Guru in the Spotlight: Tommy Randall

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Q: What area at KWM do you work in and what is your specialisation?

A: I am a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team in Canberra. I mostly work in employment and insurance litigation.

Q: How long have you been with the firm?

A: I joined KWM in September 2018.

Q: Why are you passionate about our Community Impact programme?

A: It's easy for us to forget how lucky we are, as lawyers, to have had the educational and professional opportunities afforded to us. Getting involved in pro bono legal work is the most effective way I have of making use of the skill set I have, for people and organisations who need it most.

Q: What projects or programs have you been involved in recently?

A: My main involvement is as Team Leader with the Youth Law Centre Clinic – I coordinate KWM's involvement with that clinic, which is run out of Legal Aid ACT. I'm also currently working on some advice for one of our regular pro bono clients here in Canberra, relating to the employment law ramifications of COVID-19.

Q: Any stories you can share?

A: I have helped YLC with a few matters recently involving clients who were young apprentices or unskilled workers who had been underpaid or not paid at all by some pretty unscrupulous employers. The work I did helped YLC realise good outcomes for their clients in Fair Work Commission conciliations. I also love doing work for the RSPCA, as it will often get you an invitation to their centre to go and meet some puppies!

Q: Why did do you get involved? What are your motivations?

A: For me, being a solicitor means doing pro bono work.

Q: What skills or experiences have you gained through this work?

A: Stepping outside the usual areas in which you work, and working for a broader range of clients, presents challenges that we don't ordinarily face. Pro bono work, particularly clinic work, is really hands-on lawyering; you will be presented with a novel situation and are forced to think on your feet. I love that challenge.

Q: What tips do you have for others thinking about getting involved in the Community Impact programme?

A: Just do it! You will be surprised by how valuable your skills are to people who are in need, and the experience you gain will help you become a better lawyer.


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