Episode 217 – Carving out joy with Michelle Snape
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Snape. I have come to know Michelle thanks to her involvement in my Mastermind Program this past year. I have often asked myself if perhaps I have learned more from Michelle than she from me in that setting and I have really come to know her as one of the wisest, kindest and impressive lawyers (and humans) I have met in my time. She is also the last person to share her own successes so I am hoping I have managed to do that for her in this interview.
When it comes to legal innovation, often the conversation is centred around firms in metropolitan areas, tech solutions or ‘new law’ organisations. We rarely hear of the many innovative practices occuring in smaller towns around our regional centres and this is a story of 2 of those. Michelle is one of the most innovative lawyers I know, running two very different practices on the central coast of NSW. You just won’t probably have heard much about any of that until now as she prefers to focus on the doing more than the saying!
I could talk for hours about Michelle’s achievements but they are best summed up by two things- firstly she has become known in our Mastermind group as ‘The Oracle’ because she forever has the wise advice that we have all needed on all sorts of things this past year. And she is also the subject of my next ‘Celebrating the Cool’ brooch for the month of July as I felt her ‘coolness’ needed to be captured in a brooch too!
In this interview, Michelle and I also chatted about-
- If Michelle was not a lawyer she would have been Amish with wifi!
- Michelle’s mother was a teacher and her father was a diesel mechanic which took them all around the country in her childhood.
- Growing up, Michelle was creative with an interest in the performing arts but was also very academic. This theme seems to have continued into her career.
- Michelle started her career as a school teacher and how this led to her ‘accidentally’ enrolling in the law.
- Not that her hands weren’t already full after having 2 children, she decided that she should study law ‘just because’, finishing her 6-year legal studies in just 4 years.
- She didn’t plan on becoming a lawyer and Michelle shared how that came to be after a chance meeting.
- Michelle explains ‘Creatures of Place’ and the asbestos cases she worked on in her first few years of law.
- In the early 2000s, Michelle started her blog, ‘A Vision Splendid’- she was a blogger before that was even a thing and has some funny stories to share here!
- As a result of her blog, Michelle started to write books, publish articles all while actively living a 1930’s lifestyle.
- Michelle then moved on to a myriad of projects – TAFE legal teaching, instructional design, accessible education all of which eventually led to her opening her own legal firm.
- The chambers model which Michelle started with a colleague and the application for rural firms.
- Now, Michelle has two law firms that run on a ‘digital vs ‘analogue model and the advantages of both.
- Regional law firms are the hidden gems of the industry.
- Life balance vs work-life integration.
- The process of working through life challenges give you resilience.
- Michelle’s analysis of joy.
- Presence, the cult of busyness focusing on the now and slowing it down.
- Michelle’s perspective on law in the current times.
- Michelle’s foundational habit morning routine and why we all need one.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Michelle Snape.