Episode 57 – Elizabeth Shearer, mother, human rights advocate and business owner talks happiness in law
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In this week’s episode of the Happy Lawyer Happy Life podcast I was joined by lawyer, Elizabeth Shearer. We may have immediately bonded over the hot pink shoes Elizabeth wore to her interview but I soon learned we have so much more in common! Elizabeth has had an incredibly inspirational career. She has great compassion for people and has built her career around her belief that justice should be accessible to all. Her passion for access to justice led her to start her practice “Affording Justice”, which meets the needs of the community who are falling through the gaps between legal aid funding and the private legal sector.
Elizabeth’s career has seen her move between private practice,the community and government sectors and her unique knowledge in both law and project management has enabled her to create a truly innovative business model in more recent years. Elizabeth has spent her career juggling her commitments as a wife and mother and she had much to say about her own learnings in making the most of her at times competing roles. As a truly happy lawyer Elizabeth has many great tips to share with us all no matter our age or stage of career.
In this episode, Elizabeth and I also talk about:
- Elizabeth’s dreams for being a noble prize winning novelist.
- The memories of UQ and the concept around the “Look to the left and look to the right, only one of you will be here in the end” mentality as well as a few more positive notes!
- The late 70’s in Brisbane and involvement in the Women’s Law Student Association, including having her phone tapped at home!
- Meeting Bruce Doyle, her husband and fellow lawyer and their successful marriage of 35 years.
- The workforce and how it has changed for women.
- Elizabeth’s move from construction law into general practice.
- Working at Legal Aid Queensland and Elizabeth’s involvement in setting up the Call Centre, which is still going strong now!
- Starting her own practice, “Affording Justice”, which provides advice about everyday legal problems as well as well as limited scope work for those who cannot otherwise access public funding or afford legal representation.
- Fixed Fee pricing and the freedom this gives to be able to help the individual person.
- The prediction, from Elizabeth of the future of “Law Land”.
- Secrets of being a Happy Lawyer and a mum who has managed to manage the juggle.
- Finding contentment in family, life and law, in a purposeful way, by defining your own success.
- The challenge of being unique and being an individual in a world of conformity.
- Standing for the QLS presidential election again in 2017.
- Elizabeth’s “Happiness Challenge” for the week.
Sit back and enjoy!