The life of a Legal Graduate

After completing a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws at Monash University in Melbourne, Catherine Gunst joined PwC as a Graduate in the Legal Services team.

When she tells people she works at PwC, most people assume she is an accountant. What they don’t know is that the Legal offering at PwC is just one of the many services on offer to clients of the firm - including tax, audit, consulting, accounting and financial services. So, what’s life like for a Legal Graduate at PwC? We had a chat with Cath to find out...

"What people don’t know is that the Legal offering at PwC is just one of the many services on offer to clients of the firm"

What type of work does the Legal team do?

We work as a national team in a variety of areas. We have lawyers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth who work on corporate advisory or regulatory matters to projects and infrastructure, banking, finance and employment law.
 

What does a typical day look like to you?

I usually arrive at my desk around 8.45am. The first thing I usually do is look at my to-do list and calendar. Apart from greeting my colleagues and probably grabbing a coffee, my days can vary significantly. Usually I’ll be doing legal research, drafting documents for transactional matters, or meeting with colleagues and clients to discuss next steps on a matter. As a graduate, I also attend regular training which helps develop my technical and practical skills. Of course, my day is interspersed with laughs with colleagues, plenty of tea breaks - and sussing out what snacks are on offer in the kitchen of course!
 

What has your career experience been like so far?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of matters like the integration of Recall Australia into Iron Mountain, the IPO of Scottish Pacific Group Limited, and acting for JB Hi-Fi Limited on their purchase of the Good Guys business. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on smaller matters such as assisting clients with company and business sales, domestic and international trade mark applications, employee equity schemes and contract advice.

"Working in the legal team at PwC has many of the same benefits as working in a quality law firm – you work with intelligent and experienced legal professionals on a wide variety of legal matters but you also get to work closely with other types of professionals from a wide range of areas."

When you graduated from university did you realise you had such diverse opportunities when it came to your career path?

For a lot of law students who hope to practice law, working at a law firm may seem like the best and only option. When I was at law school, I thought this was true too. Working in the legal team at PwC has many of the same benefits as working in a quality law firm – you work with intelligent and experienced legal professionals on a wide variety of legal matters but you also get to work closely with other types of professionals from a wide range of areas. There are always opportunities to move into different areas within the firm, or even overseas.
 

What do you like most about working at PwC?

I get to work with so many smart, experienced and down-to-earth people from different backgrounds. I feel very lucky and humbled to work with so many accomplished and intelligent lawyers in my team, including my coach, Anna Lin, who was recently nominated for Australian Senior Associate of the Year.

Although I feel constantly challenged at work, I also feel very supported. My team seems to really care about my development and wellbeing, and there are many opportunities to develop your skills and interests within the firm.

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