason, the work is continually challenging and extremely interesting.
That said, I am using the same legal and professional skills that I have learned during the past 18 months of articles in South Africa, and the skills that I acquire here will prove invaluable on my return next year. Knowledge-sharing is a powerful resource and I hope to encourage more of this between our offices in the future.
On a lighter note, the Brisbane office likes to celebrate as much as we do in Johannesburg! We also have monthly drinks, frequent office lunches and other functions. Today for example, we are dressed for the races and will shortly be enjoying the Melbourne Cup festivities downstairs….