Firm launches ‘GC for a Day’ campaign

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The path between law school and private practice is well-versed, but what about the student path to an in-house legal team?

Bird & Bird Australia managing partner Shane Barber believes as in-house teams grow in size and capability, the process for hiring graduates in-house will inevitably become clearer.  He said the legal profession as a whole should be starting to aid this process.

“Getting information to students about what in-house life is really like is extremely limited,” Barber told Australasian Lawyer.

“We spoke to our clients about it and they felt the same, that there were limited opportunities for paralegals and potential graduate lawyers to get information and really experience what in-house life was really like.”

This year will be the first time the firm has launched the program, sending the winning ‘GC for a Day’ students to spend a day shadowing a general counsel at a major company.

“Our clients who are participating have been very enthusiastic about the whole process,” Barber said.

“It really is something that a firm like Bird & Bird, because of its scale and momentum and contacts, is well placed to do.”

While the program isn’t about getting a job, Barber said he expects the program to give students a connection to a part of the profession they may not otherwise have a connection to.

“There is a career path that lawyers will soon follow that may not involve private practice at all.  The sooner we can assist as a profession, in making that career path a smooth one, I think the better off for everyone,” he said.

Tanya Khan, vice president and managing director Australia and Asia Pacific for the ACC said the organisation is in support of the program.

“We support any initiative that encourages law students to better know and understand the in-house environment, learn more about the challenging and fulfilling opportunities of an in-house career and which hopefully encourages more students to take this path post their degree,” she said.