100 episodes

The rates of depression and unhappiness amongst the legal profession worldwide are far too high. Clarissa Rayward is a divorce lawyer based in Brisbane, Australia and is best known as 'The Happy Family Lawyer'. Clarissa's own challenges with unhappiness during her legal career have inspired her to launch this Podcast which explores how we can all find a positive way of being great lawyers while having a great life. Join Clarissa on the airwaves each week as she interviews many great lawyers worldwide who share their tips on finding happiness in law and life.

The Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast Clarissa J Rayward

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The rates of depression and unhappiness amongst the legal profession worldwide are far too high. Clarissa Rayward is a divorce lawyer based in Brisbane, Australia and is best known as 'The Happy Family Lawyer'. Clarissa's own challenges with unhappiness during her legal career have inspired her to launch this Podcast which explores how we can all find a positive way of being great lawyers while having a great life. Join Clarissa on the airwaves each week as she interviews many great lawyers worldwide who share their tips on finding happiness in law and life.

    Episode 173 – Personal Injury Lawyer Leeha James on falling into law and never looking back

    Episode 173 – Personal Injury Lawyer Leeha James on falling into law and never looking back

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Personal Injury Lawyer, Leeha James.  Leeha is a Brisbanite like me and this past few years has been running a successful boutique personal injury practice, helping victims of occupational cancer- often those working in the fireservice.  This is such a topical area in Australia at the moment- having just come out of one of the most destructive fire seasons in our history- and until I met Leeha, I had no idea of the dangers that face the men and women that have chosen this career.

    Leeha did not set out to be a lawyer and I joked with her after learning a little about her teenage adventures that she is the perfect story of #highschooldropout finds career success.  But whatever her way of getting there, it is clear that Leeha loves her work and the many opportunities her career in law has given her.  Aside from being a wife and mum, these days you will also find Leeha heading up the Bayside Community Legal Centre where she is volunteering in her ‘free time’ and giving back, as so many in our industry do.  This is another great chat with someone who has worked hard, achieved great things and still has many years ahead to do a whole lot more!

    In this interview, Leeha and I also chatted about-



    * If Leeha was not a lawyer she would have been a florist!

    * Leeha grew up in Wollongong NSW and then spent her high school years on the Gold Coast.

    * Law was not on the agenda for Leeha and she started her University years completing an Arts degree.

    * How Leeha fell into a Law Degree and the important of creative thinking and strategy when it comes to law.

    * Leeha completed a 5 year Articles of Clerkship whilst completing her studies (and yes I took the opportunity to again mention that we need to #bringbackarticles)

    * The differences between Leeha’s start in the law over 20 years ago and things now.

    * Leeha tells a story about a skirt and being the reason she was excluded from Court!  Got to love old school law fashion!

    * The generational barriers that have been broken down by women like Leeha.

    * Feminism and the opportunity of choice.

    * Leeha is a Plaintiff Personal Injury Lawyer and shares why she loves this area of the Law.

    * 6 years ago Leeha opened her own law firm, James Law.

    * Leeha’s experience of starting her own (very successful) firm.

    * James Law niches in the area of Occupational Cancer particulalry working with Firefighters.

    * Leeha and explains how her work with Firefighters affects the community.

    * How Leeha has focused on the client experience of law to build her practice.

    * Leeha is a mum of two boys, both in high school and she shares her parenthood tips.

    * Leeha has become the Principal Lawyer and President for Bayside Community Legal Services- a role that brings her a lot of joy.

    * Leeha encourages lawyers to give back to the community throughout their legal careers.

    * Leeha’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Leeha James.

    ***



















    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre-  A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside of the law.   







































    Listen to last week’s episode here

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 172 – Righting wrongs through understanding and advocacy with Lawyer Stephanie Parkin

    Episode 172 – Righting wrongs through understanding and advocacy with Lawyer Stephanie Parkin

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer Stephanie Parkin.  Stephanie is a proud Aboriginal woman of the Quandamooka People of North Stradbroke Island and it is no surprise, having now learned some of her life experience, that she has taken her intellect and applied it as an advocate for her people.  As a talented IP Lawyer, Stephanie now works to represent Indigenous Australian Artists in managing and promoting their work.

    I learned so much from Stephanie in this conversation as she shared her perspective on the challenges we as a community and culture face in Australia today as we try and reconcile the wrongs of our past.  This interview turned into a wonderful opportunity to explore some very difficult issues and I welcomed the chance to learn from Stephanie (even if I got my arrival date for good old Captain Cook about 200 years wrong!)

