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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    • 4.6 • 8 Ratings

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 208 – Value your life outside of the law with Jason Monro

    Episode 208 – Value your life outside of the law with Jason Monro

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing personal injury lawyer and weekend mountaineer Jason Monro.  Ok, so mountaineer might be a slight exaggeration but there is no doubt that Jason’s happiness in his day job as a lawyer is well connected to his love of hiking on the weekends.  It hasn’t always been that way and in this interview Jason shared with me how he has really shifted his focus to ensure that health is a a priority.

    Jason has had a fascinating career- starting in the Army, then the Police and now of course as a lawyer.  Jason has spent most of his career as a personal injury lawyer and it is an area of the law that he is clearly passionate about and I suspect excels in.  Working for the successful national practice, Slater and Gordon, Jason shared with me the successful way his firm has navigated the challenges of the last 12 months and it was really interesting for me, the owner of a small firm, to understand the logistics of navigating a multi-office national practice through the restrictions imposed during this pandemic.

    Jason is another great example of why there are so many different paths both into law and during our careers that lead to success.

    In this interview, Jason and I also chatted about-



    * If Jason was not a lawyer he would have been (and was) in the army reserves and a police officer.

    * Born in Papua New Guinea, Jason moved to Brisbane when he was seven.

    * After graduating high school and joining the Army Reserves, Jason moved to Cairns for his first year posting as a police officer.

    * Jason  made a switch to study law during his posting as he found he really enjoyed working in police prosecution.

    * After his studies at JCU, he started a 5 year articles at a law firm working between criminal law and personal injury law.

    * The crossover between personal injury law and medicine and the level of knowledge needed to successfully advocate for clients.

    * Jason loves the methodical nature of personal injury law and now works at the Northlakes Slater and Gordon branch.

    * The working environment at Slater and Gordon and the changes he saw during the lockdowns of 2020.

    * Jason is a trained mental health first aid officer and shares how he supports his staff.

    * The efficiencies that have come from court phone and video appearances, as well as time saved in travel.

    * Jason’s perspective on mental health in the legal profession, both during Covid and over the past years.

    * Jason’s own mental health and wellbeing as a result of his lifestyle changes.

    * The all-consuming nature of law and the impact of exercise and good health can have on our careers.

    * Jason’s tips for managing the stresses of working as a lawyer.

    * In Jason’s experience, there are so many different roads to law and the life experience we gain along the way are essential for connecting with clients.

    * No learning is wasted – it is all essential to growth and passion.

    * Jason’s tips for new lawyers coming into law-land.

    * Jason’s happiness tip. 



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Jason Monro.

    ***



















    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

    • 52 min
    Episode 207 – Palms up and palms open with Iffy Ibekwe

    Episode 207 – Palms up and palms open with Iffy Ibekwe

    This week I went across the oceans again for Happy Lawyer Happy Life the international edition and had the chance to speak with one really wonderful woman lawyer, Iffy Ibekwe.  Iffy describes herself as an entrepreneur who just happens to practice law and I can see from our chat that this really is true.  Her love of entrepreneurship began with a baking store and has fast moved into her innovative wills and estates practice.

    This conversation has it all- motherhood, happiness, mindset, taking chances- all the stuff I love to hear and more.  Iffy has such passion and energy for life and it is contagious.  A mother to 4 young children I so enjoyed picking her brain on how she does it all.  Iffy describes her approach to life as being ‘palms up, palms open’ and I have taken that to mean taking the opportunities as they come and giving things a go, even when you are not sure what it might mean.  I am hoping I might entice Iffy to Australia post Corona madness as I sense she would be such good fun to hang out with!

    In this interview, Iffy and I also chatted about-



    * If Iffy was not a lawyer she would be an entrepreneur who just happens to practice law (which, incidentally she is!)

    * In 2011 Iffy opened up ‘Iffy’s sweets and treats’, a home bakery, which was the start of her entrepreneurial adventure.

    * A child of an ex-pat, Iffy was born in Nigeria and moved around the world a lot in her early years where she finally settled in Texas, USA at age 11.

    * Iffy’s upbringing was multi-cultural heaven and gave her a good foundation for her future.

    * Not defined by her job as a lawyer Iffy has a ‘Palms up and palms open’ approach to life.

    * How studying medicine, the economy, 9/11 and a turn in the market, and some wise words from her brother led Iffy to pursue the law.

    * Iffy’s approach to goal setting and how this has changed as she has gotten older.

    * Creativity, the law and choosing to find contentment in all you do.

