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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am about to ask you a favour, in service of me and your fellow lawyer and prospective lawyer colleagues. The benefit to me and them will be immense, and we are alllll grateful.
The big news - following certain inquiries and interest, Symphony Law will soon be offering new lawyer coaching. This feels magnificent to me. There is nothing I love more than interesting, juicy conversations with good people (hence the podcast), except reading the kinds of books that fuel those conversations. If I can turn that attention on an individual lawyer to coach them to a more enjoyable, sustainable, successful and authentic career, then you better believe I am going to do that.
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.
Hello listeners, lovely to see you again. There is no podcast episode this fortnight, but luckily The New Lawyer is now also a column in LawTalk, so diehard fans can have a supplementary dose that way to tide them over to next time. If you do not receive a hard copy you can read online over here. With the column I plan to offer ideas and reflections for new lawyers on many of the same topics covered by the podcast, but in full sentences with punctuation and everything. I am especially pleased that the editorial staff chose this issue to adopt my recommendation that more dogs feature on the cover of the magazine. The cows on issue 902 were a nice diversion, but really it's the dogs we've been hankering for since issue 894, amiright? I am right.
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.