Jacqueline Dowling is a senior associate in our national real estate team. Based in Melbourne, she has been with Norton Rose Fulbright since joining the firm as a summer clerk in 2012. We caught up with Jacqueline to find out what it's like to work in our real estate practice, why mentoring young lawyers is important to her, and how partner support has played an integral role in her development as a lawyer.
How long have you worked in the real estate team at Norton Rose Fulbright?
I have worked in the real estate team since 2015, but have been at the firm for just over five years. I started with the firm as a summer clerk back in 2012, and commenced as a graduate in 2014. After completing the two year graduate programme, I settled as an associate in our real estate team.
What can you get involved in at NRF that you wouldn’t get the opportunity to do elsewhere?
Being an international law firm, the opportunity to work with some of the firm’s key global enterprise clients is appealing. Also, being able to access and work collaboratively with colleagues in our national and international offices, is an advantage. Having colleagues in other countries easily accessible enables me to provide clients with a great overall service and outcome, which is rewarding.
[Partners] work collaboratively with you, pushing you to think outside the box, think creatively and act commercially to deliver the best outcome for clients.
The partners are also very supportive and passionate about your professional growth and development as a person and a lawyer. They work collaboratively with you, pushing you to think outside the box, think creatively and act commercially to deliver the best outcome for clients.
They also encourage you to attend networking and client events to build working relationships. I recently applied and was accepted into the PCA 500 Women in Property programme 2020. Adrian Jones, one of the partners in the real estate team, is a sponsor of two of the junior associates in the team and has participated in this programme this year and will again next year. This is just one example of how the partners in the team support and encourage juniors to participate in networking events to continue to develop their interpersonal skills and build networks.
How would you describe working in the real estate team at Norton Rose Fulbright?
In terms of the work, it is varied, technically challenging but fun. I can say that no single day is the same. One day I can be working on a large-scale oil and gas acquisition and then the next day act on a complex real estate development or property joint venture. I love the variety of work and continuing to learn and develop my knowledge and understanding in property law.
The people in the team genuinely care about your career.
The people in the team are down to earth, team players and genuinely care about your career. A number of my colleagues have been in the team for over a decade (makes my five years seem minimal!), which is a testament to both the culture of the team and the firm.
You have recently been promoted to a senior associate, congratulations! What support did you receive from your supervising partner through the process?
Thank you! I have worked closely with Justin Lucas since settling at the end of the graduate programme and he has always been very supportive, and the senior associate application process was no exception. From start to end, he was very encouraging and helpful, providing general guidance on the application process and reviewing my application. I am grateful for his support and ongoing mentoring.
The response to my recent promotion both from the wider firm and clients has been quite overwhelming and moving.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I enjoy the variety and complex nature of the work. I am continually learning and being challenged every day, which can sometimes be daunting as you are outside your comfort zone, but is also very satisfying when you complete a transaction and achieve the desired outcome for a client.
The team is also quite social. We have fortnightly morning teas, monthly team drinks, lunches and regularly attend trivia. My trivia knowledge is limited, but it is always a good night!
Do you get the opportunity to mentor junior team members?
I am actively involved in the summer clerkship process and have been for a number of years, acting as both a buddy and in a mentoring role. I love being involved in this process and watching juniors learn and grow from summer clerks to competent and able lawyers.
It is important to build relationships and rapport with colleagues and provide advice and support to juniors coming up the ranks.
Mentoring does not always need to be by way of a formal program. I love coffee (what lawyer doesn’t!), so I try to regularly catch up with juniors outside of work and check in how to see how they are going.
I think it is important to build relationships and rapport with colleagues and provide advice and support to juniors coming up the ranks. I have been lucky enough to have had a number of mentors both at the firm and externally who have assisted and provided advice throughout my career, so I think it is only important to pay it forward whenever I can.
Interested in learning more about employment opportunities in our Real Estate team? Please contact Katie Dunlop, Talent Engagement Advisor.