Happy springtime, lovely listeners and readers! My third Dear Katie column is out, in which I would like a prize please for answering a question about exam stress in 1000 words. No doubt we will return to the topic for the other 20,000 words I have in reserve. I hope this little method/mindset combo helps ease some of the more extreme stress that upcoming exams will invite.Read More
Episode 27: Grad solicitor Alice talks finding a job, the transition from law school to practice, and the value of cultural know-how
This was such a lovely episode with grad solicitor Alice, and in it we got to traverse all sorts of topics I have not been able to cover so much with other guests lately, namely the experience of grad lawyers. Finding a job, transitioning from law school to practice, setting yourself up for success and balance in an emotionally demanding job, the culture of law school, so much cool stuff. We also talked about cultural awareness as a means to serve clients and colleagues and the work of a new family lawyer. It. Was. Great.Read More
This month's LawTalk column is all about something I both think is very important and consistently fail to do: having fun.
This week's Dear Katie asks whether you have to take tax law to be a proper lawyer, to which I say only if you want to be a proper tax lawyer, and then tell my fun anecdote about how I fell in love with tax law (it's just puzzles!).Read More
Episode 26: Sharon Chandra talks family law, the role of happiness in productivity, and the utopia we might face towards
In this episode I talked to Sharon Chandra about family law, how productive a happy lawyer can be, flexible working conditions, gender and age bias, the basis on which you might choose jobs early in your career, and her hope that more law firms will shift from a top down management approach to a conversational approach (a hope I enthusiastically second).Read More
I am so excited to be able to announce that I am writing an advice column ("Dear Katie") for LexisNexis on their platform for law students and graduates, Learn Law Life. This is a platform covering topics like study and careers and wellbeing and life as a law student and new lawyer, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I have already written four of the columns and they have been super fun. I am so glad to be able to write for places that let me be human and use phrases like "dumb dumbs" if I want. You can read my first column here.Read More
In this episode I talked to Duncan Webb, MP for Christchurch Central and co-author of your ethics textbook, about his career as a litigation lawyer, academic and now Parliamentarian. We talked about how you can make a difference in non-traditional routes, what he wish he'd known from the beginning (nothing more than he did), his work for Christchurch homeowners in earthquake cases, how he once took down a gaming trust, and much more.Read More
This month's column deals with a topic I hate: networking. I get asked how to network if you hate networking quite a lot, and this really is my best answer. Networking is horrible because it takes the humanity out of social interactions and replaces it with salesmanship. Nobody likes a salesman (our brains go on high alert when we think we're being sold) and most people don't like selling. But, dear readers, there are other ways to peel an orange, and this is mine. This is a method that can still technically be called networking but is really just hanging out with cool people and learning fun things. Granted, it starts out a bit scary, but boy does it deliver.Read More
Episode 24 - Brigadier Lisa Ferriss talks practising law in the army, applied international law, and finding ways to practise what you love
This episode was so full of joy, and has filled my mind with all kinds of sparks and excitement since we recorded it a few weeks ago. Lisa is the Director of Defence Legal Services and Military Prosecutions and boy does she have an interesting career to talk about. We talked how law is used in the army, military codes, international law, Lisa's experience as a woman of colour in the army, and how studying things you love can bring unexpected joy later down the line. It was wonderful, and I am so grateful to Lisa for sharing her insights into this very different way of using one's law degree.Read More
Episode 23: Zylpha talks second career perspectives, bullying and harassment, and the NZLS work to address it
In this episode I met with Zylpha, a second career lawyer now working for the Canterbury-Westland branch of NZLS and, among other things, manning the Law Care phone line (0800 0800 28, more information below). Before studying law she worked in banking, and we had fun saying "hmmm" and stroking our chins about highly hierarchical, power-based employment cultures. We also talked about the big picture problem of harassment and bullying and the complex way those issues can and should be (and are being!) examined, including NZLS work to assist those suffering from it right now.Read More
