welcome to my blog

i will be sharing my own stories and the stories of inspiring lawyers. my hope is that through our stories, you can learn something new and step out into the legal world wearing a fabulous pair of glasses tinted with positivity & purpose!

Reflecting on 2020 & planning for 2021

2020 was an interesting year for all of us. It was a year full of challenges, hardships and loss, lessons, opportunities to grow, moments for reflection and gratitude. Many of us realised the importance of freedom, human connection and relationships, our health, adaptability, being present and living because life is short, being employed and having people who support you when the chips are down. Regardless of what 2020 meant to you, I believe that there is power in pausing to reflect on the year that was – the lessons you have learnt, your successes, your failures, the things that brought you joy and the things that didn’t – so that you can re-focus on the things that work for you, the things you want to do more of and the things you want to achieve in the coming year.

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Lucy Barnes: Becoming a Barrister

Lucy works as a Barrister in Brisbane, specialising in Child Protection, Family, Employment and Consumer Law. Lucy’s journey to becoming a Barrister was fairly unconventional as Lucy never worked as a Lawyer in private practice which is often what I have heard you should do prior to going to the Bar. Lucy shares what her work looks like day to day, what the process of becoming a Barrister involves and her advice for anyone who may be considering a career as a Barrister in the future.

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Warren Bennett: Starting your own law firm

Warren’s story is one of determination and it’s inspiring to speak with someone who has worked so hard – from completing his law degree in three years while working full-time to opening his own law firm with four years PAE and then working full-time when he ran out of money to keep his firm going as a side-hustle for a few months! If you’re dreaming of having your own firm one day, this is a must read for you.

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Em Pescott: Pay rises and promoting yourself

Em is a career advancement coach and is the owner of Promotable You. Em helps all sorts of professionals, including lawyers, with a range of things from career changes to promotions and pay rises and removing road blocks and limiting beliefs in order to achieve your professional goals. Em’s background is in HR and communications. Em started Promotable You in order to help leaders advance their careers and in particular, help women who were having issues with being paid what they were really worth.

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Caralee Fontenele: What I look for when hiring new staff

Caralee is a Family Lawyer and the Director of Collective Family Law Group on the Gold Coast. Caralee had a career before becoming a Lawyer, working with her previous two Husbands to establish and grow their businesses in Optometry and Law. Caralee realised that she wanted to build her own business and have her own career and so she became a Lawyer while managing work and being a Mother of two. Caralee shares what she looks for when she is hiring new staff (hint, it isn’t their GPA) and her advice for anyone who is contacting a firm that they want to work for – what to do and what not to do.

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Getting a job during Covid

When I lost my first lawyer role in March due to Covid, I really struggled to feel like myself again. The uncertainty of the world didn’t help, especially when it comes to the job market. However, there are still some things we can all control – we can believe in ourselves and our abilities, we can continue to have hope and not give up and we can keep putting ourselves out there! I wanted to share my story of losing my job, what I did with my spare time, how I dealt with rejection, how I kept positive and all of the things I did to find a new job in the hope that it might help others. If you are still looking for work – I hope this helps to inspire you and please remember one thing – just don’t give up!

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Mel Scott: Working as an in house lawyer & getting your first opportunity

Mel Scott is an in house lawyer for a global technology company called Megaport. Mel explains what an in house lawyer does, what her role is like and how she ended up working in house. Mel shares what her journey through law school was like and how she landed her first graduate role – 180 resumes later! Mel talks about the importance of treating your legal career as a marathon not a sprint, self-belief and backing yourself, accepting that no experience is ever wasted and the importance of looking after yourself.

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My thoughts on coping with redundancy and moving forward despite uncertainty

In this solo episode I speak about how I have been coping with losing my dream job as a Family Lawyer due to COVID-19 and share my advice for moving forward despite the uncertainty that we are all facing. I hope that through sharing my honest feelings and thoughts, you may feel less alone during this time and realise that whatever you are feeling is perfectly okay.

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Julann Tiernan: Juggling family and law and the importance of taking the pressure off

Julann is a Family Lawyer and has her own digital law firm called Tiernan Family Law. Julann started her law degree when she was 30 and with a newborn baby. While studying law, Julann worked as a Police Officer and also began raising her family of five children – amazing right!? Julann is living proof that it is never too late to start a law degree if it is where your passion lies and that it is possible to juggle work, family and law if you have the right mindset!

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My first time in Court as a Lawyer

So I had my first day in Court as a Lawyer and I thought I would share my experience with you so that you might feel less intimidated the first time you venture into the Court room solo.

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The importance of being vulnerable

Last week I watched ‘The Call to Courage’ by Brene Brown on Netflix. A Lawyer that I know recommended that I look her up after I had expressed my hesitation about what I should share on my platform. I like to tell myself that I don’t care what other people think, but I am also someone who likes balance and for everyone to get along (if you believe in star signs, I’m a Libra so that explains a lot).

Michael Bidwell: Let your differences be the reason you stand out

Michael is an Environment and Planning Lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills here in Brisbane. Michael grew up in the US and moved to Brisbane by himself when he was just 19 to study a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Environmental Science at Griffith University. Michael was supported by staff and students during his time at Griffith as an openly gay man, however, when Michael began work in a law firm, he was faced with criticism and negativity. How Michael decided to deal with this criticism is a story of strength and inspiration.

Study: What worked for me & a reminder to be kind to yourself!

From my experience, most law students are self-critical high achievers who suffer from perfectionism. We are often the sort of people who receive 28/30 marks and think, why didn’t I get 30!? Instead of celebrating a great result, our first thought is often — you could have done better.

Nicole Paul: Finding a career in law that you love

After graduating from Griffith University in 2011, Nicole obtained a graduate job and completed her PLT part-time through the College of Law. Nicole was admitted in 2012 and has practiced exclusively in personal injuries law. During this time, Nicole had two years of maternity leave with her two daughters, now aged four and one. Nicole was promoted while on maternity leave with her second daughter and is now an Associate at James Law here in Brisbane.

A little bit about me

First of all, thank you for reading my blog! I thought I would start off by writing a post sharing a bit about my personal story so that you can get to know me better. In general, I am a positive and happy person who believes that persistence is the key when it comes to achieving your goals. I think that in life you have the power to decide the kind of person you want to be and the legacy that you want to leave. I believe in being kind, honest, generous and compassionate.

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