    * Iffy describes the Bar exam as ‘like Survivor – it’s a 15 hour 3-day hell show’

    * The comparisons of law in the US and Austrlia, and the practical elements missing from education.



    * Only 5% of lawyers in America are black and the inherent bias’ built into the law.

    * Iffy’s first role in the law was as an education law clerk and quickly realising this area was not for her.

    * Time-based billing and the problems Iffy sees with this system.

    * Her time working for a Teachers Union, and how this role showed her that you can be helpful and a lawyer.

    * Iffy was asked if she completed Wills – she said yes – and that’s how she got into Wills and Estate planning. She says ‘I was presented an opportunity, palms up and open, and I took it’.

    * Setting up her practice with the goal to help regular people do up an Estate Plan and pass on intergenerational wealth, with someone who relates to them.

    * Iffy aims to activate women and help them set up their wills and trusts and normalise estate planning all to protect their health, decisions and finances.

    * Iffy is intentional about the language she uses with her clients and has created a client-centred service.

    * Iffy is a mother of 4 and shares her experience of lockdown.

    * Community and support from others is a part of growth.

    * Finding ways to be content despite the circumstances.

    * Iffy’s concept of exercising the right to change your mind, as a woman, is what helps us grow.

    * Iffy’s tips for innovation so we don’t become entrenched in the past.

    * Iffy’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Iffy Ibekwe.

    ***



















    Learn more here about upcoming events and courses and connect with...

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Episode 206 – When relationships are at the core of all you do with the Honourable Colin Forrest

    Episode 206 – When relationships are at the core of all you do with the Honourable Colin Forrest

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing the Honourable Colin Forrest SC. Colin has had a fascinating career in the law and just this last week has completed 10 years of service as a Judge in the Family Court and started the next chapter of his law life.  I have had the privilege of knowing Colin for my 20 years in law and he is someone who I like to describe as the ‘poster child of happy lawyering!’  Colin’s career has taken him from his first role as an Associate to the wonderful Michael Kirby in the NSW Court of Appeal to achieving Silk, to life as a Judge and now life as a mediator and Arbitrator.

    And while Colin’s achievements in law are something else, it is the way he has approached his life- his optimism and enthusiasm for so much, his endless efforts for causes and his kindness and compassion for others that I have come to know him for.  It is this that makes him ‘the poster child of happy lawyers’!  (And the fact he managed to fit in 3 gap years during his University studies- that surely makes for a happy law student anyway!)

    So as we kick off a new year of happy lawyer podcasts I couldn’t think of a better guest to bring in 2021.  My favourite tip from this interview- ‘You only live once so take as many gap years as you can!’

    In this interview, Colin and I also chatted about-



    * If Colin was not a lawyer he would have been a PE teacher- or perhaps in the world of theatre and maybe even politics.

    * Colin grew up in Tamworth and never left the city until he finished High School when he moved to Düsseldorf, Germany for his first gap year.

    * Colin’s aspirations to study law and become a barrister as a part of the first generation in his family to go to Uni.

    * Attending the University of NSW, his competitive streak and some stories from his life-long friendships formed in the early years of his career.

    * Halfway through his degree, Colin took another gap year where he lived in Japan for a year- and my favourite piece here- had a job singing Karaoke!

    * In his first year of law, Colin received an Associateship with the incredible Michael Kirby AC CMG and shares his memories of the interview that landed him the job.

    * His first job as a solicitor and what attracted him to family law.

    * The flurry of colleagues Colin has worked with and why he so deeply values relationships.

    * The early stages of Colin’s career during Expo 88 as a newly married home owner.

    * In 1990 Colin joined Level 19 Inns of Court where he spent 20 years as a Barrister focusing on Family Law.

    * The aspects of advocacy Colin enjoys including the competitive aspect and mental challenges.

    * Colin now has beautiful adult children and shares his top tips for working out the ‘work/life balance.’

    * 2010 was a big year for Colin, he turned 50, ran his first marathon and was appointed Silk and soon thereafter a Judge.

    * The changes (and reasons for the changes) in the Family Court system over the last 10 years.

    * A Judge’s perspective (and opinion) on the differing levels of the Courts, and his ‘magic wand wish’ for the Family Courts in Australia.

    * Colin’s great career pivot of 2021, as he re-joins the force of barristers in Brisbane. (or is it Arbitration?)

    * Colin’s top tips for building a happy content career in the law.

    * Colin’s Happiness Tip!



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with the Honourable Colin Forrest SC.

