How to forge a legal career: advice from Global CEO Mark Rigotti

2 June 2020
Graduate shares where a law qualification led him
Law alum Mark Rigotti went from studying a combined degree in law and arts, to Global CEO of Herbert Smith Freehills.

Our alumni are in high demand, in both traditional and non-traditional legal roles, all around the world. A law degree from Sydney Law School provides the training, knowledge and skills that are sought after by employers globally.

Mark Rigotti is a Partner at leading global law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, and he recently completed his second term as Global CEO. Mark studied a combined degree in Law and Arts, as an undergraduate, and later completed a Master of Laws.

Sydney Law School graduate, Mark Rigotti

Sydney Law School graduate, Mark Rigotti

Mark has worked in senior leadership roles for 12 years and has had many career highlights to reflect upon. One highlight in particular that he considers an “enduring memory”, was being in a position to be able to sponsor a lawyer through to partnership.

When asked how he got to where he is today, Mark shares his insights:

“Preparation, Opportunity and Support.” 

“Part of the journey involved some hard work and both doing what I needed to do in my current role, whatever that was, while also preparing for other, future roles.”

“Opportunities never occur at the perfect time. I am a big believer in taking opportunities when they arise even if not fully prepared - rather than waiting for perfect timing when you might be fully prepared.”

“I have also benefited from a very supportive family who allowed me to try, and do, some different things. Others in my work community supported me in various ways and at various times. I am very grateful for that.”

With Mark’s experience and remarkable career progression in the legal sector, he has valuable, first hand advice to school leavers looking to pursue a career in law, law students, and recent graduates:

“Pace yourself, be organised and be open to innovation.”
Sydney Law School graduate, Mark Rigotti

“A law degree involves quite a lot of different sub-disciplines and subjects. Some are also voluminous. So, managing your pace as you work through all of these is important. You don’t want to run out of enthusiasm before reaching the end!”

“I am a believer in getting organised to manage things in your learning journey. Why do things twice if you are disorganised? Get organised and succeed with less effort.”

“Adopt a growth mindset and be open to improvement by innovating - you can learn new things and new ways to do things as you progress through your degree, and your life. And that is exciting.”
Sydney Law School graduate, Mark Rigotti

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