find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
From lawyer to CEO by 25

From lawyer to CEO by 25

From lawyer to CEO by 25

A young lawyer turned charity organisation CEO has revealed the reason for her career change.

Morgan Koegel knew she wanted to be a lawyer from the age of seven. But a couple of years after graduating, she turned her focus to education and became the CEO of charity organisation One Girl.

One Girl focuses on educating girls in Africa through a range of initiatives, including scholarships and school amenity improvements.

Speaking at the Janders Dean Horizons conference in Sydney recently, Ms Koegel said her parents instilled in her the importance of both education and gender equality.

“I grew up with two mums in middle America in the early 1990s,” she said.

“But when I was a kid, I had no idea that my family was unusual, that there was anything strange, that some people had an opposition to it. I had two mums who loved me.

“I also had parents that really highly valued education, so my mums, when they decided to get pregnant, had looked around, realised that their gay next-door neighbour had a PhD and said, 'He'll do'.

“So my parents really highly valued education and I was given a really great education from a young age.”

Ms Koegel was inspired to join the legal profession at age seven when her non-biological mother, who was a lawyer, told her how she had won an appeal against a man’s death sentence.

“She argued for years and years, appealed and appealed, and eventually a man's life was spared, and I remember thinking as a seven-year-old hearing this, 'That's it! This woman got her law degree, she spoke out about something that mattered to her, a judge eventually agreed and she literally saved a dude's life',” Ms Koegel said.

“I had never heard anything so incredible and I said, 'That's it. I’ve got to be a lawyer. That's how I'm going to find my voice'.”

Ms Koegel graduated from Melbourne Law School and started working with Victoria Legal Aid, as well as running legal education seminars in prisons, but it wasn’t long before a chance encounter reminded her how fortunate she was to be well educated.

“I was feeling pretty good about my prison gig, doing these big legal education seminars,” she said.

“I had this guy Jamie who went back like 10 times, so I was having my Harvey Specter moment – 'Yay, I'm good at this, I'm loving life doing these legal education seminars'.

“And on the 11th session Jamie came back, I was handing out pamphlets and I realised I'd run out, and I said, 'Sorry guys, I'm going to have to go print more', and Jamie said, 'You know what miss, don't worry about it. I actually can't read'.

“I felt that sick feeling in my stomach of just, 'Oh man, he's not here because I'm giving great legal education seminars, he's here because he can't understand the things I'm pointing to, he can't understand what I'm handing him'.

“And I think it was in that moment that, for the first time in my life, I fully appreciated that my capacity to read, to write, to speak the way I'm speaking to you now, is a product of the education I've had.”

This revelation led Ms Koegel to pursue a career in education. Despite her youth, she took on the role of CEO of One Girl, which combined her passions for education and gender equality.

The organisation has experienced rapid growth over the last few years, and entered the spotlight earlier this year when former Liberal MP Cory Bernardi took one of its fundraising initiatives the wrong way.

Craigburn Primary School in South Australia took part in One Girl’s ‘Do it in a dress’ fundraiser, where participants complete a challenge of their choice while wearing a school dress.

The night before Ms Koegel addressed the Janders Dean conference, Mr Bernardi got wind of the fundraiser and tweeted “One school in South Australia now has wear a dress day. This gender morphing is really getting absurd”.

However, the comment backfired on the senator and led to a flood of donations for the primary school, which ultimately raised $305,809 – well above its target of $900.

Ms Koegel said the overwhelming support showed how much the community cared about girls’ education.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

From lawyer to CEO by 25
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...