This year's partnership announcements have revealed a handful of young lawyers who are powering ahead with their career, achieving partnership having only just celebrated their 30th birthday.
Rising quickly through the ranks, Baker & McKenzie's Bryony Binns, Clayton Utz' Toby Ryston-Pratt, Holding Redlich's Janelle Kerrisk and Minter Ellison's Amber Keating have this year been appointed to the position of partner.
While hard work and dedication is an obvious requirement for partnership, it seems having the initiative and tenacity to grab opportunities that present themselves along the way is the key to fast-tracking that promotion.
Binns, an employment lawyer, says her success is the result of circumstance and taking the opportunities that came her way. "A key element [is] being an entrepreneur and seeing opportunities in a very quickly changing and dynamic market," Binns says. "[It's about] being open to the opportunities that come your way and grabbing them quickly."
By capitalising on those opportunities through her career Binns has gained a masters degree in international relations and completed an internship at the Australian Human Rights Commission, on top of her work at Bakers specialising in discrimination law. With twins on the way and an imminent stint of maternity leave, it is clear Binns has achieved something to be proud of. Keeping things simple, her career goal is to "make it work".
A fellow parent and young partner early on in his career, Ryston-Pratt says he did not set out to achieve partnership but is humbled to have been appointed at the age of 30. Although modest, Ryston-Pratt has put in the hard yards, starting his legal career with Clayton Utz ten years ago as a paralegal. "[Don't be afraid to pitch in. You might not always get the most glamourous jobs but if you do them well and people recognise that and start to reward you, [they] will get you involved in more complex and interesting things," Ryston-Pratt says.
At 31, Minter Ellison's Amber Keating has been appointed a partner, nine years after her graduation. She credits her rise to partner as a result of hard work and the support she has received. "I've had an excellent mentor from very early on in my career..." she says.
At the age of 30, Holding Redlich's Janelle Kerrisk rapidly progressed to partner level within two years of joining the firm and seven years after her career began. Kerrisk is the youngest partner at Holding Redlich nationwide and the first female partner for the firm's Brisbane office. "I specialise in construction law and I have done that for my entire career. It's something I've very passionate about and where I see my career staying," she says.