Law graduate means business

Melbourne JD graduate Rachel Tucker (National Scholar, BCom 2011, JD 2016) is a Senior Consultant at KPMG 3dc, a role that combines her interest in business and the law.

Throughout her JD studies at Melbourne Law School, Rachel Tucker maintained a keen interest in the commercial world. With a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) under her belt and the Australian Financial Review constantly in hand, Rachel was eager to identify career opportunities which would combine her newly formed legal skillset with her strong interest in business.

In her second year of the JD, Rachel undertook an internship with the oil and gas company Woodside in her home state of Western Australia, an experience that cemented her interest in pursuing a more commercial career path.

“I was working as a commercial analyst at a time when many Australian oil and gas companies were hit hard by the significant decline in world oil prices. My early experience at Woodside certainly fuelled my passion for understanding the core strategic drivers of Australian businesses and the broader macroeconomic factors at play within their respective industries, which is central to the advice we provide our clients today,” she says.

When Rachel returned to Melbourne, she secured a part-time role as a junior consultant at a leading board advisory company, 3 degrees consulting, while she completed her JD studies. Led by Stephen  Walmsley (now a Partner at KPMG 3dc), her team provided strategic advice to several leading Australian listed companies on a range of people and performance issues.

“This role was a great fit for me, as I was able to draw upon my commercial analytical background and the legal skills I developed during the JD,” Rachel says.

“In particular, my law degree helped me to develop a strong understanding of the broader governance and legal frameworks that underpin the Australian public company landscape in which many of our clients operate.”

Following the acquisition of 3 degrees consulting by KPMG in April 2017 and after completing a number of seasonal clerkships at high profile  law firms, Rachel decided to continue her career as part of KPMG 3dc’s Leadership, Performance & Reward practice and has been a Senior Consultant in the team since last June.

Rachel’s team advises over a quarter of ASX100 companies on key issues including a company’s C-suite value proposition (i.e. the factors that attract and retain senior executive talent such as draw-card leaders, culture, company purpose and remuneration), leadership and succession  planning (at both the board and C-suite level), stakeholder communications and strategic alignment.

Rachel is particularly passionate about assisting clients with the design and implementation of ‘fit-for-purpose’ senior executive remuneration frameworks, which are tailored to their strategic and cultural objectives.

Rachel’s team also sits under the umbrella of KPMG and KPMG Law (with the latter now led by the former Global Managing Partner of King & Wood Mallesons, Stuart Fuller) and a number of her team members have legal backgrounds from top-tier law firms. For Rachel, this means the ability to shift between legal and non-legal work, as well as support from the firm to complete her Practical Legal Training to become a fully qualified legal practitioner.

“What I enjoy most about my role is that there are so many facets to the advice that we provide. Law, finance, psychology, economics, communications, accounting, tax – we bring all these perspectives to the table when offering our pragmatic and commercial solutions to clients,” Rachel says.

“Additionally, no two of our clients are identical, so the advice that we provide or the work that I’m doing on any given day is never the same, which is what I really like. It keeps things interesting.”

“Our team also has a particularly strong commitment to thought leadership and innovation. It is great to work in a practice where we are encouraged and rewarded for thinking ahead and pushing the boundaries.”

While many law students move into traditional legal positions after graduating, Rachel says the foundation skills developed in the Melbourne JD are highly transferrable to a range of careers.

“There are so many things you can do with a law degree outside of straight law,” she says.

“The Melbourne JD in particular encourages the development of strong written and verbal communication, effective problem solving skills, and the ability to present arguments or advice in a very logical and clear manner. These are important skills for any role.”

“So if I could give one piece of advice to the current cohort of JD students, it would be to pursue what they are passionate about, particularly if they’re someone like me who was interested in using their legal skill-set in a broader advisory role.”

Find out more about the Melbourne JD