Episode 132 – Making a difference in your own way with Domestic Violence and Family Lawyer Kath Manby
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Brisbane based Katherine Manby. Kath is the owner of VM Family Law a firm specialising in Family Law and particularly domestic violence work. It is Kath’s own experience, her values and beliefs that have led her to this very tricky area of practice and in this interview I learned a lot about just why she has invested so much of herself in making a difference to others.
Kath grew up in the UK and a split decision a little over 10 years ago now had her buying a house here in Brisbane having never been here before, packing her bags and moving! She then had to start the long process of requalifying as a lawyer here in Australia whilst trying to navigate our immigration system but fast forward a few years, a husband, two kids and Kath is here to stay!
Over the past few years and in addition to running her own practice, Kath has been a part of the legal tech start-up Adieu Legal. This is an amazing product offering a bespoke online dispute resolution service for separating families. It was so interesting learning from Kath about what it has been like for her being a part of a very different style of business and learning about the tech start-up world.
Kath is the last person to ‘toot her own horn’ but I have come to know her this past 2 years as a part of my membership The Club and I know the amazing work she does each day. She is regularly assisting women on a probono basis both in the Family Law Courts and in the Domestic Violence Courts. She has a deep sense of social justice and is forever putting the needs of others before her own. It is all that and more that leaves me inspired each time I see her and I hope I have captured a little of that in this chat.
In this interview, Kath and I also chatted about-
- If Kath was not a lawyer she would have been a child Psychologist or a professional Golfer!
- Kath grew up in Huddersfield, UK, and had a choice between psychology and a law degree, she chose law.
- Kath struggled with the dreary UK weather and moved to Australia in 2006 on a whim.
- After touching down in Brisbane Kath felt like she had come home, although she had no connections here at all.
- Kath’s first job was at a law firm in Wynnum conducting Wills Estate, Conveyancing and finally Family law (which is where she wanted to be!)
- She moved to Ipswich as a family lawyer, with a focus on legal aid, and in the midst met her husband and had a baby.
- Finally, after a few twists and turns Kath found herself at Legal Aid in Brisbane City where she found her real love for law.
- In May 2016, Kath lost her father unexpectedly. This had a profound effect on her and triggered her decision to start her own firm.
- Kath shares how she dealt with the difficulty of losing her dad, and the reminder of how short and valuable life is.
- The highs and lows of being a sole practitioner.
- Kath’s firm, VM Family Law, focuses on helping families deal with Domestic Violence related issues.
- Kath wanted to share her knowledge and has developed a course for the College of Law teaching in the area’s of Domestic Violence in family law.
- Talking ‘Married at First Sight’ and the level of gender disrespect that these shows support and the effect on the wider community.
- As mothers, we discuss the impact of domestic violence and how we can change the perspective of the next generation on violence in our society.
- Working in this difficult area, Kath’s gives us her tips on how she copes with the emotional difficulties the job brings.
- Kath has been involved in developing a Legal Robot named ‘Lumi’ which helps clients work through an amicable separation.
- Kath is one of the directors of ‘ADIEU Intelligent Divorce‘ with goal to assist the 70-80% of the community who will not approach lawyers for their legal issues.
- Kath’s drivers and what she loves about Law Land.
- The importance of community and sharing with each other, especially as a sole practitioner.
- Kath’s advice to junior lawyers coming into the legal workforce.
- Kath’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with my good friend Katherine Manby.
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