Pieter Oosthuizen, paralegal in our commercial team, has worked with Cooper Grace Ward for 18 months. We asked him to tell us in his own words what life at Cooper Grace Ward is like, and a few of his past experiences and favourite things.
1. What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I liked the idea of working with people and, as a lawyer, you get to not only work with people but also to develop close relationships with clients, who rely on you to help them. That’s always been appealing to me – talking to new clients and trying to come up with ways to assist them.
2. How long have you worked at Cooper Grace Ward for and what brought you to that position?
I have been with CGW for a year and a half now. I have always wanted to work for a big firm ever since I was admitted in South Africa, and I was fortunate enough to start as a paralegal in the CGW property department while I was doing my bridging course to be admitted as a lawyer in Queensland.
3. If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
My drama teacher from high school – she has always been a special person to me and her positive outlook on life inspired me to be courageous and takes risks in life; my mom, because, why not; and Neil Armstrong, because the conversation would be out of this world.
4. Where’s the best place to go for a drink or dinner after work?
I have only been in Brisbane for about two years now, so don’t know too many places. Any place near Eagle Street is pretty good because there is always a nice vibe no matter what day of the week it is, and there is a great view of the river and bridge. I also like Fox Hotel.
5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Life isn’t something you should try to control, it is something to be lived and loved. So take a risk on life.
6. Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I like running, rollerblading, painting and writing.
7. Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
… a graphic designer.
8. What do you think will be the single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2017?
It would appear that Australia, as a first world country, may be a target for terrorism, especially by younger people being influenced to partake in terrorist attacks. My concern is that too liberal an approach will be taken when it comes to sentencing any convicted terrorists. In order to ensure the safety of the country and the people, strict guidelines will need to be followed when sentencing terrorists.
9. What do you love about your job?
My work is constantly changing and I work with a team of people who trust me and who are supportive.
10. Something you might not know about me is that…
I used to have my own charity organisation in South Africa called Cancer Runner, which raised funds for kids with cancer.