    ***



















    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.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Episode 205 – Becoming Legally Bold with Toya Gavin

    Episode 205 – Becoming Legally Bold with Toya Gavin

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing a wonderful lawyer from all the way over the other side of the world, Toya Gavin.  I interviewed Toya in the week before this year’s US Presidential election so it sure was an interesting time to be talking and I concluded mid-interview that Toya needs to throw her had in the political ring for the future.  Toya is one smart, articulate and thoughtful person and someone I learned so much from in just this hour.

    Toya is of course a lawyer and has a background working in New York in criminal law.  Life in #lawland has not always been easy for Toya and she shared openly with me the impact of many years of hard work culminating in a significant health event that left her managing depression and anxiety.  As is so often the case though, that very difficult period in Toya’s professional life has led to her finding a new string to her career bow and these days she runs a successful online legal practice while also operating a coaching and consulting business, Legally Bold.

    This is the perfect interview to see out 2020- it has something for everyone and my podcast silver lining for 2020 has been the chance to move some of these interviews online and connect worldwide with a bunch of amazing legal professionals!

    Thank you for your continued support during the very strange year that has been 2020!  I am taking a short Podcast break and will be back on the airwaves in February 2021.  Have a wonderful Christmas Break and I wish you all the best for the New Year.

    In this interview, Toya and I also chatted about-



    * Toya joined us all the way from Washington DC and we discuss this beautiful city.

    * If Toya was not a lawyer she would have been an entrepreneur, which she is now her side-hustle!

    * Growing up in New Jersey, about 20 minutes outside of New York City.

    * The Black Lives Matter Movement and the impact of living in a country built on slavery.

    * Righting injustice and removing the barriers of generational prejudice.

    * Entrepreneurs and Toya’s tips for how to make a change in the world.

    * Changing the little things is what makes for the compounding difference.

    * The truth brings light to everything and I vote ‘Toya for President’.

    * Toya completed an engineering undergrad before the social rights aspect of the law drew Toya to study at George Washington Law School.

    * The differences between engineering and law school, not only in practice but in the thinking process.

    * Toya explains she completed her undergrad of 4 years, and then 3 years of law school ending in a six-figure education bill.

    * The differences between Individual Rights and the Collective Rights of our different nations.

    * After leaving law school Toya took the bar exam and started working for the City of New York.

    * Her time working as a prosecutor on criminal cases with the likes of Judge Victoria Pratt, who brought in the concept for a community court in New York.

    * As a criminal lawyer, you meet people in their worst moments and Toya’s time working in the Domestic Violence Court.

    * Several years after Toya started her own practice in New Jersey she had a breakdown and moved to Washington to be with her sister and 3 children.

    * Toya intentionally took a break and found spending time with children eased her depression and anxiety.

    * We discuss the legal field and the impact it can have on your mental health. If you’re not anxious you’re not lawyering- apparently.

    * The reason for the culture of overwork, alcoholism and contempt between lawyers, all of which create psychological ill-health in law-land.

    * Toya’s tips for managing your mental health being sleep and exercise!

    * Seeing the disconnect between law and our personal lives Toya moved into...

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Episode 204 – Creating the space to stop and smell the roses with Paul Cott

    Episode 204 – Creating the space to stop and smell the roses with Paul Cott

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer Paul Cott- a Melbournian through and through who has found his ‘other home’ in sunny Ballarat!  I learned a lot in this chat about life in Victoria- particularly through the ups and downs of 2020- and as you listen, I suspect you will soon find yourself in love with the location as much as Paul clearly is.

    It is Paul’s passion for living a purposeful life that really shines through in this interview.  Through a series of considered decisions, Paul has built a career in the law that certainly enables him to have the life that matters to him.  It is in this piece that I think we can all learn a lot from Paul.

    Paul’s decision to study and practice law came ‘later in life’ as they say but it is a decision he continues to be grateful for.  These days he runs a smart boutique practice from his home town, primarily working in employment and commercial law for members of his local community. He has found that magical ‘balance’ between work life and life and I sense it is his mindset that has been the key here.

    In this interview, Paul and I also chatted about-



    * If Paul was not a lawyer he would have been a landscape gardener as he shares his passion for his own garden.

    * Paul grew up in Melbourne at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges and shares some of his fondest childhood memories.

    * Paul started off working in a bank, but after a number of years made a career shift into Law.

    * His decision to follow the law was driven by the intellectual challenge it brought, along with a chance to help people.

