Aisha Lala, Wotton + Kearney senior associate from Auckland, talks lawyering in Melbourne.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
It was actually my second choice after biomedical science, but through a university summer job I realised I found the lab a little too lonely. It’s hard to know what a job and profession is going to be like before you do it but I’m really glad I did choose a career in law for many reasons.
How long have you worked at Wotton + Kearney and what brought you to this position?
I joined Wotton + Kearney a little over five years ago when I moved to Melbourne from Auckland, New Zealand. The quality of the work and people at the firm were the main features which immediately attracted me.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
A fire damage claim for loss of stock in an adult shop.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Winston Churchill, Bill Murray and Evelyn Waugh – a nice balance of intellect, humour and good stories.
You’re based in Melbourne – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
Where to start?! Melbourne has many fantastic joints but old favourites in the city centre are Section 8 and Hutong Dumpling Bar.
What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
Listen to what others have to say.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Too many, but the one I devote most time to is definitely surfing. My wife would point out this even extends to spending hours on Google Earth prospecting remote coastlines.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A merchant adventurer.
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2016?
There are many but a standout to me at the moment is cybersecurity.
If you had the Prime Minister’s job for one day, what would you do?
Go surfing wearing speedos.
What do you love about your job?
No day is ever the same. I get to communicate with many different people and learn about an incredibly diverse range of subject matter – from the decomposition rate of avocados to thyroid immune function and everything in between.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I’d love it if we could all jam a normal week’s work into four days (with business hours extended appropriately) and have the fifth day off. I’m pretty sure we’d all be happier and more productive.