We’re back with a quick Spotlight interview with alum Cassandra Wee, who is a Senior Associate with an international law firm. Currently based in Melbourne, Cassandra is a Corporate Projects lawyer focusing on energy, resources and infrastructure deals.
I work for clients in these industries who are developing large-scale projects (e.g. power, oil and gas) or buying/selling interests in these projects around the globe. I also advise on various other commercial and regulatory matters for their businesses.
In 2014, Cassandra was recognised as an Australasian Lawyer Rising Star in Energy and Resources. She was also a finalist in the 2014 and 2016 Lawyers’ Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards, and serves on the Executive Committee of Australian Institute of Energy.
Cassandra split her time between Australia and Kuching while growing up. From a young age, she had always wanted to pursue a profession that would build on her interest in and skill with language. It was at Lodge when she was around 14 that she decided on a career in law. She returned to Australia to complete her last two years of high school before undertaking a double degree in Law and Commerce.
English, language and an understanding of different cultures is important to my job. My time in Lodge supported these areas while still allowing me to be home with family in Kuching… My experiences and education there helped me to transition well back to Australia and keep an international focus.
We asked Cassandra what she has enjoyed most about her work, and if she had any advice for current Lodgians interested in pursuing a career in law.
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
Strategy and travelling. The work I do is extremely interesting, high-stakes and tactical. There’s never a dull day. I also love the opportunities to travel and explore different cities, with the support of my firm and clients to do so. On the flip side, travelling and being away from home can be tiring and sometimes unsettling, but I’m lucky to have very understanding family and friends.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Living and working in Tokyo and Dubai, which opened up many career and travel opportunities for me.
What were Tokyo and Dubai like?
In Tokyo I enjoyed learning about the unique culture, exploring various parts of Japan and all the amazing food. It is a pretty demanding working environment with plenty of outbound investment in projects. I had a lot of visitors passing through Japan on holidays who visited me while I was there – including to bring me Kuching laksa paste!
I enjoyed the expat community in Dubai and aspects of the lux lifestyle there. The hotels, resorts and shopping centres are quite remarkable. As it is a hub for project development around the region, there is a lot going on and I met many others travelling or living there temporarily for work.
What advice do you have for current Lodgians who may be interested in the field of law?
Some people think that a career in law can be dry or boring – hopefully my example changes that.
There is a wide range of career options in law. In choosing one, it’s important to understand what your drivers are and why you want to go to work each day. For example, are you driven by the team, clients, social responsibility, city, money, type of work, progression, hours and/or travel?
Once you analyse these, you can narrow your decision down to a legal job that is purposeful and long term. It’s not always an easy road, so understanding your limits and motivations is key.
Cassandra, thanks for speaking to us and showing us how a career in law can be more than the dry work it can be known for. We hope that the next generation of lawyers from Lodge will be inspired by your example.
Written by Jane Leong
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Wee