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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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Jessie Porteus

Jessie Porteus, Head of Legal, Temple & Webster Group

I have been lucky enough in this legal profession to have experienced so many different legal jobs, including as a Judge’s associate, in private practice, community legal centres and in-house so I’ve almost done it all! I went in-house after a few years in private practice seeking variety, excitement and to be part of an awesome company - and that’s what I got! The learning curve was immense and amazing, and I’m now the Head of Legal at a fantastic company and still loving being a ‘GP’ of the legal world. My top tips for law students and grads wanting to go in-house is to network and connect with the in-house community (we are very approachable, we promise) and to seek work experience early if you can. Trying new things, learning and getting involved all help you get a better understanding of the options out there - especially checking out our resources here from the committee! 
(LinkedIn: Jessie Porteus)

Ria Manguray

Ria Manguray, Legal Counsel, Tourism Australia

It’s fair to say that I’ve travelled along quite the unconventional path to becoming an in-house lawyer - from being a career paralegal in California to being a mature-age Juris Doctor student at the University of Sydney to landing my first “law job” as a graduate lawyer in-house at Fortune 500 multinational company, Procter & Gamble. Now I am the Legal Counsel of Tourism Australia. I chose going in-house straight out of law school because the unique blend of legal and commercial issues present in in-house practice appealed to me over what I knew to be the private practice world based on my experience. Would I ever go into private practice one day or even quit the law and pursue something else?  Who knows? But what I know with absolute certainty is that as a lawyer being a corporate practitioner is my jam. This is why knowing what I know now, I want to share with the future generation of lawyers what I wish I had known when I was a law student in departing from convention and forging my own playbook on the in-house hustle. So top tip for those interested in a career in-house: Reach out and connect with in-house lawyers to have a chat about what a career in-house looks like sooner than later. You can start by reaching out to the Associate of Corporate Counsel Australia (ACC) Law Students and Graduates Committee or directly to me (LinkedIn:  Ria Manguray).

Wayne Clarke

Wayne Clarke, Lawyer - Technology, Enterprise and Digital, Westpac Banking Corporation

I am a long term in-house legal junkie.  Currently I am a Lawyer - Technology, Enterprise and Digital with Westpac Banking Corporation. I started off my career as a Graduate with Airbus, and have worked in in-house legal roles for Rio Tinto, Suncorp and Cognizant Technology Solutions.  I love the commercial aspect of in-house legal roles, and truly believe that a strong commercial acumen, ability to distal complex theory into practical advice and solutions is a key to succeeding. I am a firm believer that an in-house legal career should be considered a career of choice, rather than an “alternative”.
(LinkedIn: Wayne Clarke)

Theo Kapodistrias

Theo Kapodistrias, General Counsel, UpGuard 

Hi everyone! I initially went in-house as it seemed like an exciting opportunity to get exposure to a range of legal matters and experiences. I joined the University of Tasmania legal team as a graduate lawyer and developed my skills and experience through diving into the deep end and dealing with anything and everything! I’ve since left that position and am now the General Counsel for UpGuard. I think it is important to network, have a chat to people out there and learn about your options. Developing commercial skills, communication skills, collaboration skills will be critical for getting yourself into the best state to enter an in-house role and really succeed!
(LinkedIn: Theo Kapodistrias)

Chantal Jones

Chantal Jones, Lawyer, University of Melbourne

My first in-house legal role was during my practical legal training placement and I knew then that this was the path for me! That placement rolled into successive graduate and lawyer positions, ultimately leading to my current role with the Coles Group legal team. No two days are the same, from the matters that cross your desk to the diversity of your stakeholders. In-house legal advisers are embedded within our business, meaning that we are uniquely placed to provide pragmatic advice through our shared purpose and goals with our stakeholders. My advice to junior lawyers is to know that your legal training really can take you anywhere. Prioritise networking and keep an open mind – working in-house continues to present opportunities that I never imagined possible in law school.  
(LinkedIn: Chantal Jones)

Kate Sherburn

Kate Sherburn, Legal Beagle, Who Gives A Crap

I first worked in-house while I was still a student - I took 12 months off and worked as a paralegal in an in-house team. I was hooked on in-house life! Once I graduated I worked in private practice, honing the skills I would need once I moved back in-house. I moved back in-house in 2017 and in 2019 I became the first legal counsel at a social enterprise start-up. It’s a challenging and rewarding role, no two days are ever the same and I love everything about it. When I was starting out, I wish I knew that the so-called barriers stopping me from moving in-house earlier in my career weren’t barriers at all - I just had to find the right opportunities. 
(LinkedIn: Kate Sherburn)

Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson, Legal Counsel, Omni Bridgeway Limited

I started in house at a government department graduate program before moving into a role running and supporting investigations into misconduct and building briefs of evidence for prosecution. I then jumped the fence when I moved to London representing the targets of similar investigations across various international borders in private practice. When I returned to Australia and my hometown of Perth I found my niche in house at one of the top global litigation funders. I thought I would miss the challenges of litigation and the day to day work with clients but I have loved the challenges of in house and the knowledge that I am part of a team which contributes so strongly to the success of the business and its clients. 
(LinkedIn: Catherine Robinson)

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, Legal Counsel, MYOB

Ashley is an in-house lawyer at MYOB. Ashley has a broad range of expertise in general commercial law including commercial contracts, emerging technology, intellectual property, privacy, marketing, media, litigation, public liability and consumer law. Along with delivering in-house legal services, Ashley is a self-proclaimed legal intrapreneur and is motivated by the desire to solve customer problems by delivering innovative and optimised legal services through a customer centric lens. Prior to pivoting her career in-house, Ashley specialised in civil litigation. Ashley is also passionate about empowering future generations of lawyers and has previously worked as an academic at La Trobe University.
(LinkedIn: Ashley Brown)

 

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