Episode 221 – Law is What We Do, Not Who We Are with Nick Dore
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Dore. Nick is someone who I have learnt a lot from, particularly in the past 12 months. I wanted to bring in Nick this week, as it is mental health week here in Australia and Nick has a whole lot of helpful things to say about this topic. From his own lived experience to a very successful and equally demanding career in the law, Nick’s perspective on the importance of sharing our narratives, seeking help and looking after each other makes him the perfect guest for this important week.
Nick is a criminal lawyer who helped to create Fisher Dore, a renowned Law Firm, here in sunny Brisbane. Brisbane is where Nick has been based for the majority of his life (despite his best efforts to escape to the Caribbean!). Outside of being a successful criminal lawyer, Nick is a very down-to-earth person with a strong sense of humour and a great deal of love for his wife and kids. Something that both Nick and I hold very close to our hearts is mental health awareness, and one of the main pieces we discuss here is the personal and professional changes – both positive and negative – that have occurred in the past year since Covid emerged in this space.
At the end of the day, while someone who has spent most of his life dedicated to building up his firm, Nick has put a lot of emphasis on being a human first, and a lawyer second. While ‘being human’ is a flexible term here (for Nick it means taking the kids to swimming, going to Sizzler and playing Call of Duty), the bottom line of being yourself and knowing when to ask for help is something that is vitally important. Nick’s sense of humour and candidness in tackling these tough discussions is something that I think we could all learn from going forward.
In this interview, Nick and I also chatted about-
- If Nick was not a lawyer, he would have continued to run a video store, which was his full-time job in university.
- Nick’s experience at both Griffith and UQ studying law and film, and shares his experience of University in the late 90s.
- Nick’s wife Marie – how they met, and how their careers have aligned.
- His early experience of working in Woodridge in Criminal and Personal Injury law.
- Working as an Articled Clerk and the different types of matters he dealt with.
- The emotional resilience which is required to maintain a passion for Criminal Law.
- Nick shares the beginnings of Fisher Dore in April 2006 and the start-up experience.
- The award-winning culture of Fisher and Dore and gender balance in the law.
- How Nick manages the mental impact of the pandemic on his staff.
- The creative flow has resulted from the pandemic within legal aid.
- The loss of Judge Guy Andrew in 2020 and, this impact on Nick as a close personal friend.
- Nick’s personal experience in seeing a psychologist, and how this introspection has helped him learn and grow as a person.
- The stigma and fear attached to discussions of mental illness, death and suicide in our community, and the importance of being candid about struggles and grief in order to help ourselves and others into the future.
- Nick’s tips for balancing your workload and your personal health in law to create sustainability and longevity for your legal career.
- Time lost, and the lifestyle shift Nick has experienced over the past year.
- Managing client and staff expectations, and Nicks practical tips for time management.
- The future (and some past stories) of Fisher Dore.
- The value of networking and showing interest in people as human beings.
- Nick’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Nick Dore and this week I am including some important phone numbers for the wonderful services that are available for you or anyone you know who might need to talk at any time.
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
Headspace on 1800 650 890