Episode 98 – From Prince to Proust with much purpose and passion along the way thanks to Partner Eric Fiszelson
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A few week’s ago now I found myself in Sydney consumed in two days of learning, thinking and dreaming at the Janders Dean #JDHorizons event (#amazing!) and I have much more to say about those 2 days but a highlight for me was the presentation by my guest this week, Eric Fiszelson. Eric is a Partner at the Paris office of Herbert Smith Freehills and is of course a lawyer but when I first heard him speak I saw a man who captivated a room through his quiet humour and deep intellect. And so, it will be no surprise to you that I asked Eric to join my show.
As a partner in a world leading law firm, Eric has clearly enjoyed a successful legal career but it is his perspective on the life of a lawyer and the legacy of a Partner that really had me smiling during our conversation. Eric shared his own experience of having reached a career cross roads but that his involvement in mentoring, particulalry through the program Law Without Walls, has enabled him to stay in law with a newly found sense of purpose and an alignment between his personal and professional spheres.
In recent years Eric and his family have moved to live in Switzerland- a decision that sounds almost romantic at first blush but that wasn’t made lightly. Eric shared how the move has led to him finding a greater sense of balance between his work in Paris and his home in Switzerland. He has also recently finished writing his first novel- drawing on some of the more challenging moments in his life to create a deep tale of hope that might just find its way to bookstores soon!
This is an interview I will forever fondly remember. We covered law (of course) but also history, family, home, happiness, reading, gardening, writing and so much more. Like so many of my guests Eric has lived a wonderful career in our industry but it was his perspective on life that I am so very glad I was able to capture in even the smallest way in this interview.
Eric Fiszelson and I also spoke about:
- If Eric was not a lawyer he would have been a writer (and I learned later in our interview that he has recently finished his first novel!)
- After studying literature Eric started his legal studies ‘late’ at the age of 27.
- Working in glamorous Paris, Eric is a transaction lawyer and we discover how Eric the writer became Eric the lawyer.
- Growing up in the center of Paris, Eric shares a few of the highlights of his childhood in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
- Eric’s reflections on studying law in France as compared to other parts of the world.
- Eric’s early career in the USA .
- Living between his family in Switzerland and his job in Paris and how this works for Eric and his family (and how he has even found time and space for gardening!)
- Why being present and devoting your attention to one thing is so necessary in our current climate of eternal distraction.
- The importance of mentoring in our careers and how, for Eric, mentoring has enabled him to reconnect with his passion and purpose in law.
- Eric’s recent experience with ‘Law without Walls’- a legal design school in which lawyers from all around the world come together with students to solve meaningful legal problems.
- Why we both consider that human connection will be at the heart of the future for law.
- Advice from Eric to the young lawyer who is just starting out (get rid of Netlix and start reading now! But don’t read legal books, read widely, read novels and just read for the sake of reading!)
- Having recently finished writing a novel, Eric tells us a little of what to expect and why he has chosen to write this story.
- The joy that comes from writing for Eric and the importance of creativity and imagination in law.
- Why courage is needed to be yourself in the law and in your life – but with it comes a sense of internal peace.
- The beauty of being a parent and Eric’s experience of being a father.
- Relationships are the most important aspect of life and Eric gives us some tips on managing family and all relationships.
- Eric’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this wonderful conversation with Eric Fiszelson.
Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre- A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside
of the law.
Listen to last week’s episode here