Our exchange program at HopgoodGanim Lawyers

26 July 2019

More often than not when practising law you will get the chance to work on matters that cross international borders.

It is well known that (amongst other things) embarking on international travel goes a long way on helping you to gain perspective on life in Australia.

Combine international travel with living and working in a different country and the lessons you learn are invaluable.

Last year we started to look at ways that our team members could gain some new perspectives and experiences, both professionally and personally.

Whilst secondments are still popular in the legal industry, we wanted something new to offer our team, something that can not only benefit them in a professional sense, but also give them a once in a lifetime opportunity to work abroad, have a change of scenery and live in and amongst a new culture. 

Since then, we have worked with Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana in Santiago, Chile to bring Antonia Ballacey to Australia.  

Having joined our Brisbane Corporate team in March of this year, Antonia hit the ground running. She’s travelled between our Brisbane and Perth offices, worked on a variety of matters with Partners, and seen Australia along the way. 

  1. How has your time in Australia been since you arrived?

Overall my time in Australia has been great. The first weeks were difficult because of the language difference, the distance from home and the not having my friends and family close, and being in a new city and country. But I have met lovely people (in Brisbane and in Perth), I’ve been able to travel a little bit and I have really enjoyed the Brisbane winter, so I’m very happy.

  1. How has your time at HopgoodGanim been? 

My time in HG has been very good. Everyone in the firm is very nice and concerned on how I’m doing. I learn a lot every day and I’m very privileged by being able to participate in transactions that are different to what I do back home. Every day is a new challenge, but very rewarding. I believe the experience of working in another country is priceless, and I’ve noticed that even though the legal system is different than in Chile, the basic principles are the same, which makes it easier to understand and allows me to learn a lot. 

  1. What has been the highlight for you since arriving here?

Professionally, working with a great team and learning new things every day. Personally, the exchange has been quite an experience and has had an effect in many ways, but perhaps the most important is being able to meet and connect with new people.  

  1. What will you miss the most?

I will miss all of Australia, the people, the places, talking in English! All the cities I’ve visited are beautiful and very nice to live in and easy to adapt to as a foreigner.   

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