Getting admitted to practice during a global pandemic
2020 didn't turn out the way lawyer Suvetha Srikantha had planned, and despite her much-anticipated admission ceremony being cancelled due to COVID-19, she's still focused on staying positive.
When I started law school, I never could have imagined what it would be like to get admitted in 2020. Going into my final semester at law school, I thought I had laid out the perfect career plan. I’d been working as a paralegal at a law firm and they’d offered me a graduate role upon completion of my degree. However, weeks before I was about to start, I was made redundant.
With my career plan shattered, I decided to rise above my circumstances and focus on achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a fully-fledged lawyer. I completed my Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussens and searched for other lawyer positions. I spent hours on job boards, wrote over 200 cover letters and attended every networking opportunity. After about 6 months of receiving rejections, my hard work paid off and I received three jobs offers in the same week. Of those offers I decided to accept the role at Hoyle Da Silva Lawyers, a decision I could not be happier about.
"In early 2020 I was on the brink of finally becoming a lawyer. I had completed my PLT, my admission ceremony had been booked and my outfit was sorted – I’d bought a dress and new shoes!"
Then COVID-19 happened.
My admission ceremony was cancelled, and all future ceremonies were suspended indefinitely. As the admission ceremony is the culmination of several years of study and something every soon-to-be lawyer looks forward to, I decided to wait for the return of the ceremonies.
Then the second wave of COVID-19 hit. Melbourne went into lockdown and my hopes that ceremonies would return this year were seeming less and less likely.
"Working from home for 6 months had changed my priorities."
I decided to focus on progressing my career and get admitted on the papers. Whilst I was not able to get the admission ceremony that I wanted, I was fortunate enough to be at a firm which celebrated my admission in its own way. The Principal dressed up in Robes and we took photos to commemorate the occasion.
Do I wish that things that played out differently? Whilst the path I ended up on was more (socially) distant than I had hoped, if things had gone to plan, I would not have ended up working in insurance law or at such a supportive firm.
As restrictions ease, I am looking forward to taking my mandatory picture in front the Supreme Court steps.
Questions? Contact Suvetha Srikantha, Lawyer