Interview with Harry, our seasonal clerk

Ila Lohning

Ila Lohning

Harry is By George’s indispensable paralegal. We must be doing something right, because Harry has decided to spend even more time with us over the next few weeks as he undertakes a full-time legal clerkship. Here’s a Q&A with Harry.

BG: Harry, thanks for taking a few minutes to chat with us.

HC: No worries.

BG: If you weren’t a budding lawyer, what would you be doing with your life (putting money aside)?

HC: I often debate this with my family.  Assuming I had the ability, I’d be a combined professional surfer and snowboarder travelling  the world. I’ve been surfing since I was about 5 or 6, with my two younger brothers and my dad. I spend most of my summers down at Fairhaven Beach and was involved in the surf lifesaving club there throughout my teenage years. I started snowboarding more recently but have fallen in love with it too. I’m off to Japan in February to find some powder.

Being a world-famous professional musician would be pretty fun too, I reckon. Performing in front of stadiums of screaming fans would be a real buzz… then again, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up with the lifestyle.

BG: What’s your ideal surf?

HC: It’d have to be somewhere in Bali, probably a late arvo session at Bingin with my brothers. We’d break for a classic Indo Mie Goreng and a cheeky Bintang (don’t tell Mum!) as a half-time snack at one of the beachside warungs, then paddle back out again before it gets too dark.

BG: What attracts you to the world of intellectual property law?

HC: Trade mark law in particular fascinates me because I’m really interested in the way brands tell their stories and develop their own identities in the market. I enjoy following the growth of companies as they gear up to launch, and also working with larger companies, many of whom have become household names. It’s also super interesting learning about the different IP protection strategies they prioritise based on their commercial goals. Helping companies to use legal avenues to protect their branding is exciting, especially when you’re working with really funky brands who are passionate about what they do and why they do it.

I’ve always been terrible at art and design (I think I failed my Year 7 art exam – don’t tell Mum!). But I’m in awe of and constantly impressed by people who work in creative industries. So having expertise in copyright and designs law would give me the opportunity to work collaboratively with these industries and bring a different set of skills to the table to help problem-solve.

BG: By now, you know the role of an IP paralegal inside out. What are you most looking forward to during your clerkship?

HC: I’m looking forward to fleshing out what I’ve already had exposure to as a paralegal, and to being a bit more involved in the problem-solving and strategy aspects of working in an intellectual property firm.

BG: What’s surprised you most about working in a law firm?

HC: Well, this law firm in particular has surprised me. I didn’t expect to be wearing t-shirts and Converses to work.

On a more serious note, I think it’s the collaborative and team-orientated nature of the work that has surprised me the most. After two years of watching uni lectures on Zoom and studying from my bedroom, I was pleasantly surprised by the way ideas and suggestions are constantly bouncing around the office. Everyone talks to everyone, and I get to benefit from that.

BG: What’s your favourite part of your work day?

HC: It’s gotta be morning coffee with the team at Bertoncello, the jazzy European café downstairs.

BG: Thanks Harry!

HC: Pleasure!

Harry at Bingin

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