DANIEL - THE LAWYER
Daniel Ajak was born in Ethiopia after his parents fled their home country of South Sudan. He grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp before settling in Adelaide and completing his education. In 2015, Daniel graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Law and Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Commerce. He began his career practicing with Thomas Geer, followed by Salvos Legal, Doconade Adelaide Lawyers, and Papa Hughes Lawyers. He most recently worked at Victoria Legal Aid in the Summary Crime and Youth Crime Team. He is now the co-founder and principal lawyer of Ajak, Wolan & Tut lawyers. Daniel is also the co-founder and steering committee member of the African-Australian Legal Network.
Lawyers advise clients about the law and act on their behalf in legal matters. Responsibilities include representing clients in court, instructing barristers or advocates to act for clients, researching legal records and case law, managing finances and preparing papers for court, explaining complex legal matters to clients, keeping up to date with changes in the law, attending meetings and negotiations, and drafting confidential letters, contracts, and legal documents.
Q&A WITH DANIEL
Q - Do you think there are any other particular skills that have helped you become successful along your journey?
A - I think playing soccer growing up was helpful because youre in a team. I remember in the first couple of seasons I played, my opponents would say not so nice things to get me off my game. I would overreact, then at the end of the game they'd be like "mate, that was just a joke". In that sort of situation I might have got sent off but I quickly realised that I was costing my team more than if I just copped it on the chin. I think it taught me teamwork and disclipline and and I think I've carried that through law school and through my career so far.
Q - Is it necessary to go to university to become a lawyer?
A - Yes. In Australia, first you must obtain your bachelor of law, like your LLB, and then after that you've got to do six months of graduate clinical training or practical legal training. After that, you should apply to be admitted as a practitioner and to be admitted, you must pass a fit and proper person test.
Q - How do you think your skills as a lawyer will be easy to transport to another profession?
A - A lot of lawyers move on into executive role across banking and government for example. I think because the job requires us to be problem solvers; I think it is very analytical. Also, I think probably 99% of our job is to persuade people to come on board, to come on a journey with us. And in ant role or any leadership position you take, your job is to get people on board with you.