Founder urges women to look ahead

Gold Coast lawyer Caralee Fontanele will be a guest speaker at a WLAQ networking event next month.

Empowerment will be the key word at a Women Lawyers Association of Queensland (WLAQ) gathering on the Gold Coast this month.

Law firm founder and director Caralee Fontanele, of Scalable Law, and private wealth adviser Rhiannan Smit, of Shadforth Brisbane, will present Empowering Your Future Self at the networking event at Southport on 9 May.

Caralee, who is also director of Collective Family Law, said empowering yourself as a lawyer meant building a career which was not only resilient and fulfilling but also true to your values and goals.

She said lawyers often focused on dealing with day-to-day issues and the immediate needs of their clients, but needed to look ahead.

“We’ve got to think about where we want to be down in the years to come by setting goals so that each of us has a directional compass,” she said.

“When we look to the future, we’re not just surviving but really thriving in a legal world that never stops changing.”


Caralee said AI was significantly shaking up the industry and lawyers needed to prepare to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

“This way, we can see changes and place ourselves right where we need to be to make the most of them,” she said.

“Plus, looking after ourselves, continuing our education, being mentored or coached by the right leaders and building strong professional networks are key.

“These networks not only provide support and opportunities but also enhance our ability to influence and lead effectively as lawyers of the future.”

Caralee said empowerment of future self was also about seeing the bigger picture of what we can do with our skills and continuing to invest in learning and growing.

“We’re not just here to churn out billable hours; we’re here to make a real difference in people’s lives, whether leading a firm or part of the team,” she said.


“This approach doesn’t just enrich our careers; it also cements our place in the future as community and justice leaders.”

WLAQ’s Empowering Your Future Self panel presentation, networking and drinks will be held on Thursday, 9 May, at Carafe Wine, Southport, from 5pm to 7.30pm. There will be live music from Gold Coast guitarist Zak Keenan. Tickets here.

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