JOHNSON WINTER & Slattery (JWS) is promising the next generation of lawyers they won’t feel “pigeonholed” working at the firm.
Students at the Sydney Law Career Fair, being held today at Darling Harbour, will be handed postcards featuring a flock of identical pigeons walking in the same direction, and one pigeon of another colour standing out in the flock, to convey the message that JWS is unique. The postcards will also direct students to the firm’s website where they can enter a competition to win an Apple iPod and Apple Hi-Fi speakers.
Managing partner Peter Slattery said JWS is not like traditional law firms as senior lawyers play a hands-on role in all client matters.
“The ratio of senior lawyers to junior lawyers is low so junior lawyers have a significant level of contact with, and work side by side with, senior practitioners and we feel this is a superior model for training young lawyers.
“Also, we don’t require young lawyers to work exclusively within a particular practice area. They sit within a general pool of associates and are free to work with partners right across the firm on the full range of assignments that we are handling at any point in time. The extent to which they utilise those opportunities depends largely on where their own interests lie,” Slattery said.
JWS has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and expects to take on between only two to three graduates in each city.
Slattery said that while all law firms are looking for bright people with good communication skills, JWS wants people who are particularly interested in the firm’s unique approach to the development of graduates.
“We appreciate that our approach is not necessarily for everyone. We want graduates who are attracted to the idea that in their early years of practice they will have an opportunity to gain experience across a broad range of practice areas. We are looking for people attracted to working with a range of senior practitioners as opposed to being assigned to a team of just two or three.
“Some people will prefer to be assigned to fixed teams, however, graduates who want that who join our firm would not realise the benefits of the opportunities we present, so we want people who understand the way we operate and why we organise ourselves in that way,” he said.