Our Journey & Stories
I started at Agape as an intern in 2011. For many years, at the beginning of my career, I was put through many tests and hardships. Over the years, I also saw people constantly being headhunted by the top tier firms (including me). Therefore, I knew there was something special at this firm. By staying with the firm despite being placed in a junior position for many years, I had proved my loyalty to the firm. I learnt that this firm retains people based on loyalty rather than a person’s skills and knowledge. I have been nurtured in the position of ‘Practice Group Director’ who now enjoys maximum flexibility with my approach towards work. For example, I am able to work remotely, go on holidays for extended periods of time (few months at each time), start and leave work at any time etc. I also have equity in the firm.
After a stringent selection process, I was employed on minimum wage as a Registered Migration Agent for a law graduate who was completing their Practical Legal Training. I spent 3 months in this position and I had noticed that the firm didn't hire based on the skills of the person, instead they paid close attention to whether the individual fit within our culture. After 3 months, I was offered a 6-figure base salary as a Senior Associate. On top of my base, I get a monthly bonus, yearly bonus and I’m definitely not complaining about the iphones for birthdays and Christmas pressie.
Having owned my own education and migration agency prior to joining this firm, I did not know how lucrative this industry was until I joined this firm. I also found out that there was much more to immigration and administrative law than what I once thought it was. I have learnt much more during my time here than if I were to continue my own agency.
After 1.5 years, I was offered equity within the firm.
- Davin Hartanto
Agape is a great place to work! Here is a list of reasons why: Family friendly, great co-workers, friendly environment, lots of training opportunities, senior staff really care that juniors and others are happy and motivated, and many more. I am a paid intern finishing off my law degree. Of course, there are times I had stay back late and skip lunch breaks, but I am delighted to be part of Agape because of its good reputation in the industry as well as all the generous benefits offered. On one birthday, I got an iphone 8 and the following birthday, I got an iphone X. Receiving a surface pro for my graduation was indeed memorable but receiving cash bonus on the one occasion, simply because my supervising associate conducted himself in an apparently less than kind manner. Nevertheless, the perks of having my own Spotify and Netflix rocks, etc.) Upon admission, I am looking forward to being a senior position directly under an Accredited Specialists, without having to climb up the ranks. Not only do I feel like I am a valued intern (at some point, I get spoilt with everything), I am inspired by my peers and seniors to stay motivated every day and reach for the stars!!!!
- Koko Aung
I graduated from University of Sydney with a Combined Law Degree at the end of 2017 and currently work at Agape completing my PLT training.Prior to joining Agape, I had experiences in other law firm and labour Union, but none of those experiences are similar to my experiences in Agape. Despite having to work long hours consistently (and skipping lunch sometimes), I was closely trained by the senior members in the firm who are always ready to help, friendly and caring for my personal development. This was very different to my past experiences in other law practices as I was exposed to solving real legal problems from day one. I have learnt so much from having experience with real cases. Through the past three months of my intensive training period, I noticed that this tailored training program has equipped me with better personal and legal skills. I was gradually exposed to more and more knowledge, client interaction etc. and by the end of the 14 weeks program I realised I have learnt so much.I am currently an associate offered a 6 figure salary under performance-base compensation. I am being groomed by 2 Accredited Specialists to lead my own team.
- Elena Su
Agape is an innovative firm that encourages constant self-development and learning. Agape provides an environment where employees can thrive in their work, including a spacious office with panoramic views of the city and state of the art technology. The culture is collegiate and the firm encourages teamwork and exceptional service to clients. During my time at Agape, I have been exposed to a range of cases including some extremely complex immigration issues. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work on such complex cases, and I have increased by knowledge of immigration law immensely. For someone who is prepared to put in the hard work required to excel in this industry, the rewards are enormous. There are monthly bonuses, flexible working arrangements, company mobile and laptop that can be taken offsite, daily breakfast prepared in-house, weekly massages, free snacks, and free transport home in Uber S Class when working late. There is also ongoing support and mentorship from the principle solicitor and founder of the firm, as well as private weekends training sessions. I have been given the opportunity to learn from the most senior lawyer in the firm who was always prepared to step in when there was a problem I couldn’t handle. I have learnt and grown immensely as a professional and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work at Agape.
