I never thought I’d be a lawyer. I mean, in fairness, I didn’t even graduate high school and nor had my family (for the earlier two generations) before that. I actually thought I’d become a writer. The funniest part about that confession is that my writing ‘career’ was brought about by my legal career. Go figure!
Having a fairly non-standard entry to higher education, and subsequently law, I found my perspective a little different. Initially, I thought that perspective was wrong but I eventually learned that it was just different, and that’s OK too. I ended up feeling pretty empowered by that revelation, and it took a while, but once I had found it, I found myself and began using that power for good.
This little eventuation brings us to me being MAD about law. Those that know me personally, know that I’m MAD. Not cranky mad, but M.A.D; Michele Ann Davis. (Thanks for the last name, hubby!)
For those that don’t know me, I’m Michele. I am a lawyer, blogger, adjunct lecturer, speaker and more recently started my PhD. Oh, and I’m a massive succession nerd.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed helping people (also the reason I went into law in the first place) and happened across many that I would listen to around me, find myself thinking deeply about the things I would feel and observe throughout life in the law. I then thought to just write about them, which I found most cathartic. Now, I find myself writing this piece for the new Proctor and being invited to contribute those musings on a regular monthly basis.
“Perspective… What you see depends not only what you look at but also, on where you look from” James Deacon.
Perspective is an amazing thing and what I love about perspective is that there is no right or wrong; kind of like law, in a way. It is all based on interpretation; everything is arguable.
What I have always done and hope never to stop doing, is find the positive in any experience, even in the really awful ones. As a naturally introverted person, I think deeply about pretty much everything (which is both good and bad).
What lawyers do so well is consider different perspectives. We’re risk assessors, professional problem solvers. We look at all angles, that is what makes us so good at what we do and really good at the family get together when a hearty debate breaks out! But what I think we so often forget to do is to apply that same approach to our personal and professional lives (instead always focusing on our client’s woes, we forget our own). Lawyers have such amazing skills, and we apply those for the benefit of our clients, but we forget that we’re human too and we should give ourselves the same care and attention that we do our clients.
This is what I intend to do here, in the hopes that it helps those around me in the land of law (and around it) who might just need a different perspective, this column is going to be all things law and lawyers married with perspective, positivity, perseverance and passion in practice. It would be remiss of me not to provide a disclaimer here that I definitely DO NOT have all the answers; I just have my perspective and my thoughts.
Us lawyers love a challenge, so I am going to set one here for you. When you find something confronting, challenging and you begin doubting yourself, struggling to manage the weight of practice, finding it hard to move past procrastination into practice, I want you to stop, turn off your screen, turn to your window, close your eyes and focus on one thing you can identify as something positive before you felt all this weight, doubt or negativity. Think about an email that made you smile; it could be from a colleague – you have friendship in your workplace (positive!); it could be a thank from a client – they have gone to the effort of thanking you – they didn’t have to! (positive); it could be a lodgement at the Titles Office that didn’t get requisitioned – you know your stuff! (positive!); if this last point made you smile – it made you smile (positive!).
Each time a trouble comes your way, you feel that weight on your shoulders and it’s hard, remember this challenge.
I am super excited to have this journey with you all. I also love a good challenge myself, so I also challenge you to send through to me a question, issue, thought or something that bothers you or someone around you that you want me to touch on. Complete discretion applied here, this is not a “Dear MAD” here, this a way I can talk to the things that are happening around you and maybe, just maybe, it can foster a different perspective. You can send me a message directly at www.madaboutlaw.com.au and you can also find me on the socials (@successionnerd).
Until next time, shower yourself in awesomesauce and stay positive!
17 July 2020.