Episode 109 – ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ with Lawyer and Advocate Dean Clifford-Jones
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In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer, Dean Clifford-Jones. In his life as a lawyer Dean is a Solicitor Advocate with the Director of Child Protection Litigation here in Brisbane- a role he cares deeply about. But in the few free minutes Dean can steal away each day, he has been building a wonderful not for profit organisation called Pride in Law. As a gay man, Dean has for a long time been advocating for equality in and outside of law for LGBTIQ+ professionals but almost a year ago, his hard work came to fruition with the launch of Pride in Law here in Brisbane. Now this hard work has not been done alone and through the support of friends, allies and so many members of the legal profession, in just one short year Pride In Law has already become a known voice for change in our profession.
In this interview my eyes were opened to some of the challenges Dean and members of the LGBTIQ+ continue to have to navigate on an almost daily basis in the legal profession. Dean summed much of this up with the simple phrase- ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. A poignant reminder that while discussions of diversity and acceptance are happening more and more, we still have a long way to go.
In this interview Dean and I also chatted about-
- If Dean was not a lawyer he would have been a teacher.
- Being Gay, Dean has had to face a number obstacles from a young age and he discussed some of the tools he has used along the way.
- Dean’s now role as a child protection lawyer- both the rewards and the challenges.
- Dean’s early life on the Sunshine Coast and his decision to become a lawyer.
- Dean’s role as an advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community. We talked about equality and how this has effected Dean’s life in and outside of the law.
- The shifts and changes in the LGBTIQ+ community and gender diversity in the legal profession.
- Studying at Griffith University and Dean’s early career as a legal associate in the District Court.
- How Dean began as a Clerk and Solicitor at the Director of Public Prosections (DPP) and how this gave Dean a great start in law.
- A day in the life of Dean Clifford-Jones now!
- The unique speciality that is Child Protection Law.
- Dean’s decision to launch Pride in Law in 2017 and his vision for the future.
- The challenges Dean has identified are often faced by LGBTIQ+ members of the profession and how we can all work to overcome them.
- Being married twice! (By twice I mean renewing his vows rather than 2 separate times!)
- Personal relationships and the happiness that relationships can bring to our lives.
- Mentors in Dean’s career.
- Dean’s recent achievement in receiving the Griffith University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.
- Dean’s advice for young lawyers starting out in their legal career.
- Dean’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Dean Clifford-Jones.
Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre- A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside
of the law.
Listen to last week’s episode here