Phew. Well. The topic of this column is the culture I observed in the legal profession and how the worst wrongs sit atop giant below-surface ice bergs of smaller wrongs gone un-examined. It's a topic that has been burning a hole in me for quite some time but one I haven't felt able to discuss. Which is kind of the point. (You can read it here.)Read More
This column is about keeping your lawyer skills within the lawyer domain as much as possible, and not letting them leech into other areas where they may not be as useful. Of course, when I wrote this column back in January (a simpler time when Me Too and Times Up were but months and weeks old), the New Zealand legal profession was not grappling quite so directly with the issue of lawyer creeps, so the title is now a little unfortunate.Read More
Episode 22 - CA President Justice Kós talks speaking up in court, the importance of being a teacher while remaining a student, and big picture reforms he would like to see
In this episode I speak with Justice Kós, sitting President of the Court of Appeal, and at different times a litigator, an academic, and a teacher. We talked about his reasons for becoming a lawyer (another count for "good at English"), and his reasons for staying one (law as vocation); his perspective on the bench, both from appearing in front of it and sitting behind it; reforms to the civil system that promise increased access to justice and reforms to the criminal system that promise greater justice full stop; how his upbringing as the child of a refugee helped form his view of New Zealand and the importance of its democratic norms and institutions; and what he has learned as a student of those who came before and a teacher of those who are coming up the ranks now.Read More
I sat down for this lovely chat with Shaun, a senior solicitor in the employment/litigation team at a big firm, formerly an officer in the New Zealand army. We talked fit in big organisations, second careers and how to choose them, working parenthood, how to get the most from your supervisor and how to handle the worst thing that can possibly happen: mistakes (note: not the worst thing that can possibly happen, even if your brain is telling you otherwise.)
We also talked about Shaun's recent experience with the prestigious Pegasus Scholarship, which you can read about over here, and touched a little on what it might be like to practise law in the military, which you can read more about over here.Read More
Hello friends - isn't 2018 cosy so far? I bring you today the first column of the year, with the year's first podcast episode to come next week.
This column deals with a subject close to my heart: not having to be a lawyer. I hope that this news (if it is news) will make you feel relieved and/or excited. You can read below...Read More
Hello lovely listeners. Today I have December's column for summer clerks, which holds truths applicable not only to summer clerks. Unfortunately in the editing process the numbers of my numbered list got taken out, but I hope you will muscle through anyway.Read More
Episode 20: Nichola from the Law Commission talks public service, finding your fit, and working parenthood
I am loathe to say it is a Christmas miracle, but...it's a Christmas miracle! The podcast returns! Now with monthly episodes, hopefully increasing to a higher frequency next year. It feels really good. Thank you to the many of you who reached out to me during the hiatus - you are wonderful.
In this episode I spoke to Nichola, a senior legal and policy advisor for the Law Commission with a background in private practice in New Zealand and the UK. We talked working in the UK vs working here, working in private firms vs public service, and big firms vs small, all of which came down to that beautiful notion of finding your fit. Nichola is also a parent to two wee boys and we talked about how she has navigated family life and work life. It was a joyful and utterly delightful discussion that goes quite nicely with the end of year wind down.Read More
Some of you may not be aware but I write a New Lawyer column for LawTalk every month. They are a joy to write because I do not have to write in the style of a legal text book and sometimes they let me mention my dog. It's great.Read More
Hello my lovely listeners. Just a quick check in to say that instead of returning this week we will in fact be taking an indefinite hiatus while I give full attention to a health issue I am dealing with. I do have some wonderful guests scheduled to record later in the year but just when we will be recording and releasing those episodes I do not know yet. Stay subscribed to the podcast feed or to Facebook or Twitter and you will know when we start back up.
In the meantime, subject to that health issue, I am appearing on the Wellington Young Lawyer Committee panel on junior lawyer mental health and wellbeing on 16 August, so if you want a podcast-like fix and you are in Wellington, please come! You can book here.Read More