    These days Stephanie is completing her Masters of Philosophy and Law at the Queensland University of Technology whilst working at the Copyright Agency.  She is everything I love about happy lawyers and so I had to know her secret- the answer….  Curry and Netflix!  A happiness ritual right there.

    In this interview Stephanie and I also chatted about-



    * If Stephanie was not a lawyer she would have been a professional surfer or police detective!

    * Stephanie grew up in North Queensland and then on North Stradbroke Island within her aboriginal community.

    * Stephanie’s involvement in the native title process and rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    * Stephanie’s tips for understanding the challenges that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community face within the current Australian Culture.

    * Reconsidering the true history of Aboriginal culture and the way we perceive our national identity.

    * Stephanie’s experience of growing up in her Aboriginal home of North Stradbroke Island and what her average day looked like.

    * How Stephanie found herself in the Law.

    * Stephanie started her legal career in the commercial space and then moved into Intellectual Property.

    * At the moment, Stephanie is back at QUT studying her Masters and focuses on Inauthentic Aboriginal art and craft.

    * Stephanie explains how the current Copyright Act affects Aboriginal artists and the way which she advocates for authentic artwork.

    * The changes that Stephanie is working to see within Aboriginal Art and related Consumer Law.

    * Stephanie assists artists in getting paid for their work as well as keeping the value of original aboriginal artwork.

    * Stephanie has become the chair of the Indigenous Art Code where she governs the code between artists and wholesalers.

    * The niche that Stephanie has found is a great balance between her culture and her passion.

    * When Stephanie is not a lawyer she loves to visit her family over on Stradbroke Island and eat Curry!

    * How Stephanie’s chance encounters with like-minded mentors and passionate leaders have impacted her career.

    * The future for Stephanie in and outside of the law.

    * The importance of storytelling in Aboriginal culture.

    * Stephanie’s advice for new lawyers coming into the law.

    * Stephanie’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Stephanie Parkin

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    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre-  A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside of the law.   

    • 55 min
    Episode 171 – The myths of motherhood and life in the law with Kerala Drew

    Episode 171 – The myths of motherhood and life in the law with Kerala Drew

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Criminal Lawyer Kerala Drew.  Now Kerala is at the early stages of her law life but gee she has jammed a whole lot in already!  You will tell by her accent Kerala grew up in the UK.  She knew from a really young age that being a lawyer was going to be her thing.  It was all lined up, degree completed at one of the top Universities in London, placements in firms and chambers and a career at the Bar was calling but then a chance trip overseas where she met her now husband and the rest is sort of history!

    I loved chatting to Kerala- she is clearly a smart and capable woman and has made some courageous decisions along the way- perhaps the biggest to follow her heart, move to the other side of the world and build a life with the man of her dreams!  (can you tell I liked the love story!!) But it wasn’t easy and add to that mix becoming a mum, and all of a sudden there are many new hats for Kerala to manage.

    This interview is a great reminder of what really matters in life-we all work so hard to achieve in our careers and that is a good thing, but when all is said and done it is the people around us, our family, that will be the source of the memories and the legacy that really matters.

    In this interview Kerala Drew and I also chatted about-



    * If Kerala was not a lawyer she would have been a personal trainer (and she sort of is!)

    * Kerala is passionate about health, exercise and family.

    * Kerala grew up in Bristol in the UK and tells us about her childhood.

    * Kerala took a gap year before her legal studies and the advantages of doing this prior to starting a career in law.

    * Kerala started her studies at Queen Mary University of London and continued her studies in Hong Kong.

    * Kerala knew she liked arguing as an 8 year old and always knew she wanted to be a lawyer.

    * Kerala’s perspective on moving countries- the joys and challenges.

    * Kerala and Sean’s love story(#myfavouritebit!)

    * After falling in love Kerala moved to Australia- but the career transition was anything but easy.

    * The trouble that Kerala had integrating her UK legal degree and her advice to others facing this process.

    * Kerala chose to volunteer her legal services which eventuated in a role now in criminal law.

    * Kerala’s advice for young lawyers coming into the law.

    * A day in the life Kerala – a Criminal Duty Lawyer.

    * The Myth of Motherhood and the law – how Kerala manages raising her daughter in amongst a high pressure career – a village raises a child!

    * Kerala tips on soaking in those ‘thank you’s!’

    * Anger masks fear and Kerala’s experience with scared clients.

    * Kerala believes in a ‘work-life-blend’ vs ‘work-life-balance’ and being present in whatever you are doing.

    * Kerala’s tips for mothers or aspiring mothers.

