Emma German is a USyd law grad and in-house whiz as Corporate Legal Counsel for Stan. She spoke to Survive Law about how to build your legal career to work in-house.
1. Where did you complete your PLT? (incl how long did it take, how many days a week etc)
I completed my PLT through the College of Law while working full time as a graduate at King & Wood Mallesons. PLT took about 6 months to complete and involved a combination of ‘on site’ classes at the College of Law campus (St Leonards) and ‘in house’ training at the KWM offices.
2. How did you find out about the job at Stan and what was the application process like?
I’m currently in house legal counsel at Stan. Stan is a joint venture between Nine and Fairfax and an exciting place to work. I found out about this role through connections I made early in my career who knew I was passionate about media. I’ve always made an effort to get to know people in the industry, invest in those relationships and to seek mentors, as most people are very willing to help young lawyers. The application process involved multiple interviews which can be daunting, but having a clear and concise resume, an understanding of the company, a friendly attitude, professional outfit and a big smile helps. I’ve always believed that being natural in interviews is a better approach than reciting overly rehearsed answers.
3. What was the highlight of your time there?
The highlights of working at Stan include negotiating contracts for world class television content, seeing a television commercial or driving past a billboard that I reviewed, meeting all sorts of people from actors, social media experts, technology specialists to CEOs and answering legal questions including in relation to commercial, corporate, intellectual property, consumer, property and even human rights law (sometimes all in one day!).
4. What was the most challenging part of the program?
The most challenging part of PLT for me was adjusting from a university ‘academic’ approach to legal problems to a practical, real-life approach. Instead of writing essays or delivering speeches, PLT taught me how to write ‘real world’ communications, proper etiquette when dealing with challenging clients or colleagues and to figure out what clients really care about.
5. What would your advice be to current PLT students on the lookout for work experience?
My advice to current PLT students on the lookout for work experience would be to speak up – talk to everyone around you (opportunities can arise in the strangest of places), seek out companies you are interested in and set up a professional LinkedIn profile. My first ever work experience was in a small law firm which I got simply because I walked in and asked to do un-paid work experience– that one conversation went on to open many doors for me.
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