Graduate Interview Series | Fiona Deng
Why did you choose Swaab?
I chose Swaab because I was drawn to its diverse practice areas and opportunity for growth as a junior lawyer. At university, I studied a variety of electives as I was navigating my way through different areas of law. As such, I felt that Swaab would be a perfect place for me to explore different practice areas because of its unique and highly acclaimed offering of both commercial and family law in a mid-sized firm. Moreover, I was drawn to the close-knit teams at Swaab, which would allow me to benefit from a higher level of mentorship and engage in meaningful work.
What was the Swaab selection process like?
I submitted a written application for the general graduate position which involved two rotations in litigious and non-litigious practice groups over 18 months. I attended a first round interview and subsequently, I was invited to a graduate lunch. At the lunch, we had the opportunity to meet lawyers across various practice areas and learn about their experiences working at Swaab. I was fortunate to meet the people who I currently work with, and I could easily see myself being part of a firm with a welcoming culture. Following, I attended a second round interview and submitted an article on an area of interest.
What has been your experience to date?
I have completed my first rotation in the corporate and commercial team and wills and estates practice group, and I am now progressing in my second rotation in the litigation team. Although we commenced our graduate program during lockdown and working from home, I have always felt supported by my team and the firm. I had regular catch ups with my buddy who was always happy to answer my questions and provide me with feedback. I have worked on a variety of interesting matters including assisting with due diligence for a share sale transaction, attending the property of the deceased to ascertain a will and financial documents, and researching and preparing legal advice on hemp fibre-based products in Australia.
How would you describe the Swaab culture?
When I attended the graduate lunch, I had a strong impression of the warm and inviting culture of the firm. Since starting with the firm, I can confirm that the Swaab culture resonates within its people who are always willing to help and are generous with their time. I have always felt comfortable around senior lawyers and partners who are easily approachable and encourage me to take on new challenges. For example, I had my first court appearance and I undertook a business development opportunity to present at the firm’s Business Excellence Seminar on Recent Trends in Estate Litigation. I have also become close friends with my graduate cohort who have contributed to a fun and enjoyable experience.
Given the competitive nature of the market, do you see the possibility of a long term career at Swaab?
I have had a wonderful time in the graduate program so far and I am excited to see myself in a long term career at Swaab. In addition to the learning opportunities and positive work culture, the people at the firm have a genuine care in your wellbeing as well your personal and professional development as a lawyer.