Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah Kelly

Kiarah KellyWithout mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I believe that me, my loved ones, and my clients have a right to an awesome life. My superpower is unwavering advocacy and relentless encouragement to help achieve this.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Embracing, imperative, enriching.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

Those in the majority need to excavate their privileged experiences and thinking, the uncomfortableness of this does not matter.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to and change my story.

Kiarah is a Collaborative Family Lawyer at Brisbane Family Law Centre.

Anne-Marie Cade

Anne-Marie Cade

Anne-Marie Cade

Anne-Marie Cade Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

A changemaker, peacemaker and out of the box thinker.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Inclusivity, respect and creativity.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

A shift in mindset to a more collaborative approach where lawyers work with other professionals and a move away from the adversarial approach to more creative ways of dispute resolution.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

Improve the experience of clients and make legal services more accessible.

Anne-Marie is the CEO and Founder of Divorce Right Pty Ltd.

Clarissa Rayward

Clarissa Rayward

Clarissa Rayward

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

Accidental wellness advocate in law land and life manager for my kids, London and Daisy, and husband at all other times!

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Difference, acceptance, broad thinking.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

A willingness to listen and learn and not assume that because things have been done a certain way there is not other ways of approaching things.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

The ability to combine intellectual skill with helping others.

Clarissa is a Director at Brisbane Family Law Centre and Happy Lawyer Happy Life.

Shabarika Ajitkumar

Shabarika Ajitkumar

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I work with clients across a wide range of industries, helping them to solve complex problems, including to structure, negotiate and implement significant transactions for their businesses.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Strength, talent, outcomes.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

The adoption of diversity as a priority and core value by the legal industry and our clients.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I was motivated to study commerce and law to better understand the world and its institutions. From there, I was particularly drawn to commercial law because it offered a dynamic, varied and challenging career path.

Shabarika is a Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets at Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Meg Morgan

Meg Morgan

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I would describe the work that I do as part advocacy and part problem solving. I have clients who ask for my assistance to navigate their business through tricky legal arrangements. Sometimes they ask for my assistance to navigate their business through tricky commercial arrangements. Usually it is a combination of both. I have colleagues who ask for my assistance with their clients for the same reasons. Team work is definitely a big part of what I do now and one of the parts of my job that I love the most. I have colleagues who ask for my assistance to help them navigate the legal industry itself. For better or worse (a bit of both in my opinion) the legal industry is still a rigid profession and wending your way through the industry is less overwhelming with some guidance.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Listening, empathy, positivity.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

The legal industry gains its strength through its history and its stable foundations. We are an industry built on precedents. However if we just stick with this as the model it can also be a limitation when it comes to facilitating truly innovative and diverse thinking. I would like to see the legal industry maintain its foundation and, with a bit of focused planning and targeted initiatives, use this as the basis upon which we build up a profession that attracts, retains and engages with people across all sections of the community. The legal industry will remain a pillar of society where it represents all parts of society.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I love advocacy and problem solving! I feel so lucky to have found the industry that is right for me. The complexity of the way the law interacts with business was the main driver to enter into the legal industry. The main driver for me to stay is helping people navigate the law to succeed in business.

Meg is a Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson

Tessa van Duyn

Tessa van Duyn

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

My role is to enable and empower people to be their best selves and work together as a team to create a positive impact in the community around us.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Equality, creativity, courage.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

In order to properly embrace diversity in all it’s guises, we need courage to shift our mindset as well as true cultural and structural changes.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to use my privilege to contribute to a more equal and just society and create a positive impact in the community.

Tessa is the CEO at Moores

Anna Hendry

Anna Hendry

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I help employers and insurers to navigate personal injuries claims. I mentor law students and junior solicitors to develop their own careers in this area. I hope I am raising kind, compassionate and resilient children.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Experiences, perspectives, contributions.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

The opportunity for people of more diverse backgrounds to dream of, qualify for and participate fully, in legal work. Change must occur at all levels from schools and university entrants up to partners, the Bar and the Judiciary.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to help people through advocacy.

Anna is a Partner at HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Amanda Fajerman

Amanda Fajerman

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I help people; I help clients understand pain points and solve problems, I help connect teams by acting as a conduit between law and technology, I help create efficient and data driven systems and processes to improve lawyer satisfaction and well-being, and I hope to inspire, develop and educate the legal tech industry.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Potential through difference.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

Change from the ground up; to the language used in job descriptions to attract diverse candidates, to the recruitment process to avoid hiring based on like for like, to ensuring that organisation is driven by strong and purpose led values which instils inclusiveness, flexibility, transparency and openness. This has to be created at the top and actioned by everyone – from the leadership team for leading by example with fairness and integrity and ensuring that every staff member has a safe environment to ask questions, to every staff member to speak up when things are not right and to question the status quo.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I studied computer science and law through a combination of a passion for data, systems and analytics as well as reasoning, problem solving and judgement. However, I have always enjoyed the data and process behind the giving of legal advice more than the practice of law itself, so have used my legal subject matter expertise in the legal tech industry. I thrive on the opportunity to help create systems and solutions for legal teams based on efficiencies and structured data.

Amanda is the Head of Legal Technology at LOD

Melissa Lyon

Melissa Lyon

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

I help people and organisations design ways of working, processes, services and strategies which provide a better user experience. I do this by using a human centred deign thinking framework we developed at Hive called HiveThinkP.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Hope, respect, opportunity. 

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

A change in mindset to be more collaborative and to respect the skills of other professionals in the legal ecosystem who have a valuable role to play to improve the experience for clients and all of those who work in the legal ecosystem.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

Initially… to have a fulfilling career. Now that I have one my driver is to help others have the same, no matter what role you have in the legal industry.

Melissa is an Executive Director & Experience Designer at Hive Legal

Renee Eglinton

Renee Eglinton

Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now (whether at home, work, in the community, etc.)?

Providing expertise and compassion to my clients when they are often at their most vulnerable and assisting them to achieve a positive outcome and fresh start.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Perspective, respect, education.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

A commitment to educating lawyers to truly appreciate and respect others peoples’ differences and opinions. I strongly believe the younger generation of lawyers will be game changers when it comes to diversity within the profession.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

My Year 11 English teacher suggested I look at law as a profession. I think I make a better lawyer than I would have dentist, which was another career choice I considered.

Renee is a Director at Kare Lawyers