Kain Lawyers director 'really couldn't' see himself in a non-law career

Jeremy Collins got his first taste of the law in high school

Kain Lawyers director 'really couldn't' see himself in a non-law career

Jeremy Collins may never have the chops to be an economist, but that’s alright – he can’t see himself as being in any profession other than the law anyway.

The property law expert made the jump to Kain Lawyers as one of its newest directors from Gadens earlier this year, and he’s quickly zeroed in on Kain Lawyers’ youth mentoring program as something he’d love to play a part in.

In this March interview, Collins shares the important lesson he’s learned about relationships at work, the growing presence of AI, and lawyer retention at all levels.

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What made you choose a career in law, and what's your favourite part of the job?

I did work experience in high school at a small firm that specialised in property work and loved it. In my law degree, I realised fairly quickly that the academic side of law was equally interesting, and law was a good fit for me. At the time, I really couldn’t see myself in another career, and I went from there.

Whilst the technical work is challenging and fun on a daily basis, I’ve always found the best part of being in law is the people I work with. There is such a wide range of interesting people both in firms and their clients, and interacting with them every day is the best part of the job.

What is going on at the organisation? Are there any new programs and initiatives that you’re particularly interested in?

We run a fantastic youth mentoring program called Northern Opportunities in Adelaide, which is part of our broader commitment to the community through the Kain Foundation. It involves a four-year leadership and development program for at-risk young people. Our entire team works in this program, including through structured mentoring of Year 9 students over five months.

It is a key program at Kain Lawyers and an exciting opportunity to be involved with, and I’d love to find a way of establishing something similar in Melbourne to extend our programs in this space.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?

Since I moved to Kain, I’ve been contacted by a huge number of friends and colleagues in the legal profession, other professional service firms and in the property industry more broadly. The major lesson I’ve learned recently is how important relationships are both at work and in life outside work. It’s critical to surround yourself with supportive people and to nurture strong relationships in the profession because they make daily life at work so much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

What should the profession focus more on?

We are making progress but have to redouble our efforts on mental health in the profession. We have to find ways of delivering outcomes for clients while at the same time ensuring that lawyers are able to have flexibility, safety and genuine equity in the workplace. These are big challenges, but they are key to retaining great lawyers at all levels into the future.

What are the challenges you expect in your practice, and in the business of law in general, going forward? What challenges are particularly pressing in the country’s legal industry?

The growing presence of AI presents opportunities and threats to our core business. It will be incredibly interesting to see how these technologies develop in the coming years, and whether law firms can effectively harness their capabilities. It seems that law firms are going to have to deal with significant disruption in our delivery and pricing models and come up with new ways of serving our clients using these developing technologies.

What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?

Coming on board at the same time as Brendan and David presents a huge opportunity for us as a firm to strengthen our offering in a number of ways. I’m incredibly excited to work with the fantastic team here at Kain Lawyers to grow the firm in property and real asset transactions and other areas.

If you weren’t in law, what do you think you’d be doing as a career?

Given my marks at uni, certainly not an economist! I really can’t think of anything I’d rather do every day than the law.

 

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