    * Graduating at age 34, Paul’s first job was as an Article Clerk as a commercial lawyer.  We discussed the challenges of getting that first foot in the door.

    * Paul’s experience of starting as a ‘lawyer’ but feeling totally out of his depth in terms of knowledge. The application of law vs the study of law.

    * The true love story of Paul meeting his now wife Kathy and how, 2 weeks after meeting her, he moved to Ballarat.

    * While living in Ballarat,  Paul was commuting to Melbourne- a 3 hour round trip.

    * The story of how a client, who resided in Ballarat, pushed Paul to start his own law firm locally.

    * ‘Law on Lydiard’ was born and Paul shares the highs and highs of owning his own law firm since opening just under 3 years ago.

    * His focus is employment law, domestic building disputes, wills and estates and commercial litigation, however, most of his work is focused on dispute work.

    * Paul has an obvious passion for the work he does, and although he refers to it as an ‘easier’ area of law, he still finds challenges in his daily work.

    * A day in the life of Paul Cott the business owner.

    * Pauls tips for maintaining balance as a business owner, and taking off the lawyer hat when you go home.

    * We discuss re-thinking what success looks like and the number of hours lawyers traditionally work.

    * The joy in saying ‘no’ when you are your own boss and only working with clients who bring joy.

    * Pauls advice to his 20-year-old self.

    * Technological advances in business’ and the essential impact of human connection.

    * Defining himself as a content lawyer he gives his advice to others who may not be as content in the law.

    * Pauls’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Paul Cott.

    ***



















    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.   

    a href="http://www.happylawyerhappylife.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 203 – Helping people find their own magic with Midja Fisher

    Episode 203 – Helping people find their own magic with Midja Fisher

    In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing the powerhouse that is Midja Fisher.   Now she had me laughing from the moment we began as when I asked what she would be if she wasn’t a lawyer we were soon talking about being Reality TV stars and the fun only kept coming from there.  Midja has been in #lawland her whole career but you might say she has had anything but a traditional path and in many ways not too many traditional roles which is what makes this conversation so interesting.  These days Midja works as a consultant to firms all over the Country on leadership and culture and it won’t surprise you that we had a whole lot of fun sharing our ideas of how our profession could change for the better!

    In this interview, Midja and I also chatted about-



    * If Midja was not a lawyer she would have been a teacher or a reality TV star and shares why she has a passion for drama.

    * Midja comes from a family of three generations of coal miners and gives us a snapshot into her childhood growing up in Ipswich surrounded by family on all sides.

    * Midja’s decision to study Law and IT in Brisbane.

    * Her induction training with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Tampa Florida, and her learnings now that she hosts inductions as a speaker.

    * Leadership in business and the work it takes to lead a successful team.

    * More than half of Midja’s mentoring clients are lawyers how she helps lawyers to find their passion, self-love and self-belief.

    * What ‘doing law differently’ means creating space and supporting staff so they can all make their magic.

    * Midja talks about holding things loosely and seeing the opportunity in all areas of peoples roles in business.

    * Following her time in Florida, she moved to Sydney with PWC before returning to Qld.

    * From there, Midja worked for many years at Shine running their courses and training where she totally fell in love with the work she got to do.

    * Midja worked for Shine for 19 years where she found her passion for leadership, team building and coaching.

    * Writing leadership programs and helping others to grow into their own magic.

    * Her decision to make a change and step out on her own in 2016, which came from a desire to create something for herself.

    * Her books, “Unshakable Confidence”, “Great lawyer to great leader” and, launching next month “Take off the Cape – from superhero to super coach.”

    * Midja’s opinion on what we are doing well in the law. And, if she had a magic wand to change law land she would challenge us to step up and become stronger leaders..

    * Midja explains her coaching process of creating purpose, passion and play in our careers.

    * We discuss the role of a business coach, along with the stigma attached to getting ‘help’ in Australia.

    * Energy is contagious, both positively and negatively.

    * Midja helps people find their magic and be present in their daily lives so they can get the most joy out of their lives.

    * Midja’s Happiness Tip.



    Sit back and enjoy this interview with Midja Fisher.

    ***



















    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 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Patrickm2891 ,

Love this podcast!

Happiness is not something commonly associated with lawyers and the practice. No one ever says, “My lawyer is so happy!” Finding happiness with our work, lives, and selves is so important. I love the flow and style of this podcast - so many perspectives, and the conversation is so compelling.

Ccm68wh ,

Great interviews and a positive message

I’ve enjoyed these episodes, learning about what other lawyers do to find happiness and what drives them to serve clients.

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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