lessons in law
learning lessons from inspiring lawyers
our new normal
advice to survive and perhaps even thrive in the coronavirus pandemic
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Ep 1: Nicole Paul: Finding a career in law that you love
Nicole is a Personal Injuries Lawyer at James Law here in Brisbane. Nicole works part-time and this enables her to spend quality time with her two young daughters. Nicole was promoted while she was on maternity leave and doesn’t believe that being a woman with a young family will hinder your career progression - as long as you find the right employer!
Ep 2: 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.
Ep 3: Morgan Jane: The importance of saying yes to opportunities
Morgan is a Lawyer at the Office of the Director of Child Protection Litigation here in Brisbane. Morgan completed a Bachelor of Laws/Arts in a smaller regional university in NSW and has since completed a Masters in Family Law. Morgan is the poster woman for saying yes to whatever opportunities come your way - from your first law job to a fun run - Morgan shares how her willingness to learn has allowed her to achieve career goals in 3 months and run ultramarathons!
Ep 4: Katrina Nathan: Your law degree can take you places outside of a traditional law firm
Katrina is a Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture here in Brisbane. Katrina comes from a strong maths and sciences background and has ended up in law after doing a legal studies subject when she moved to Australia from Singapore. Katrina spent her last year of law school as a full-time law student, working three jobs and also completing her Practical Legal Training (PLT) course early! Katrina explains the importance of time management and writing to-do lists in order to successfully navigate a demanding workload. Katrina shares a lot of great tips and reminds us all that there are opportunities in law outside of getting a job as a lawyer in a law firm.
Ep 5: Terence Loko: Using your law degree to work in-house for the government
Terence works in-house for the Commonwealth Government in Canberra. Terence moved to Canberra after being offered a place in a graduate program while he was completing PLT. Terence moved to Australia from Papua New Guinea after finishing high school to study Accounting and although Terence completed his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, he knew that law was his calling. Terence offers some great tips for law students who may be considering a legal role in the government and provides food for thought for those students who may not have previously thought about using their law degree to work in government.
Ep 6: Emma Aldersea: Take your time and gain valuable life experience
Emma is the owner of Laneway Legal here in Brisbane. Emma is a Criminal Lawyer and a Registered Migration Agent. Emma’s time at law school was anything but conventional, travelling to many different countries and gaining life changing experiences along the way. While Emma has always had a passion for social justice, when she started law school she never knew she would actually practice as a lawyer. All of the life experience Emma gained during her time at law school helped her get to where she is now and her advice is to take your time at law school so that you can gain valuable life experience and also have fun!
Ep 7: Lana Woltman: Step outside of your comfort zone and create your own opportunities
Lana is a Personal Injuries Lawyer and a Senior Associate at Ramsden Lawyers on the sunny Gold Coast. Lana ended up studying law after she was involved in an unfortunate motor vehicle accident. The encouragement Lana received from her Lawyer at the time was the final push she needed to have the confidence to commence studying Law and Lana hasn’t looked back. Lana shares plenty of helpful tips for law students – from getting your foot in the door for your first law job to creating relationships with Lawyers through networking and finding a mentor. Side Note: If you hear meowing during the podcast, that is Biggie (aka Biggie Smalls), Lana’s beautiful cat who you can meet through Lana’s Instagram account.
Ep 8: Jacob Corbett: Keeping curious and creating your own luck
Jacob is a Commercial and Property Lawyer and a Director of Bradley and Bray Solicitors in Nambour. Jacob got his first taste of law when he was completing a Minor in Justice while studying a Bachelor of Creative Writing. Jacob was only 2 years PAE when he purchased half of a law firm and became a Director, so his journey is one to listen to. Jacob shares lots of really helpful and practical tips for law students and graduates, from checking your motivations during law school to the importance of falling in love with the process and developing helpful habits early.
Ep 9: 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!
Ep 10: 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 completely normal. 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.
Ep 11: Let's talk resumes!
In this solo episode I share how I went about creating a video resume as well as tips for creating a visually appealing traditional resume. If you want to show a prospective employer initiative and do something to stand out, then this episode is for you!
Ep 12: The importance of persistence, showing up and self belief
In this solo episode I share my honest thoughts and learnings about the importance of showing up and believing in yourself. I speak about doing not doubting, accepting that you are unique and have something to offer, acknowledging that your honesty and authenticity will influence and help others and the importance of making the most when inspiration strikes.
Ep 13: Mel Scott: Working as an in house lawyer & getting your first opportunity
In this episode I speak with Mel Scott who works as 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 opens up about her journey through law school and how she landed her first graduate role - I’ll give you a hint, it involves 180 resumes! 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.
Ep 14: Getting a job during Covid
In this solo episode I share my experience of finding 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!
Ep 15: Caralee Fontenele: What I look for when hiring new staff
In this episode I speak to Caralee Fontenele who is a Family Lawyer and the Director of Collective Family Law Group on the Gold Coast. Caralee shares how her journey into law was a little different and how her experience creating and running businesses has influenced her legal career. Caralee shares what she looks for when hiring new staff and her tips for law students and graduates looking for their first role.
Ep 16: Em Pescott: Pay rises and promoting yourself
In this episode I speak with Em Pescott. Em is the owner of Promotable You and is a career advancement coach. In this episode Em shares her practical tips for promoting yourself when looking for legal roles, how to approach having conversations with your boss about pay rises and promotions as a junior lawyer and what you should be doing early in your career to avoid falling behind later on.
Ep 17: Warren Bennett: Starting your own law firm
In this episode I speak with Warren Bennett who is the Director and Principal of WKB Lawyers. Warren started his firm in March 2019 and specialises in Total Permanent Disability (TPD) claims. Warren's story is one of determination and inspiration and offers great insight into what it takes to start your own law firm and when you know that you're ready to take that leap of faith. If you're dreaming of starting your own law firm one day or you're curious about what it takes - this is the episode for you!
Ep 18: Lucy Barnes: Becoming a Barrister
In this episode I speak with Lucy Barnes who is a Brisbane based Barrister. Lucy's law journey wasn't conventional - working in Government and Child Protection prior to commencing her law degree and working outside of private practice as a Registrar for the Courts once she was admitted. Lucy shares what her day to day looks like, what the process of becoming a Barrister looks like and her advice for anyone considering a career as a Barrister. If you're considering a career as a Barrister or you're curious about what the process involves - this is the episode for you!