Episode 35 – Paving the way for extraordinary career with Margaret McMurdo AC
In this week’s episode of the Happy Lawyer Happy Life show, I’m honoured to welcome the recently retired former Justice Margaret McMurdo AC. Margaret leaves a legacy as a trailblazer in law particularly in Queensland as she was the first female District Court Judge in Queensland, the first female president of an Appellate Court in Australia, as well as President of the Queensland Court of Appeal for nearly 20 years. Fellow lawyers and colleagues regard her warmly, lauding her talent, moral fortitude and devoted energies to indigenous issues.
We didn’t just talk about her amazing career and professional story, especially what it was like to be a women in the field of law in the early 1970’s. Margaret also shared great advice about balancing work with motherhood.
- What Margaret would be if she weren’t a lawyer
- The unexpected reason of how she stumbled into studying law
- Two specific events that solidified Margaret’s commitment to pursuing criminal law
- Margaret’s passion for social justice and advocacy
- The backlash and discrimination she faced early on in her career for being a women
- Her 40+ year partnership with her husband and fellow lawyer Justice Philip McMurdo
- Loving her time working at the Public Defender’s Office for nearly 14 years
- The crossover between law, psychiatry, social work and human frailty
- Workplace considerations that women must undergo when starting a family
- Navigating the guilt some may feel of managing family and career
- The story behind Margaret being named first woman judge in Queensland
- Highlights at every level of her extensive career
- What Margaret plans to do in her retirement