What is it like to work at Sharrock Pitman Legal?
I commenced working at Sharrock Pitman Legal as a Senior Associate in February 2020. Prior to joining Sharrock Pitman Legal, I practised at a top tier law firm, a boutique commercial firm and an Ombudsman scheme in Melbourne’s CBD. I also worked previously in Sydney at a mid-tier commercial litigation firm and corporate insolvency firm in the city.
The role at Sharrock Pitman Legal was the first time I had worked at a suburban law practice during my 20+ years in the legal industry. I was somewhat apprehensive as to whether this “change of scenery” would hinder my career opportunities. Would the move away from the CBD mean I wouldn’t be able to attend the city courts for appearances as easily? Would I lose touch with my litigation colleagues and my panel of barristers I had spent many years doing the networking rounds with and building professional rapport? I was physically moving away from everything I had ever known about working as a litigator in the CBD.
Working in a suburban practice has meant that I am located significantly closer to home. I have saved 1.5 hours per day in commuting to work compared to when I was working in the CBD. I no longer have to battle peak hour crowds on public transport nor be at the mercy of cancelled or delayed trains. The closer proximity of work to home has meant I can achieve a better work-family life balance.
During my time at Sharrock Pitman Legal, I have had the opportunity to tackle an excellent variety of complex litigated matters and to continually develop a strong customer base. Working at a suburban practice has meant that I have had carriage of matters end-to-end, on an autonomous level, from the initial customer consultation to appearing in court and participating in mediations and negotiations. Genuine relationships with customers are built at a personal level and maintained. I get to have a direct influence on how outcomes are achieved for customers and this is extremely satisfying.
The Principals at Sharrock Pitman Legal have continually emphasised the importance of having a personal sense of purpose and to reflect on one’s true self in the exercise of legal duties through self-motivation and setting goals. The Principals aim to encourage and guide its lawyers to be the very best they can. The practice has a clear sense of leadership and direction and has strived to recruit lawyers who are at the top of their game which, in turn, has provided a dynamic and stimulating work environment.
Lockdown has taught me that physical separation is no longer a barrier to staying connected. I can still actively engage and connect productively with my work colleagues, my customers and legal acquaintances through virtual platforms. Courts and tribunals have embraced the efficiencies of conducting interlocutory and final hearings via Zoom and Webex platforms. In a lot of cases, physical attendances at the courts and tribunals in the CBD are no longer a requirement and many CPD seminars have transitioned to online formats.
One of the most important and rewarding aspects to me, while working at Sharrock Pitman Legal, has been the camaraderie fostered across the team. There is every opportunity to get to know and have a relationship with every team member at every level of the practice. I feel very fortunate to be working alongside colleagues who like to have fun and enjoy exploring all that the cafes and eateries along Kingsway in Glen Waverley at lunchtime. Importantly, I have felt fully supported by the practice, at all levels, whether it be my litigation colleagues or the administrative team on a day to day basis. The strong sense of us as a team is palpable and is something I have found to be at the very heart of being a member of the Sharrock Pitman Legal team.
As it turns out, my concerns about working in a suburban law practice have proved to be unfounded. Working in a suburban law practice has been a positive game changer for me. I have discovered that there are plenty of opportunities and benefits to working at a suburban law practice. I have come to embrace the lifestyle change and to be honest, I’m wondering why I didn’t do this 20 years ago!
— May 2021