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‘I was only 17 years old, instructing barristers’

One lawyer discusses her early entrance into the legal profession at the age of 17 and how her passion for law endured through the serious hardships she faced. 

user iconJess Feyder 06 February 2023 SME Law
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Recently on the Protégé Podcast, Rebecca Bishop, Elite Building Services co-founder and self-proclaimed Office Goddess and R U OK? Day community ambassador, joined Jerome Doraisamy to discuss her early entrance into the legal profession and how her passion for the law endured despite the serious hardships she faced. 

Ms Bishop entered the legal profession young, before she had completed a legal degree. Starting as a receptionist at a law firm at the age of 17, she found a natural talent and enjoyment for legal work.

Her supervisor began giving her files, sending her to court to give instructions to barristers and put in appearances.  


“I just fell in love with the industry,” said Ms Bishop. “I was only 17 years old, instructing barristers, and it was really cool; it really inspired me. I thought, this is what I want to do.”

“I really enjoyed the thrill of being in court,” she added. “I love the law. I love big documents, and I love reading and drawing documents.”

Ms Bishop noted that the autonomy that was allowed to her by the supervisors greatly aided her in her learning experience and enjoyment of the work.

“In all my jobs, I’ve been given so much autonomy, so much freedom, and I’ve learned a lot,” she explained. “My bosses have always just given me background and then allowed me to go and manage a file, and it’s incredible.

Ms Bishop eventually decided to pursue a legal qualification. One year into her studies, she was unfortunately implicated in a car accident that inhibited her from studying and completing assessments in an effective and efficient way like she was used to. 

She stopped working and decided to dedicate herself to studying full-time. Her passion for the law drove her to complete the qualification, which she described as an incredibly difficult journey. 

“It’s not just the law for me; being part of a community and supporting and giving back to your community is so important.

“Having the skill set of being a lawyer is such a benefit, and it’s such an important role,” she noted. 

Ms Bishop reflected on how the legal profession has changed for the better.

“[The profession] is totally different now. The ego’s completely gone out of the legal industry,” she reflected. “I’ve met with lawyers and they’re in their lounge room with their children. They’re bringing the human back; it’s wonderful.”

“A lot of the lawyers now that I’m connected with lead with empathy, and I think that’s so important. 

“I think that’s a new skill that’s come into our industry that I’m super grateful for, lawyers leading with empathy.” 

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