Episode 165 – Leading the way to having it all with criminal lawyer Melanie Morris
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In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Criminal Lawyer, Melanie Morris. Now we did talk a little about law in this interview- Melanie’s day job as a disciplinary and criminal lawyer-but to be honest we spoke a whole lot more about life! Melanie, like so many of us, is navigating a senior role in her firm with raising two very young kids and as the first woman in such a role in her firm to try and do both, she is paving the way for those coming after her! How is she doing it? I have concluded really well and it sounds like the approach of her colleagues and Partners and Gilshenan and Luton has a lot to do with why it is working too!
Melanie and I also shared stories about singing and dancing (yes another performer on the show!) and her childhood experience of growing up with Chinese and Malay heritage and the intolerance Melanie had to overcome. This was another beautiful conversation and a reminder that we are all doing our best to make it all work from career, to family to friends and of course for our clients.
In this interview, Melanie and I also chatted about-
- If Melanie was not a lawyer she would be on stage dancing and singing in musicals.
- Melanie grew up in Newcastle until the age of 10 and then moved to sunny Brisbane.
- Melanie tells us the first moment she realised she wanted to become a lawyer while she watched her Uncle in Court.
- Melanie’s mother is Malaysian-Chinese and her father is Australian.
- The experience of growing up in a multi-cultural family and attending school and some of the racism that Melanie had to overcome.
- Melanie studied at QUT in a double degree of journalism and law.
- After Melanie graduated, she started practicing in criminal law at Legal Aid.
- Melanie’s experience of working in criminal law and how it changed her perspective.
- Gender balance (and inbalance!) in the workplace.
- Melanie has successfully blended motherhood with being a criminal lawyer and shares her tips.
- The challenges of being a parent, as well as the joy it brings to Melanie.
- Standards of parenthood we place on ourselves and the guilt that sometimes comes with balancing work and family.
- The importance of kindness in and outside of law land.
- When Melanie is not being a lawyer she’s relaxing or creating her own artwork.
- Melanie is grateful for good health and wonderful hospitals here in Australia.
- A day in the life of a criminal and occupational disciplinary lawyer.
- Melanie’s experience of arranging flexible work hours in her firm.
- Melanie’s advice for a younger lawyer coming into law.
- Tips for Women in law looking to start a family.
- We discuss brain science and how our thoughts impact how we feel.
- Melanie’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Melanie Morris