Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?
In my “day job”, I work with several generations of lawyers helping them make their way into and through the practising profession.
Speaking more broadly, I am a “connector” – I connect people and organisations with their potential and help them achieve it – through mentoring, coaching and through facilitating opportunities.
What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?
There were two key drivers: the first was studying a subject entitled “Law & Politics” in my Arts Degree which highlighted for me the incredible injustices suffered by women and minority groups; and the second was admiring the pragmatic wisdom of the Judges of the Supreme Court for whom I was working. I enrolled in law as a result of both these influences.
What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?
Breadth, difference, inclusion.
What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?
Traditionally, the practice of law has been siloed from beginning (law school) to end (practice structures). We need to break down the siloes so that lawyers can be exposed to and learn from other disciplines We can no longer operate in a vacuum. The increasing complexity of life and law requires greater breadth of wisdom and experience. Diversity of thinking will yield this.
Ann-Maree David is the Executive Director at The College of Law Australia.