Question 1: Where did you study law and why did you want to become a lawyer?
I took the CILEx route and “earned while I learned”, studying via distance-learning through the CILEx Law School. At the time this suited me better than a local college as it gave me the flexibility to fit my studies around life and work. I came to the law a little bit later than some, after one of the Partners at Swinburne Maddison – who I already knew professionally – suggested I might be suited to a career in this field. I have always been very motivated to explore new opportunities when they arise and to challenge myself as much as possible, so I took the leap and never looked back! I have been a qualified Chartered Legal Executive for over 20 years now and can’t imagine ever doing anything else.
Question 2: Why did you want to specialise in Family law?
After studying and practising different areas of law early on in my career, I soon realised that I was a “people person” and wanted to focus on work which would help people as directly as possible. Being a family lawyer requires a unique and extensive skill set; above all else the ability to balance empathy and compassion with professionalism and tenacity. Again, this was a challenge I was keen to embrace and I now consider it a real privilege to be there for my clients at what is often a very difficult (and for many, the worst) time in their lives.
Question 3: What has been your greatest achievement at Swinburne Maddison?
A qualified Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer, my focus has always been to achieve a fair and reasonable resolution in relation to family breakdown and, wherever possible, to offer an alternative path to dispute resolution. When I look back over my career so far at Swinburne Maddison, I think my greatest achievement has been the volume of collaborative and mediation cases which I have been able to deal with via the collaborative process, encouraging couples to work with their lawyers in order to achieve a settlement which best meets the needs of both parties and their children without the threat of court proceedings.