Environment and planning law has something for everyone, whether your interests lie in politics, the natural environment, architecture or engineering. It's a vibrant and dynamic area where the work closely follows real world events, like government elections or environmental incidents.
Our clients generally develop or manage land that is complex in some way, perhaps because of contamination from its industrial past, or because it will be the site of a new energy project with impacts that need to be managed. I was hooked after my first role as a paralegal, poring over interview transcripts, reports and historical maps for an environmental investigation.
You might think environment and planning law is all about land, which it is, but it's also very much about people having a say about projects and issues that affect them. Major infrastructure, renewable energy, mining and environmental protection efforts all attract attention. It's the tensions between public needs and private interests, between development and protection of the environment and communities, that make the work fascinating.
One of my favourite things about this practice is working with clients who share a passion for their projects and make you part of their team to bring them to fruition. You build great relationships from working closely together and getting to know each other as people – often finding that many of us drag our loved ones on unofficial site visits during family holidays. These connections take time and trust to build, but make the work much more enjoyable.
It's the same with the people at Allens – having a close team and a warm, collaborative culture makes this firm a positive and engaging place to work. For me, sharing that enthusiasm with colleagues and mentoring our lawyers are some of the best parts of the job.