Law as a second career is given a reality check at a Brisbane firm that has hired a string of lawyers who used to be something else.
Law firm Walsh Halligan Douglas’ professional staff ranks now include a teacher, ex-NRL player, labourer and plasterer, a qualified pharmacist, an ex-US college baseball player, a social worker, insurance claims manager, archaeologist, director of a funds management company and a playwright.
Following the appointment of ex-NRL player Tim Fuller in January, the firm has recently welcomed solicitor Catherine Stewart, ex-teacher, to its family law team.
In addition to her experience as both a solicitor and Supreme Court Associate, for 25 years Stewart worked in the education sector in various positions including head of department, teacher, tutor, external relations manager and researcher for secondary schools, colleges and universities.
The firm’s managing partner Matt McCormick said the firm’s is making deliberate moves to hire people with a life before the law.
“Whilst we fully support the growth and development of young talent – and we have a number of lawyers here who have followed the traditional path – we see definite merit in having people on board with other life experience.
“We very much encourage our lawyers to get to know their clients, their industries and their circumstances in general. Having experience they can draw upon that doesn’t come from legal textbooks or precedents adds real value to what we offer our clients,” he said.