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Calls for advice answered – not by Saul

FLC President Sarah Plasto was ready to take questions from students. Photos: Geoff McLeod

While the questions weren’t coming via phones at the Better Call Sarah event, they were quickly answered by an enthusiastic and open panel at the inaugural Queensland Law Society event.

Better Call Sarah is a new, student event designed by QLS to help aspiring lawyers explore their career options and get advice from real people – not the “Saul Goodmans” – about pathways in the profession.

QLS Future Leaders Committee (FLC) President Sarah Plasto hosted the inaugural evening on Wednesday night with Caxton Legal Centre Associate Director Tilé Imo and lawyer/educator Venetia Brown also discussing how they developed their legal careers, and the highs and lows.


Sarah Plasto hosted the event.

Sarah said she had an overwhelming number of law students connect and reach out via LinkedIn following the event at Law Society House

“The cohort who attended were engaged and had some wonderful positive feedback about their takeaways,” she said.

“From the FLC perspective, we have had a focus in the last 12 months on not only early career lawyers, but law students and PLT students. 

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“Our journey through this profession starts earlier than our admission day, and when we talk about our health (mental, emotional and physical), your years as a law student are formative for how you will thrive in the profession.

“The FLC has enjoyed connecting with law students across the various universities, and as someone who has had a ‘less than traditional’ path into the profession, I am incredibly passionate about highlighting the variety of ways you can exist in, and thrive in, our profession.”


Caxton Legal Centre Associate Director Tilé Imo.

Tilé said the event, developed along a talk-show concept, helped the presenters as well.

“It was a great opportunity for me to reflect on my career, where I’ve come from and where I might be headed,” he said.

“I decided to get involved as I remember how daunting it can be to be transitioning from university to legal practice. I can only hope that some parts of my journey can give even one person some encouragement to persevere or feel encouraged.

“I can only hope that students know that ultimately they get to decide what ‘success’ means for them and there are so many opportunities with a law degree to do meaningful and rewarding work, whether it’s through a traditional or innovative pathways.”

Venetia said she delighted to be asked to join the series, having “enjoyed a varied career in law, and have benefited from many inspirational mentors”.

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“It’s a joy to now share my insights to those starting out who (like I was) might be unsure of the myriad roads that lie ahead. It’s also an opportunity from them to hear about the bumps and disappointments, the uncertainties and fumbling in the dark which is part and parcel of being human,” she said. |


Venetia Brown shared her insights.

“We so often only see the ‘end product’ or the shiny version of a ‘successful person’.  The reality is always far more ‘normal’.  It was refreshing to be in a forum where all three of us could be vulnerable and share our ‘normal’ selves.

“These events and opportunities for storytelling and sharing vulnerability are an opportunity for our profession to continue its self-development towards a healthier and more inclusive space.

“I hope that by speaking alongside people like Sarah and Tilé, we can break the cycle of ‘well that’s just how it was when I was a junior lawyer, so suck it up princess’, and instead dream of the most beautiful version of the legal profession, and breathe that into existence.

“In doing so, not only do I hope that lawyers will be more content with the profession, but I aim to ensure that all members of society receive an experience with our profession which is more empathetic, compassionate, creative and healing.

“Thank you to the QLS for supporting this series and for a wonderful evening.”

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Sarah said she had a wonderful night with the panellists and the FLC thanked them for their time.

“Events such as these cannot be possible without them giving so selflessly of their time, sharing their journeys (highs and lows), and being so warm and engaging,” she said.

“I think this helps break down perceptions which can sometimes make it hard for law students to reach out and form mentor-mentee relationships with people in our profession.  In my experience, one of the best things you can do for your career is cultivate a relationship with a mentor.”

QLS Member Experience Manager Daniel Brennan said the team, with Sarah at the helm, hoped to run another event later this year around August following the success of the first one.

“QLS and the FLC are looking to help students with authentic speakers in our ‘talk-show’ format who can share their stories and show that the path to the law isn’t always linear,” Daniel said.

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