Filtering by Category: Guested

Sacha Judd talks technology law, non-linear career choices, and the systemic nature of legal culture

You guys. I had such a wonderful conversation with Sacha Judd, and it is so great to share it with you now. Sacha is a former lawyer of 20 years who now works in the technology and innovation sector as the managing director of Hoku She’s worked in banking and finance law, studied at the London School of Economics, worked in Singapore and Hong Kong, and even left the law for law-adjacent pastures. She also takes a beautifully systemic view of culture in the law and is a powerful voice for culture change. (Read the article I mention over here, and read more of her work at her website here.) We had much to discuss.

You’ll note that there is no introduction on this episode. I figured that by now you guys knows the drill about subscribing to monthly digests and I could just jump right in. You are welcome.

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Cassandra talks junior barristership, animal law and networking without networking

In this episode I spoke to Cassandra Kenworthy, a junior barrister from Wellington, about almost everything in the world.  We went from her science background to how she found law to academic writing to animal law to participation in legal profession groups to practising with a chronic illness to networking without networking to the podcast she has in the works (for which there will definitely be updates here when it launches).  I'm such a fan.  

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John Mackintosh talks Stepping Up and choosing sole practice, law-adjacent paths, and bringing your outside passions into legal practice

In this episode I sat down with my former mentor, John Mackintosh, a long time consultant on practice management and the business side of law, and one of the loveliest humans I’ve encountered. John was hugely supportive of my efforts to start a practice that did law differently, and was just as generous in sharing all his wisdom on the pod. We talked about why people go into partnership or sole practice, why he made Stepping Up the way it is, what law gives you that you can take to any other job you like, and how he incorporated his interests in teaching and management into his career right from the start.

This is a really lovely conversation, but if you want even more from John and you’re in your first year of practice, you might like to sign up for his CCH webinar “Making your way in your first law job”, coming on 20 February 2019.

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Zoë talks independent legal research work, the stories of women lawyers, and human rights law in disguise

In this episode I talked with Zoë Lawton, an independent legal researcher and writer, and it was so wonderful. Zoë’s career has already taken her to all kinds of interesting places, including a academic research on the implications of complex family law scenarios, to clerking in the Family Court, to research through the Law Foundation about the court system itself, to independent research, analysis and writing for government departments, not to mention her own legal journalism. She also spent much of last year publishing a “MeToo” blog for the profession, documenting anonymous stories of bullying and harassment reported to her, and giving cultural context to the ongoing issues the legal profession has with gender parity, bullying and sexual harassment. Despite the darkness of this last topic I felt so good and hopeful afterwards, and it was lovely, as always, to speak to someone who followed their curiosity and wound up somewhere unexpected and really cool. What an utter delight!

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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.

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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).  

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Episode 25 - MP Duncan Webb talks how to do good, the academic track, and becoming an MP

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.

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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.

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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.  

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Episode 21 - Shaun talks big workplaces, second careers, and how to handle mistakes

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.

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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.  

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Episode 19: Solicitor Chris talks the joy of innovation, lawyerly risk aversion, and alternative career paths

This episode was all about innovation in law, a topic I and my guest Chris get very excited about.  It includes a brainstorm on how to balance the need for innovation with good ol' lawyerly risk aversion.  In researching for this episode I came across a press release for a 2016 report on innovation in Australasia that includes the sentence, "The majority of Australasian law firms rate themselves as innovative but there is little evidence to support this claim...". However, it is not all bleak; below are some examples of lawyers already thinking differently and doing cool things to modernise how law is practised.  Again, I must emphasise my recommendation that all lawyers read the Marque Lawyers website in its wonderful entirety.  

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Episode 18: Julia Batchelor-Smith talks construction law, non-linear careers and hard core self care

In this episode I sat down with the lawyer self care guru herself, Julia Batchelor-Smith, to talk all things self care, balance and contentment (and nerd out about the Construction Contracts Act; apologies).  We covered some GREAT stuff, including non-linear careers, taking time out to do crazy always-wanted-to ventures, parenting and lawyering, microcredentialing (Katie learns a word), how to keep on top of stress, how to manage mistakes, financial literacy and the business of Spanx.

