Jasmine Mesourouni is a Lawyer with a passion for bright ideas and breakthrough technologies. She works with senior Lawyers to provide general trade mark and IP advice.
What made you choose a career in law?
I chose a career in law because I am interested in using the law as a practical tool to approach business issues. Commercial law's 'problem-solving' aspect is not just applicable to traditional legal advice. In addition, the scope of skills, including strategic planning, risk management, business efficacy and reputation maintenance, plus the many innovations a lawyer can use to engage with clients, is extremely exciting to me.
What's your favourite part of working in a smaller firm?
The opportunity to work across several practice areas and matters simultaneously, rather than rotating across disciplines and teams like in big firms. In a smaller firm, I get the opportunity to work on the biggest and most exciting cases all the time. So, I'm constantly learning about the law from every perspective and practice, which has rapidly built my legal and business acumen.
What has been your proudest personal or professional accomplishment in the last year?
I was admitted to the legal profession in Victoria. This journey took almost seven years of full-time study. I was fortunate to have the support of the firm to guide me through the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Describe the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice you can give fellow lawyers about it?
As a recent Law Graduate, the practise of law is new and challenging at the best of times. Working from home and working through these challenges can become very isolating. To gain the most out of my graduate year, it was important to communicate my workload. I was pleasantly surprised by how supportive and encouraging my peers were, which made working from home a lot easier. I reached out to colleagues and senior lawyers about any difficulties, and I always asked for assistance when I was unsure.
What challenges are particularly pressing in the country's legal industry?
The biggest challenge facing the legal profession is the advancement of automation services and the competition it drives between firms. With the emergence of COVID-19, the swift adoption and reliance on technology has become one of the biggest priorities. Before the crisis, the legal sector was already undergoing a significant transformation driven by economic, demographic, technological, regulatory and other competing demands. However, the pandemic has shown that legal technology solutions are essential to business continuity today. Transformation in the legal landscape is inevitable as firms face increasing competition from alternative legal service providers.
What has been the biggest success or challenge you faced amid the pandemic?
In the first half of 2020, I was admitted to the Université Paris 1: Panthéon-Sorbonne Exchange Program in Master 2 Global Business Law and Governance, alongside students from Columbia University, City University Hong Kong, and Paris 1. Although this experience was exhilarating, I felt somewhat thrown in the deep end. Coming from a very loud and large Greek family, living alone in a Parisian studio apartment of 17m2 proved to be quieter than I was used to. I also did not speak French. Although classes are in English, class-time only made up 12 hours of my week. The remaining time was spent visiting museums, parks, boulangeries, restaurants and the many wonderful places Paris offers, alone. I could only speak to people in the very broken French that I had acquired on Duolingo before my exchange. While I knew the basics, "how are you?" and "I am a student," any conversation more profound than that was a challenge. So, determined to improve, I got into a routine and set myself an hour a day when I would only speak French. Eventually, once I became more confident, I would converse with other English-speaking peers who were also attempting to learn. By the end of my exchange and my early return due to the pandemic, I had learnt enough French to formulate beginner-intermediate level sentences.
What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?
I am looking forward to more face time with my colleagues and working in our co-working space twice a week.