New Freehills partner and Olympic fencer Evelyn Halls compared the lead up to partnership as being somewhat akin to the preparation for an Olympic Games.
"When you set yourself a goal which is difficult to attain, whether it is partnership or the Olympic team, it is a really similar process," she says.
"It takes a lot of hard work, discipline and goal setting and then working out how you are going to go about achieving those."
Halls, a partner in Freehills' corporate group and the Australian national fencing champion, has been competing as a fencer throughout her legal career, including competing at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games - something which taught her impeccable time management skills.
"I have always been trying to manage my work with really heavy training loads, so I am really good at organising my time and prioritising," she says.
"I just didn't have extra time, so that really taught me time management skills."
Halls also adopted different strategies to allow her to pursue her legal and sporting careers without letting either fall by the wayside.
In the lead up to the 2004 Athens Olympics, for example, she spent two years in a knowledge management role in order to step away from immediate client and time pressures, and went back to legal work at the Games' conclusion.
"To do both full-on at once just wasn't possible ... so it was about deciding which one I would give my focus to at that point, maintain the other one, and then step it up at the right point in time," says Halls.
So now that Halls has reached the top in both her sport and career, what's next?
"I don't see [partnership] as an end," she says.
"To qualify for a team is not an end in itself - it is always an opportunity to go out and achieve more - so I see partnership a bit like that. It's great to get there, but it is really about looking at what that now enables me to do."
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