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Careers in law profile: Tina Toutzaris-Sabo

Careers in law profile: Tina Toutzaris-Sabo

By LIV Young Lawyers

Occupations Young Persons 

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Tina Toutzaris-Sabo is a senior associate and office team leader with Adviceline Injury Lawyers, a division of Holding Redlich. She provided the following career profile to LIV Young Lawyers as part of our ongoing careers in law series.

Why did you decide to pursue a legal career? 

In all honesty, I didn’t always want to be a lawyer! While I did have an interest in law and legal studies, for a long time I was unsure about what I wanted my career to look like.

Prior to my law studies I started working for a public sector organisation managing their worker’s compensation claims. I was passionate about the work and loved helping injured Victorians. It gave me a lot of personal satisfaction, and I quickly realised that this was what I was destined to do. That was when my journey to becoming a personal injury lawyer began.

How did you get your first job in the law and what was it?

After I was admitted into legal practice, I moved to London where I worked and travelled for 12 months. When I returned to Melbourne I applied for a couple of junior lawyer roles and was interviewed for both of them. I commenced my legal career in January 2009.

Timing is everything, and I finally felt that my career was falling into place. I believe that the break I took following my admission was exactly what I needed to recharge and build my confidence.

How and when did you move into your current position?

I currently work at Adviceline Injury Lawyers as a senior associate, and have been here for 13 months.  I found the opportunity on LinkedIn, and was motivated to apply because the role was based in Springvale.  As a working mum, being based close to home is crucial because it allows me to drop off my daughter at day care. I also believe that it’s important for our clients to have legal representation from someone who both works and lives in the area.

What are your tips for developing and maintaining a work-life balance?

There came a point in my working life when I realised that the demands of my legal practice will not slow down no matter how late I worked. I believe that the sooner you realise this, the better it is for your mental and physical wellbeing. 

My top tips in maintaining work-life balance would have to be:

  • being organised both personally and professionally and planning your week ahead
  • being positive makes you more effective. Be sure to maintain outside interests and a healthy lifestyle.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your career journey?

Achieving fair and adequate compensation for my clients. I consider myself very privileged to represent injured Victorians during their personal legal journey.

What advice would you give to young lawyers looking to obtain their first professional role?

Be your authentic self, ensure you allow time to reflect, reset and rest.  Also, find a good mentor and learn by example – mentors are golden in guiding and supporting you through your career in law. 

What has been the best career advice you have received to date?

As a junior female lawyer I would often question myself and a wise barrister would remind me to trust my judgment and not to underestimate my abilities.

What changes have you noticed in practising law in an increasingly online world, and how have you upskilled in this space?

The legal profession has increased its online presence with law firms and the courts moving to paperless systems.  

As a working mum, greater accessibility means that I can balance client requirements and look after my daughter when required. 

We are provided with some training to use this accessibility to its full advantage, and with the evolving nature of technology there is always more to learn! 

Did you have any mentors? Who were they?

I had a mentor very early in my career – and still do! I have always considered the first partner I ever worked with my mentor and a great friend. He is someone who epitomises the lawyer I strive to be. In the words of Sheryl Sandberg – mentorship is a key driver to success. I truly believe this. 

What do you like to do outside of the law?

I love spending time with my family and extended family, something we often do. I also like to travel.  In fact, I am taking annual leave in July to travel to Hawaii with my family. I also enjoy reading autobiographies, which often reminds me to be appreciative and thankful for what we have.

What is your favourite legal TV show or movie and why?

Suits – because a career in law is nothing like what is depicted on the show!

In your view, what is the benefit of attending major events like the LIV Legal Careers Fair?

The beauty of pursuing a law degree is that it has so many applications. Some law graduates will go into private practice, some will work for the courts and others will go into an in house role, government or even a policy role.  The options are endless!

The LIV Legal Careers Fair is a fantastic forum for law students and graduates to get a sense of the opportunities available to them and what is the best fit. I would strongly encourage students and grads to take advantage of and explore this amazing opportunity.

The LIV Young Lawyers thanks Tina for her time.

The LIV Legal Careers Fair is on again this year at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday, 12 July 2018 (5-8pm). Registration is free but it is essential for all LIV student members to sign-up.


Disclaimer: Views expressed by commentators are not necessarily endorsed by the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd (LIV). No responsibility is accepted by the LIV for the accuracy of information contained in the comments and the LIV expressly disclaims any liability for, with respect to or arising from any such views.

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