    * Motherhood and the law.

    * Kerala’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Kerala Drew

    ***



















    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre-  A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside of the law.   







































    Listen to last week’s episode here

    • 57 min
    Episode 170 – From the biggest of Big Law to having babies in taxis with lawyer Bronwyn Eynon-Lewis

    Episode 170 – From the biggest of Big Law to having babies in taxis with lawyer Bronwyn Eynon-Lewis

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer Bronwyn Eynon-Lewis.  Now right at this moment you might say that Bronwyn is not a ‘lawyer’ in the practicing certificate carrying sort of sense but there is no doubt she is a ‘lawyer’ thanks to one fascinating career that has taken her all over the world and back again!

    Bronwyn like so many of my guests began her professional life as a talented musician, but fast forward a few years and she found herself off studying law before jumping on the career ladder that had her traveling and working in South East Asia.  She met her husband, they had 3 kids and before you know it this super successful pair were doing all the great things they had dreamed of.  But as time went on, home called and a few years ago Bronwyn and her family returned home to Brisbane and a new stage of her career has ensued!

    These days Bronwyn is bringing all of her expertise having worked within business development in some of the worlds largest law firms, to now helping lawyers like you and me to start our own firms.  Through her business Lacuna, Bronwyn has partnered with two other powerhouse women in Belinda Marschke and Allison Warburton to build a business that provides all the support needed for lawyers looking to make the leap and build their own practice in the law.

    I loved this chat- lots of great anecdotes about life overseas (and having a baby in a taxi!) to many great tips on making a few hard decisions in life.

    In this interview, Bronwyn and I also chatted about-



    * If Bronwyn was not a lawyer she would have been a teacher.

    * Bronwyn was born in Western NSW and attended school in a small town near Adelaide.

    * She went from mastering the Piano to studying law and her journey into this contrasting career.

    * Bronwyn’s Aunt and Uncle are lawyers and she worked for them on the Sunshine Coast while she studied law.

    * Halfway through her legal studies, Bronwyn received articles and got the role at a large law firm.

    * She started her career in workers compensation, commercial and insolvency Law.

    * Bronwyn’s experience of working in a large firm and how she ended up in Hong Kong working for her now-husband!

    * Bronwyn was based in Hong Kong for 13 years where she had her three children, including having one of her children in a Taxi!

    * While working for a US firm Bronwyn sat for the New York Bar exam.

    * A few days after having her second child Bronwyn went to work for White and Case in a Practice Development and Customer Relations role.

    * Bronwyn’s work-life balance in Australia compared to Hong Kong.

    * The advantages of surrounding yourself with external help to raise your family so you can have quality time with your children.

    * The stress that can come from running a house-hold and Bronwyn’s choice to keep a household-manager in her life.

    * Bronwyn made a choice to step out of law and become part of an Energy and Resources team as a Business Development Manager.

    * I talked to Bronwyn about her transition from Hong Kong back to Australia.

    * Through all of her experience in Hong Kong, Bronwyn saw how women, in particular, have trouble finding work after having children or gaps in careers.

    * At the beginning of 2019, Bronwyn and Belinda Marschke (Episode 160) started Lacuna, providing back office support to law firms.

    * The ups and downs of going from big law to starting your own business.

    * A day in the life of Bronwyn Eynon-Lewis now.

    * How we spend our time and structuring our lives around those things that bring you joy.

    * Bronwyn’s Happiness Tip.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 169 – Career pivots and Corgis- the secret to career success with Barrister Ben McMillan

    Episode 169 – Career pivots and Corgis- the secret to career success with Barrister Ben McMillan

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing Barrister Ben McMillan.  A fellow Brisbane local, Ben is another one that has had a fascinating career in the law.  My favourite parts of this interview though were watching Ben’s face light up as he spoke of three things- his brother, Tim, his partner, Luke, and his family of corgis!

    Don’t let the soft exterior confuse you though, Ben has done his fair share of difficult work in law in his time.  His strength is in his varied experience at the Bar in a number of inhouse roles as a Barrister including with the Legal Services commission.  He has also been involved in a number of significant  Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry and inquisitorial processes.  From 2016 to 2017, he was Counsel Assisting the Queensland Parliamentary inquiry into Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (“Black Lung” disease).  He appeared  as counsel (acting for the State of Queensland) in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and in the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry.  He also appeared as Counsel in the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry and “Operation Belcarra” public hearings conducted by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

    In amongst this he also enjoys a spot of Tax Law!  I learned from Ben that it is the variety of work that he undertakes at the Bar that keeps him going.  And his love of family and Corgis!

