Romy Fulljames is the Director/Principal Lawyer at Fulljames Law.
Fulljames Law was launched in 2022 and has quickly grown into a team of five with a specific focus on SMEs, wills and estates and deceased estates.
Romy provided us with some insight into what day-to-day life looks like for her, while answering a few questions along the way.
Tell us a little about you and your journey in the law.
I didn’t have the most conventional journey because I wasn’t passionate about the law at all. I come from an immigrant background where education is everything and my parents moved to Australia so we could have an education and a future. I chose law as option 1 because it required the highest OP score and I didn’t think I’d get in.
I ended up getting into Arts/Law at UQ, and I truly hated it in the beginning. I didn’t understand law and it definitely didn’t ‘click’ for me. It wasn’t until I landed a job as a paralegal in a Brisbane law firm that I fell in love with private practice and finally it all ‘clicked’.
In private practice, I saw the theoretical concepts I was learning at university intersect with real, everyday people. I saw how practical the law could be. I loved the client interaction. I loved the administrative side and trying to be as efficient as possible. I even loved time recording and being able to quantify the value of my efforts.
What do you find is the best way to start your day?
In my dream life, I would sleep until an alarm woke me up and then I would have a coffee, read a book and hit the gym. In real life, I have two kids, a three-year-old and an 18-month-old, which means I wake to my son yelling happily and joyfully (and very loudly) at 5am.
So I guess the best way to start my day these days is coffee, coffee, coffee.
Who was your role model growing up? Why?
I’d probably say my maternal grandmother because she was very ahead of her time for her generation. She did a lot of travelling, including riding a Vespa through Europe as a young, single woman. She then married and had three children at an age that was deemed ‘old’ for her time. I think that tenacity to do new things and do it in your own way is really inspiring.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a practice owner?
The art of slowing down. I have big visions, plans, passions and dreams, but there really is an art to slowing down, focusing and saying, ‘okay, what’s the 1% improvement I can make?’ The ability to dream big, but also focus on the detail is a challenge I believe every practice owner faces.
What’s one learning you wish you knew when you started out in law?
We cannot ‘have it all’ – at least not in the way that ‘having it all’ is sold to us.
I thought I could do all the things all the time. I thought that, if I was good enough and diligent enough, I could juggle it all and be successful in every area of life.
With a bit more maturity and many grey hairs, I have realised that we create the life that we live and we have to prioritise things. We decide what success looks like to us and it’s really important to know where those boundaries are based on your priorities and your values.
I think there can be a lot of pressure for career progression to look a certain way because certain positions, firms and avenues are valued highly by our profession. Learning that you can blaze your own path based on your own personal values is really powerful.
What gets you out of bed every day?
I love working and being a lawyer. I’m lucky enough to be creating my dream firm and that’s really exciting. I really love knowing that we are working to make the law accessible for the everyday Queenslander, particularly in terms of the delivery and communication of legal advice and services. I love that we are moving away from those more traditional models of professional service offerings and really trying to think outside the box.
What do you love about the profession?
I have found the legal profession to be incredibly supportive and welcoming.
About seven years ago, I met a group of female law students at my first job as a paralegal and we now raise our children together – our toddlers and babies hang out and we can discuss motherhood, work and life; it’s wonderful.
I’ve also got a group of amazing friends who I met as we were law students together at UQ. We’re all in different areas of the profession now and we still catch up with our families regularly and support each other.
I’ve also been privileged enough to have wonderful mentors, practice owners and bosses who have supported us when we launched the firm. For example, we had office furniture given to us by a local law firm that was moving premises and heard that we were just starting out.
I feel very, very privileged because I know that this is not everyone’s story.
Where do you feel most at home?
On holiday with my family. That feeling of not rushing, nowhere in particular to be and spending time with those you love.
How do you unwind?
I watch trashy TV, like really bad reality TV. The more cringe, the better.
What’s been taking up your days of late?
We’ve just launched the Fine Print Club, so that’s been taking up a lot of time.
The Fine Print Club is a membership for small business owners to come together and have their legal questions answered and build a relationship directly with a lawyer. It aims to take the pressure off the business owner by providing connection to good quality legal information from someone they can trust.
We’re getting great feedback from our members and really interesting questions coming through. There is a great sense of business owners feeling supported and feeling like they have access to our profession, which is so important because business owners need to understand the framework in which they operate.
What QLS service is most beneficial to the profession in your opinion?
I think all the one-to-one offerings. I have recently met with Practice Advisory Service (PAS) solicitor Judy Hayward, and I just had a trust consult with Deborah Mok.
It is invaluable to have people who are accessible to bounce ideas off, to talk to and to ask questions. People all over Australia are paying through the roof for memberships and coaching but as part of our membership with the QLS, we have access to all these avenues to gain insight and wisdom. I’m very thankful for that.
Finish this sentence for us… the future of law in Queensland looks like….
The future of law in Queensland looks like nothing we’ve seen before.
I think innovation is going to be huge in this next season of the legal profession. I think more law firms are going to turn to unique service offerings. It’s so exciting to be a part of a profession that is actually moving. Although sometimes the legal profession can feel a bit slow to change, there is so much happening and it’s a very exciting profession to be a part of.
If you are a practice owner and are interested in knowing more about how the Queensland Law Society Practice Advisory Service can help you, visit qls.com.au/pas for more information or submit an EOI today.