I have recently accepted a role within a law firm in Brisbane in the graduate space. As such, most of my coaching offerings are unavailable for the foreseeable future. If you are interested in purchasing my Vacation Clerkship Application Guide click here!

About Law Graduate Coach - Tanya Dunbabin

Image of Tanya Dunbabin on the About me page
Fast Facts:

Tanya Dunbabin

  • Grew up... west of Mackay, North Queensland
  • Studied... Bachelor of Behavioural Studies, Swinburne University
  • You wouldn’t guess but... I’m a qualified Marriage Celebrant
  • Fav past time... time spent with my husband and two beautiful dogs
  • Proud moment... sub-2 hour half marathon, Gold Coast Marathon 2016
  • Interested and intrigued by... the study of wellness, sleep and fitness
  • I am a proud... Aunty. And Eurovision fan
  • Fav drink... Champagne
  • Fav destination... Thailand

LawGraduate Coach provides career defining development coaching for law students and junior lawyers wanting to soar in the legal profession. As an experienced Graduate Recruiter, I know what modern law firms are looking for in their law graduates and junior lawyers. Success commands a focus on high performance, retention of top talent and innovation.

With 20 years experience in law, and the last 7 years managing the Graduate Recruitment Program at Herbert Smith Freehills, my coaching style engages, motivates and challenges growth, ownership and builds sustainability in those commencing their careers in the legal profession.

LawGraduate Coach strives to motivate and cultivate high performance, relieve anxiety and build confidence through self-belief. Performance feedback is examined to create actionable items for improvement, and deliver truths consistently. A focus is placed on personal branding, accountability, initiative, and an understanding of personal goals and ambitions. Whether engaged by law students, graduates or junior lawyers or by working directly with law firms to provide this active workplace support, personal and professional coaching ensure individuals are operating at their highest level, at a firm that is right for them. This level of loyalty, commitment and dedication is vital at a time when top talent is absolutely essential to a firm's success.

Building a career ladder takes time - it steps sideways as well as upwards. At times it involves Plan A, but others it involves Plan B. Navigating confidence, showing initiative, eagerness and resilience all hinge on a tightrope - often tipping one way or another. Junior lawyers also may find themselves dreaming of working in London, Hong Kong, New York or Tokyo. My coaching approach can assist to set up early career choices to develop a strong personal brand, developing the attributes required to be a high performing graduate and junior lawyer.


About Me

I will keep this brief, as a 20 year career is a long time:

  • A fabulous high school teacher inspired my journey into law, and so my first role was as a legal secretary in a local Mackay law firm that I am forever grateful for the training and development they gave me.
  • After a couple of years at the firm, I made the move to experience the insurance sector before my desire to travel took me to London (after winning a radio competition but that’s a story for another day).
  • At 18 years of age, after shortly arriving in London I commenced working at Hogan Lovells.
  • After 2.5 years in the UK and working at experiencing several law firms in my time there, I returned to Brisbane and took at role at DLA, before pursuing my dream to work in recruitment.
  • I joined Hays Legal in 2007 recruiting lawyers and legal support staff for Brisbane law firms. Through the next few years the legal industry underwent rapid change as the GFC swept the nation. Seeing lawyers being made redundant was hard, but being able to offer contract roles in government and in-house, providing options that were outside the normal trajectory was inspiring, satisfying and engaging.
  • It was during this time I commenced and later completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Studies, working fulltime and studying majority of the degree part time (also with a number of semesters at a full-time study load, whilst working full-time - so I do understand a hell of a lot about sacrifice!).
  • After 4.5 years in agency land, I was keen to return to a law firm, and in 2011 accepted a role at Herbert Smith Freehills. As a Graduate Recruitment Consultant, it was so rewarding to engage with law students and universities, cultivate careers, grow performance and manage graduate cohorts – it really was my true calling.

However, the legal industry is experiencing epic change – disruptive technologies, the rise of global law firms in Australia, and the arrival of New Law - all placing a new level of pressure on graduating law students looking to join legal graduate programs and secure law graduate jobs.

Over the last 7 years at Herbert Smith Freehills, I have seen this change firsthand. I have seen the edge it requires to secure a legal graduate job, and then propel your career forward successfully as a reliable and high performing graduate. To some this comes naturally - to others it does not. Finding the right firm, mentor, area of law and the right place to be you is just some of the considerations of those graduating from law courses today.

I am excited to work as a career coach with the next generation of Solicitors and Law Graduates. You have worked so hard to get to this point, invest in yourself and let’s work together to take your career to the next level.