Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?
I mentor and encourage. I moved from practice to academia not only because in the 1980s that was a more realistic option for a lawyer with an enquiring mind and three young children but also because after some casual tutoring I had found my niche – to teach something that I care about and that can make a difference. Mentoring and encouraging have been what I have done – whether in practice, academia (teaching and research) or management – and what I continue to do as an adjunct professor and in pro bono leadership roles.
What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?
As a teenager, I almost didn’t study Law because my parents suggested that it might be something that I would enjoy. The alternative was to study Arts as a single degree; however, I could not imagine myself as a schoolteacher, which was the likely outcome in the early 1970s. Once I started studying Law, I was captivated by it – the issues it raised and (hopefully) resolved for society and business.
What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?
Respect; teams; productivity.
What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?
Respect for the creative productivity that teams of people bringing different perspectives to bear can make – by leaders in the legal industry and by their clients.
Rosalind is an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology.