We sat down with Alannah Milton, Graduate at CBP, to chat about her time in the Pro Bono team.
I studied a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws at UNSW Sydney and joined Colin Biggers & Paisley as a Graduate in March 2021. My first rotation was in the Pro Bono team and I'm currently in the Property and Development team.
The application process
COVID lockdowns meant the application process to join the Graduate program was entirely remote, but I still felt like I got a feel for the firm.
After sending in my cover letter, CV and transcript, I had an interview with two of our human resources consultants. The interview was friendly and conversational, and it gave me an opportunity to ask questions about Colin Biggers & Paisley. At the second round interview, I spoke with a couple of the partners and our Director of Human Resources. I shared my journey through law school, my intentions for my career and what I like to do outside of work.
CBP's impact on my career
During my first rotation with the Pro Bono team, I was on secondment with Marrickville Legal Centre (MLC) three days per week and working on internal pro bono matters at our office two days per week.
At MLC, I worked with diverse clients across a range of legal issues. We worked at Burwood Court as part of the Duty Lawyer Service and ran the Youth Legal Service evening clinic. The team at MLC were fantastic and I am grateful to have spent five months working with clients who may otherwise not have access to legal advice.
While on secondment, I stayed connected to Colin Biggers & Paisley by working on our internal pro bono matters. I assisted on a range of high impact cases, working across areas from debt recovery to family court orders.
In the Property and Development team, I've worked for a variety of people at all stages of their career and seen different leadership styles in action. The team have invested in my training and are always happy to explain a task thoroughly. I've slowly been able to take on more responsibilities, but always have people to seek guidance from.
Advice for graduates who are thinking about applying for the program
If our values align with the kind of firm you would like to work at then go for it. Colin Biggers & Paisley genuinely lives up to its values. To give you an idea of my experience with this:
Colin Biggers & Paisley has a real commitment to diversity and improving outcomes on this front. This stood out my induction week when people from the firm shared their personal experiences of how Colin Biggers & Paisley has created an inclusive culture.
There is a true emphasis on creating work/life balance at Colin Biggers & Paisley. In my first three months, I was allowed to work flexibly to pursue another opportunity alongside the Graduate program.
Colin Biggers & Paisley cares about the people who work here. I experienced this when our Human Resources team supported me when a situation in my apartment building made working from home difficult.
I have not had my ethics challenged by a situation at work. If they were, I know there are people at Colin Biggers & Paisley who I could reach out for advice.
One last thing I'd say to future graduates is that Colin Biggers & Paisley is incredibly welcoming! I've shared dinners and events with young professionals in the firm, and even during lockdown the Graduates came together to do Pinot and Picasso on zoom. We have a lot of fun outside work and this ensures you feel connected to the firm.