Episode 49 – Finding Purposeful Joy in Mentoring with Jennifer Harris
For this episode, I took a roadtrip down to Sydney for this special interview with Jennifer Harris. She is Special Counsel at Clayton Utz, working in real estate law which in itself makes for a great conversation. But Jennifer is someone who gives back in a huge way to many lawyers- new and experienced, in and outside of her firm- by acting as a superb mentor to many lawyers around her. In fact, Jennifer was named Mentor of the Year last year at the 2016 Lawyers Weekly National Women in Law Awards. She shares why being a mentor is important to her and how she goes about it, while also retelling her journey of getting to her role as a real estate lawyer today.
Jennifer has the most beautiful contagious laugh, is warm and funny and I know you will chuckle along during this conversation. She answered common questions about mentoring like “Isn’t it draining?” or “How do you find the time?” and more. As someone who is an experienced juggler being a mentor formally to graduates and informally to those in need, she provided excellent tips on how to be the best mentor you can be.
Furthermore, we also talked about…
- What real estate law is and how Jennifer contributes to the field
- Jennifer’s unusual pathway to working in a big firm
- Why “laterals,” or those who did not graduate from law school can add to a firm
- Dispelling the reputation of big firms as isolating, aggressive, and unfriendly
- How Jennifer kept an eye on a lawyer she found inspiring
- The steps that she took to secure a job working with a lawyer she admired
- In her early years how Jennifer desperately wanted a mentor
- Top tips that she learned from her mentors
- The benefits that Jennifer receives from acting as a mentor
- Understanding that there is room for all of us lawyers
- Support at home can directly impact your professional performance