Jennifer Harris

Special Counsel

Clayton Utz

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Her story

Jennifer Harris is a Special Counsel at Clayton Utz.

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 my clients to build strong and vibrant communities.  I'm also part of a team where we build, capacity, confidence and capability in each other to be the best we can be for our ourselves, our families, our communities and each other.  I'm also a mother to teenage twins who play, and referee, a lot of soccer so I spend a lot of time on the sidelines.

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

Difference.
Opportunity.
Inclusivity.

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

We need to make sure we are creating environments where everyone feels respected, included and able to bring their authentic selves to the industry. I think this requires strong and empathetic leadership, open communication, listening to diverse perspectives and actively challenging stereotypes and biases. We need to be endlessly vigilant about creating equitable and inclusive environments where everyone in the industry can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I fell into it with no real purpose at all - but as I’ve grown in my career I've found my purpose. I've realised my part of the industry is a people-centric business. I’m a transactional lawyer, so relationships and collaboration are vital.  I'm also passionate about mentoring, which is a part of the legal industry I love, because it is a powerful and purposeful way to build relationships, share knowledge and to feel supported and connected.

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