Episode 190 – Happiness is an inside job with Dean Spanner
In this week’s episode of the Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast I was with solicitor Dean Spanner. Dean has been practising in law for almost 30 years now and gee he brought some experience to this interview. I thought we’d be talking a lot about law and a little about cricket but it turned out we ended up speaking an awful lot about life and how to ensure that you can have a successful career in the law that also prioritises the things that matter- in Dean’s case his relationships with his family, children, friends and colleagues.
Dean practises primarily these days as a personal injury lawyer but over the course of his career in running a practice he’s had experience in a very wide variety of practice areas. He himself says that it is the people part of law that brought him to it and has kept him in it, and is now inspiring the next generation of Spanners in his practice also. Dean was an advocate and walking example of work life balance before that was even a thing! At 28 years of age (I am guessing a good 20 years ago) Dean implemented a work from home arrangement so he could be with his kids shortly after first becoming a Dad- and he has maintained this routine to today.
It was Dean’s mindset, perspective and spirituality that I found intriguing in this conversation and that I think we can all learn a lot from. He’s a great example that with hard work but clarity around what brings joy to your life, you can live a successful life in and outside of the law.
In this interview, Dean Spanner and I also chatted about-
- If Dean was not a lawyer he would have been speaker, writer, or a teacher.
- Dean grew up in Longreach and had a ‘no silver spoons’ upbringing, and growing up in the free and easy 70s’.
- In grade 12, Dean’s principal strongly encouraged him to complete work experience at a law firm, kicking off his passion for the law.
- We discuss giving law students the opportunity to work and learn while studying at Uni.
- Dean is somewhat of a cricketing champion and his sport took him to England to play competitively in his early 20s.
- Dean met his wife at age 14 and now, many years and 4 kids later, he shares how his family is at the heart of all he does.
- Dean became an accredited specialist in personal injury law but also spent the first years of his career in family law.
- Meeting Malcolm Kennedy and how he became Dean’s mentor and, eventually, business partner at age 28.
- We discuss law and in the 90s and the differences between then and now.
- Dean’s perspective on the judicial system and the accountability needed for this space.
- The way in which lawyers treat each other and how we can work together for common goals.
- At this stage, two of Dean’s children plan to follow his footsteps into the law and he predicts what their careers may look like in the future.
- The shifts within personal injury law that Dean has seen over his career.
- The process of approaching his business partner at 28 years of age to work one day at home so he could spend valuable time with his young family and how this has benefited him today.
- Dean’s tips to enabling balance and happiness both in and outside of the law.
- Dean’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Dean Spanner.