My goal is to change the way families experience divorce and separation by changing the way family lawyers practice family law.
On most days I would describe myself as a “happy family lawyer”. I love the work that I do and the way in which I am able to do it. I work in Brisbane, Australia where I operate a busy family law practice, Brisbane Family Law Centre, and a mediation practice, Brisbane Family Mediation Centre. I am a wife to Oliver and mum to 5 year old London, a lover of all things chocolate and the fashion label Gorman!
I am a divorce lawyer and I specialise in helping separating families stay out of the Family Courts and stay friends as I believe that a divorce can be part of a relationship that we can look back on with some pride.
I am passionate about relationships- I believe that the most important things in life are our relationships with others. I most enjoy working with parents who value their relationships with their children above all else. As a mother, wife, daughter and friend I am constantly amazed at the impact my relationships have on me and those around me.
In 2013 I started a blog called ‘The Happy Family Lawyer’. At that time I was anything but a ‘happy lawyer’. But late one Saturday night a very quick decision to start sharing my thoughts on how you can have a kind, calm and respectful divorce marked the beginning of my ‘happy lawyer’ story.
What began as a simple blog has fast become of community of almost 10,000 people all committed to changing the experience of divorce and separation for the better. In 2015 I published by first book, ‘Splitsville- How to separate, stay out of Court and stay friends’ a legal guide for families experiencing divorce and separation.
As I started to share my thoughts on life, love, heartbreak and happiness I soon found many other lawyers from around the globe getting in touch. Many of these lawyers were unhappy and were looking for guidance on how they too could practice law and find happiness in their life. You see being a lawyer takes a lot of hard work. We spend most of our time dealing with other people’s problems and as such it can be hard to see the good in all that we do.
In 2016 I started writing my second book- ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life- How to find happiness in law and in life’ in an attempt to address the rising rates of unhappiness in the legal profession. Here in Australia we are regularly told that 1 in every 3 lawyers will suffer a mental health condition during their career and it seems these statistics are similar the western world over. To assist with my research for the book and to be better able to open a positive dialogue about happiness in law, I created a podcast, also called ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life’ where each week I interview other lawyers who have found success, overcome challenge and found happiness in their careers.
Over the past few years I have found myself doing a few new things- I am still a divorce lawyer and run a great team of lawyers at my firm but now I get to do more of the things that I love- writing, speaking and sharing my knowledge and it is this that has enabled me to truly find happiness in my career.
Whether you are looking for assistance during relationship breakdown or are perhaps a lawyer looking for a little more happiness, do get in touch.
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Clarissa is the Director of Brisbane Family Law Centre, a multi-disciplinary legal practice specialising in family law. You can learn more about Clarissa and her role at BFLC here:
How Clarissa can help you
– if you are experiencing separation or divorce, Clarissa can assist you as your legal advisor in guiding you through the legal matters that arise as a result of the breakdown of your relationship. To organise an appointment to meet with Clarissa you can contact her below:
Clarissa is able to provide mediation for you and your former partner about matters arising from the breakdown of your relationship. You can learn more about mediation here:
Through the resources on this website and her weekly blog, you have free access to information and resources designed to help you through your divorce. Follow Clarissa on Facebook or join her mailing list here to keep up to date with new resources as they are released.
Clarissa is regularly called upon to speak at industry events on matters relating to divorce, collaborative law, marketing and running a small business. If you are interested in engaging Clarissa as a speaker for your next event, you can find out more here:
In 2015 Clarissa published her first book, ‘Splitsville-How to separate, stay out of Court and stay friends’. She is soon to release her second book, ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life- How to find happiness in law and in life’. Clarissa is also a regular contributor to publications such as I Am Woman magazine, Families Magazine, Starts at 60, and a number of other publications. Clarissa is available as a guest author for your brand or publication. Clarissa is also available to partner with your organisation and more information is available here:
Clarissa regularly runs training for professionals, particularly lawyers, in areas such as collaborative practice, wellness, marketing and other matters relating to the practice of law and running small business. To keep up to date with Clarissa’s training programs, join here: