Episode 145 – Happiness in law through introspection, connection and compassion with Barrister Florence Chen
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I got to hang out with Barrister, Florence Chen and after about a year of trying to make this interview come to life, Florence and I were finally in the same place at the same time and I am so glad we were!
Florence has quickly built a successful practice at the bar in taxation, commercial and construction law and her day job had us talking for some time.
Florence is someone I would be happy to hang out with daily! She is everything that inspires me in a great lawyer- intelligent, driven and all of those great traits but equally calm, funny, open and authentic. Growing up in Brisbane, Florence knew law was her thing from a pretty young age and she had always seen herself as being in the courtroom perhaps thanks to the likes of Ally McBeal during her youth!
With the number of women at the Bar still significantly less than the representation of women in law more broadly, Florence shared with me her thoughts on how and why that is. Florence sees many advantages for women lawyers considering the Bar, as it does offer autonomy, flexibility and of course many great opportunities to build a purposeful career.
Florence Chen and I also chatted about-
- If Florence was not a lawyer she would have been a Management Consultant!
- Florence was born in Mackay in North Queensland, however lived most of her life in Brisbane.
- Florence’s Mother and Father were born in China and her connection to her cultural roots.
- The reason that Florence chose the law at the young age of 10.
- Florence’s reflection on her time at university- some of the challenges and the pressures.
- Florence was offered a Judge’s Associateship and has never really looked back since!
- The story of how Florence decided to jump straight into a career at the bar – thanks to her wife Jessica!
- Life as a Barrister- particularly those first few years.
- Opportunities for women at the Bar but why the stats continue to suggest women are not moving into that arm of our profession at the same rate as perhaps the solicitor arm of the profession.
- Women at the Bar – statistics of women vs men in the Bar and Florence’s perspective on the percentage differences
- The flexibility of hours in Chambers and barristers as the original ‘new law’ model.
- Florence works in tax, construction and the commercial space.
- She loves taxation law as well as the and what she loves about this area of the law ‘tribe’ Florence has found in the Level 27 Chambers here in Brisbane.
- Florence’s tips to those considering a career as a Barrister.
- The value of team sports not only for our physical health but our mental health
- Florence’s secret love of a good legal comedy debate (she is available for bookings!) and her love of music.
- Tips of balancing work at the bar, life outside the law and relationships.
- The future of law for Barristers.
- The importance of introspection when it comes to understanding just what makes you happy and building your life accordingly.
- Florence’s Happiness Tip
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Florence Chen.