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Episode 17 - NZLS President Kathryn Beck talks employment law, the future of New Zealand lawyers, and loving your work

Hello again beautiful listeners.  This episode I went to Auckland to sit down with the Law Society's current president, Kathryn Beck, who is also a partner at employment firm SBM Legal.  We had a delicious wide-ranging conversation about her career as an employment lawyer, her longstanding involvement in different parts of the Law Society, her vision for the best future for law in New Zealand, her advice to new lawyers, her thoughts on mental health for lawyers, and her joy and love for the practice of law.  It is always wonderful to watch someone who loves what they do, do what they do, and now you all get to listen along to that too.  There is so much in this discussion, feel free to take it in bits if need be, with breaks for refreshment etc. 

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Episode 16 - Anna talks all-or-nothing in practice, the work of a litigation solicitor, and what great law firm culture looks like

This week's episode is almost a case study for episode 15.  I talked to Anna, a third year litigation solicitor at a mid-sized firm about how she found some moderation in her all-or-nothing personality type.  The answer seems to lie in the direction of self awareness and a great law firm culture, with a touch of mindfulness practice thrown in.  I particularly loved getting into what makes her workplace so supportive of sustainable success; it's a recipe for us all.  We also had lovely chats about how she came to work at that firm in only second year of law school, and her experiences as a young woman lawyer (there is even some comeuppance, listeners!).  I do hope you enjoy.

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Episode 15: Psychologist Mike talks burnout, the gentle antidote to an extreme lawyerly personality, and tools for sustainable achievement

This episode is a bit different from others in that Mike is not himself a lawyer, but he treats lawyers in his practice as a clinical psychologist and basically wrote a book about us, so it counts. We discussed all or nothing personalities (of course), the antidote to the extreme versions of that personality, the consequences of letting your all or nothing nature rule your life, and what life looks and feels like when it's not quite so all or nothing.  

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Episode 14: Eric talks Community Law, attitudes to mistakes, and idealism vs realism in legal practice

This episode I interviewed Eric Yu, a third year solicitor at Christchurch's Community Law office.  We talked about so much wonderful stuff, including the virtues of volunteering for Community Law and the breadth of experience you can get there, how to deal with mistakes when they inevitably occur, the imperfect and sometimes unjust nature of our legal system, and how to cope with emotional fatigue and gloom at systemic injustice.  It was so great.

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Episode 13: Mahafrin talks immigration and refugee law, the young woman migrant lawyer experience, and career advancement in litigation

You guys.  This episode.  So cool.  Mahafrin was born in India, mostly raised in Dubai, and immigrated with her family to New Zealand when she was 15.  She practises in an immigration and refugee law firm in Auckland.  She attended an international human rights conference a couple of years ago that you might want to attend in Sydney this year.  In the episode we discuss all of this, values clashes, racial and gender prejudice, and law as purpose, and she picks my brain on advancement in litigation.  It's wonderful.

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Episode 12: George talks alternative summer clerking, the life of a barrister and competitions - The New Lawyer Podcast

George the law student/barristers' clerk joins me this episode for a micro discussion on life as a junior in a barristers' chambers and how he got the job in the first place, as well as how much a little confidence goes a long way in the world of autonomous legal practice.  

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Episode 11: Clayton talks quarter-life crises, unorthodox career paths, and practising with depression

In this episode I speak to Clayton Carrick-Leslie about all sorts, but focusing on two key areas: (1) career paths and options, including part time work, inhouse counsel work and law-related management and leadership work, and (2) depression, suicide, quarterlife crises, and how to live and work amidst these things.  Clayton talks about his own experiences with depression and the impact of a friend's suicide at a Sydney law firm and why in his experience corporations have better cultures than law firms.  It was a fun and joyful chat, complete with impromptu brainstorming session about what to do when you're in acute distress at work, though of course the trigger warning goes (almost) without saying.

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