THE EXPERIENCES of acclaimed mountaineer Peter Hillary were used to bolster the goal setting of lawyers at Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL) this month.
The son of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, Hillary spoke with members of the firm as part of an in-house CLE (continuing legal education) program.
Like his father, Hillary has a close association with the people of the Himalayan region, for which he has established a foundation to assist them to create sustainable living, through improvements to education, health, the environment and farming. ABL provides pro bono legal advice to the foundation through its public interest practice.
To his ABL audience, Hillary “talked about challenges in his life and things he has chosen to do, and how he has overcome them”, ABL director of human resources, Kate Clark said.
Hillary’s determination and experiences are an excellent example of goal setting, a spokesperson for the firm said. He shared with the firm the knowledge and techniques he used to conquer Everest, twice, revealing how that can be applied to the legal career and personal aspirations.
“Although his life has taken a different path to those who work here, the principle behind how he approached various challenges that life presented are things people from all walks of life can make use of,” said Clark.
Some links can be made, however, between Hillary’s mountaineering experience and the life of any legal professional, said Clark. “He spoke about the amount of training that goes into the actual climb,” she said.
“There is months of training and acclimatisation [to prepare for the mountain climbing experience]. There are lots of parallels with solicitors’ path. Many years go into preparing our lawyers for their future [careers].”
Hillary inspired his audience with stories about his mountaineering experiences, said Clark. “He talked about the risks taken in going into the very thin air, and that a lot of the time it is hard to know [how people will cope]. Some people are able to cope better, and any amount of training won’t necessarily help you,” she said.