Meet Amritha Thiyagarajan
Amritha is the Head of Social Ventures and a Senior Lawyer at LegalVision. Here’s what her day-to-day looks like in our Legal Transformation team.
What’s a day at LegalVision for you?
9:30am: I tackle the biggest thing first: a teleconference with an ASX50 company to provide strategic advice. The advice covers legal issues we’re encountering in a managed legal services project.
11:30am: Now it’s time to jump into my Social Ventures role. I’ll put together position descriptions for refugee workplaces or work on another project, like preparing a new event for LV team members to work with a not-for-profit organisation. I’ll be contacting different heads of teams to understand their roles and how we can support the participants.
12:30pm: Time for our daily free team lunch!
1:30pm: Back to the laptop now to jump into my Legal Transformation role. This time, I’m reviewing ASX50 employment breach notices provided to franchisees following workplace audits. This might involve discussing with a lawyer what legal issues were identified in the breach or clarifying questions with our employment practice leader about a grey area in employment law or how the Fair Work Act would apply to an issue raised by an employee.
3:30pm: I provide an update to the client through our custom built portal with templates, then check the status of matters in the portal so I can prioritise and set out next steps.
4:30pm: Time for a meeting with the developers in our tech team to debrief how technology was used in a managed services project. I give feedback and discuss what we might incorporate tech in the future projects using our document automation technology.
5:30pm: Now, I’m updating an internal playbook for the Legal Transformation team. The playbook records best practices for internal workflow and enterprise clients to inform how we design and deliver future projects in the area. We use this to scale and capture lessons learned.
6:00pm: I finish my day mentoring 15-year-old high school students through the Beacon Foundation about their career paths and future planning.
What are your current side projects or passion projects?
Culture and people have always been a really important theme in my life. It ties into work, and I enjoy it when I travel and draw.
I took a year off between finishing uni and starting a graduate role to live in different countries, spending three months in Cambodia and three months in Miami. I spent time with local Cambodians and I made a point of travelling locally, learning the culture and speaking to people in their own language. We lived among the locals rather than in a tourist-heavy city.
I also assisted refugees at the Refugee Advice and Case Work Service (RACS). I spent six months as a human rights lawyer working with people who had arrived by boat or plane and were applying for protection visas. Along with nine other lawyers, we joined a task force to go to the Northern Territory division to help people apply for a protection visa who had been detained for three to four years. While at RACS, I helped the oldest woman get out. She was Iranian, in poor health, and too old to be spending her later years in a detention centre. We successfully applied to the minister on compassionate grounds.
Drawing digitally is also a favourite downtime activity. I draw profiles of the people in my life. If I’m traveling, I like using the time on the plane to illustrate something or draw a new profile.
What gets you up in the morning?
Although I help corporations, I’m looking at the bigger picture as I’m working. I’m part of a team, making legal services more accessible, efficient and streamlined, and it’s possible to do that on a smaller scale and a much bigger scale. Hopefully, other law firms will follow suit if we’re pushing hard enough across all markets, including enterprise clients. It’s also a great learning opportunity to see how enterprise clients receive our services.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
A constant state of improvement and change.
We’re never stagnant. We never allow ourselves to get comfortable about our achievements. We’re always looking to improve and change, not just for our clients but also for our team. It’s exciting to be a part of that, to experiment and see what ideas might stick and what might be a golden key. Many businesses don’t give you that opportunity. I can still have such a huge impact on the direction that LV is taking even though I’m so early on in my career.
What’s surprised you most about working at LV?
How much of it is really a build your own adventure!
If you have a great idea, it could be implemented the next day. There’s no hierarchy that needs you to jump through hoops to get your idea heard. You can test ideas really quickly. That’s part of the startup vibe, but also unique to LV; it’s a good surprise in the legal industry.
What’s an unexpected skill you developed at LV?
Translating legal jargon for non-legal people.
Particularly in the Legal Transformation role, I work with developers, our marketing team and people that work in strategy to create a way of communicating ideas to people that don’t have a legal background. You can get a non-law perspective on things to help you refine the product or service you’re developing. Talking in another person’s language is so helpful for growing compassion and understanding others.
What are you currently reading, listening to or watching?
I’m listening to 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Taking my dog, Cashew, for a walk and letting her run loose while I listen to a podcast is one of my favourite ways to wind down. Learning more about meditation and pausing is also really helpful.
Also, I just finished The Bodyguard, a UK-based TV show. It was way too short!
You rarely have time for everything you want in this life. So you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.
– Mr Rogers.
This quote is the guiding principle for everything I do. It’s my compass.