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Summer Clerk Diary: Isabella Dickson, Marque Lawyers

Isabella Dickson

Sadly, I am not the Summer Clerk at Marquee Nightclub, as many believe I am, but at the crazy team of lawyers who make up this ever growing and notorious firm: Marque Lawyers.

Nothing about my adventure as a Summer Clerk here has been normal. Our relationship started over a bunch of jello shots and has grown to include trips to the Southern Highlands, the Christmas Party, Friday Night Drinks (beware of any “VOA” shots), and endless eye rolls around the office as I continue to find my feet in the minefield that is the legal profession.

Marque is like a family; we have the Papa Bear to lead us all, a few crazy aunts and uncles, a flurry of crazy children and a pet gnome... and as a result, I understand why the application and interview process to get a job here was so grovelling; it’s tough to find someone who will see this as quid pro quo. Every year the firm’s application process changes; this year we didn’t have to do a stream of witty tweets to be noticed for an interview (or I would never have got one), but provide a t-shirt design and a one page ‘about me’.

A die-hard netball fan? Not scared to go for lunchtime runs? Wish you chose soccer instead of law? Whether or not you’re an ex junior champion in any of these or you just enjoy getting sweaty, at Marque, a deep affection for all will grow, especially when you have winning teams and team players being awarded “Legend of the Comp”.

As a result of all the social activities we get up to as a firm, I almost feel like I’ve been sent to summer camp. The biggest activity of them all is the Marque Retreat, which is rather soon! After all the tricks we get up to in the big smoke, I’m not sure what to expect when we are put in the countryside for two days.

As summer clerk (or “trinket”, as some have tried to make catch on), I have learnt and experienced way more than I expected to. Everyday I’m given new and interesting work; from researching national or international law and case law to drafting and sending off important litigation documentation and even helping negotiate mining contracts. I have also spent time in court and attended client meetings with government agencies. Two days here are never the same. I’ve been asked a few times if I ever speak to the partners or on special occasions the managing partner, and it’s hard not to laugh with this question – of course I do! I even sit next to one.

Despite the work I get to do and the people I get to work with, it’s the yummy treats and morning teas I look forward to the most. Marie Antoinette was spot on when she proclaimed “let them eat cake!” It’s a great idea, which everyone at Marque seems to also eagerly agree with. If you are to choose a law firm on anything, I think it should be decided by the quality of the cakes, ice cream and treats provided.

Isabella is a Juris Doctor student at the University of Technology, Sydney

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Read more clerkship stories from our 2012/13 Summer Clerk Diary series:


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