Lawyer stories:
How to combine Football, Travel and Law

LOD Lawyer Aaron Zoanetti always knew that the career path of a traditional lawyer wasn’t going to work for him. With two travel companies to run (one for sports and one for the gay community), adding his legal and personal lives into the mix was proving tough. Find out how LOD has helped him balance all his interests.

Travel and sports have always been my passions, so it was only a matter of time before they took me away from the typical career path of a commercial lawyer.

Even my training year in Melbourne wasn’t typical: after a day in the office I would be organising the arrangements for 400 Australians to travel to South Africa to follow the Australian national football team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

My sports travel company is cyclical, operating around major football tournaments. For several years I combined lawyering full-time with the business on the side, but it eventually became clear that this wasn’t sustainable. Add to that, I had developed a new business concept: TropOut, an up-market travel product and brand targeted to the gay community and I had secured investment to take that further. Something had to give.

So in December 2014, my partner Jamie and I packed up our home in Melbourne and travelled to London for an adventure. Jamie would do his own thing, while I concentrated on developing TropOut. In April 2016 we delivered our first TropOut travel experience in Thailand – the highlight was German DJ Robin Schulz performing right on the beach for our guests.

You may be wondering where LOD fits in all of this! Well, around 9 months into my stint in London, I had completed most of the tasks needed for TropOut Thailand and preparations for the next World Cup in Russia had not yet started. I was feeling isolated, a little bored and I missed people!

A friend told me about LOD and it sounded like the perfect solution, although perhaps sounded too good to be true. I went in to meet Bernie (LOD Engagement Manager) who was so relaxed and friendly and I quickly discovered that what LOD promised, they could actually deliver. Soon enough LOD found me an assignment with a law firm that has a speciality in travel law – the perfect fit. I’m 6 months into the assignment and it’s going brilliantly – the people are fantastic and it’s good quality work.

The best thing is that they understand the flexibility I require – I set my own hours and since I’ve been on assignment I’ve travelled to Russia, Thailand and Australia for business, and also to New Caledonia where our next TropOut event is being hosted.

I don’t think I’ll be able to balance legal work and the businesses forever, but for the time being the arrangement couldn’t be any better – it really is the best of both worlds.

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