- Jia Ma
Working at Agape is a great pleasure for me. The thing I appreciate most about the company is that it has given me the opportunity to work in a pleasant multicultural environment with colleagues from different parts of the world. Everyone at Agape is smart, energetic, and fun to work with. I have enjoyed every bit of my time here, and greatly value the experience I have gained in the role. The management is quite friendly, supportive and inspirational and continues to push me to reach my potential with challenges and opportunities to learn and grow along with the organization. Thanks for letting me work at this successful company that I would recommend to anyone. I am proud to be part of Agape.
- Abhay Das
Agape has been a fantastic leap in my career. I started off my journey in Agape as an unpaid IT intern with no experience at all and ended my time here in a paid position with knowledge and skills I will cherish for the rest of my life. However, the road that I took with Agape was not easy. The work load that is expected is huge and the pressure is high, which caused me to up-skill myself in a short period of time. This meant that I spent hours, after work to complete task and even spending my own time at home to help up-skill and prepare myself for the next upcoming task. Some nights I did question if I could keep up with the demand. But my effect wasn’t gone unseen. For my effects, Agape made sure that I had comfortable experience providing me with breakfast, freedom within the company and most valuable to me, taking me under their wing and mentoring me how companies work and how to be successful in my career. Using this knowledge provided from Agape, I manage to land a high paying Engineering role. I can’t thank Agape enough for what they have done for me and for giving me a chance to prove myself within their company. Through my time in Agape, I work with some wonderful and amazing people. All friendly and ready, if they have time, to answer question and have a good laugh with you. Overall the experience I had was just unreal and life changing. Agape doesn’t just help people emigrate. It helps change lives! Like it has for me, thank you so much.
- Patrick Facey
I graduated from a combined law degree at University of Sydney and at 23 years of age, I joined Agape as a PLT intern. With no real experience in immigration law, I chose to be personally groomed by Jason Ling to be fast-tracked to a senior position. I received the most intensive 14 weeks training Agape has, aligning its depth and quality with the Accredited Specialists program. He memorised with me the architecture of the Migration Act and Regulations, read all legislation related to immigration practice, such as, the Acts of Interpretation. During the intensive internship program, I had endless late nights and piles of work. By week 4, I was the sole assistant to approximately $250,000 billable cases per month where I saw through a labour agreement approval. Even though I was provided Uber Lux, subscription to Apps, latest iphones and tablets, the nature of this industry made me want to give up on several occasions. However, the psychological conditioning and emotional strengthening helped me get through, as the last remaining PLT for my year. My training included active participation with Jason’s business management systems, digital marketing, work flow optimisation, business development strategies, and culture development. His unorthodox training requires the analysing of data, body language, consumer behaviour, etc.
During the time I was completing my Practical Legal Training, I had the following opportunities:
Working on 5 labour agreements – Looking at the list of approved labour agreements on the Department’s websites, I found that it is very exceptional to have labour agreements granted. Out of the 5 I have been working on, I received 1 approval.
Partner visa approved where the ‘partners’ were of the same sex, had no love, no cohabitation (one partner lived in Australia whilst the other lived in Malaysia). We wrote submissions to the Department telling them the truth of their relationship and guided the case officer to apply the law correctly.
Anvar was a client I helped personally - This was an extremely complex case and the client had been refused many previous visas due to the work of his previous Registered Migration Agent. The partner visa application the previous Registered Migration Agent lodged were unsuccessful and the family lived separated for many years (The child lived separately from his Australian father since birth). We took over this case at the appeal stage and finally won this case. They are now reunited in Australia.
I am regarded as Jason’s proudest and best, modelling what he envisions Agape to be in his succession plans for our millennial generation. I was given the same specialists program 2016 test and I am the only lawyer at Agape who practises IP law, corporation law, commercial law, property law, civil litigation and criminal law. On completing the program, I was immediately sent to CPD classes to compare my knowledge with practitioners of 2 - 5 years PQE . I was head-hunted at that session and I have since received a number of offers, including international firms. I declined them all, in the spirit of preserving Agape’s code of loyalty.
Despite holding MARN 1802784, I am privileged to have trained other RMAs. I am currently a Senior Associate leading my own team and making a transition to the position of Special Counsel. At 25 years of age, I am given full autonomy over my own cases which I am fortunate to be retained by Breadtop, St Basil’s Aged Care, Employees Only, Finn Poke, etc.
My passion remains with making appeals under administrative law, humanitarian & refugee laws, human rights, and international law. My journey with Agape has rapidly progressed where I will soon have more time to author publications in my new role, in management. Whilst the firm provides equity to those that remain and offers services of Cooks, massages and gym memberships, I see that it is more important that the firm resources myself in crafting landmark cases and developing my skillset further.