Filtering by Tag: issues: mistakes

Dear Katie: How important are grades? (Parts 1 and 2)

A reader wrote to me to ask whether anyone other than A+ honours students gets jobs after law school, which is a fair question because the message perpetuated in law school seems to be a resounding no (this is wrong).

In Part 1 of my response I address the issue of grades vs jobs specifically, incorporating information I got from a lovely legal recruiter I know. In Part 2 I zoom right out to the issue of grades and worth, an issue that as a recovering high-achiever (who did not do honours, by the by) I have grappled with for decades now. Even if you’re no longer in the position of receiving letter grades for your work, you can substitute feedback of any kind and get a similar result.

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

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.

Read More

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.  

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Episode 8: Coroner Elliott talks the virtues of barristership, therapeutic jurisprudence, and being wrong

In this episode I talk to Coroner Marcus Elliott about his career and his writing.  His career includes barristers' chambers, small firms, large firms, the Royal Commission of Inquiry following the Christchurch earthquakes, the legal departments of County Boroughs in the UK, a pub, and now the Coronial Court, so there is much to cover.

Read More

Email your questions to katie@thenewlawyer.co.nz 

 

All content © Symphony Law Limited 2016.  Limited reproduction licences available on request.