Melissa Le Clerc tells Australasian Lawyer what she loves about working for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I guess I am very analytical by nature and enjoy providing guidance and advice to others. Interpretation of the law can be difficult to those not familiar with the legal system and I enjoy helping people understand the connection between the matter and their rights and obligations.
How long have you worked at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, and what brought you to that position?
I have worked at the RAS for 6 years, and ultimately it was the merger of law and the events/entertainment/agricultural industry that attracted me to this wonderful position. I am blessed to be involved in such an exciting and varied role – which encompasses all types of law. Importantly, I believe it has provided me with two unique skills, being; the ability to provide advice on a large range of legal issues (e.g. corporate/commercial/animal law); and communication skills – closing the gap between legal jargon and commercial exchange.
What’s the strangest matter you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
When you are working with matters involving animals, food and festivals, nothing is normal! I’d have to say the negotiation that comes with licencing for specialised events are by far the most interesting.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Taylor Hanson from Hanson – such an incredible musician, Doreen Virtue – her discussions about healthful living are next level! And Mr Russell Brand – he is intelligent and well versed. The conversation would be most intriguing!
You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
I adore spontaneity, but you can’t go wrong with The Cuban in the city! Tapas always brings people together, and the cocktails are incredible!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
A simple mantra: ‘Always do everything with the best of intentions’. Really rings true on an ethical level.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I dance jazz/hip-hop. I am also absolutely obsessed with fashion, music and travel. When I’m not working – you will find me immersed in one of these past times.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Probably on TV with my own talk show…refer to question 1 (likes to analyse/provide advice).
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2015?
As we move to more and more negotiations and commercial business with the Asian market, there will be a big emphasis on asserting the role of the Australian lawyer in deals. Traditionally lawyers were seen as both planners and problem solvers in these markets, so it will be interesting to see how the gap closes culturally.
If you had Tony Abbott’s job for one day, what would you do?
Given the recent horrific terror tragedy, I would re-assess the number of cases currently outstanding involving persons of interest.
What do you love about your job?
I love being in-house and being able to work on stand out events like Stereosonic, V8’s and Soundwave. I like being able to use my legal skills to translate the law to non-lawyers, to provide effective and lasting advice.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Nothing at all! – and if there were I’d be sure to put my negotiation skills to use!