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Behind the Beverage: Erin Mitchell

I grew up rurally and my Mum was a volunteer firefighter. Mum was burnt quite badly in a bushfire and I remember how much it affected her that’s when I decided I wanted a career where I can genuinely help people through the tough times.

Originally, I considered Personal Injury Law but ended up in Criminal Law. I have two uncles who were police officers and an aunty who was a Nun… so Criminal Law was a controversial choice… but here I am!

I think people question how much compassion you should show in this job, but I think I’ve always been that way inclined. Stereotypically, criminal lawyers are seen to be hard-core, aggressive and argumentative; and absolutely you do sometimes have to stand your ground and be that argumentative figure.

But I also think you can get a long way by having real conversations and showing compassionate for your clients and the opposition. It’s not a bad thing to be a support for your client, as well as their lawyer.

Controversially, I don’t drink coffee…I hate hot beverages which proves to be difficult in the legal profession because everyone takes everyone ‘out for a coffee’.

My goal for 2020 is to back myself more and that’s my advice for anyone entering this industry. As I’ve got older, I’m confident in my choices and now I order my chocolate milkshake with no shame!

Lexi Kehl is the Queensland Law Society PR & Media Executive. If you’d like to sit down for a beverage or know someone with a great story to tell: l.kehl@qls.com.au.

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