May 2018 | Allison Hunt, Partner, General Liability, Wotton + Kearney 

I became a lawyer because …

...I didn’t know what else to do. I had mostly focused on science subjects at high school but also really enjoyed English and writing. I chose to do science/law at university, with law being the “back up” in case science didn’t work out. I quickly discovered that I didn’t have the patience to work in a lab!

I am really proud of …

My daughter. Having just recently turned one, she is the most delightful, curious and cheeky little person I know. I will be even more proud when she sleeps through the night!

You can have it all …

Absolutely! I hate the idea that women can’t have it all or can’t have it all at the same time. It’s such a depressing message. And more importantly, why can’t we? The same thing isn’t said about men. What “all” is and how to best achieve it will be different for each person. Our focus should be on sharing home responsibilities more equally with men and finding ways for both men and women to work (or pursue their “all”) in a way that is compatible with those home responsibilities.

I am extremely grateful for …

…Working in a firm that embraces flexible work arrangements. I returned to work full time pretty quickly after having my daughter but was only able to do so because the partners I was working for were prepared to allow me to work in a way that still enabled me to spend lots of time with her, including working from home and having a condensed working week. They didn’t flinch at anything I suggested and I was never made to feel like my work arrangements were an inconvenience or precluded me from being given opportunities to progress at the firm.

Oh, and my husband, the other part of the equation! He was willing to take time out from his career to be at home with our daughter so I didn’t feel like I had to give up mine.

A key mentor who influenced my career is …

As a junior lawyer, I was very fortunate to work for some extremely intelligent and strong female partners, who were very generous with their time, not only in terms of teaching legal skills but also all of the other skills that go with working in a law firm. It’s something that I hope to pay forward.

If I wasn’t a lawyer …

…Without a doubt, I’d be Australia’s best basketballer, playing in the US but still making the Australian Olympic team.  Coming back to reality, perhaps a law graduate still trying to find a job?!

Before I started at Wotton + Kearney …

I actually got the call to come in for an interview at Wotton + Kearney when I was in Nepal doing the Mt Everest Base Camp trek. Phone service wasn’t so great on the trek so I didn’t actually get the voice mail until I got back to Australia a couple of weeks later. Thankfully, the position hadn’t been filled in the meantime! 

The best advice I ever received was ...

...To treat everyone how you like to be treated, regardless of who they are and what they do. I think that couldn’t be more true in law. It’s such a small profession, we are constantly coming across people we have had past dealings with. But otherwise my Dad, the most pragmatic person I know. “Don’t give up”, “Don’t worry about it” and “Just do it” are some of his favourite nuggets (though I think he may have borrowed the last one from somewhere). 

One of the key legal initiatives I am involved in …

I enjoy spending time with our junior lawyers, helping to them find answers to the issues that come up in their roles and develop their skills. I think we all have a professional obligation to look out for our more junior colleagues and find better ways of working. 

Outside of the law …

…I have attempted to cook for numerous dinner parties with varying levels of success. Thankfully my friends keep coming back. Otherwise travel. I love exploring new places, the more off the beaten track the better! 

Last month’s sponsor spotlight

Kylie Walsh

Senior Associate
Maddocks

hfaces