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.
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.
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!).
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).
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.
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.
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.
You can now read this month's column here, in which I talk about how living from a place of giving, when coupled with beautifully strong and reinforced boundaries, can be the most promising and enjoyable way to be, not to mention the most likely to be successful.
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.
This month I tried to whittle the giant topic of what brains do and why we should all understand them better into a thousand words, and it was very hard. There is so much more to say, but you can read what I did manage to fit in here.