Episode 213 – It’s ok to fall down – it’s what you do after that matters with Michele Davis
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In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing solicitor Michele Davis. I have come to know Michele this past few years through her work as a lawyer of course but also as a writer, teacher and advocate. I would describe Michele as a one of a kind ‘law nerd’! She has the perfect mix of a deep love of an understanding of her speciality coupled with a kind hearted soul that makes her a pretty unique find in #lawland.
What I didn’t know about Michele is that her path to her law career was anything but predictable. Having left High School in Grade 12 after a difficult experience with bullying I suspect 17 year old Michele could never have predicted where her life would take her. Fast forward a few years and she returned to TAFE to complete her Grade 11 and 12 studies before commencing university while holding down a full time job. Michele fell into a role in wills and estates early in her career and has not looked back since.
The past 12 months have thrown Michele a series of curve balls, the most significant of which has been a chronic health condition that has meant she has once again had to pivot her career path. But as is so often the case, these challenges tend to mean new opportunities and I suspect it is Michele’s ‘roll with the punches’ approach to life that means she just keeps finding those wins even when things are upside down.
In this interview, Michele and I also chatted about-
- If Michele was not a lawyer she would have been a teacher as she has a love for sharing information and helping others learn.
- You have to be creative to be able to problem-solve.
- Michele was born in Sydney but has lived in Brisbane most of her life.
- Michele took an untraditional path to the law as she was bullied in high school and left at a young age.
- Following school, she worked full-time in a pharmacy while she put herself through study.
- Michele was admitted in 2011 and fell in love with Wills and Estates.
- She has always had an interest in the theory of law and defines herself as a ‘law nerd’.
- Her path to law has given Michele the life experience to be able to connect with others on a deeper level.
- Michele’s experience of bullying in high school and her decision to choose herself rather than her education.
- School is different to real life, as is the theory of law vs the practice of law.
- In 2004, Michele was the first hire in a brand new law firm in conveyancing and, as she says, ‘if you can handle conveyancing you can handle anything.’
- Michele fell into wills and estates law which she says gives her the perfect balance of human connection and depth in theory and problem-solving.
- Why Michele will never stop learning.
- Michele has recently discovered she has a chronic connected-tissue disorder and the impact this has had on her life.
- After being offered a scholarship to do her PhD, Michele’s health took a down-turn and she had to let this opportunity go.
- As a result, she started her own legal practice while also being offered a role at the College of Law as the Practice Area Leader in Wills and Estates.
- Michele’s process for getting over the hurdles that life throws and, the way she re-joins a path.
- ‘Your career is like a jungle-gym, not a ladder’- Ann-Maree David.
- The decision to start her law firm, ‘Michele Davis Estate Law’ and her approach to providing legal services to her clients, while balancing her heath.
- Michele’s creative passion appears in different ways – website design, writing, lecturing, products, courses and blogging.
- Words are so powerful and as Michele writes, in any context, she leads with kindness.
- Lawyer wellness and Michele’s perspective on the changes we have seen in this space.
- Human connection in contrast with the law and the risk factor associated with it – Paralysis by analysis.
- Michele’s approach to social commentary online and responding to negativity.
- Mentorship and Michele’s advocacy for young lawyers to create connections.
- The future for Michele as she navigates life and the law.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Michele Davis.