Paralegal, 2003 | Partner, 2015

Michael RussellAs a law student at the University of Wollongong, I got my start in the profession with the office services team at Colin Biggers & Paisley in 2003. I worked part-time with the team and adjusted my work days to suit my university timetable and summer holidays.

When I graduated with a double degree in law and commerce in 2008, I was offered a graduate role with the insurance team at Colin Biggers & Paisley. The practice was great during my time as a graduate - I worked in a full-time role and was provided with additional study leave to ensure that I had time to complete my legal training studies. I was admitted as a lawyer in July 2008.

My role as a junior lawyer saw me work under the leadership of a number of partners on some of Australia's largest insurance disputes. Unlike many large firms, the partner to lawyer ratios at Colin Biggers & Paisley are such that you can work on high-profile complex matters and still have regular partner interaction, training and support.

I have had wonderful opportunities at Colin Biggers & Paisley - opportunities that I have no doubt would have been very hard to replicate at other firms. In 2015, I became the legal practice's youngest partner at the age of 30. In the same year, I was ranked by the Australian Financial Review as the youngest partner in Australia of all the major firms surveyed.

Colin Biggers & Paisley is not only a collegial environment - it's a place where your success is only limited by your ambition. I walked in the doors at 18 and was made partner at 30. Where many law firms are shrinking and making advancement more difficult, Colin Biggers & Paisley is creating opportunities for young people to be successful while maintaining a very happy and friendly culture.