We chatted with Michael Watters (M) at D’Angelo Legal about his journey from Sports Physiologist to Lawyer.
Q: Where did you study law and when did you graduate?
M: I studied at Murdoch University and did a Juris Doctor, a post graduate law degree. I finished November 2013 – My final research paper was on stress claims. My graduation ceremony will be in April or May 2014 I expect.
Q: What has been your favourite unit?
M: Trial and Advocacy. We participated in mock trials where we were given a scenario, a brief, and then we had to run the trial from start to finish in front of a Supreme Court Judge, a QC (Queens Counsel), and a retired judge. It was a real world experience – including heckling in the courtroom. I enjoyed being able to apply the theory I had learned and put it into practice. I also found it interesting watching other students in action and it made me think about how to best conduct myself.
Q: What do you plan to do now that you have finished your degree?
M: Well, assuming I pass, I plan to go on and do either Articles or College of Law, which are both two years of restricted practice. They essentially teach you how to be a lawyer.
Q: What motivated you to go and study law?
M: I had a friend who was going back to University to study Law. At the time, I was working for a large insurance company and thought I might enrol myself to see if I liked it. I did one unit while I worked full-time and achieved a high distinction. That made me happy and spurred me on to keep going. That was four years ago.
Q: What were you doing before you went to study law?
M: My first degree is in Sports Science. I worked as an Exercise Physiologist for about five years, helping rehabilitate people injured in the work place and following motor vehicle accidents. From there, I moved to work for an insurance company managing the Personal Injury cases. After a couple of years there, I moved to another law firm where I worked as a law clerk for a year.
My background in Sports Science is very helpful for working in Personal Injury because I can read and understand medical reports, have empathy with clients recovering from injuries, and know which information insurance companies need.
Q: How long have you worked at D’Angelo Legal?
M: I started working here in March of 2013. When I saw the job advertised, I applied, Paul (D’Angelo) called me to arrange an interview and the job was offered to me following the interview.
Q: What are your career goals?
M: Besides doing Articles or College of Law this year, one day I’d like to be a Barrister. I’m not sure I would want to run my own firm and have all the stress and complications that come with running a firm as that does not appeal to me.
Q: Outside of work, what do you like to do?
M: Besides spending time with my kids, I like cycling and keeping fit. I did the Ride to Conquer Cancer a few months ago, which was 220km over two days with over 1300 cyclists. I really enjoyed the camaraderie, the atmosphere, and raising money for a very worthy cause. I’ve already signed up to do it again next year.
Thanks Michael. It’s great to have someone with your depth of experience on our team.