    In this interview, Ben and I also chatted about-



    * If Ben was not a lawyer he would have pursued a career in the performing arts or politics (some might say the two are the same!)

    * Ben grew up in a small country town but now lives in the city and loves the contrast between the two.

    * Ben started out at Melbourne University studying performing arts for a year when he made the transfer to law.

    * The reason Ben chose law and his experience of study.

    * Ben’s brother, Tim, has cerebral palsy and when Ben turned 18 he moved to Brisbane to help care for him.

    * How his relationship with his brother Tim has positively impacted on Ben’s life both professionally and personally.

    * Once he had moved to Brisbane Ben studied Law at UQ and became heavily involved in student government.

    * After University, Ben completed his clerkship at the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

    * Ben’s advice for those who are interested in advocacy and his learnings from working at the DPP.

    * Ben’s journey to spending time as an Associate for Justice Margaret Wilson.

    * The decision to join the private Bar.



    * Ben’s perspective on moving to the private Bar early in his career.

    * Ben’s involvement in some significant matters including the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission Inquest and managing the difficult work he has been involved in.

    * The difference between empathy and sympathy and Ben’s tips for managing the two.

    * Ben promotes management of psychologically draining matters with variety in his work.

    * When Ben is not a lawyer he enjoys walking his dogs on the beach, travelling and cooking.

    * Ben does not find joy in comparison with others and shares his tips on embracing contentment.

    * Ben’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Ben McMillan

    ***



















    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre-  A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside of the law.   

    • 58 min
    Episode 168 – Beach more, worry less and how lawyer Kate Clark found the way!

    Episode 168 – Beach more, worry less and how lawyer Kate Clark found the way!

    It’s a New Year  (insert chants of ‘Happy New Year’ here) and I have the perfect guest to kick us into 2020!  In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer and mediator Kate Clark.  Now this was my second attempt at interviewing Kate as the first time round I completely mucked up our audio so I am very grateful that she came back for round 2!

    Kate is everything I love about gutsy women lawyers.  Having begun her career in family and criminal law she and her husband made a decision to move their family to the Sunshine Coast- you might call it a lifestyle decision- I would call it a smart life decision and it has paid off.  Kate is making her law career work for her rather than the other way around.  She has established a niche firm offering restorative justice mediation in criminal and family law matters- a style of practice that is being embraced worldwide for the ability to genuinely settle disputes.

    And because we could we talked beach life, raising kids, the wonderful thing that is ‘the juggle’ and a whole lot more so sit back and enjoy the perfect interview to kickstart a new year.

    In this interview, Kate and I also chatted about-



    * If Kate was not a lawyer she would have been a stand-up comedian or child entertainer!

    * The difference between serious and important when it comes to law.

    * Kate lives in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and loves her coffee runs.

    * Growing up in Ipswich, Kate had a fulfilling childhood with lots of freedom to  play outside.

    * In high school, Kate first found her interest in law.

    * Kate started out doing a few clerkships, including some volunteer clerkship placements and her experience in these roles.

    * Kate attended Griffith University for her studies and was then lucky enough to undertake an Associate-ship with former Justice Michelle May (aka Episode 112) in the Family Court.

    * After her time working at the Court, Kate worked at the Queensland Law Reform Commission before moving into private practice.

    * Kate has had a series of great mentors over her time and shared some of her biggest takeaways.

    * The decision to move to Noosa, opening her firm and raising a small child.

    * Kate’s mediation firm is unique in the fact that she works in the Criminal and Family Mediation Space conducting Restorative Justice mediation.

    * The meaning of Restorative Justice Mediation and the process it takes her clients on.

    * Restorative Justice vs the traditional Justice system.

    * Conflict avoidance is a natural human reaction but Kate encourages her clients to stay in the conflict, be heard and listen to others.

    * A week in the life of Kate Clark.

    * Kate’s Happiness Tip



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Kate Clark.

    ***



















    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with Clarissa Rayward at the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life’ knowledge centre-  A community for lawyers who want to make the best out of their life in and outside of the law.   







































    Listen to last week’s episode here

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

Dina Cataldo ,

Wonderful conversations with lawyers

This podcast is a delight to listen to. It's low key and introduces different perspectives of lawyers. If you're a lawyer who is looking for something more than the daily grind, this podcast is for you.

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It’s informative and entertaining

As a law student I am really enjoying this amazing podcast not only because it’s informative but also entertaining. Thank you so much 🙏🙏🙏

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