Episode 54 – The Unexpected Lawyer Sarah-Elke Kraal on Overcoming the Skeptics
In this episode of the Happy Lawyer, Happy Life podcast, the delightfully gregarious Sarah-Elke Kraal joins me to discuss how she, a creative mind who at first glance seems like an anti-lawyer, remained resilient in ‘law land’ even when she was constantly questioned by colleagues “Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?” Sarah has found her joy as a Legal Professional Development Specialist & Solicitor with the Queensland Law Society, and she seeks to be a positive mentor for uni students who may be struggling in discovering their path as she did. Armed with her infectious laugh, Sarah understands firsthand what it’s like to feel unsure of your place in the field.
Sarah was initially drawn to law due to her love of arguing, words and the ideal of affecting positive change on the world, but she was equally passionate about exploring more stereotypically creative pursuits — music, painting, drawing, baking — even turning down a singing contract at one point. However, law was always Sarah’s anchor as she felt most fulfilled in her ability to make a difference in the lives of others. But once she became a proper lawyer Sarah was unhappy for a while as she felt as if she didn’t belong and the “entity” of law kept trying to push her out. If you have ever felt the same as Sarah or have questioned where you fit in law land, then this podcast episode is for you as Sarah’s ongoing journey and perseverance will inspire you that you are not alone.
We also discuss things like:
- Finding heart in realising other people are still trying to figure out their lives
- The benefits and disadvantages of the high level of connectivity in the modern age
- Correlation between technology and happiness
- Valuing the sense of belonging in the field of law
- Flexibility in molding your law career around your strengths and not slogging through
- Why you should embrace exploring all your curiosities
- How Sarah stayed motivated in her law career when it was not what she expected
- External pressures that can affect your perception of law
- Sarah’s passion for supporting young lawyers in her current role
- Changing the narrative of the adversarial law system
- Life meaning does not need to derive solely from work
Sit back and enjoy Sarah’s contagious sense of humour!